Difference Between CBSE and ICSE:
Both the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) are self-financing educational institutions. The CBSE and the ICSE have a different syllabus, education pattern, exams and other aspects.
One of the differences that can be noticed is that the Indian government has recognised CBSE, but has not recognised the ICSE. Though the certificate given by both the institutions are valid globally, the CBSE certificate has more value than the one of ICSE.
When talking abou the syllabus, the CBSE has a more scientific approach. The whole syllabus is divided into several units. In each unit, is also specified the number of periods that are needed for completion. The syllabus also includes the amount of marks in each unit. The ICSE does not have such a scientific approach. Unlike the ICSE syllabus, the CBSE syllabus helps the teachers and students to plan for the exams in a more scientific way.
Moreover, the ICSE syllabus is considered to be heavy when compared to the CBSE. While the ICSE has two papers on English, the CBSE has only one paper. The ICSE has three papers in the science group (physics, chemistry and biology), but the CBSE has only one paper. In social studies as well, the ICSE has two papers, geography and history, while the CBSE has only one social sciences paper. Another difference that can be seen, is that Environmental Education is compulsory with ICSE. On the contrary, it is not so with the CBSE.
In terms of the exam pattern, the entrance examinations follow the CBSE. This means that those students studying ICSE have a disadvantage when taking competitive exams, unlike the CBSE students.