Differences between CBSE, ICSE and Cambridge IGCSE: Curriculum and Study Approaches

Due to the ever-expanding global attitude of the current world, it is becoming harder as parents to equip our children with global skills and competencies. Many parents are slowly shifting their goals toward creating global citizens. Today’s educational decisions are more than just choosing a school or stream; it is mainly about choosing the proper education board.

Every parent wants the best education for their children, and this is why choosing the right board is important as it lays the foundation for child development. In this blog, you will know some of the differences between Cambridge IGCSE, CBSE, and ICSE so that you can choose the appropriate education board for your child.

What is IGCSE?

The IGCSE (The International General Certificate of Secondary Education) administered by the University of Cambridge International Examinations is a widely recognised syllabus. The IGCSE curriculum is made to facilitate the holistic development of children.

In the IGCSE curriculum, learning is focused on developing creative, analytical and critical thinking skills. The curriculum is famous worldwide and can prepare students for higher levels of education such as A level, AS, North American APT and IB Diploma.

In the Indian environment, IGCSE has combined local economies and cultures to ensure that students not only gain an international perspective but also understand the local cultures. 

Under the IGCSE curriculum in International schools, students have the flexibility to choose between the core and elective subjects. The curriculum is rigorous, and assessments are designed to assess students’ overall knowledge and application skills. This is the perfect board for students who desire to pursue higher education abroad due to its standard and international recognition. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of IGCSE international schools

The benefits and drawbacks of this famous curriculum are as follows:

  • Benefits
  1. IGCSE is a student-centric board that focuses on providing knowledge and encouraging creativity. The syllabus is quite demanding, and the application is application-based and not theoretical.
  2. Students can choose from various subjects, and the curriculum focuses mostly on English and other technical subjects.
  3. It helps to provide students with a local and global perspective.
  4. IGCSE helps to promote learning via exploration and real-life connections; inquiry plays an important role here.
  • Drawbacks
  1. The fees of schools offering this curriculum can be higher compared to others, but the medium of instruction is mostly English.
  2. It is not easy to find external coaching or tutors in the case of the IGCSE curriculum.

Differences between Cambridge IGCSE and CBSE

The differences between both the curriculums are as follows:

  • The flexibility in choosing subjects is much more considerable in IGCSE compared to CBSE. In the CBSE board, students can only choose subject combinations in their stream. But IGCSE provides students with a variety of subjects and combinations in different streams. 
  • CBSE focuses more on theoretical concepts, which may not be in-depth compared to Cambridge IGCSE. In IGCSE, in-depth study and its application in daily life are encouraged a lot.
  • The CBSE syllabus is valid throughout India, but the IGCSE syllabus is valid and recognised worldwide. The syllabus is also accepted by various universities abroad compared to CBSE or ICSE.
  • The number of schools that offer IGCSE syllabus is less compared to schools that offer CBSE syllabus to ist students.
  • The IGCSE board is a suitable choice for parents who are looking to settle abroad.

Differences between Cambridge IGCSE and ICSE

The differences between IGCSE and ICSE curricula are as follows:

  • The syllabus that ICSE follows is more well-rounded and structured, giving equal importance to all subjects and promoting their in-depth study. But the IGCSE board followed in International schools is more practical and application-based; it also has a wider spectrum of subjects when compared to the ICSE.
  • The IGCSE curriculum teaches that localised contact needs to be taught in respective regions, whereas ICSE focuses more on studying with common contents.
  • IGCSE is an international standard curriculum, but ICSE is a national-level examination.
  • Students who have studied in the ICSE curriculum can find it easier to transition to IGCSE and IB curriculums.
  • IGCSE board is recognized worldwide and taught in the top universities worldwide, making it an ideal choice for students who want to pursue higher education and settle abroad.

Though all the boards are different from one another, the ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE curricula taught in International schools are proving to be strong and dynamic in their own way. All of these boards can assist students in pursuing further studies without much difficulty. 

Final Words

Whether you choose ICSE, CBSE, or Cambridge IGCSE curriculum depends on your child’s needs and your child and your family. If you want a global perspective on education, you can opt for the IGCSE curriculum for your child. But you need to look at each board’s benefits and drawbacks before deciding.

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