A guide to examination boards in India

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Education boards vs. Examinations

‘Is the ICSE better or the CBSE?’, is one of the most common question in any parent’s discussion group.  This is a wrong question per se. CBSE is an education board which conducts different exams, whereas ICSE is the 10th grade’s board exams. An education board can not be compared with board examination. The equivalent of ICSE is SSE (class X), which is conducted by CBSE.

Parents also get confused about international boards in India, and what programs they offer that equate to 10th & 12th boards. Many schools offer IGCSE for class 10 and IB Diploma for class 12. It is important to note that these two examinations are offered by two different boards – IGCSE by Cambridge Assessment (CAIE) and IB Diploma by International Baccalaureate (IB). Thus, even though both IGCSE and IB Diploma are offered by international boards, they differ in philosophy, design and execution.

School Examination Boards in India

CBSE, CISCE and NIOS are national boards. CBSE is managed by Government of India, whereas CISCE is a private board. NIOS is an open and distance learning education board managed by Government of India.

CAIE and IB are international boards, recognized by most of the countries across the globe. CAIE is based in UK and aligned to UK’s GCSE and A&AS curriculum, whereas IB is based out of Switzerland and its curriculum offers high quality international education. Also, Pearson Edexcel conducts its own International GCSE and International Advance Levels similar to UK’s GCSE. However, presence of Edexcel is very limited in India.

In addition to these boards, most of the states have their own boards that conduct 10th &12th examination. State board’s curriculum and structure vary from state to state, however they are largely align to CBSE curriculum with additional focus on regional language and culture.

To help parents and students, we have prepared a list of all approved boards in India and exams conducted by them in equivalence to 10th and 12th boards.

Which board is better? CBSE vs. CISCE vs. IB vs. Cambridge – Your guide to help in choosing the right board

Major Examination Boards

  • CBSE: Central Board of Secondary Education
  • CISCE: Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination
  • CAIE: Cambridge Assessment International Education  
  • IB: International Baccalaureate
  • NIOS: National Institute of Open Schooling
  • Pearson Edexcel
  • State Board: Boards of respective states

Read more about CBSE

Read more about CISCE

Read more about IB

Read more about Cambridge Assessment

Examinations: 10th Board or equivalent

Examinations: 12th Board or equivalent

Name of the State Boards


  • Andhra Pradesh Board of Intermediate Education, Hyderabad
  • Andhra Pradesh Board of Secondary Education, Hyderabad
  • Andhra Pradesh Open School Society, SCERT Campus, Hyderabad


  • Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, Bamunimaidan, Guwahat
  • Assam Board of Secondary Education, Guwahat
  • Asam Higher Secondary Education Council, Assam State Open School Bamunimaidan, Guwahati


  • Bihar Intermediate Education Council, Patna
  • Bihar School Examination Board, Patna
  • Bihar Sanskrit Shiksha Board, Patna
  • Bihar Board of Open Schooling & Examination, Patna


  • Chhatisgarh Board of Secondary Education, Raipur
  • Chhatisgarh Board of Secondary Education & State Open School, Raipur
  • Chhattisgarh Madarsa Board, Chattisgarh


  • Goa Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education, Goa


  • Gujarat Secondary & Higher Secondary Education Board, Gandhi Nagar
  • Gujarat State Open School, Gandhinagar, Gujarat


  • Haryana Board of Education, Hansi Road, Bhiwani
  • Haryana Open School, Bhiwan


  • Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education, Dharamshala
  • Himachal Pradesh State Open School, Dharamsala, Kangra


  • J&K State Board of School Education, Jammu
  • J&K State Open School, Srinagar


  • Jharkhand Academic Council, Ranchi


  • Karnataka Board of the Pre-University Education, Bangalore
  • Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Borad, Bangalore
  • Karnataka Open School, J.S.S. Maha Vidya Peeth, Mysore


  • Kerala Board of Public Examinations, Pareeksha Bhawan, Thiruvananthpuram
  • Kerala Board of Higher Secondary Education, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kerala State Open School, Thiruvananthapuram


  • Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Pune


  • Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education, Bhopa
  • M.P. State Open School, Bhopal 1003 Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board, Madhya Pradesh


  • Manipur Council of Higher Secondary Education, Imphal
  • Manipur Board of Secondary Education, Impha


  • Meghalaya Board of School Education, Meghalaya


  • Mizoram Board of School Education Chaltlan, Aizaw


  • Nagaland Board of School Education, Kohima


  • Odisha Council of Higher Secondary Education Bhubaneswar
  • Odisha Board of Secondary Education, Cuttack


  • Punjab School Education Board, Mohali


  • Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education, Ajmer
  • Rajasthan State Open School, Jaipur


  • Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary Education, Chennai
  • Tamil Nadu Board of Higher Secondary Education, Chennai
  • Tamil Nadu State Open School, Chennai


  • Tripura Board of Secondary Education, Agartala, Tripura West


  • U.P. Board of High School & Intermediate Education, Allahabad
  • Board of Madrasa Education, Uttar Pradesh


  • Uttarakhand Vidhyaleye Shiksha Parishad (UBSE), Ramnagar, Nanital


  • West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Calcutta
  • West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, Calcutta
  • West Bengal Council for Rabindra Open Schooling
  • West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education

Other Institutes Recognised for Secondary/Senior Secondary level

  • Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.
  • Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar,
  • Directorate of Army Education, New Delhi.
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
  • Jamia Millia Hamdard University.
  • Banasthali Vidyapith, Banasthali, Rajasthan
  • Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
  • Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (Poorva Madhyama Examination)
Information about state boards and other institutes has been taken from NIOS prospectus.

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