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  • Category: Education

    Confused between ICSE or SSC Board from 8th std.

    Confused between admission to various school boards? Searching for detailed comparison of SSC and ICSE boards? Do read the advice and guidance provided by experts here.

    My son is in 8th std in ICSE Board. Since 1st to 7th standard he was in IG Board.
    As we had to shift our residence we shifted the school and also the curriculum.
    But unfortunately my son is not able to pick up the ICSE curriculum as it is quite lengthy and very tough on his part. He is not able to score 25 % as of now as compared to 65 to 70% score in IG. We are very confused and are planning to shift him to SSC Board. I do not know whether I am taking this decision correctly or should I wait for 1 crucial year till 9th Std.
    I would really appreciate if can help us to solve this problem of ours and guide us as to what to do ahead of this. It's been really frustrating to see our kid struggling to get good marks which previously he never had to. He is always stuck between school tuition classes etc. He never gets any free time for himself.
    Can you advice?
  • Answers

    12 Answers found.
  • As far as it makes no much difference. Either ICSE or State Board. The student should be able to follow the subject and should be able to get a good score. Generally, Stata Syllabus is a little easy to follow and understand. Once the candidate understands the subject, he can score well. So as you say your son is not abe score better in ICSE, putting him in SSC is a good attempt only. You need not hesitate and even you need not wait for a year. You can go ahead and put him in SSC. The important aspect is please follow him how is studying and provide him suitable guidance so that he can do better.

    always confident

  • Thanks a lot for the response.
    He studies well, but only forgets it at the time of exams. As I said he used to score better in IG but that's totally reverse in ICSE. We have given him the best guidance we can give, but as also I am worried about his learning part. Will the SSC syllabus might help as it's little less that's compared to icse? Please guide. Thanks once again

  • You have mentioned that there has been a change from IG board to ICSE

    IG board means, getting the student educated via the International General secondary education curriculum so they are ready for the International Baccalaureate system. Here the focus is on stress free education, the development of the student as a whole rather than the performance in the subjects. I'm not saying IG is inferior but the way knowledge is imparted and gained is different. If I'm not mistaken, IG focuses more on submissions/assignments etc. ICSE is tougher than CBSE.

    I, think your son is in the phase of transition from VII (IG board) to VIII (ICSE) which has focus on science and langauge. The syllabus is difficult and he has to cope up with new teachers, new friends, new system of learning.

    State syllabus is easier to assimilate compared to CBSE and ICSE. I would suggest you to have a chat with the class teacher or the principal and see if you can find a way to improve the focus on him at the school.

    If you know the teacher/principal of the IG board from the previous year, I would also have a quick discussion with them as they would be the best people by experience to say why and how a student performs differently and what are the remedial methods.

    It would be worthwhile giving him one more year's time in IX standard.

  • Hi. Thanks a lot Mr. Natrajan. I already have set a meeting with the class teacher. Also spoken with his prev. Class teachers they advise to shift to SSC Board as they say ICSE 9th std is going to be even more tougher. Which won't enable him to get good marks as he is struggling in 8th std.
    we also have considered the transition that's taken place. For him all is new so might be the case.
    But seriously we are not intending to take a chance in 9th Std. If at all his performance won't improve then he might be loosing his little confidence also. That will affect 10th Std results.
    We have tried a few remedial measures but I guess it will take time and we are at a juncture we need to decide within a month.
    But thanks a lot. Your suggesting means a lot.

  • ICSE Board is definitely tougher than CBSE. The perspective of teaching and learning in ICSE/CBSE is different than that of International Baccalaureate system. Particularly, I have noticed that English is very tough in ICSE compared to any other Board.

    As your son had studied in IG Board, he would naturally find a little bit difficult to cope up with ICSE Board study. But, with proper guidance from parents, teachers and selective coaching (in those subjects in which he is not confident) would help him to adjust to the new Board syllabus within 1-2 years.

    Come on, have a fight. Don't shoot and scoot.

