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Students of 10th & 12th: Which Board to Choose?

Students of 10th & 12th: Which Board to Choose?

 

Today, each student as well as parent is worried about which board is the best to study and the concern is much amongst students who are in 10th and the 12th grade as the main reason for the change of school boards is better chances of success in competitive exams. This will mean being able to secure admission in premier institutes, which impart quality higher education.

 

Due to lack of information and the right approach, students remain confused and end up choosing a syllabus based on its popularity rather than its suitability. While the debate between parents on choosing the best boards for their child is ongoing, it should be definitely based on the child’s strength, weakness and what he/she wants to pursue in the future. Moreover, a thorough knowledge on the type of syllabus, teaching approach and the grading system in each board will certainly make the process easier. Hence, have earmarked some great pointers to make an informed decision as regards choosing the right board for each child.

 

In India, the common boards are national boards like CBSE, ICSE, State Boards and international boards like IB, Cambridge International (IGCSE/ O Levels/ AS& AL).

 

The CBSE board mainly focuses on Math and Science subjects and this board is especially known to help prepare for entrance tests like JEE/ NEET for Engineering and Medicine students respectively apart from the regular 10th and 12th board exams. It should be noted that if the parents have transferable jobs, the CBSE board is highly recommended because of its PAN India availability of schools offering the same subjects. Though the CBSE board is relatively easier than the other boards due to its compact structure and fewer subjects with the newly developed Xceed curriculum, it is not as practical oriented as the international boards nor focuses on core English knowledge.

 

The ICSE board for 10th graders and the ISC board for the 12th graders on the other hand is known for its rigorous English subject and focuses on conceptual and analytical skills, comprehension as well as a challenging syllabus. It is recognized by many foreign universities around the world and is not only good for students interested in management and humanities but also useful for engineering students due to its English advantage. The SUPW is a compulsory subject and emphasizes on community service and contemporary studies like hospital work/ tree plantation, health and nutrition education etc. There are around two thousand schools in India affiliated with the CISCE board, which is the awarding body for ICSE and ISC exams. It is therefore recommended for parents having transferable jobs. Biased may be but I personally like this board as it focuses on application-oriented studies and aims at the holistic development of students and also because students get edge over higher IELTS/ TOEFL scores as well as less expensive than the international boards.

 

The Cambridge International Board comprises of IGCSE and O levels equivalent to 10th class exam while AS and AL is equal to 11th and 12thstd exams respectively. The IGCSE curriculum is recognized worldwide in around 140 counties and so for the parents who constantly relocate around the world, this board is considered to be the best choice. While, the IGCSE board has 70 global subjects with core and extended curriculum as well as ICE certification, the O level has fewer (40 subjects) and subjects related to local needs, minority languages, theoretical approach and focuses mainly on reading and writing skills. Schools with limited resources opt for O levels as the practical test options are much restricted than the IGCSE boards. The grading system for IGCSE and O levels is from A* to G.


The AS and AL syllabus focuses on research, independent thinking and decision making with a much flexible as well as practical curriculum. The grading system for AS is from A-E while A levels is A*- E. Students need to apply with the predicted score-sheets to Indian as well as overseas universities as the results are declared much after the admission deadline is over.


Amongst the State Boards, the most reputed State Boards of India are Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh where UP board is the oldest board in India. These State Boards focus mainly on knowledge about respective state, language and have a theoretical approach towards teaching. It is a preferred choice for students opting for Engineering and Medicine studies as the marking and assessment of exams is much easier to score as compared to other boards.


The IBO (international Baccalaureate Organization) is a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland since 1968. It comprises of PYP (class KG-5th grade); MYP (class 6th-10th grade) and IBDP (11th & 12th grade). It has the most holistic approach and focuses on research, communications, collaborations, organization, self-management, reflection, information literacy, media literacy, creative and critical thinking, transfer of learning, community service and global outlook. Students who have the motivation to develop their thinking skills and have self driving skill and who wish to study in high ranked universities, the IBDP is favorable as they get credits acceptable by many universities abroad. Such students are looking for cultural awareness and global engagement, which helps them to adapt and cope up in an international arena very easily. The students receive the predicted scores in order to get timely applications done to foreign universities. The IBDP has the class requirements subjects like 3 HL (Higher level subjects) and 3 SL (Standard level subjects) apart from Core subjects like TOK (Theory of Knowledge), Extended Essay and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) and students are supposed to score a minimum of 24 points out of the total of 45 points. The grading system ranges from 1-7 where 1 is the lowest and 7 is the highest grade.


I have come across many stories from students of class 10th having changed their boards and then regretted the decision later. Parents here need to understand that once a child changes boards, he has to make changes to his learning method. Remember, trying to change the learning style, keeping up with the pace of peers and adapting to the new syllabus can put the child under pressure. For eg. Class 8 is considered the ideal time to shift to the CBSE curriculum in case their children wish to be studying in India especially for Engineering and Medicine subjects. But if you want to educate your child in an international school, it is better to shift early, as the teaching methodologies in these schools are highly practice-oriented. Similarly if the child is already doing good in the ICSE/ ISC/ CBSE board, there is no need to change because it’s a myth that changing to a State board will secure better grades as it will not. At the same time expenses also make a large part of decision-making process as regards choosing the right board. The International boards are usually among the expensive ones as the curriculum is autonomous and schools have to invest on the cost of training the faculty and customizing the educational pedagogy that leads to higher fees. In case of CBSE schools, they offer a wide range of choice with respect to the expenses. The State boards are the most inexpensive ones but have their pros and cons too.


In conclusion, its my personal belief that the sole criteria of choosing a form of education should be based on the pattern of learning incorporated by the school, and not the board. Generally all the boards’ syllabi are designed on the child’s stages of development. So till the 8th standard, all boards teach the same syllabus with slight variations. An ideal school should be interactive, exploring the world around the child for it. Now rarely do schools go for this pattern irrespective of the board they follow. As a counselor, I am inclined to positively impact the students’ lives and make a difference and so I am sure this information will provide a deep dive into the various educational boards in India, to analyze, disseminate and make an informed choice to your successful career ahead.

By: administrator On Tuesday, 12 March 2019 Comment Comments( 0 ) Hits Views(15)
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