Why IB (INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE) doesn’t fit into the INDIAN scheme of things?

Before you assume that I am opining that Indian year 12 boards especially the ISC to be better than IB, allow me to indicate in clear terms that I am not saying that at all. IB possibly is an advanced curriculum and superior program. The contention of this blog is to talk of IB’s suitability to India… Thats it. Read it and make your own decision.

I am often asked by parents on whether they should opt for a school that offers IB curriculum for their wards. This blog hence is an attempt to consider this question from an Indian perspective.

In Indian Schools that offer the IB Diploma, the curriculum steps in post the Year 10 Indian board. Hence it is safe to conclude that the students who take the Year 10 Indian board have studied in a different delivery model as compared to the IB. It should be easy for most to do this adjustment though can tell you that since it differs from the way many of us are taught through our earlier ten years, it will require some adjustments for some of us.

Many new schools that offer IB give an impression that it is easier to get admission into an Overseas University because of IB as compared to ISC. Having counselled students to overseas options for over 21 years now, I can tell you with full certainty that this is a mere perception only and not really backed by facts. There will only be a few (very few such as Cambridge) Universities and few (very few such as Medicine) courses at certain Universities around the world which may not accept the ISC or the CBSE. Let me also indicate that the admission to the US Universities are based more on the SAT than on the Year 12 board of exams. Hence an ISC student with good SAT has the same chance of getting into an US option as an IB student with the same SAT. ISC is well accepted around the world especially where the admission is based on Year 12 board results such as in UK or Australia or NZ or another commonwealth country. For the students who are still not sure, take a look at the website of a “Russell Group” UK University or “Group of Eight” Australian University and you will find the ISC percentage requirement and the IB Score requirement. Compare the two and some may even conclude that the ISC percentage required for admission to be more achievable for an Indian as compared to the IB score required for the same institution especially for an Indian student. (With a percentage of 85-90% in Indian Boards, one can get into most Engineering programs in Commonwealth Countries and is this % difficult to get for a student seeking Engineering!!! If you have 75-85%, most of them will still take you in through pathway options. Hence if this is not so difficult to get in, how does IB make it easier. For US all have to take the SAT.)

The acceptability of the IB Diploma for admission in India is also a huge issue. While the IB website indicates that AIU recognizes IB Diploma as equivalent to Indian Year 12 and also provides us with a copy of the document that states its equivalence, the AIU website still provides an equivalence document that doesnot list this. This can either be due to an un-updated AIU document but at the same time it is clear that the IB is not being given priority by AIU, enough for it to be listed along with other equivalent Year 12 qualifications from around the world. You take a look at the AIU equivalence document as provided on AIU website.

As an Indian student, you may still go by IB claim and accept it as equivalent. However, now comes the issue of acceptability by the various Universities in India. Most Schools that actively took up the IB program are coming to grasp with some cold realities.

  • Only a handful of Indian Colleges (not even all Colleges under an University) accept the IB. Where it is accepted too, there is no clear idea on the equivalence of IB score to the Indian board percentage. These colleges are primarily in Mumbai and some in Delhi. One of the Schools based in NCR provides a list of colleges that accepted the IB students in recent past and that list doesnot include even St Stephens which has possibly the more flexible of the entry requirements and which is aspired to by school leavers from elite schools.
  • In some cases even if the IB score is accepted, a student is looking at entry only a year later. The reason is that most Indian Colleges close their applications well before the IB results are declared. IB does indicate that there are predited scores provided to the students but doesnot indicate that most of the colleges in India donot accept the predicted scores.
  • The schools that offer the IB indicate that students should be able to take the IIT entrance as IB is acceptable. This is also mentioned on the FAQ on their websites. I wonder at this half information. Most IITs will want the final results to be in by June, I understand and this is not possible under IB system. Secondly, IB doesnot prepare the student in the way IIT or most Indian Engineering institutions admit the students and hence the chances of entry is poor and I am yet to come across a student who has joined an IIT after an IB board. It may be difficult after an ISC too but it is not impossible. With IB it seems closer to impossible.
  • The entrance exams to various options from Engineering to others happen in the month of May and IB exams clash with these dates. This is another reason for unsuitability of the IB for an Indian student.

Let me put out some posers…

  • Did you know that British Engineering Undergrad degrees which are of 3 years duration mayn’t be accepted by AIU to be equivalent to and Indian Engineering degree? You may consider taking a look at my earlier blog on this and also note the comments of the British Council that indicate that the situation “may” change in future.
  • Did you know that if you want to work as a Lawyer or Doctor in India, you rather do your first degree which is the eligible qualification in India? Post graduation can be overseas. Overseas qualification will pose a challenge with eligibility in these professions.
  • There are talks that the electoral reforms may mean that those contesting an election in India should be “at least” a Bachelors… This may mean that many of the current politicians who have undertaken 3 year Engineering degrees or degrees that resulted due to study partly in India and partly overseas and hence not the full 3 year of normal degree or 4 year of Engineering be considered as “not a Bachelors”. This poses and interesting situation with regards to degrees of elsewhere conducted elsewhere and their validity in India.
  • Diplomas in Hotel Management at top Hotel Schools worldwide that also offer an additional component of one year post the diploma that leads to a distance run Bachelors degree are also not considered as Bachelors by Indian guidelines.
  • And such equivalences are relevant even to those Indians who are not seeking a job back in India. Yes, even an entrepreneur who wants to set up a Petrol Pump in India (an example) needs an equivalence certificate to demonstrate that his Engineering degree is valid in India and there is a case that I am aware of that even after studying at a top University overseas he has not managed to get one.

It is hence important to refer to the AIU guidelines. Fair or Unfair, this is India.

One of the rationale given by elite schools in India in cajoling their students to opt for the IB curriculum is that it is very difficult to get into Indian top institutions due to low capacity with them and hence it is safe to opt for IB and then proceed on overseas. This is a damaging advise generally. Increasing Capacity of Indian Institutions: The capacities in India for Undergrad options are increasing. The number of IITs, IIITs, NIFTs… have increased and many of the new campuses have begun to admit students. Their quality will improve. There are reforms taking place in India that will give credence to the Year 12 board in Engineering entrance to IITs and reduce the focus for specialized coaching. Must add quickly that the coaching for admission tests are not likely to disappear but with increased requirement also for school percentage, it will decrease. This is the intent. Many of the colleges are also beginning to increase their capacity. For example, St Xaviers in Kolkata has started an evening session for B Com and hence in turn doubling the capacity. This works wonderfully in keeping the cut-offs in check. BIT Mesra has now offered non-Engineering degrees. Similarly there are some quality providers in private sector whose degree has been given equivalence by the AIU. Such as of Amity. Setting up of Universities of Technologies within several states have helped regulate a number of private institutions too and lift their standards. Happening already and the example are the various colleges under WBUT which did not exist a few years ago. More work is to be done but it is indeed the current focus. Don’t rule your Indian options out. Don’t assume that you will only be studying overseas for your undergrad when you are in Year 9 or 10. Maybe you will or maybe you will study overseas at the Postgrad level. This decision should be taken a little later. 

My summary comments:

ISC or CBSE are far preferable to an IB for an Indian student. All options in India are open for such a student while almost all options open internationally to IB students are also open to them. For admission to better US Universities, students from ISC or CBSE have to take the SAT and so do IB students. No differential. Some say that IB students take less time to undertake the degree overseas as they get credits. This is nothing but a marketing hype. The credits don’t ‘normally’ lead to less time. In some cases, students replace the credits with other subjects or other interests and I am told that students from ISC and CBSE can also get the same credits if they claim the same. An Indian student who is planning his school education with the aim to study overseas thereafter is alright but one who is planning his/her school education knowing clearly that he/she may not be able to apply in India is making a huge mistake. For some students, the costs for overseas education means that it is considered only at the PG level. The cost for Undergraduate education overseas can be anywhere from Rs 50 Lakhs to Rs 1 crore and beyond which only a few families can budget. Others keep this saving for use at the Masters level. There are students who can afford this without much issue but I have not come across a school that clearly prepares the parents of students in Year 10 for it in terms of this expected funding prior to selling the IB option to their wards. For all professional fields such as Engineering, Medicine, Law … it is far more advisable to keep the Indian options open at all times as these professions requires you to do the first degree in India or else you have to later clear screening requirements which is not easy. And the final thought that even with all planning it can happen that some emergencies or visa difficulties may lead to your plans for overseas education to be altered at the last moment and then you may have to consider doing your undergrad in India. I have seen it in reality. Hence, despite the fact that IB “may” be a better board and curriculum, ISC or CBSE are more suited for India and Indian students. Maybe it will all change in five years but at this time s; This is what I advise as a counsellor.

