IGCSE harder than CBSE

Is IGCSE harder than CBSE?

There is no bigger dilemma than what parents feel when the time comes to choose the right school or board for their children. 

We have so many options already available in our country, on top of that, everybody  (read other parents) has a different say over the different types of boards based on their individual experience. Some may find one board too difficult, whereas others might find the same board easily manageable.

However, the choice of educational boards is extremely critical to shaping your child’s future. And the choice is not just limited to national boards, but now we have international boards also coming up strongly and making it pretty much perplexing for the parents to make the right decision.

In this blog, let us try to find the difference between the two most popular boards, namely, IGCSE and CBSE, in India. And also learn more about what are the salient features of each board, what is the syllabus for both, who is the governing authority,  their pros and cons, and what makes them unique. 

Hope it makes your decision–making process easier and helps you make a well-informed and wise decision based on the various factors that we will discuss below.

Salient features of IGCSE 

The best part about the IGCSE board is that there is no defined syllabus for the same. 

The curriculum is more designed towards offering children application-based knowledge that would give them the required exposure and groom them considering their overall development. 

The focus of this board is entirely on analytical and critical thinking process and fostering creativity among students.

Also, if you are considering studying abroad  for your kids, this board is definitely the best choice considering its international standards and recognition.

Salient features of CBSE 

Being the most popular boards in India, the best part about joining the CBSE board is that no matter wherever you are in India, you can choose a CBSE school, due to the large number of schools available throughout the country.

They do have a set curriculum of their own follow the National Council of Educational Research (NCERT) pattern, which comes in very handy especially when your kids want to appear for any entrance exams in India, such as NEET, JEE, UPSC, etc.

The focus of this board is assimilation of your knowledge, memorizing it and recalling it for evaluation. 

It is also one of the most affordable boards in the entire country.  

Pros and cons of IGCSE and CBSE boards

Let us learn more in detail about the two boards so as to help you know the various differences and decide for yourself which one of the two is hard or which one would do complete justice to your child’s future.

IGCSE board


  • Follows international curriculum, so studying abroad is definitely easier later.
  • Knowledge-oriented approach
  • Wide range of subjects to choose from
  • Resitting an exam is possible if not satisfied with the achieved grades
  • Development of many skills sets


  • Is expensive than CBSE board
  • Coaching can be difficult to find
  • Medium of education is only English

CBSE board


  • Student friendly
  • Helps in holistic development
  • Affordable
  • Recognized by Indian Government 
  • No one fails until class 8th
  • Class 10th board exams are optional and 12th are mandatory
  • Can prepare privately for exams
  • Changing of schools is possible all across India because of the availability of many schools offering this board education.
  • Medium of education is both English and Hindi.


  • Focus is more on theory and memorizing information. 
  • Abilities are evaluated based on students exam performance
  • Not enough subjects to choose from.
  • No encouragement for extracurricular activities  

Now looking at both sides, it entirely depends upon what future aspirations you have for your kid, or your situation, whether you want to send them abroad for studies later or you have to keep migrating from one state to another in the country.

The IGCSE board is certainly more rigorous and intensive as compared to the CBSE board and requires students to submit their assessment every year for every topic covered. 

However, note that these days, finding coaching (as mentioned in the cons of IGCSE) for the IGCSE board is easier these days, given the expert facilities and coaching academies like the Wisdom Academy.  

They are known for their highly qualified and experienced mentors who understand the pattern of IGCSE better and help students with the exact approach and focus that is to be followed, even if the board is quite rigorous to follow.