How to Choose the Best Board for your kid’s Future?

Written By Ketan | Edited By Varsha & Adi | Updated on 01st Feb, 2024

Choosing the right education board is a big deal and can shape academics and jobs in the future. With tons of choices, it’s tough to pick the perfect one. In this blog, we’ll explore what to think about when choosing an education board, helping you do it confidently. By the end, you’ll know which board fits your child’s needs. Are you ready to find out which board is best for the future? Let’s jump in and start figuring it out!

Quick Summary

Which board is best for Future?
  1. Why choosing the right board is important
  2. Types of Education Boards
  3. Difference between Boards
  4. Factors to consider
  5. FAQs about Education boards

1.  Why choosing the right board is important

Picking the right education board is crucial because it shapes your child’s learning experience and impacts their educational path. The board you choose not only affects the studies but also influences who your child becomes. It should match the style, values, and interests. Plus, which education board you choose can greatly affect which colleges will consider the application and the things your child will learn while studying. So, it’s a big deal for their future.

Some key points explaining why choosing the right education board matters:

  • Learning Fit: It impacts how your kid learns, making sure it matches style and preferences.
  • Personal Development: It shapes not just studies but also who they become as a person.
  • Goal Alignment: Choosing a board aligned with goals sets your kid on a path that fits their ambitions.
  • Life Skills: It influences the skills gained, from practical knowledge to critical thinking.

2. Types of Education Boards

Here is a list of educational boards in India –

  1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

CBSE is like the boss of schools in India. They make sure everyone learns the same stuff and takes similar tests. It’s their way of being fair to all students, no matter where they’re from. They’ve got a bunch of subjects to learn, like math, science, languages, and more. It’s like a big plan to help learn lots of cool stuff!

Curriculum Overview

The CBSE curriculum in India covers a lot! It’s all about giving students a well-rounded education. They focus on key subjects like Math, Science, Social Science, and Languages, but it’s not just about books. They mix things up with activities like art, music, and sports too.

What’s neat about this curriculum is how they check progress. Instead of just big exams, they use Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). That means they’re always checking how students are doing through different kinds of assessments.

NCERT textbooks are a big part of this system, making sure everyone gets the same quality of education across the country. And there’s flexibility too! Students can pick some subjects they’re interested in and even choose different study streams.

But it’s not just about what’s in the books. CBSE also wants students to learn life skills and values. They use technology to make learning more interactive and offer courses that teach practical skills. 

Grading System

In India, CBSE grades students using a 9-point scale. Here’s how it works:

  • A1: This is top-notch, given for scores between 91-100, with a grade point of 10.
  • A2: Next up, for scores between 81-90, you get an A2 and 9 grade points.
  • B1: If the score is between 71-80, you’ll land a B1, with 8 grade points.
  • B2: This one for scores between 61-70, where you’d get 7 grade points.
  • C1: Falling in the 51-60 range, you’d get a C1, with 6 grade points.
  • C2: Scores between 41 and 50 get you a C2 and 5-grade points.
  • D: If you’re in the 33-40 range, you’d get a D and 4 grade points.
  • E1: For marks between 21-32, it’s an E1, with 3 grade points.
  • E2: The lowest for marks below 20, you’d get an E2 and 2 grade points.

They also calculate a CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) by adding up all the grade points and dividing by the number of subjects. This shows the overall performance across all subjects.

And finally, they give an overall performance indicator based on the CGPA. For example, a CGPA of 10 is outstanding, while below 4 means there is room for improvement.

Pros of CBSE

  • Same Education Everywhere: CBSE makes sure everyone gets the same education, no matter where they live. They keep things consistent all across the country.
  • Preparation for Competitive Exams: They prepare children well for those tough exams they’ll face in college.
  • Tons of Subjects: They’ve got lots of subjects to choose from! You can pick what your child likes and what helps their future dreams.
  • Recognition: Colleges here and even in other countries really like CBSE. That means it’s easier for students to get into more colleges for further studies.

Cons of CBSE

Toughness:  Some students might feel that CBSE’s strict curriculum doesn’t fit how they like to learn because it doesn’t give them many ways to learn differently.

One-Time Assessments: CBSE’s way of testing everything in one big exam could stress students out and affect how well they do, impacting their mental well-being and overall performance.

  1. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)

ICSE, run by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, is a highly regarded exam in India. It covers English, arts, commerce, and science with a tough curriculum. Conducted in English, it helps students excel in language exams like IELTS and TOEFL. It’s known for being one of India’s top educational boards.