308 Comments

  1. Hi Ravi,

    My views are:
    1. A student of 7th grade CISCE is equivalent to IB’s 12th grade.
    2. A student of 10th grade CISCE is equivalent to 12th grade of CBSE or ISC.
    3. I find some of the Indian state boards better than IB……
    4. I also don’t understand that how a predicted grade of an IB student can be issued 9 months prior to their final exam and that student also obtains admission and I-20 based on predicted grades from an American University……….

    Regards,

    Rahul

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    1. Predicted scores are not accepted by most Indian colleges… American Universities take the predicted scores only as they take the academic transcripts from others and base their admission primarily on the SAT.

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      1. sir, i have got a SAT score of 2000 and have scored 86% in class 12th cbse. i wanted to know what are my chances of getting into an good foreign institute for engineering program.
        also i belong to an average family, so i won’t be able to pay such a heavy amount of 50 lakhs or more.please advise me what to do.

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        1. There are all kinds of Universities overseas. Indian students often pay a higher fees as compared to domestic students and this also means that at your percentage you can easily find “decent” institutions overseas. Having said this, this percentage is not likely to get you a scholarship. You may however be able to cut some cost by working part time along with your course of study. If you are looking at Engineering, ensure that the degree is done over 4 years atleast. There are some English Engineering degrees that are of 3 years but are often considered invalid in India… Not many students know this…

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          1. Hi Ravi, you said: “some English Engineering degrees … are often considered invalid in India”. I did not know this at all. This could be a very serious (and expensive) problem for many parents and students. How should one check out if a certain undergraduate degree is recognized in India? is the number of years of study the only criterion?

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            1. The current rules set by Ministry of HRD and AIU is that equivalence to the foreign qualification seems to be that if the institution (read University) is recognised in home country and offers a course that matches the duration of a similar course in India, it gets the equivalence. UK Masters are mostly 1 year long and thus considered not a valid Masters. English Engineering Degrees tend to be for 3 years and then they fall short too. Scottish degrees may be fine. Anyways, the best place to get this information is AIU. I have however blogged on this and several articles have appeared in recent times. During the visit of UK PM Cameron some understanding was reached but that was when India had the UPA in power. I read that the current Minister of HRD has turned that understanding on bridging course on its head and that stands unactioned.

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          2. Good to have your viewpoint. I agree that one cannot be certain in their 9th or 10th that they will not go overseas after their 12th. I work in exactly this space and deal with students from all boards who are able to pursue education overseas. The blog acknowledges that IB is a superior curricula. It is only that the timing and content is not exactly in sync with the Indian system currently. Especially with the format for the entry tests to professional courses in india. Further, several colleges especially in Delhi still continue to have practical issues with admission graduating IB students for the same session. The purpose of the blog is also to highlight the hurdles facing IB’s acceptability and if those can be ironed out, it will be the way forward.

            The blog is not to scare students from IB at all. It is in some ways a counter-balance to the marketing that several new-age IB schools in India undertake where they simply camouflage the shortcomings in the “indian context”.

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            1. Dear Ravi

              Good Evening.

              Your article has been quite informative.

              I would like to have your inputs about how to shape up career of my nephew. He is in class 8th – Cambridge curriculum. We would want to change him over to CBSE curriculum from the next year ( Class 9th).
              There was a bit of further confusion, with a possible opening for an IB curriculum at a renowned Institute.
              Should we take CBSE and keep his academic windows ajar with the possibilities in India or should we take on more prestigious IB curriculum and concentrate on international future ( at its own peril, as highlighted by you).
              The student is interested more to pursue engineering courses.

              What is your genuine advice.

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    2. Hi. I’m a student about to undertake the IB Diploma Program, so I think that I am well qualified to answer those questions. In the IBDP, students have to take six, rather than five subjects, at least three of which are at Higher Level, meaning that it is harder than high school. The English that I am studying in the 10th grade, for my IGCSE, which could prepare me for the IBDP’s HL English, is far superior to the English twelfth graders are studying in ISC or CBSE.

      In math, I have further trignomrtry and calculus (I’m taking an advanced math course), which prepares me for HL Math- and this is nearly as hard as the mathematics which my friends in 12th grade in CBSE are studying. History and all other humanities are much harder, and the science courses are just as challenging in IGCSE, and IB is a huge jump from this. There is much more work in the experimental sciences, and it is far more inquiry and application based. You simply cannot ‘mug’ it up. All IB subjects involve ‘Internal Assessments’, which are not only very hard work, but also give you freedom to explore personal interests. For example, in Business, th IA could be a practical case study in a company.

      These assessments serve as material for predicted grades along with mocks. The students therefore cannot just cram for their finals, but have to work extremely hard throughout the two year course. Additionally, the students hae to undertake an Extemded Essay in any chosen subject, which is a research project, CAS – creativity, action, service and Theory of Knowledge, essentially a philosophy course, all of which contribute to their final grade. The subject choices must include math, english, a science, a social subject, a language and may include an art, which is extremely challenging, and personally I think , after doing IGCSE art that it is much harder than other subjects. Universities make offers based on your predicted grades, and may offer honours courses and financial aid if you surpass them.

      I studied in ICSE for almost five years, and can tell you that both IGCSE and IB are much harder than CBSE or ICSE, and more holistic and forward.

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      1. Well explained. I cannot agree with you more Shaili. My daughter studied in the CBSE curriculum and my son moved from an IGCSE to an IB. The amount of work that he has , inquiry , application, cross disciplinary work that happens is incredible and often its a University level concept and project that these students are working on and very comfortably as well. I have seen the difference in the way learning happens.
        And YES , you do get credits if you headed out west to the USA.if from an IB. Not in the UK.

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      2. Hi myself naresh kumar from Nainital My son is in sherwood college grade 5 Icsc board I am looking for him an IB schools can u suggest me regarding this matter or I can cal u give a miss cal on my number 9837062500

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          1. Hello Mr. Singh,

            My son just completed his IB (Certificate – not Diploma) – I could really do with some help on the options ahead for someone like him. He picked 4 subjects and is not the overly ‘studious’ variety. Would request your considered, expert views on the same.

            Rgds

            Vidyut

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  2. I’m sorry but I disagree with the statement that IB students do net get better placements of ISC.

    IB students DO get preferential treatment over students from other boards. During my US college applications, after speaking to multiple college admission officers I found that IB WAS the preferred board mainly because College professors find it easier to work with IB students than ISC.

    The research methods and learning ways are of international standards hence are better for colleges.

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    1. The blog primarily discusses the suitability for India and Indians who may want to study in India post the schooling or work and live in India post the education. Your comment derives from the fact that IB curriculum is considered by US colleges to be superior. This may be a fact and in the blog too I have clearly indicated the same in the first line and also towards the end. It may be a superior curriculum but we are discussing the suitability of the same. A student from ISC who has all options open to him in India (which is not so for the IB student) also has most options open around the world since ISC is accepted around the world and in the case of US, both the ISC and IB students have to take the SAT. A student with ISC who has good SAT scores will get into US Universities and subjective assessments on whether the board was ISC or IB comes into play only rarely and not sufficient to discount ISC totally. The advise of the blog to an Indian student is to consider all perspectives before plunging into the marketing that the schools offer. Now there are talks that with time the acceptance will increase. It should considering that IB is a good curriculum but practically I find it not fitting into the indian academic calendars. Even the best of IB students cannot take the Indian entrance tests as they clash with IB May dates and I doubt that this can be changed even five years from now. IITs etc are changing the requirements to consider Year 12 marks and so would have hoped that Indian options are kept open for all graduating Indian students. Most parents and students need to know that it is almost a requirement that the first degree in Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture, Engineering is in India if one wants the professional validity of these programs… The question that boys need to consider is whether the tradeoff for taking up the superior curriculum justifies it. There should be no regrets.

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    2. Each year easily 50+ foreign colleges visit key Indian cities to give presentations about their colleges and their admissions procedures. I have attended quite a few of them myself. Naturally this question comes up all the time – ‘I am in CBSE or ICSE etc, am I at a disadvantage because of that?’. The answer as I have heard is always the same – universities have people who are specialists in Indian education systems, and no studying in an Indian system will NOT put you at an disadvantage. Parents can also send emails to the colleges directly to verify. So, no, a college admissions officers will never say that. If you think about it, you will know why – why would a college want to restrict the number of applicants? US colleges are measured in the rankings by their selectivity – reducing the number of applicants just kills metric. [Now, students need to take SAT and SAT Subject tests to show the mastery of their subjects. This applies to all systems, Indian and IB.)

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  3. Hi Ravi
    Is it not similar to case where in many MNCs hide the facts about THEIR great pruducts, which are not suitable to Indian situations. But the compulsion to encash on Indian economy and large pockets of Indian Middle Class(which is bigger than the total population of many countries put together in Europe) has driven these companies to push their products, which could be excellent, but not suitable to Indian conditions.
    I feel the Indian watch dog is failing to protect the interests of these students, which are joining these schools with half the information. If the information is complete, many of them will still choose to join, as they aim to go to specific Institutions, overseas and that is the healthy marketing.

