Which Secondary School Education Board Syllabus works best for your kid:  State, Matriculation, CBSE, or ICSE? This is a debate that has divided students and parents for many years and will continue to do so. Before you choose one or the other, you must understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them.

We asked our experts to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to determine which one comes out on top. Let’s begin!


The Central Board for Secondary Education is the most popular educational board in India, spreading across every state. It is also the national board of India. CBSE follows a common syllabus across the nation. CBSE places a lot of emphasis on Science and Mathematics, but not as much on English.

The first language your child chooses can either be English or Hindi. Some of the common second and third languages they offer are Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, whereas foreign languages like French, Spanish, and German are often 4th language options. The second and third languages may change depending on the school. The CBSE has mediums in both English and Hindi.

CBSE is tougher than State Boards and also has a larger curriculum. The CBSE study pattern prepares the student for entrance exams related to IIT and AIIMS – provided they have adequate marks. Your child can study in whatever field you choose (Medical science, non-medical science, commerce, and arts), and the child can take classes related to that stream.  


The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) is in charge of the Indian School Certification Examination (ICSE). Schools that follow the ICSE plan are in English medium only.

ICSE has a detailed syllabus and the students receive comprehensive learning about the subjects, almost to the point where students will consider it to be too extensive. Arts, science, languages, and maths are all given equal importance to the ICSE Board. As such, ICSE is the toughest of the lot. ICSE also has a lower amount of schools in India than CBSE. However the ICSE history taught can be more western oriented and may not be in tune with traditional and ancient Indian ethos.

The United Kingdom College Admissions Board has recognized the ICSE standards as being at par with the standards of the University of Scotland in the UK. The syllabus is inspired from Cambridge University in the UK. The ICSE study pattern prepares students to apply to universities in the US or Europe.

State Syllabus

Every state has their own State Board and is controlled by the Education Minister for the respective state. The Department of Education for the respective state government is responsible for everything related to education. For example, the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh follow the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) Board.

As there is no central administration in charge of the proceedings, the paper patterns, and syllabus vary from state to state making comparing marks from two different states impractical.

The State syllabus is simpler than those of CBSE and ICSE, but you must learn the State language. The syllabus is much less rigorous than that of CBSE and ICSE. It is designed keeping in mind that these books apply to all economic sections of society and therefore must be easy to follow by all. A student studying following the State Board guidelines may find it difficult to get accepted into a college outside the state due to the lack of a single nationwide standard.

On the other hand, it is easier for them to pursue higher studies in a college within the state as they are already well-acquainted with the state’s educational syllabus.


Just like with State Boards, every state has a Matriculation Board for their syllabus. The standard of education in the matriculation system is higher than the State Board, but lower than CBSE and ICSE.  

The Matriculation Board conducts exams only up to the tenth standard, unlike the other three which conduct exams up to 12th standard. After the tenth standard, the Matriculation Board shifts to the State Board and follows the State Board syllabus.

Matriculation places more focus on memorising and learning by rote compared to CBSE, which tests the student’s understanding of the subject. This leads to less analytical thinking among the students. However, most people would agree that the standard of education is better than that of State Board.  

Which is Best?

Every board has its merits and demerits, and there is no outright winner. CBSE and ICSE may be slightly better in terms of the education offered, but that is no reason to avoid the State or Matriculation Boards. Just because many parents opt for CBSE doesn’t mean you should as well. Take a look at the syllabus that all the schools offer.

It all comes down to your child and what you believe they are capable of learning. Some might consider CBSE or ICSE schools too stressful and fail to perform well. Of course, two schools with the same board could be vastly different in their teaching methodology.

If searching for schools in a new location, staying with the same board is the wise choice as the child is already accustomed to it. If the child is older, take a look at what your child wants to do in the future. Your child will not be doomed to fail as a result of you choosing the wrong board, but it is a critical decision. Take some time to think about it instead of taking a hasty choice and regretting it later.

Once you decide on a board for your child, you can turn to Let’s Practise for help. We help students from 3rd to 9th standard by providing them with course material, question papers and worksheets. It doesn’t matter if your child is studying in CBSE, ICSE, or SSC. Our assistance will undoubtedly improve your child with their exam preparation. Click here to learn more about all the plans we offer.