Curriculum Overview

In the ICSE curriculum, subjects are divided into three groups. To qualify, students must pick at least 7 subjects.

  • Group I: These are mandatory subjects like English, History and Civics, Geography, and an Indian language like Hindi. English has two papers – one focused on language and the other on literature.
  • Group II: Students choose any two subjects from Mathematics, Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), Environmental Science, Computer Science, Commercial Studies, Technical Drawing, Modern Foreign Language, Classical Language, or Economics.
  • Group III: Here, students select one elective subject from options like Computer Applications, Economic Applications, Commercial Applications, Art, Performing Arts, Home Science, Cookery, Fashion Design, Physical Education, Technical Drawing Applications, Yoga, or Environmental Applications.

The curriculum aims to provide a wide range of subjects allowing students to explore various fields in-depth and breadth, encouraging both depth of understanding and a broad knowledge base.

Grade System

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) grading system follows a 7-point scale. Here’s a breakdown:

  • A: Outstanding (90% and above)
  • B: Very Good (80% to 89%)
  • C: Good (70% to 79%)
  • D: Fair (60% to 69%)
  • E: Satisfactory (50% to 59%)
  • F: Pass (40% to 49%)
  • G: Fail (Below 40%)

Pros of ICSE

  • Balanced Subjects: ICSE gives equal importance to various subjects, offering a well-rounded education.
  • Global Acceptance: ICSE certificates are recognized worldwide, especially by foreign schools.
  • English Advantage: Focus on English is helpful for exams like TOEFL or IELTS.

Cons of ICSE

  • Tough Subjects: Some subjects can be challenging and make students feel stressed.
  • Extensive Syllabus: It gets students ready for the future, but the hard tests might lower their scores.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a globally recognized qualification for students aged 14 to 16. It’s offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), a part of the University of Cambridge.

Curriculum Overview

The IGCSE curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, providing a balanced mix of academic and practical learning. It offers flexibility with over 70 subjects available, including languages, sciences, humanities, and vocational courses. There are no compulsory subjects and students are free to study a range of subjects.

The assessment includes a variety of examination formats such as written, oral, coursework, and practical assessment, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and skills in different ways.

IGCSE emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and application of knowledge. It’s designed to prepare students for further academic studies, including the Cambridge International AS & A Levels, as well as for employment opportunities worldwide.

Grading System

The IGCSE grading system operates on a 9-point scale, with A* as the highest grade and G as the lowest. Here’s a breakdown:

  • A* and A means a strong understanding.
  • B and C show good performance and understanding.
  • D and E indicate a pass with basic understanding.
  • F and G suggest more support might be needed in the subjects.

Pros of IGCSE

  • Famous Everywhere: The IGCSE certificate is recognized and respected globally, making it easier to access colleges and jobs internationally.
  • Learn Lots of Stuff: Your child gets to study different subjects before picking what they really like. It’s like a big menu of subjects.
  • Learn Skills: Helps kids think hard, solve problems, and learn things by themselves. It gets them ready for college or work.
  • You Can Choose: Children get to pick what they want to study, so they can go for what they are interested in.

Cons of IGCSE

  • Pretty Tough: The tests and work are hard and need lots of focus and work from students.
  • Focus more on exams: They mainly look at your final exams, and that can stress some students.
  • Switching Trouble: If you want to switch to another board later, sometimes the things you learned in IGCSE might not be accepted the same way everywhere

State Board

Each Indian state has its own state board responsible for the education system within that state. Some notable state boards are:

  • Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education
  • Tamil Nadu State Board of Education
  • Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education
  • West Bengal Board of Secondary Education
  • Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB)

Curriculum Overview

State boards create their own school curriculums to match the needs and culture of each region. They decide what subjects to teach, set goals for learning, and plan how to assess students. These curriculums focus on regional languages, local history, and cultural aspects, making education more relevant to each area’s distinct identity.

Grading System

  • Distinction: When your child  gets 75% or higher, they did really well!
  • First Division: Getting between 60% and 74% means your kid did great!
  • Second Division: Scoring from 45% to 59% means they did okay.
  • Pass Grade: Getting between 35% and 44% means they passed, but just barely.
  • Failed: Scoring below 35% means they didn’t pass this time.

Pros of State Board

  • Fits Where You Live: Schools match what’s important in your area, talking about your place’s history and language.
  • Keep The Culture: They make sure children learn about the local language, history, and cool traditions, so they don’t forget their culture.
  • Cost: Generally more affordable than other boards.

Cons of State Board

  • Moving Problems: If you change schools, things might be different and that could make it a bit difficult for your child.
  • Misses Other Stuff: Sometimes, they focus a lot on your area but not so much on what’s happening everywhere else.
  • Recognition: Limited recognition outside the state.