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    1. I do believe that Indian schools whichever they may be have their first obligation to meet the Indian requirements and each and every of their pass outs must be eligible for entry into Indian Universities. Indian Schools get several privileges within India and have this responsibility for sure. Having said this, IB is possibly a good curriculum and I have been saying this through out. The watchdog does need to also step in at a number of places and ensure that the information given to the parents and students is accurate. This is not the same as the decision to study overseas. Every student going overseas to study even for a three years engineering degree in UK needs to know of the AIU guidelines that the engineering degree of three years is not valid in India. The same with one year Masters degrees. Non validity of degree is not a hurdle for one joining his or her business but a huge disadvantage to one who wants to take up a Government Job or pursue Higher studies in India. The question also remains as to how come the Indian banks give education loans for the same and issue forex for the same when the RBI guidelines require them to ensure that the degree is valid in India and there will be no issues with employment or further studies in India. Where is the watchdog. If the Indian rules need to change, change them…

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  4. Internal assessments have been the main component in IB syllabus. But in India many schools lack assessment techniques. In addition to this IB syllabus there are no prescribed books and children are free to explore from different sources. Again in India we lack good public libraries unlike the west. Adding to this is Hindi is treated as second optional language in IB. So I think for the few that want to peruse their education abroad especially in USA, IB is the perfect option, but for the vast majority it should be CBSE or ICSE

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    1. Nishi, There are some other handicaps with IB schools in India and one of them is the lack of teachers with the correct mindset for that curriculum. Many schools today are spending huge amounts (sourced from parents) into retraining the teachers to be able to teach the IB curriculum. Not going to happen in immediate term at all. Secondly, many of the schools do not have proper career counseling for boys. Some do and some do it well. However the vast majority may not even make out the difference between psychological counseling or child counseling, career counseling and/or overseas education counseling. Mixing of the three separate forms of counseling into one individual or one team is a mistake. Overseas Education Counselling too differs between those aspiring for US where the essays and other tests come in and to the Commonwealth countries where the focus is on the final grades. Formats of education too differs between the US (liberal arts focussed) model and other countries and I object to any counsellor who professes of one to be superior to the other. They are just different and both have their pros and cons.

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          1. The remark that IGCSE is hard and it prepares by giving holistic ,. this is unadulterated piece of non sensense ,. My son has done IGCSE 8 subjects and I dont find anything different in him ,. In fact ,my wife who is a teacher in IGCSE ,As and A levels in sciences feels that IGCSE is cake walk for Indian students. But As and A levels and of course IB are in a different league.

            Ganesh

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            1. Hi Ganesh , the year 10s both IGCSE and the current format of the CBSE (not sure about the ICSE) are easy , yes. The difference will come in the next level and you rightly pointed that out. However as an educator , I have seen the struggles that students who have moved from the CBSE to the IGCSE curriculum have in subjects like English, History. These are taught in different ways and emphasis on critiquing and analyses. No mugging facts in history like we had to do. The IGCSE’S don’t try to catch the children out. In fact if you have listened in class you can get away with some pretty decent scores. We get a lot of CBSE students who have aced and I mean aced their 10th CBSE.. with GPA’s 9 and 10(!) and then suddenly getting barely there marks in their 11th and 12th.
              The difference is in the senior grades in all curriculums. The toughest is the IB but it prepares you for university overseas , perhaps not India. But as far as being ready for Uni and beyond the IB wins hands down.IN addition it is the most current curriculum where attention is given to whats happening around us today .

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  5. Good post. Your final analysis that there are better options than IB for the Indian student is correct. There are a few inaccuracies: (1) IB is indeed favored by US universities. They won’t say it openly and they try hard to not favour one board over another, but US universities are more comfortable with IB and know how to evaluate (predicted) IB scores. You see this on their websites: they almost always have web pages that talk about IB and AP (Advanced Placement), but rarely about ISC or CBSE. (2) IITs give provisional admission just based on IIT-JEE (at least that’s how it used to be some years ago) and one had to submit the certificate later (August or September). I do not know if that is still the case, but many Indian boards do not have their final results ready by June, so I find it hard to believe that IITs now-a-days demand the final result in June.I found out the following from the IIT KGP website. (a) The last date of submitting the school-finishing certificate is Sep 30, and not June as you mention. (b) IB is specifically mentioned in the IIT website as a Qualifying exam.(3) Your analysis that you have seen no one from IB entering IIT is unfair. Very few students appear for IB (in thousands, not even lakhs), and with the IIT acceptance rate being so low, and with IB being taken by foreign-focused students, it is not a surprise that we cannot see any IB student studying at IITs. But then … in India, recognition by AIU is one thing, and recognition by the the clerk at the counter is another. The latter is more important.

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    1. Thanks for finding the blog to be “good” and for pointing out the “inaccuracies”. You are correct that the last date for submitting the Year 12 results at the IITs is indeed September and you have quoted from the IIT (Kgp) website. My comment should have been clarified a bit. There are changes with the IIT exams and there will be a weightage given for the Year 12 results. Atleast this is what I understand from the media. Then the need for Year 12 results to be available at the time of allocation of the weight age will be critical. Further all engineering admissions where there is a requirement for Year 12 results such as the BIT Pilani, do want the results to be available by June. To an extent I want to also acknowledge what you state regarding possible comfort that the US institutions have with IB. However the fact remains that IB is not the only system from where they admit and IB as well as ISC/CBSE students have to take the SAT to seek entry and the SAT scores are of critical importance. Thanks for participating in the comments on the blog as this makes it complete.

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      1. Sir this article is very helpful, but would you mind also writing one for students doing a levels (cie) in india. Would be great help. I’ve completed a levels here in bhopal and now have applied for indian colleges, but have yet to come across any info linking the two…

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        1. Though the blog refers to IB, the situation with the A Levels is similar. It has been around for a lot longer and so there is greater acceptability. Still the timing of the exam and the curriculum does not suit the Indian entry tests to various professional courses.

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          1. Now that A level exams can be given in March
            Students will be able to get their report cards in the month of May.

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            1. Hi, do u hv experience with A levels? Is it an easy enough transition from A levels to indian univs?

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          2. Hi, have gone through your blog. Very informative. I understand your main message regarding IB not being suited to indian students wishing to pursue higher edu in india. How about some pointers on A levels, now that one can appear for them in march? I understand its better to stick to indian boards for engg/ medi in india. But what about humanities? Lots of private universities have entrance exams which can enable A level students to study courses like design, communication and other liberal arts courses in india? What is ur opinion on A levels in this regard?

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  6. indian schooling system is best among the world. but i must agree with the present reality that we are weak in college and university education. i’ve seen a few exchange students, who were using calculators just like their american counterparts, for simple tasks like 3.75% annual interest of 720 rupees or 17 multiplied by 12!!!!!

    and best board in india is bengal board. then comes icse. and finally the delhi board ( cbse ).

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  7. Excellent blog. Actually its the peer pressure that is driving parents blindly to IB board. They feel the most expensive, is the best for their kids.

    Sad that people are paying their hard earned money for nothing. These parents are the ones who doubt their own decision latter and keep convincing world as they feel comfort in numbers.

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  8. Hello sir ,
    I am one of the Indian I.B student who is studying now out of India. I have one question I wanted to complete my further education in India means after two years I.B diploma. Is it possible to get a admission in any Indian University? I want to be a English Teacher so its needs to be related with my aim. Can you please help me.

    Thank you,

    Regards,
    Vrushali.

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    1. Certainly you can take admission in India. The problem with some colleges will be that your results will not be available at the time of admissions. Some colleges may accept you provisionally. You will need to check on all this…

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  9. A few issues to consider when choosing IB in India. This list of issues apply even if the student is applying for US or UK universities. You can verify the correctness of each issue by checking out the internet, especially ibo.org. Issues with IB:
    (1) IB forces you to skip a science. This is a fatal flaw if the student wants to keep Engineering and Medicine options both open. You cannot take Physics+Chemistry+Biology. Indian boards generally allow that.
    (2) IB is too wasteful in their CAS and TOK requirements. And Grades 11-12 are very hectic for kids. TOK, in particular, is ridiculous – it is hard to keep a straight face reading their TOK book.
    (3) IB is too wasteful with their experiments with Group 4 projects. Their idea of collaboration between schools is totally untested. I get the sense that IB is just thinking these things up in a remote location without really measuring the effectiveness of anything. As a context, I do fault Indian boards for their lack of projects – so you know where I coming from.
    (4) IB Essays are useless for US/UK college applications. There is no evidence that the skill / time spent on essays help in college – Indian or otherwise.
    (5) IB First Language is indeed better than Indian boards, but IB First Language is overkill for anyone who is applying to Engineering or Medicine. Doing well on SAT Reading & Writing is enough. SAT Reading / Writing is not helped by the format of IB First Language.
    (6) IB predicted scores are a minefield – the difference between predicted and real grades is often high and so universities do not trust the predicted scores. Also, Indian teachers are often arbitrary – so popular students get an advantage. Now, IB knows this – so they are coming down hard on Indian schools.
    (7) If you look at various message boards you will find that students find IB grading arbitrary. Another big flaw in IB option. Indian board questions are less subjective – so marking is generally more reliable.
    (8) IB marking is in scale of 1-7 – so Indian colleges have a hard time mapping this to 1-100 marking scale they are used to. Is 7 a 100 or a 84? 100 is a guaranteed admission, 84 is a certain reject.
    (9) Despite the hoopla, very few students worldwide take IB. For example there were a total of 113,030 in May 2011. More than half of them are from the US – and it is important to note that most high schools in the US do not offer IB. The uptake with IB is poor even after half a century of its existence.
    (10) US/UK universities know Indian systems very well – they trust CBSE, ICSE and state boards. You can call them to ask. UK university websites list which boards are acceptable. For US universities you can call to ask.
    In summary, international schools charge an arm and a leg saying IB helps getting into US/UK colleges. This statement is just wrong. On top of that, IB has too much overhead, which is why learning suffers – this is shown by the low uptake of IB throughout the world.