  • Hi. Thanks for your reply. I understand that with proper guidance from all will help my child to get back the confidence. But the concern is that he will be in the 9 th Std in this year and we are not planning to take any risk pertaining to his studies. As it is not a good time to wait and watch as next year would be very crucial and that too the base will be 9th Std.
    I want a very strong and convenicing point as to why should I leave ICSE and shift to SSC. It's very difficult to absorb the very fact that iCSE remains the better choice amongst all major parents which we are acquainted with.
    Appreciate your reply. Thanks.

  • Let me share my experience with you and it might help you as I am speaking directly from what I went through.

    I started my studies in ICSE Board when I was 7th and I can totally understand what your son is going through. Yes, it was very tough, it was hard to understand the marking schemes, the syllabus etc. Things were very hard for me during my 7th STD, I got very fewer marks, maybe the lowest mark throughout my school life. It did bring down my self-esteem, I felt that I could no longer study as good as I could before. I didn't know that ICSE was the toughest syllabus. I thought I was getting bad in studies.

    For one whole year, I struggled to get good marks, no matter how well I studied and wrote the paper I would never score good marks. My parents got worried and they had plans of shifting me to CBSE school, after my final exam. It was my last chance in ICSE to believe in myself and get through the exam. Teachers helped me a lot, they made me understand the how marks are given, how to study systematically. Step by step I conquered my weakness, it didn't happen soon, but slow and steady from one of the weakest students I reached to top 5 students in ICSE in a year.

    My suggestion would be, don't take your son yet from that school. Give him the confidence that he can, help him to conquer each subject step by step. Continuing in ICSE would benefit your son in the long run, especially in his higher studies. Putting him in SSC now might help him to score better now but later when he will have to give entrance exams for the various competitive exam it will hit him hard.

    This is my experience.

    Most importantly give your son the confidence that he can do it and believe in him. And of your concern for 9th Std, in ICSE schools, the basis for 10th Std starts from 8th Std itself. It is a continuation of 8th, 9th, and 10th STD. So it will only benefit him if he continues in ICSE as it will make his foundation very strong which will help him in his further studies as well. Students from SSC struggle a lot for entrance exams.

  • ICSE syllabus and it's coverage is designed in a particular way and for a student coming from IG Board background, initially it may look strange or difficult.

    That is only an initial hiccup and student will have some difficulty in the beginning but it should dissipitate soon. Please note that a student should not make it an excuse which happens many times during this tender age.

    What is the surity that he will perform well after shifting to SSC system. I have seen very bright students in class 10 who got good marks but later failed miserably in class 11 though continuing in the same system.

    I will suggest you to reexamine the attitude and interest of your son before shifting him to SSC system.

    Knowledge is power.

  • Indian Certificate of Secondary Education was established by the Local Examinations Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. One can find ICSE syllabus tougher than other boards such as CBSE or SSC. Before thinking about switching between boards let me explain the best points of ICSC

    1. ICSE subjects are deeper and extensive. A student can get immense knowledge if he/she understands the subject in a logical way. Teachers facilitate the students understand the subject in a more knowledgeable way. Compared to other boards' syllabus, ICSE syllabus is broader and meaningful.
    2. English language proficiency increases immensely. This can help the student to take future foreign language tests such as GRE, TOEFL, IELTS in future very easily.
    3. The certificate of ICSE is recognized in most of the foreign countries.
    4. The subjects are taught to students in more understandable way i.e application-based (practical) teaching is found in ICSE whereas most other boards (including CBSE) teach in a theoretical way. This means the practical knowledge of the student increases. This can help the student in appearing the future competitive exams such as AIIMS, JIPMER, JEE etc.

    Considering all these positive points I would suggest you not to shift the board. Let the kid cope up with the support of the family and school. Slowly he will pick himself up and perform well. I will give some tips for each subject. Hope you will find them useful.

    1. English
    The most important part of ICSE curriculum is English. Make him practice workbooks, the puzzles that come in English newspapers, give him pocketbooks of poetry and prose so that he will read a chapter per day. Make him practice speaking, communicate in English at home. He can read his textbooks out loud which helps in memorizing. If possible make him watch English news channels like BBC, CNN etc to improve the vocabulary.

