What is Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)?


Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is an examination organized by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, a private board of school education in India. It has been developed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in line up with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986 (India), through the medium of English. It was affiliated to French Board of Examination before 1986. It is one of the most reputed and best boards (along with CBSE) in India and all over the world.

The examination provides a secure suitable representation of governments responsible for schools (which are affiliated to it) in their states or territories. Private candidates are allowed to appear for this examination. The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) will reportedly conduct board examinations for classes V and VIII from 2018. However, CEO Gerry Arathoon of ICSE said there will be no pass-fail tags. He also explained that the board examinations will be only a “periodical evaluation exercise to have an idea on the progress of the students’ learning after a particular level.

Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Indian School Certificate (ISC) are organized by the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). While the earlier exam is held for Class X, the latter is for Class XII. Besides these two, the Council also conducts the Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE – Year 12). The exams are organized generally in the month of February/March every year.

ICSE Class 10th and ISC Class 12th results were revealed on May 14. In 2018, 98.51% students cleared the ICSE Class 10th exam while 96.21% of students succeeded in ISC Class 12th exams.

CISCE, before 1986, was affiliated to the French Board Examination which provides it great standing amongst foreign schools and universities. Counted in the middle of the toughest board exams, both ICSE and ISC exams are recognized for their broad and voluminous syllabus which lays equal emphasis on all the subjects.

Apparently, it should be important to note that from 2018, CISCE has revised the passing marks for Class X and Class XII students. While the pass marks for ICSE (Class X) students has been updated from 35% to 33%, the qualifying marks for ISC (Class X) has been revised from 40% to 35%.

Presently, Dr G. Immanuel is the Chairman of the Board and Mr Gerry Arathoon, the Chief Executive and Secretary. More than 2100 schools across the country stand affiliated to CICSE.

In subjects consisted of more than one paper (e.g., Science), the marks obtained in the subject are calculated by taking the average of all the papers in the subject. Candidates appearing for the examination have to study six subjects, with one to three papers in each subject. This makes for a total of eight to eleven papers, depending on the subjects. ICSE results are taken from best five of six subjects out of which English marks is compulsory

Group 1 (Compulsory subjects) :

  • English
  • Second language
  • History/Civics & Geography
  • S.U.P.W.

Group 2 (Any 2 subjects) :

  • Maths
  • Science
  • Commercial Studies
  • Economics

Group 3 (Any 1 subject) :

  • Computer applications
  • Technical drawing
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Dance
  • Yoga
  • Hindustan music
  • Carnatic music
  • Instrumental music
  • Economic applications
  • Commercial applications
  • Mass media and communication
  • Modern foreign language
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