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    1. I’m an ex-IB student, and several of there comments are problematic to me.

      1) IB does NOT force you to skip a science. You can very well do all 3 sciences at an HL level if you want to.
      2) TOK is useful in that it forces you to think. I am currently a BA student in Mumbai, and IB and TOK provides me with an understanding edge over my other ISC/CBSE/etc classmates. Further, I am more used to giving in internal assessments, which MU requires each semester, unlike students from other boards.
      3) IB students are taught to research on their own for IAs, which is a skill needed by students in Indian Universities too.
      4) As someone with both IB and ISC friends, I can confirm that those in IB found writing entrance essays to UK/US universities easier than ISC friends. This was visible even when comparing IB students hoping for Engineering admissions overseas to ISC students hoping for English admissions overseas.
      5) Predicted scores are NOT based on popularity in school – any schools that have problematic predicted scores are either derecognised by the board or blacklisted by overseas universities, both actions that I have seen happen. Further, this is a problem with the teachers, not the suitability of the board for students. If this is happening, it is teachers who need to be regulated.
      6) Indian Universities are accepting of predicted scores – that is how I, and many other students from my batch, were accepted into Indian Universities for our graduate courses, which include BA, BComm, unaided course, BSc, as well as Engineering and Medicine.
      7) IB also provides schools with a translation of their 1-7 grades into a percentage scheme, which is used both in predicted grades and when final grades are issued. Again, I know this from personal experience.

      This blog post is poorly researched, and simply aimed at scaring students without a balanced view of facts. While IB is costly, and depending on future careers such as medicine or engineering an Indian board would definitely be more suitable, IB cannot simply be dismissed because a student plans on staying in India post 12th. Further, like you mentioned, one cannot be certain they will go overseas for graduation in their 9th or 10th, just like one cannot be certain they will not at the same time, or even in the 11th.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First, I welcome challenges to my assertions. I will detail the researches that went into my comments, but before that I need to make an important point that you seem to have missed about my comment and about this blog in general. My comment is NOT about which curriculum is better from an academic preparation perspective. My comment is about the suitability of IB for high school students who may want to continue their undergraduate studies in India. This is an important distinction, because for majority of Indian students securing admissions in a ‘good’ college is the major concern. For example, far less than 1% of the students who aspire to get into IITs and top medical colleges finally secure admission into those institutions. Partly because of that competitiveness those who finally get in are smart enough to be able to handle the load of the college courses.

        Given that context, your points 2, 3 and 4 are irrelevant.

        Your comment for 3 is interesting because I agree with it, but it addresses concerns that are too distant for the Indian high school student who is struggling to secure admissions. Let me take a concrete example. Suppose there are two equally talented students, A and B. A did CBSE and B did IB. In an IIT classroom, B will probably do better, but … this is the irony: I also tried to find out how many IB students got through IIT JEE, and the answer I found was zero. Now, the true answer may not be zero, but it is clear that the number is very small. Why that is so is beside the point, that it is so IS the point. What good is IB-advantage in an IIT classroom, if the probability is stacked against you getting in?

        Comments for 2 and 4 are similarly irrelevant for the Indian high school student – for example, nothing in TOK syllabus will appear on any college admission test. But that is not all. Your comments also expose a reasoning flaw. You say that you are better off in your classroom because of IB. But how do you know that TOK got you there? The whole of the IB curriculum forces the student to think and avoids the by-rote learning methods of many Indian boards. That in itself gives you an advantage. Suppose you didn’t do TOK, then how much of that advantage will you lose? I don’t think you made a successful cause-effect connection between TOK and your classroom advantage. (This is a good TOK problem in itself)

        Now onto your other comments that are at least to the point.

        1) You say: IB does NOT force you to skip a science. You can very well do all 3 sciences at an HL level if you want to.
        >>> My information comes directly from IB’s website. Of the 6 subjects required for IB diploma, at most 2 subjects can be taken from the science group (Group 4). That is the standard route. Now, can you take more subjects? Maybe you can – but that is not part of the IB Diploma. Also the load of 6 subjects is high enough that the load of the 7th subject becomes onerous and most schools dissuade students from taking extra IB subjects. I have summary information of several hundred students spanning two schools in two continents over some 4 years – and that says that less than 1% take the 7th IB science. Is 1% a good plan to bet on? I don’t think so. Like 99% of the students, a new student in IB can expect to drop a science.

        5) You say: Predicted scores are NOT based on popularity in school – any schools that have problematic predicted scores are either derecognised by the board or blacklisted by overseas universities, both actions that I have seen happen. Further, this is a problem with the teachers, not the suitability of the board for students. If this is happening, it is teachers who need to be regulated.
        >>> IB comes down heavily on schools that predict significantly higher grades than what the students eventually get. (BTW – this is where IB schools in India are right now.) So, if the teacher doesn’t like you and gives you a tighter grade – it’s actually good for the school. The school looks great to IB because on average the school is not inflating grades. You assumed popularity in the positive sense only – subjectivity in grading can cut both ways. Remember, students are admitted based on predicted rather than real grades – in that sense predicted grades are more important. (Some UK universities will confirm admission after seeing real grades – but they won’t admit an un-admitted student because real grades turned out to be better than the predicted ones.)

        6) You say: Indian Universities are accepting of predicted scores – that is how I, and many other students from my batch, were accepted into Indian Universities for our graduate courses, which include BA, BComm, unaided course, BSc, as well as Engineering and Medicine.
        >>> You misrepresent my comments. I didn’t say that Indian boards do not accept predicted scores. It is that they are not used to it, and that creates roadblocks for students. For example, an Aug 2, 2011 article in TOI and a June 11, 2011 article in India Today detail the travails of IB students trying to get admissions in Indian colleges. One lesson of life is that there is theory, and there is reality. The two often disagree, and if they do reality always wins. That you secured admission easily is cold comfort to those arguing with government employees in public colleges trying to explain the unfamiliar to the disinterested.

        7) You say: IB also provides schools with a translation of their 1-7 grades into a percentage scheme, which is used both in predicted grades and when final grades are issued. Again, I know this from personal experience.
        >>> Again, you misrepresent my comments. I didn’t say it cannot be done. I said that it is hard. If you look at the ‘suggested’ grade conversion from IB, you will see that a 6 translates to anything between 83% to 95%. In 2011 only 3 students got all 7s in IB from Asia, so a 6 or below is there in almost every IB grade card. So, which percentage does one get for a 6? In any reasonably competitive entrance, 83% will fail to secure admission. You see the problem?

        I want to end by noting that I do not gain by denigrating IB. I like the thoroughness of the syllabus. But the point is not that; the point is the suitability in Indian context. The worst indictment of IB comes from your own comment: “depending on future careers such as medicine or engineering an Indian board would definitely be more suitable”. Yes, indeed. Now, abilities vary – but most of the students I grew up with did harbor hopes of studying medicine or engineering. Even non-engineering non-medicine courses in Delhi University and similarly competitive colleges become difficult with IB as shown by newspaper reports and the wide-percentage conversion ranges of IB scores. And, if the student is going for a non-competitive course in a non-competitive college, I seriously wonder if the cost is worth it for most parents.

        Now for something not directly related to your post, but is actually the reason why I spent time writing this much. In TOI, Feb 2, 2011, a principal of an IB school claimed “IB students have an edge in appearing for exams like CET, PMT, IIT, BMS, CPT and CLAT”. This comment is misleading to the point of being almost a lie for the IIT case. I have asked many schools and some IIT contacts – there seems to be zero (or very few) students who got into IIT right after IB. This is exactly the kind of false advertising I want prospective parents and students to guard against.

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          1. Engineering education in countries like US the choice of curriculum depends on the student, does any indian engineering college follow this system.