    2. Mathematics
    Practice as many sample papers as you can. Complete the syllabus fast and quickly revise everything. There is no rocket science in scoring good marks in mathematics except practicing.

    3. Computers
    perhaps the subject where you can score maximum marks second to mathematics. Understand the subject logically and try to practice the computer applications at home also. You can also learn many computer subjects through free online portals. (

    4. Hindi
    If your native language or mother tongue is Hindi, I guess it won't be a huge difficulty at all. All you need to do is revise as much as possible.

    5. Biology
    Understand the concepts. Practise the diagrams as much as you can. If you have a good imagination, understanding biology becomes easier.

    6. Physics
    Don't just mug up the formulas. Understand them logically. For every problem, the equation can be derived by applying the basic formulas. If you understand the concept, perhaps physics is most enjoyable subject. Try to solve as many problems as you can.

    7. Chemistry
    The most important topic of chemistry where there is a possibility of you forgetting quickly is Organic Chemistry. Practice the reactions in organic chemistry as much as you can. It is a very dry subject where you can remember and forget very quickly. Apart from organic chemistry, memorize the periodic table elements. You should be able to remember each element's group, period and block in the table. Do your chem lab work and understand the concept by applying it in textbook formulas.

    8. History/Civics/Economics?Geography
    For these subjects repetition is important. Since most of the topics are based on memory, you need to repeat, revise and remember.

    You can apply the 5R method to all subjects. The 5 R's are:

    All things are can't be done easily and each subject cannot be practiced every day. It requires time and as a parent, you need to help the kid to schedule his timetable. Make him comfortable and remember don't pressure him or discourage him if he underperforms. It slowly takes time and as he is in the phase of transition from one board to another, it will definitely take time.

    Thank You
    Dr. V. Shashikanth

  • Hi all. I am immensely thankful to all of you for giving us practical and self related suggestions and examples of your own. The way Dr. Shashikanth have explained is really an eye opener to us. We have been trying a few things out of that but I guess we would have to start with all that's more systematically explained by you Sir. Thanks again for taking time out and explaining in so much detail about icse.
    Thank you Mr. UMESH too for your wonderful suggestion will definitely work out accordingly.
    Neethu, thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience. I will definitely let my son read the same and hope he gets good inspiration out of that.
    Really satisfied with all your replies.

  • ICSE(Indian certificate of secondary education) board focuses on english. They do definitely have another subjects like Maths, science, social science,.. etc. but mainly they are focusing on english language based subjects. ICSE board curriculam is well researched and encorages critical thinking. ICSE board is recognized in other countries as well. The level of english is comparatively higher than other boards. It is a private board of school education for pre-school, primary school, secondary, middle school, higher secondary school. The board also allows the schools to select their own textbooks. It gives equal importance of academic and non academic activities. SSC state board is less expensive compared to other boards. Board generally start in june and ends in april. There are lots of co-curricular and extra curricular activities in the school.

  • Irrespective of the cirriculam being followed in ICSE or CBSE, the environment of the schools and the way how the subjects are being handled by the teachers are important. If the teachers are taking pain to teach the subjects in a lucid manner, it would hardly matter for a pupil whether one is attached to ISCE or CBSE. Hence the attitude of the teacher is more vital in nurturing a child.
    I would suggest you to track the rapport of a school, its past performance in respect of scoring of the students in the final Board - examination. You may collect feed - back from the passed out students regarding the involvement of the teachers in sharing knowledge in subjects and how dedicated they are in motivating the students to excel well in different subjects.
    No doubt, the standard of ISCE particularly in English is unparallel but by no means the standard of CBSE is inferior.
    Since your son is in the ISCE board, you have to take twofold steps so as to develop your child in the same environment. See if he is hesitant to get his doubt clarified by the teacher in the subjects concerned or any lacunae with the teacher to make the child understand the subjects fully. Talk with the Principal or the class teachers so that the prevailing problem is addressed to your satisfaction. Without going through such a home - work, shifting your child from one school to the other following different cirriculam would not help. Such shifting would confuse the child and inferiority complex may set in thus weakening his mind - frame. Give your child a time to adjust with the prevailing environment so that he may cope with the competitive atmosphere of the school.

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