Education Boards in India

National Education Boards in India – CBSE, CISCE, NIOS

India has three national boards and other state boards which conduct board examinations for students in classes 10th and 12th across India. Let’s know more about them below…

School education in India is provided by various academic boards with their presence at national and state level. There are three national boards in our country namely Central board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). They conduct board examinations for students studying in classes 10th and 12th. Read more about the Boards below:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

The CBSE is a national education board with over 24,000 schools in India and approximately 240 schools in 26 foreign countries affiliated to it.. There are 1,248 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), 26,054 Government/Aided schools, 16,741 independent schools, 661 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and 71 Central Tibetan schools as on August 2021. CBSE conducts board exams for 10th and 12th classes in February/March every year. In 2021-22, CBSE is conducting boards twice a year due to pandemic caused by coronavirus. 

The Board conducts examinations for regular as well as private students. Candidates who wish to pursue schooling in a distance mode can apply for admissions and sit for exams. CBSE offers various subjects to its students after class 10th in Science, Commerce and Humanities stream. After completing class 12th, students can apply for admission to various colleges/universities to pursue higher education.

Some of the popular national level entrance tests conducted by CBSE are Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (JNVST), Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET), etc.

Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)

CISCE is a privately held national-level board of school education in India that conducts the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examinations for Class 10th and Class 12th respectively. It was established in 1958. Over 2,300 schools in India and abroad are affiliated to the CISCE. The Council conducts board examinations for Class 10th and 12th every year in February and March. In 2021-22, CISCE is conducting boards twice a year due to pandemic caused by coronavirus. The Board holds examinations for regular students only.

National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)

NIOS is the board of education under the Union Government of India (GoI). It was established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the GoI in 1989 to provide education to all segments of society under the motive to increase literacy and aimed forward for flexible learning.

The NIOS is a national board that administers examinations for Secondary and Senior Secondary examinations similar to the CBSE and the CISCE. It also offers vocational courses after high school. NIOS enrolls about 3,50,000 students annually which makes it one of the largest open schooling system in the world. NIOS conducts board exams twice a year in March/April and September/October.

Besides the three National Boards, there are many State Boards that exists in different states. Students can find more about such boards by clicking on the links provided below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Education Boards

Q. Can I apply for CBSE affiliated schools?

A.Yes, you can apply for admission to a CBSE-affiliated school after appearing for Class 10th board exams. A written test and an interview will be held on the basis of which you will be selected. During admission, you will need to produce Class 10th mark sheet and certificate too.

Q. How many times can I give 12th board exams?

A. There is no limit to the attempts to Class 12th board exams. You can apply and appear for the examinations as many times as you want. There is no upper age limit for these exams too.

Q. Should I complete my schooling from a national or state board of education? Which is better?

A. Both, national and state boards of India are treated at the same level. Students who clear their schooling from either board can appear for any entrance exam or can apply for admission to any undergraduate/professional programme.

Q. Can I pursue ICSE/ISC board education through distance mode?

A.No, CISCE does not provide education via distance mode but only through regular mode.

Q. What is the minimum percentage I should secure in order to pass the Class 12th exam?

A. The minimum passing score varies from board to board. Some boards, like CBSE, require students to secure at least 33 per cent to pass the 12th exam while other boards need a minimum of 35 per cent.

Q. What happens if I fail in one subject in Class 12th board exams?

A. In case you are unable to clear a subject in 12th board exams, you can appear for the same during compartment exams. Every board conducts compartment /improvement exams within a month of the announcement of result. You need to apply for the compartment exams by filling up a form and remitting the examination fee.

Q. I cleared my CBSE Class 12th exams in 2018. How can I obtain the mark sheet and certificate online? I do not reside in India now.

A. You can download your CBSE 10th, 12th mark sheet and certificate from DigiLocker. The DigiLocker account details are sent via SMS on the registered mobile number with CBSE.To know more, click here.

Q. Is it necessary to collect the original mark sheet and certificate from school?

A. Yes, the result released online is provisional in nature. It is important to collect the mark sheet from school and secure it as these documents are required while applying for higher education and for a job.

Q. How do I get the migration certificate from CBSE?

A. CBSE used to send the migration certificate to the schools from where students could collect it. In 2021, the Board will issue the migration certificates to only those students who request for them and from 2024, the Board will not issue any migration certificate. Students who need it will be able to download the same from DigiLocker. 

Q. My name has been misspelled in the result card. How should I get it corrected?

A. In this case, students should immediately get in contact with their school and the board office for correction or rectification.

Q. Can I select subjects of my choice from different streams for Class 11, 12?

A. Not yet. All the Class 11, 12 subjects are divided into three streams in India, namely Science, Commerce and Arts. Students do not have the option to select subjects from different streams. However, with the implementation of the new National Educational Policy (NEP) in the coming years, students will be able to select the subjects of their preference from different streams.


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