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  10. Hey I have recently given my IGCSE boards and currently preparing for my A levels. However I plan to study in India after my 12th , so is it a better idea to switch to cbse and even if i do switch is it easy to adapt to the new system ?

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  11. Very true
    I was in a State board till 10th and then I changed to A-levels. The difference between two is that one can easily pass out in state board but not in A-levels as the questions in state board are as such that they can easily memorized for the sake of examination whereas in A levels you have to understand the concept or else the score in examination will be shit. The same happened to me. Also the curriculum in A levels is much much much less than what it is in State Board. Also, universities abroad ask for a much better score in A levels. And if not, the university is not good enough to spend lakhs and crores of money. So if you bring a bad score, you are again forced to stay in India where the percentage you score in A levels is compared equivalent to what they score in State Board. Considering the fact that it is easier to score a 60 in State Board then in A levels, you either are denied from getting a good college in Inda itself or you have to pay huge donations. Even though some might argue that there are Competitive examinations in India for admissions, the time a student from A levsls gets to prepare is very less. A state board student is prepared for competitive examinations for two years. Whereas the portion in A levels is much less and after the Board examinations of A levels gets over you barely get 2 months to prepare for those competitive examinations. Which is not enough. And also we cannot forget the fact that even though the competitive examinations are held for admissions, they do demand and concentrate on the result of state board.
    So a guy who brings 60% in a levels is considered good enough and studious enough and a guy who scores 75% is ok-ok yet the guy from state board will have a higher preference than a levels. Even though they both have equal marks in competitive examination.
    So the conclusion is, if it is shifting university from state board to a levels, it is really really risky.

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    1. “the time a student from A levsls gets to prepare is very less” – important point. Indian competitive exams roughly match Indian curricula. Foreign systems are different so students have to do more work.

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  12. Very illuminating. We are returning back to Mumbai after 4 years in London and we have a 10 year old. Despite some reservations, I was mulling over putting my kid in an international school to ease the transition. Your blog has made me realise that an ICSE or CBSE school is infinitely preferable. I am dreading Hindi and Marathi though. Any suggestions?

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    1. Hindi or Marathi will not come in the way. Even if your child does average in this, it may not get counted in the percentage. Please note that there are many who are not great with the second language and there is still time to learn. Having decent language skill will only help with life.

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  13. I’m in grade 10 right now. I want to pursue Law in India. In a few months, I’ll start my IB course. Can I get into an Indian law college with the IB course?

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    1. Of course you can. However you will need to prepare for the entrance test and hopefully your current studies will be adequate. You may need to manage both the entry test and the IB exam simultaneously.

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      1. Hi Ravi, thanks very much this is very useful information for parents like myself
        I need an advise
        My kid is 10 year old and we are based in Aus. We are now thinking to go back and settle in our hometown for various reasons. the only concern we have is on my son’s education. He doesnt have a proper second language and this is what we were thinking. Can you please check if this is a sensible approach

        To join an IB school in Chennai (we have spotted one school Akshar Arbol where the fees is around 75 K INR and goes upto 1 lac INR in year 10-12). the fee does not appear to be prohibitive
        at this stage though might pinch over a long term.

        but cost is not the main factor. we inquired in few cbse / icse schools and they simply are uninviting if the student doesnt have basics in any second language. the response appears to me that they will quite reject our application.

        initally we thought for a couple of years in 5th and 6th grade in IB school and in parallel get him upto speed in any one of the second languages by then to switch him to cbse or icse schools. but some of the counselles in IB doesnt recommend that (which i presume is kind of logical too) that the student might be finding it difficult to migrate from one to another.

        hence we decided to make him continue in IB / Cambridge affiliated curriculum upto year12 and then decide whether to continue his higher education in India or abroad,( the former is our preference as of now; but wanted to flexible when the time comes as there just too many factors to be considered; most important of which is my son’s thinking and aspirations at that age).

        now after reading your blog, we are back to sqare on, in our dilemma

        for parents in position like us, what would you advise? if you were in our position what you would be doing.

        many thanks for your valuable posts. Continue this very good service of yours

        Best Regards
        Mahesh

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      2. Just to take on the Law school question… when you say an IB student can apply for law school in India do you mean that in the year of 12th grade the student can take CLAT and get admission into say a National Law School in India? Would they recognise IB as 12th equivalent and will they give admission considering that IB results come in July?

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        1. I believe that they will recognise IB as equivalent to Yr 12. Look up the AIU website for the document on equivalences. However the critical thing is whether the students in the final year are able to take the test and be accepted in that year. I am not sure but you can check. Ask the school’s counsellor.

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  14. I have a kid who is in 3rd std in CBSE, i am relocating to another location in india and there are good IGCSE and CBSE schools.I wish to have his higher education(after 12th) in an Indian university.He has difficulty in certain therotical subjects rather he grasp things fast if given a pratical approach.Can you suggest me which would be a good board (CBSE/IGCSE) for him to put into moving further.

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  15. excellent information and thank you.. My ward id due to appear for As level exams of the CIE. What are options for him after graduating.Can he join graduate degree courses in India? Or opt for vocational studies.Please help. Thanks in advance/

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  16. Dear Ravi, My daughter appearing for class x ICSE. She wants to pursue her career in medical research. So we are thinking to proceed for IB DIPLOMA. We got information that IB Board is best in medical research stream. After reading your blog we are really confused to proceed further for IB Board. Kindly give us the best solution for my daughter to pursue further

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      1. Dear Mr. Ravi,

        My kids are currently in the Sabis – International school of Choueifat in Grade 10 and we may have to relocate them to India in the IB curriculum for Grade 11. We are a little worried whether it would be possible as they are requesting for Grade 10 board results. Grade 10 for them is not a Board Exam. Can we try for IB in that case or is it not possible.

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  17. My child is 51/2 years old and I am in the verge of decidign the school and syllabus… Your article is very informative, but the challenge I am facing with CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, SSC schools in hyderabad is there are not many schools which give xposure to children towards sports which is available in the IB schools,as sports is also part of IB circullum… I agree that children have challenges to continue thier education in India post 10th grade, at the same time dont you think that it is very important for children to have exposure to all the fields at a young age and once they are in thier 6th grade , the parents will be able to understand the childs interests and proceed accordingly… Request you to plug in your thoughts…

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      1. That’s exactly my concern with Indian curriculum..its just about marks, mugging, volume and speed..there is just no focus on acquiring knowledge , developing thinking and analytical skills etc.while there are extra curricular activities but they are more for namesake as mugging pressure will not let you focus on anything else of your interest. Once you come out of India and especially in s corporate world you realize the futility of marks, most leadership roles are taken by people who are strong personalities, have strong point of view, are outspoken and confident individuals.unfortunately Indian education system focuses on none and as the world becomes more global we will realize the fallacies of our education system more and more…its high time they changed the approach and aligned it to the reality around

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  18. HI , I have successfully completed my grade 10 at IGCSE and I am planning to take my UG course here at India. Should I move to CBSE for grade 11 ?

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  19. My Daughter will be going to Grade-1. IB is perceived to be a path based knowledge system, where the fundamentals of children are very strong (against our mugging state curriculum). I want her to do her graduation in India and then go abroad for past graduation. We have 12 years to reach up to that stage. Do you think things should change in that time span and IB students will have much better options in India.

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  20. Dear sir,
    i m a student studying in IGCSE -1.I want to do IB course but ,does IB gives a platform to me,to join Indian Foreign services?And pls can u guide me on how to become an IFS officer after an IB course.The IFS post needs graduation?so how to get a graduation degree after ib?And i would also like to inform u that i have dropped out a language (french)and now i am having only one language that is english.(5 subjects with one language)

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      1. Dear Sir,
        Thank you so much for your reply …. but for becoming an IFS officer can I study overseas in New Zealand or do continue with IB/GCSE in India…as I said u that I want to become an IFS officer which requires graduation degree to give the exam for IFS in India… and if I continue with IB/GCSE course will I get graduation degree doing diploma or O level and etc… so is there any way of getting graduation degree after continuing with IB/GCSE … as I am comfort with these two boards and want to continue to the fullest…..
        Thanking u in anticipation
        Sincerely always,
        Khushwant dang

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  21. Hi, I have a 10 years old son who is completing 4th standard (ICSE board) in Mumbai. I have come to England for work and will be here for 3 years. I plan to bring my family here and then after 3 years go back to india. Will it be a good idea? Bythe time we return, he would be ready for 8th Standard (will prefer to continue ICSE board). Please let me know your advice.

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  22. I found your blog to be very illuminating; it is certainly true that IB is not suited to Indian education. However, to me AS and A levels do not seem so much of a disadvantage for those wishing to pursue competitive exams in India. Most CBSE students find it difficult to cope with the strain of school and coaching and it is only the state-board children with lighter curricula that find the time to concentrate on the JEE. Shouldn’t taking the AS and A levels, which similarly place a lighter burden on students, be a reasonable option for competitive exams?

