The Full form of ICSE
The full form of ICSE is the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education, and it is an examination which is conducted in schools affiliated with the CISCE or the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations which is an educational board for private and convent schools in India. The examination has been developed to provide students with an examination experience based on the recommendations of the New Education Policy of 1986 via English Medium Teaching.
This examination has been made to allow for only members of the schools which are a part of the CISCE to appear for the exam, and unlike the CBSE Board exams, private candidates are not allowed for it.
The course of the ICSE tackles various subjects, several of which have more than one paper conducted for them. For example, the subject Science has the papers of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology conducted for it and the average marks of all the papers are used as the marks for the subject. This is again a contradiction to how CBSE does it by having one paper per subject and assorting parts of the paper to each sub-category. The percentage result is calculated by taking the best 5 marks out of 6. This leaves more flexibility for students wanting to get a good percentage despite not being particularly good at a subject. However, English is compulsory as one of the 5 subjects for calculating the percentage.
You can decide whether you should take CBSE or ICSE based on the fact that CBSE is more oriented towards holistic development, while ICSE is dedicated towards academic excellence.
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