Cambridge Assessment International Education is widely known for its international exams and education programs for students aged 5 to 19 worldwide. They cover various subjects and emphasize critical thinking and independence. Their objective is to prepare students for higher education and future careers by providing a welcoming and creative learning environment.

Curriculum Overview

They help schools make lessons that help children succeed. Their courses get children ready for college. That’s why colleges all over like the Cambridge International AS & A Level tests.

They help children learn:

  • Lots about different subjects
  • How to think on their own
  • Using what they know in new or old situations
  • Think smarty and make good arguments
  • Deciding things and giving good reasons
  • Explaining stuff in a good way and saying what might happen
  • Working and talking in English.

There are 55 subjects to pick from. Schools can mix them up, so children can make their own plan. They might focus on one thing or try lots of subjects.

A Cambridge International A Level usually takes two years, and the AS Level takes one year. In some subjects, kids can start with the AS Level and then move on to the A Level. 

Grading System

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) uses a grading system that is based on a quality-point alpha grading system. The grades range from A to F. Here is the breakdown:

  • A: Excellent, the highest grade
  • B: Very good
  • C: Good
  • D: Satisfactory
  • E: Pass
  • F: Fail

Pros of CAIE

  • Global Recognition: CAIE qualifications are widely recognized and accepted by universities and employers worldwide.
  • Flexible Curriculum: Offers a wide range of subjects and allows customization of study combinations.
  • Encourages Critical Thinking: Emphasizes independent thinking, problem-solving, and practical application of knowledge.
  • Varied Assessment Methods: Assessments include a mix of exams, coursework, and practicals, catering to different learning styles.

Cons of CAIE

  • Cost: Fees for CAIE examinations can be a bit high.
  • Limited Availability: Not all schools may offer CAIE courses, limiting accessibility for some students.
  • Teacher Training: The Availability of trained teachers for CAIE programs might vary across regions.
  • More focus on Exams: Assessment heavily relies on final exams.
  • Structured Curriculum: Even though you can choose, there’s still some set stuff to learn, so not totally free.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is a globally recognized education system that offers a rigorous, balanced approach to education. It is offered in schools worldwide to children from 3-19 years old. The IB curriculum takes a broad view of what education is about, focusing not only on core subjects such as math or language skills but also on developing soft skills such as problem-solving, empathy, and an international mindset.

Curriculum Overview

The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers four special learning programs for different ages, which are as follows:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP) for younger kids aged 3 to 12.
  • Middle Years Programme (MYP) for teenagers from 11 to 16.
  • Diploma Programme (DP) for older students between 16 to 19 years old.
  • Career-related Programme (CP) for those same ages.

These programs are designed to develop well-rounded individuals who can respond to a changing world. IB education aims to uncover and develop the best in every child, and research shows that IB students perform better than other programs. 

Grading System

The IB grading scale ranges from 1 to 7 for each subject. Here’s a breakdown to understand what each number means:

  • 7 (Excellent): This represents outstanding performance.
  • 6 (Very Good): A strong grade, showing a high level of understanding and achievement.
  • 5 (Good): This is a solid grade, indicating a good understanding and performance.
  • 4 (Satisfactory): Not bad, you’ve met the requirements but with some room for improvement.
  • 3 (Mediocre): It’s like doing alright, but not as good as expected.
  • 2 (Poor): This means finding it pretty hard, not doing well in that subject.
  • 1 (Very Poor): This means you are really struggling a lot in some subjects.

Pros of CAIE:

  • Globally recognized: Everyone knows these qualifications.
  • Prepares for university: Gets your child ready for tough university work.
  • Complete education: Covers lots of stuff, and gives a well-rounded education.

Cons of CAIE:

  • Heavy workload: Lots of work to do, can be tough.
  • Not very flexible: Not much room to pick and choose what kids want to study

3. Difference between Boards

Choosing the right board is a challenging task. Here’s a breakdown comparing these boards based on fees, difficulty, and grading to help you make better choices

Fee Structures

Here’s a comparison of the fee structure by various education boards.

  • CBSE and State Boards: Generally have relatively moderate fees, which can vary based on the school and its facilities. State boards may have differing fee structures across different states.
  • ICSE: Tends to have slightly higher fees compared to CBSE due to its comprehensive curriculum and examination patterns.
  • IB and CAIE & IGCSE: Often have higher fees in comparison to local boards because of their international curriculum and global recognition.