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  23. Dear Ravi,

    At first i take this opportunity to thank you for this informative blog. Also to some of the other comments who enrich this entire conversation.
    Now my question – My child is studying in the 10th grade in IB curriculum overseas. We are likely to come back to Mumbai by Mid 2015 – a crucial transition time for a student entering 11th and 12th. Having studied in the IB curriculum for last 4 years, we are now evaluating options for getting the child back in Mumbai. Can you guide.
    Thank you

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    1. It all depends on your future plans. There are many new schools and almost all of them offering international curricula and either IB or A Levels. I continue to favour the two Indian boards for reasons listed above.

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    2. Dear Raj,
      While going through the various questions and answers on the blog of Ravi Lochan, I came across your question which created interest in me to find out what option did you take for your child after returning to Mumbai in 2015. Did you continue IB in Mumbai for Grade 11 and 12. If not, what did you opt and how is your experience (advantages and disadvantages) in what you did. The reason I would like to know is that my son is now in Grade 10 in Dubai in GCSE curricula. We will be moving to Mumbai in July 2017 after he completes his Grade 10 exams. His long term goal is to study a professional UG Degree in Medicine or Engineering in India. Will appreciate your guidance. Regards
      IRFAN

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  24. Dear Ravi, to blend this cbse and Ib there is a recent version of cbse I please share your views, if possible.

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    1. I have not assessed the changed format. However since CBSE is delivered to such a large number of schools including several rural and semi-urban locations, it has to have some rigidity. I tend to favour the ISE over CBSE.

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  25. my daughter who is very brilliant doesn’t want to continue cbse in xi because she want to study in her own terms and methods,which cbse course does not provide.She is adamant to change her board to IGSC(AS and A level).we are very worried because xi exams are in March and AS exams are in June.Please advise us what should we do?

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  26. Hi Ravi,

    A very informational blog and I’ve been following it from sometime.

    I have few questions regarding the curriculum choice,.
    I have a seven year old child currently studying IB curriculum in London. We plan to move back to India in another month so he has to switch to an Indian school.

    As a parent, the question arises –
    1) Should I continue with IB curriculum for him or rather switch to CBSE which is the norm there?

    As he is too young, no one knows about the future where he would be pursuing his higher studies.

    Thanks for your time.

    Regards,
    Kajal (parent)

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  27. As Teacher I prefer to teach IB because IB schools pay well.Where as Indian board schools never pay well even if it is International school.

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  28. Hi, need your advice.
    My daughter is in year 9 studying in the Australian Board.
    We are contemplating returning to Mumbai and join the IB board as CBSE board might be very tough for her to cope.
    Your article on the acceptability of IB for undergraduate courses in India has raised doubts and in a catch 22 situation as going to a CBSE board in year 9 will be a difficult especially with the languages

    Could you give guidance on best options

    Rds

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    1. I find that in the Australian curricula, the studies are fairly relaxed till Year 9. However it picks up pace from Year 10 to 12. I also have experienced that the system of the studies is a cross between the Indian system and the IB. Your daughter may find the studies slightly different in the beginning but by Yr 11 should be able to find her footing. She will choose her subjects then and should find English quite easy under the CBSE. The only subject that will test her will be Maths but that can also be assisted with.

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  29. Dear Mr. Ravi,

    The maths is very simple. Complete the IB, get a scholarship or loan to study overseas in a reputed university. For an average student, salary in the first year of work after that is approx. £35,000 or $55,000. Assume just 20% savings. Sheer independence, confidence in one’s own ability and an international outlook are just bonus.

    Now compare that to local options and tell me if you will give up this potential just because predicted grades are a hassle…

    The local education system asks ‘what is the value of pi?’. The IB asks ‘what is the relationship between circumference and diameter?’ Which one develops the mind more?

    If you are looking to stay within the traditional model and continue with status quo, then IB is not for you at all. Just keep going on as before.

    Ram

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  30. Dear Mr. Ravi,

    The maths is very simple. Complete the IB, get a scholarship or loan to study overseas in a reputed university (The best universities give need-blind admission!).

    For an average student, salary in the first year of work after that is approx. £35,000 or $55,000. Assume just 20% savings. Sheer independence, confidence in one’s own ability and an international outlook are just a bonus.

    If the student is particularly creative or daring, he or she will even consider previously unheard-of options like setting up a business. Does the CBSE allow you to dream big and then equip you for it?

    Now compare that to local options and tell me if you will give up this potential in your child just because predicted grades are a hassle…

    The local education system asks ‘what is the value of pi?’. The IB asks ‘what is the relationship between circumference and diameter?’ You tell me which one develops the mind more.

    Call me biased, but if you are looking to stay within the traditional model, take zero risk and continue with status quo, then IB is not for you at all. Just keep going on as before. The kids who take the risk will be will be the ones your children will end up working for.

    Ram

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    1. Is it that simple… What proportion of students get scholarships even after IB. And with the education loans often are limited to ₹ 20 lakhs for the full course, how much can it really cover… Anyways, there is no disputing that IB is a superior curriculum and my blog says that too. I am only making reference to those with intention to study on in India and thus providing the practical issues involved.

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      1. Non-IB kids _can_ get into foreign colleges in the US or UK. You have to pay attention to rules etc., since the school probably will not help. The “international” schools market IB in a way as if without that the route to US/UK is closed.

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  31. My son is currently studying in the CBSE and appearing for the 10 Std Board exams, we are contemplating to shifting him to IGSC. Please advice the possibilities him getting admissions in Indian universities post that as foreign universities is only an added option. We contemplate shifting from CBSE due to his lack of interest in the curriculum and subjects and thoght may be he might find the IGSC or IB syllabus interesting. Please advice

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    1. IGSC and IB are possibly more interesting curriculums for sure but be very sure. There are many new schools who market in a way that they look very attractive but their results are still not great. Indian admissions will have its own issues as explained in the blog. You may consider ISC board too.

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  32. Hi,I live in India and have 2 sons. My older one (10) goes to an IB school and my younger son (7) goes to a CBSC school. I have been contemplating about schools and boards for many years now and due to the confusion put my second child into a CBSC school which is a more grounded simple school. Now i am struggling with 2 kids in 2 schools. The IB school is modern, far away, expensive, with little discipline and i really dont know where my kid stands and yet with a great infrastructure and fun place for kids. And the CBSC is an old,well known disciplined school with good teachers and an old system.
    I get scared of pulling my older son and putting him in the CBSC board school as i dont know if he would be able to cope.
    Seeking advice desperately.

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    1. Annie, What you narrate as your dilemma is real. Unfortunately most equate “international schools” with less discipline though this is not true for all institutions. The discipline aspect of a school is more critical today than in the past. Students have access to more money and if the schools are not careful, it can breed complete misfits for our society. Having said this, you need to be careful in moving your elder son at this stage. If he has studied in a totally different format, he will struggle in the Indian system for some tim. However, there can be schools that can still be able to assist him in the move over. Consider ISC schools (of repute) over any school as they are often more accommodative of such students. If your son continues in the IB school, this is fine too.

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    1. I believe that some colleges may accept predictive scores but in most cases, the student may have to miss out on a year… There is also not much clarity on how the IB scores get converted to percentage equivalence considering that in Delhi University the cut-offs can vary even by .25%.

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  33. Dear Sir,

    I appreciate for your valuable ideas & suggestions through this blog.

    My son is in 5th std, studying in a Marticulation school @ Tamilnadu. But an worried about the system as the teaching is very poor. Now i am planning to shift the school into cbse syllabus, later to put him in a College or University in India. Pls suggest me on this, how to go ahead.

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  34. Hi Ravi
    Bang on the target . I and my wife are ,since last 6 years involved in IGCSE /As level teaching.
    I do French and Biz Studies and my wife does Chemistry and Bio. She teaches in the Edexcel format.
    I am of the opinion that A level are great for Humanities and Commerce level . what is your opinion? I have practical exp of both French and Biz Studies.

    Science in As ad A level ,the percentage is a big issue and that the fact one has to tackle the entry exam to get into Btech /MBBS.

    Having said this , A BSc degree in science will help if the student wants to do Msc/Phd in the India.
    This ,is backed up by A level /IB .

    Ganesh

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    1. Despite the strengths of the International curriculums, they are just not suitable for the entry exams in India. Not just because the curricula is not aligned to what is being tested but also because of the timing of the entry tests in India vis-a-vis the final exams at the school level. Such students are much better opting for the Indian formats.

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  35. I have come to know that the student who has not learnt hindi as second language, cannot get admission in 9th class in CBSE. Please inform the criteria for getting admission in CBSE 9th class? At present my kid studied in MYP (IB pattern) till year 8 outside India.

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  36. Hi Ravi,

    We are living in United States, we are planning to move back after my son ‘s 12 th. I just want to know that, AP/ IB has better chance to get into the college over there.

