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ICSE

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is a general education examination administered by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, a self-governing board. Conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the examination is held only for classes X and XII in English.
ICSE conducts 3 Exams:
  • ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) - For 10th Class,
  • CVE (Certificate of Vocational Education) - For the 12th Class
  • ISE (Indian School Certificate) - For Class 12th

About ICSE

The All-India Certificate Examination Conference was organised in 1952 under the chairmanship of Education Minister Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. The conference's main objective was to replace the overseas Cambridge School Certificate Examination with an All-India examination. This conference set the agenda for the establishment of the Council.
In December 1967, the Council was registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
In 1973, the Council was listed in the Delhi School Education Act 1973 as a "public" exam-conducting body.

ICSE Education System

ICSE Schools provide education for Pre-School, Primary (Class 1 - 5), Elementary (Class 6 - 8), Secondary (Class 9 - 10) and Senior Secondary (Class 11 -12).
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) conducts 3 examinations, namely the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE-Class X), the Indian School Certificate (ISC - Class XII), and the Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE - Year 12). Here is the class-wise information:
  • ICSE (Class X)
The certificate is made available to students under the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986 examination in English medium only. Private candidates are prohibited from appearing in this exam.
  • ICS (Class XII)
This certificate is provided to students after they have completed the two years of study beyond the ICSE (Year 10) examination or its equivalent examination in the English medium.
  • The CVE (Year 12)
The students can attempt this examination after two years of study beyond the ICSE (Year 10) examination or its equivalent examination in the English medium.
The CVE Curriculum has been designed to prepare candidates for specific professions. And once again, private candidates are not allowed to appear in the ICSE examinations.

ICSE Exam Pattern 2023-24

ICSE Exam Pattern is compulsory for all subjects given below. The exam pattern given below provides students with an overview of the question paper pattern, the weightage of marks of each section and the number of questions in each section. By knowing the exam pattern, students get to know the essential topics that need more attention.
We recommend students go through the exam pattern before starting the preparation for the ICSE exam:
Class VI-VIII
The Council of the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) conducts and releases the syllabus for all the examinations for classes VI to VIII.
All students will study:
  • English
  • Second Language
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Selected to further 'Vocational' subjects and complete a project on a theme of students’ choice (selected from a possible 13 themes)
Look at the table given below for the 6 to 8 class-wise syllabus:
Class Syllabus
For Class 6 detailed Syllabus (Click here)
For Class 7 detailed Syllabus (Click here)
For Class 8 detailed Syllabus (Click here)
Class IX - X
Students of classes IX & X are taught an elaborate curriculum prescribed by the council. There are no predetermined textbooks, but the council provides a list of recommendations from which schools can choose.
Candidates have to take 7 subjects from the following 3 Groups.
  • Group I - 4 Compulsory Subjects.
  • Group II - 2 Optional Subjects.
  • Group III - 1 Optional Subject.
All students are offered the following subjects and have to study:
Group I (COMPULSORY SUBJECTS) GROUP II (2 or 3 Subjects) GROUP III (ANY 1 Subject)
English Science (Physics/Chemistry/Biology) Arts, Performing Arts, Computer Applications, Economic Applications
Second Language Hindi / Kannada / French (Only Foreign Candidates) Mathematics, Commercial Studies, Economics Commercial Applications, Fashion Designing, Physical Education, Yoga, Cookery, Home Science
History, Civics & Geography Environmental Science, Classical Language, Modern Foreign Language Modern Foreign Language, Technical Drawing Applications, Environmental Applications, SUPW and Community Service (compulsory graded subject)
Class XI-XII
For the Indian School Certificate Examination (ISC Exam), the students from classes XI & XII have to choose English as a compulsory subject with 3-5 optional subjects. To get a passing grade in ISC Class XII, 2024, students must clear all these subjects.
Students can only appear in up to 6 Subjects. Elective subjects include Business Studies, History, Accounts, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
All students are offered the following subjects:
ISC Subjects for 2023-24
  • English
  • Indian Languages
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Commerce
  • Accounts
  • Business Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Biotechnology

ICSE Board Marking Scheme for 2023-24 Exams

Class X
Groups Subjects under Different Groups
Group I (80% marks of external exam + 20% marks of the internal exam)
  • History, Civics, Geography
  • English
  • Second Language (one/two)
Group II (80% marks external exam + 20% marks internal exam)
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • Mathematics
  • Commercial Studies
  • Economics
  • Environmental Science
  • A Classical Language
  • A Modern Foreign Language
Group III (50% marks by the external examiner + 50 % marks by the internal examiner)
  • Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Computer Applications
  • Economic Applications
  • Commercial Applications
  • Fashion Designing
  • Physical Education
  • Yoga
  • Cookery
  • Home Science
  • A Modern Foreign Language
  • Technical Drawing Applications
  • Environmental Applications
Class XII
Groups Subjects under Different Groups
Group I (80% marks external exam + 20% marks internal exam)
  • Second Language (one/two)
  • History, Civics, Geography
  • English
Group II (80% marks external exam + 20% marks internal exam)
  • ​Commercial Studies
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • Mathematics
  • Environmental Science
  • Economics
  • A Classical Language
  • A Modern Foreign Language
Group III (50% marks by external examiner + 50 % marks by the internal examiner)
  • Arts
  • Computer Applications
  • Economic Applications
  • Commercial Applications
  • Physical Education
  • Home Science
  • A Modern Foreign Language

ICSE Board Grading System

The CISCE Grading System 2024 is a nine-number-grading scale, with 1 being the highest grade and 9 being the lowest. Grades 1 and 2 indicate excellent performance. Grades 3, 4, and 5 indicate a pass with credit, grades 6 and 7 indicate a pass, and grades 8 and above indicate a fail. The board uses this grading system to assess students' performance.
The CISCE grading system is the same for the ICSE Class 10th and ISC 12th Class exams. The only difference in the grading system is in external examinations and internal assessments. Given below is the ICSE Class X & XII grading system.
CISCE External Examination Grading System
CISCE indicates the students' performance by their Grade System that falls between 1 - 9, as stated above. Students must score a minimum of 7 to obtain the passing certificate.
Grade Standard
1,2 Very Good
3,4,5 Credit
6,7 Pass
8,9 Fail
CISCE Internal assessment
Internal evaluation is done based on performance in Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) and community service. It is a social subject that the ICSE and ISC students have to study once a week. Students try to bring about socially productive change in their immediate environment. The grades are awarded based on students' socially productive attitudes. Letter grades represent the evaluations, with 'A' denoting the highest and 'E' the lowest. In the certificates, only grades A to D is recorded.
The following table represents the grading system.
Grade Standard
A Very Good
B Good
C Satisfactory
D Fair
E Fail

ICSE Board Exam Sample Papers and Question Papers

Students can access ICSE Question Papers for major subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, English Language, and English Literature from the official website of ICSE.

ICSE Board Exam Syllabus

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education also considers internal assessment very important for the development of a student. The practical test results are aggregated along with the student's overall score. Students studying under ICSE must be well acquainted with the exam syllabus to prepare effectively for their exams.

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