Difficulty Level

Here’s a comparison of the difficulty level of various education boards.

CBSE & State Boards: CBSE and State Boards teach in a way that’s the same for everyone. They’re not too hard. They cover a lot but make sure everyone can understand. Tests check the basics and are fair for everyone to learn well.

ICSE: ICSE teaches a lot more than CBSE. It requires a deep understanding and practical use of what is learned. The tests might seem harder because they cover many details to help understand everything about the subjects.

IB and CAIE & IGCSE: These international boards like the IB Diploma Programme and the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) & IGCSE often have a reputation for their rigorous and comprehensive curriculum.Tests have hard questions and projects that need smart thinking in different ways.


Here’s a comparison of the grading systems used by various education boards.

CBSE and State Boards:

  • CBSE employs a 9-point grading scale, ranging from A1 (91-100, 10 grade points)
  • State boards commonly employ a percentage-based grading system, categorizing performance into distinctions, divisions, and pass/fail based on score ranges.


  • ICSE follows a 7-point grading scale, ranging from A (90% and above) to G (below 40%).


  • IB grades students on a scale from 1 to 7, with 7 as the highest grade, based on exams, projects, and coursework. Meanwhile, CAIE & IGCSE use a 9-point scale (A* to G or 9-1) for exams and coursework grades.

4. Factors to consider

Picking the right educational board matters a lot for your child’s future studies. Let’s check out some important things to think about when choosing one:


Different boards offer varying curricula, each with its unique approach to education. Consider the subjects, teaching methods, and overall framework. For instance, some boards might focus on a broader range of subjects, while others emphasize specialized learning areas. Know your child’s learning style and preferences to determine which curriculum aligns best with their academic interests and goals. We talked about the curriculum above much more in detail, so we hope you went through that thoroughly.


The recognition of a board’s qualifications plays an important role in shaping the future opportunities. Investigate if colleges, universities, and employers both nationally and internationally acknowledge and value the certifications offered by the board. A widely recognized board ensures that the qualifications hold weight when applying for higher education or employment opportunities globally.


Money matters! Each board has its own fees. Think about tuition, exam costs, and other expenses. Make sure the board’s price works for you without sacrificing a good education. Sometimes, paying more means better stuff, but find what fits your budget without cutting quality.

Future possibilities

Think about how well the board’s qualifications match what your child wants to do later on. Check what options they will get after school with each board. Some might be better for certain jobs or subjects. Also, see if the board helps students get into college or find good jobs.

Personal Interests

Your child’s interests and passions should guide your choice. Select a board that offers subjects and programs that excite and engage them. When the children are genuinely interested in what they are studying, motivation and dedication tend to come more naturally, leading to better academic performance and fulfillment.

5. FAQs

Q1. Which board offers a more challenging curriculum?

Boards like IB and ICSE are often considered more challenging due to their comprehensive curriculum and rigorous examination methods compared to some other local boards.

Q2. Do education boards affect college admissions or job opportunities?

Yes, The education board you’re from might matter a bit for college or job opportunities. Some places prefer specific boards, but they also look at other things like grades and skills.

Q3. How do education boards differ in terms of fees?

Fees for education boards vary depending on the board’s curriculum, examination structure, and the facilities offered by schools. Generally, international boards tend to have higher fees compared to local or state boards.

So, Which is the best?

Picking the right board for future studies is a big deal—it’s like finding the best fit for learning style and goals.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is widely recognized in India. It provides a well-structured curriculum and is known for its standardized approach. It prepares students for various competitive exams and has many subjects.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers a well-rounded education with a global perspective. It’s great for critical thinking but can be tough because it covers a lot.

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is known for its flexibility. Children get to pick subjects they like, and it’s recognized globally, which is cool for higher studies.

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) gives a solid, detailed education. It’s good for exams in India and covers a lot of subjects in-depth.

State boards vary by where you live. They’re good for local knowledge but might not be recognized everywhere.

The Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) is recognized worldwide. It focuses on practical learning and problem-solving but might lack local specifics.

In the end, the best board is the one that fits your child’s style, what they want to learn, and their future plans. Talk to your child about what subjects they like, how they learn best, and where they want to go for higher studies. Each board has its strengths, so pick the one that matches your goals.

Varsha & Adi

Hi, we are Varsha and Adi, and we’re on a mission to help parents make the right choice for their kids’ education. Picking a school is like a 10-year commitment, and we realized parents needed clear, no-nonsense info. That’s why we created Candid Schools, where you can get the real deal on schools without the fancy jargon. Our goal is simple: to give parents the info they need to make the best choice for their little ones.

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