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  37. Hi Ravi, i have been reading this blog and almost all the Q-A on this forum. I have a slightly different case. I am based in UK and my son is in year 2 in UK. We are planning to move back to India. Can you advise if IB is a good option to consider for my son when we return to India?

    Let me clarify that we would rather like to know the answer to the above question above considering he does his higher studies in India and not abroad.

    1.Will he be treated at par with other Indian board students when he goes for higher studies?
    2. Is the +2 of IGCSE content at par with other boards? (point is if students passing out will have similar degree of knowledge while passing out +2)
    3. Lastly, I don’t have how many IGCSE schools are there in INdia now – is it difficult to find one with A level due to scarcity of such schools?

    4. Any other advise you may feel relevant please.

    Kindly advise

    thanks in advance.

    Regards
    Rajib

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    1. Your son is in Year 2 and so can easily adapt to any teaching system once you are back in India. My quick replies to your raised questions:
      1)Yes he will be treated at par…
      2)Yes and NO. The curriculum will be at par but the content will not be in sync with the various entry exams that Indian students need to take. The timing of the exams also don’t suit the school leavers of international boards…
      3)There are several “new” international schools across India now and it is easier to get admission in them. The international schools often teach either the IB or IGCSE…

      In your comment you have clarified that you are asking the question keeping in mind that your ward is likely to study in India or atleast this will remain in his options.

      Like

  38. Hi Ravi, I studied in ICSE board till 10th standard and I’ve now shifted to CBSE Science stream for +2 years. I am planning to do under graduation from any prestigious university in the US. Will I be treated similar to IB or IGCSE student or they’ll get priority? Is CBSE board considered for admission in top US Universities? If yes, then how much minimum aggregate percentage are required for admission?

    Like

    1. The admission to the US Universities require one to sit the SAT and IELTS/TOEFL… The process is independent of the board that you have studied under at the Year 12 level. However those who have experienced IB might find it easier to deal with the system of studies overseas…

      Like

  39. Thank you Ravi for a nice informative blog. My knowledge on various educational boards has increased by leaps and bounds through your blog and the later discussions/ comments. It has been really useful for selecting a proper course of education for my daughter now. 🙂

    Like

  40. Dear Sir,
    Thank you so much for your reply …. but for becoming an IFS officer can I study overseas in New Zealand or do continue with IB/GCSE in India…as I said u that I want to become an IFS officer which requires graduation degree to give the exam for IFS in India… and if I continue with IB/GCSE course will I get graduation degree doing diploma or O level and etc… so is there any way of getting graduation degree after continuing with IB/GCSE … as I am comfort with these two boards and want to continue to the fullest…..
    Thanking u in anticipation
    Sincerely always,
    Khushwant dang

    Like

    1. You should consult a career counsellor. IB or IGCSE are equivalent to Indian boards and so that is not an issue. If you undertake a Bachelors from NZ that is equivalent to Indian Bachelors, I believe that it should be fine for you to undertake any such exam in India that requires a Bachelors.

      Like

  41. Thanks a lot Mr. Ravi, for providing deep dive inside the educations system in India.

    need your word for my childern’s relocation back to India from Dubai (UAE)

    they are in 5th and 8th grade(now) with an ICSE school . we prefer ICSE for so many reasons . However the quality of teaching and abilities are pulling them back everyday and finding them spending most of their active time with homework / or class tests , I would like to shift them to IB considering the fact that IB gives more attention to learning than memorising.

    I have plans to send them to US for their graduation, considering the ease of access to best education and overall development.

    Should I continue in ICSE or shift to IB now?

    regards
    Krishna

    Like

  42. hello sir,
    i have passed IGCSE in oct/nov 2014 batch with 78%, physics 90% n chem 87%
    i wanna do M.B.B.S. im confused which board should i opt n be helpful for mht-cet, aipmt, aiims, n afmc exams.
    will maharashtra board, icse , as level or ib suit me ??
    please help me at earliest.
    may God bless u

    Like

  43. Dear sir , I had completed my IB from hasting under pestolozzi scholarship scheme with my subjects like biology, chemistry, maths , history , Spanish and English . And now I am thinking of staying in India to complete my graduation . I badly wanted to join a medical line if that is possible . May be nursing or Mbbs .but I llalso consider the degree course if I am left no other option . Please help me in suggesting some college . I will highly admire your concern and help that I need for now .

    Like

  44. hello sir,
    we will be shifting to jeddah by this year end, and we have a 5yrs old kid.
    we are in a dilemma whether to enroll her in IB or CBSE school, as we may stay there for couple of years and then shift to some other country.
    Kindly advise whether CBSE schools are available worldwide? suppose we shift to Canada, then is CBSE schools available there?

    Like

  45. Dear sir,

    My son is completing eight grade in US. We are moving back to India. He knows hindi but His hindi is very poor.

    Please advise me which curriculum suitable for him.

    Like

      1. Hello sir,
        My son has given the 10 th std exam from the ICSE board. Most probably he would be opting for a degree course in India, Is it advisable to shift to the CBSE board or is ICSE equally good in preparing for the all india entrances?
        Also would ICSE be better than CBSE if in case he decides to go abroad for college?

        Like

  46. Hello sir ! I am very confused , please reply . i have given my ICSE 10th board exams in Mumbai. My main points are :
    1) After taking admission in IBDP if for certain reasons I do not go out of India what all options are open for me in India mainly in Engineering and Commerce?
    2)If I take commerece here in state board(11-12) and if I take BBA , is there any scope for me ? what studies can I pursue after BBA in India as well as abroad?
    3)If I wish to pursue engineering in India, which board should I take up – HSC or CBSE(I am ready to give all entrance exams , I am capable also of scoring 90%) ?

    Sir please reply to my questions . It will be a great help
    Thanks.

    Like

    1. You do need proper career counselling. If your school has a counsellor, do have a detailed chat. In nutshell, IB will allow you to all that but will you be able to do it (the curriculum will not match what is required in the entry tests in India) and will the timing suit… are for you to consider and is already elaborated in the blog and comments. It seems that you want to stay on and study in India, go ahead with the CBSE over the state board…

      Like

      1. For somebody finally wanting to work and live in India, is an US undergrad degree any better than UG in India and PG abroad ?

        Like

  47. Thank you Sir!

    Sir is the PCM in CBSE and HSC the same?
    There are so many coaching institutes and integrated courses here , we are not able to understand where should I go.
    Sir it is also said in these links :
    http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-more-and-more-colleges-providing-integrated-courses-say-experts-1990873
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/CBSE-bans-coaching-for-JEE-schools-look-to-dodge-rule/articleshow/31127829.cms
    It is said that integrated courses are disallowed and even CBSE schools could face action for coaching classes. With all this I am not able to decide where to go as I dont want to face any problem later (after I have enrolled). PLEASE guide me sir.

    Sir there is no such counseller in my school. Can you tell me where should I go for career counselling in MUMBAI where I shall be able to clear all doubts.

    Please reply to me sir.
    Thanks a lot.

    Like

  48. I have been asking this question to many teachers and educationists and none have given such an explicit and practical understanding of the matter. Thank u for such a gr8 explanation, u hv defiNately made making the choice a lot easier….

    Like

  49. My daughter will be completing IB by May 2015 from Bangalore, India. She plans to finally live and work in India. But she is keen on some International experience/exposure. She will definitely do her post-grad studies somewhere abroad.In this background what will be the advantages and disadvantages if she does her Undergrad studies in a UK/Canada/USA university ? In what ways will it be better than an Undrer grad degree from India ?

    Like

  50. my son is keen to do his under graduation in medical from the UK. He is currently studying in the CBSE curriculum in the middle east in grade 9. Is there any advantage in moving him to an IGCSE system which would help him in getting into universities in the UK vis a vis a CBSE curriculum

    Like

  51. Dear Sir,
    I am from Chennai and I have recently completed 10th in IGCSE board. I want to know the current recognition of IB curriculum in Indian universities and colleges? What is the acceptance rate of predictive scores to get into top colleges and universities in India for engineering? Please guide me at the earliest.

    Like

  52. hello sir thanks for your valuable inputs.pl advice me. My daughter has studied in montessori till class 4 and the school follows igcse from Grade 5 …Currently she will be moving to grade6 …So if I want her to do UG in India preferrably any professional course should we shift now or can she finish her board (10th std)in iGCSE and then shift to cbse or ISE for 11 the and 12th…I feel iGCSE is more flexible than to indian boards ….PL advice

    Like

  53. sir, my daughter just passes 10th icse she prefer to take basic study in law graduate in indi and further in uk pls advise whether i should go for ib 11 th 12th and classes for clat ,the few experts recomanded to take ib 11th 12th or i shild take indian board with commerce faculty /science we have to prepare a base for basic law graduate from india and further international law faculty in uk pls advice regds hh

    Like

  54. Dear Mr. Singh – My son will be completing his IGCSE this academic term and we are interested in pursuing IB for 2 reasons – 1. He cannot do Mathematics without the help of a calculator and 2. He has Spanish as his chosen 2nd language. Though I am a fan of CBSE / ISC, I am not sure he can pursue them after IGCSE for the above 2 reasons. We may most likely have him complete his UG in India (any stream) and plan for foreign education only for PG.

    I am also told some Canadian universities offer 75% scholarships and very recently help students to work and study at the same time. Is there any knowledge you can share in this regard? I appreciate your contributions in this area and look forward to your guidance.

    Kindly advise.

    Thanks,
    Chitra

    Like

  55. Hello sir, My daughter has just given her class 10 icse exams and is awaiting results.we are settled in Mumbai.I am very confused as to which board to choose further in the commerce field,isc,cbse or hsc.which is the easiest and most scoring.she is interested in doing architecture.

    Like

    1. The question is not whether she is keen to study architecture… The issue to consider is whether she will be keen to study in India or has decided that it is overseas. If it is India (and also overseas) then consider an all India board. If it is “only overseas” then consider the international board.

      Like

  56. sir i am a 10 clss student from cbse board , the want to pursue my undergrad studies at stanford university in engg. i scored 98% marks in my finals . so will cbse be better forme or IB .I also have a good PSAT score and know that i can score above 2200 in SAT. please advise me

    Like

      1. Hi,
        Thanks for this useful post.
        Would like to know if IB brings the change in the ward in the way they think and start applying things ? Do they start looking at ” how and why” rather than jus reading stuff ?
        Planning to change to IB from ICE and we live in Dubai!

        Thanks

        Like

          1. my daughter is just joined in MYP1. this is second year with IB (including PYP). the school offered CBSE 6th grade last year, when we were joining the 5th grade. now, they are taken out the CBSE. we are confused to continue in IB or CBSE. we are not interested to send them abroad for graduation.

            please advice

            Like

          2. Hello Sir,
            A very well written blog!
            Sir, my son is in 10th IGCSE board and wants to study computer science after 12 th in US. I am confused whether I shall continue with As and A level or shift him to IB board. The cost of IB board is one factor which is making me think as we will have to spend a huge amount for his studies in US.Looking forward for your reply. Thanks in advance

            Like

  57. Very interesting article. I have a question…my daughter will be starting A levels. She will return back to India for university. Should she finish her A level and then shift or she moves now and does 12th in India. We are under the impression that it will be easier for her to get admissions if she has done her 12th from India versus A levels from abroad. Is that correct ? It is going to put the family through stress having to move a year earlier but if it is difficult to get admission in Indian Uni. we may have to shift.

    Like

  58. My son has just given his 12th Exam from IB school. And got good score CLAT exam which enable admission in Indian National Law Universities(NLU). The NLU admissions are going to be closed in June, suggestion is required whether the predicted score is accepted by NLU’s. If so, what are the NLU’s takes predicted score? Any one has personal experience on this?

    Like

  59. Thank you ravi, for an excellent article. Also very informative comments. I would really like your advice on my situation. I have two kids, son in 2nd grade, daughter in 5th. We will be moving to dubai next month and i have got possitive replies from 3 schools – 1st a good IB, 2nd a reputed ICSE with fees almost as high as IB and 3rd a new ICSE school that is currently only till Grade 9. Which one should i choose? (Fees are paid by the employer, so cost is not the main concern)
    Also would like to tell you that we are a constantly moving family (have relocated with family between US and India twice: dubai is new). So we could be in India for their Bachelors (most likely) but who knows! To add to that my daughter is a US citizen with a PIO ( so there is confusion whether she can even appear for the medical engineering entrance tests or will she have to apply through NRI quota?) What board would you suggest for us? Thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. If you are a family that is constantly moving, you should consider the IB over the Indian boards. This is to ensure that there is a school offering that curriculum in the location where you move. While the Indian boards are offered in Middle East, they may not be in other locations.

      Like

  60. IB schools are doing well in these days and no. of students are increasing day by day for IB programmes. It also provides wide platform for higher education.

    Like

  61. Sir,

    I am a student in US, who has completed his Junior(XI) year in a IB accredited school. I want to go back to India and sit for AIPMT and WBJEE. Would you please advice me in two issues
    i> when I go to delhi to get my Equivalency Certificate should i produce my highschool certificate or the ib diploma certificate as ib diploma doesn’t have all the subjects I took?
    ii>And second is it mandatory to take two years of chemistry to get a equivalency certificate as I took my normal chem in 10 and i tool IB CHEM SL in 11.My school doesn’t offer IB CHEM HL. I dont know what to do?

    Thank You for your help.

    Like

  62. Sir..I want to apply to Cambridge University to study Medicine..I scored 9.4 cgpa in 10th and hoping to score above than 91% in class 12th cbse..I read the terms and conditions of Cambridge’s admission criterion and It was stated that they do not consider cbse boards…So..I want to ask that whether I can give both cbse and IB….
    please answer my query..
    Yours sincerely
    Raghavendra Singh

    Like

  63. Hi, My son is in studying in a cbse school. He wants to pursue medicine. He is good in studies and wants to join the IVY league. We got to know that if a person is trying for IVY and is unable to get one is also not eligible to join any indian colleges as well. Is it true? What is the procedure for them to appear for both indian and international as well.

    regards

    Like

    1. The processes for admission to medical schools overseas and in India are different. Indian admissions take place based on an admission test in addition to the Yr 12 results. If your son can take the test in addition to undertaking the international curriculum, this should be fine. However practically this is very difficult.

      Like

  64. Hi, Thanks for a great article and really informative discussions on this subject. I’m thinking of following the advice of my friend for my daughter. My friend moved his daughter from ICSE to IB in class 7 as the ICSE school was torturing kids with weekly exams and non-stop cramming. His plan is to let his daughter study in IB till 10th for her to have a good education, then move her to state board or ICSE for 11 & 12 so that she can take competitive exams. The IB school is quite good with good facilities etc.

    Do you think this is a good plan that gives the best of both worlds for an indian student ?

    Like

  65. Hi, Thanks for a great article and really informative discussions on this subject. I’m thinking of following the advice of my friend for my daughter. My friend moved his daughter from ICSE to IB in class 7 as the ICSE school was torturing kids with weekly exams and non-stop cramming. His plan is to let his daughter study in IB till 10th for her to have a good education, then move her to state board or ICSE for 11 & 12 so that she can take competitive exams. The IB school is quite good with good facilities etc.

    Do you think this is a good plan that gives the best of both worlds for an indian student ?

    Like

  66. With overall research- internet based and field based after speaking to students, coaching class and school principles can conclude on the following regarding the IB as very rightly pointed out by Mr. Ravi Lochan Singh in start of this blog.

    If anyone wants to return/stay/grow in India in careers like CA, LLB, Doctor, B.E., MBA etc Boards like CBSE, SSC and even ICSE are the best options. With these boards one can still get into a foreign universities as well. Nowhere in the world would your child be rejected from an university if you hail from SSC (state) or CBSE (central) board.

    In IB, its being said that overseas especially in US the admission procedure has an advantage but students told me that coping up with the way of teaching in US after IB is an advantage than other boards.

    Common entrance tests and its relevance is applicable to all whether IB, SSC, ICSE or CBSE. Now the economics- IB fees in places like Mumbai & Delhi are in range of Rs 1.5 Lacs onwards annually.
    That means if your kid is into IB from say Jr.Kg (PYP) till Class 10 (DYP) level you could end up spending Rs. 18 Lacs minimum. Compare that to CBSE fees Rs 70K to Rs 95K p.a. kids’ education costs Rs. 8.4 Lacs, ICSE costs Rs 7.2 to 8.6 Lacs and SSC Rs. 4.32 Lacs.

    Please note that as of today 2015, B.E. of 5 years in India costs Rs. 6 Lacs min and MBA from B Grade institute costs Rs 4.5 Lacs min. After all this there is no guarantee that your kid would get a 6 digit job. What’s the use of IB if there is no guarantee?

    Today USA has one of the most low levels of education in the world. (Search USA education Vs India and China education in You Tube. You would find videos of US Education Senator report on same). Next 3 decades the world markets are India, China and Indonesia. All the Americans and Europeans would be coming here to work. Add US H1B Visa restrictions to immigration for jobs.

    I rather make my Kid a SSC + CA as a financial consultant than any of these things. Please note that all the Engineering and Medical institutes in this country are run by politicians who themselves are illiterate and criminals. In such a scenario a common man whose income doesnot exceed Rs 5 Lacs annually has no option but focus on ROE (Return on Education).

    CA is very strong in India and recognized globally. With SSC + CA my kid can complete his entire professional education under Rs 10 Lacs. Plus today CA’s get min 3.5 Lacs job for freshers. So in next 10 yrs time with Govt planning to increase passing percentage to 3% p.a. this would be the fatest ROE in India under 2 years post completion of studies. Just think about it !!!!

    Like

  67. Dear Ravi, I am a bit confused and worried about the IB acceptability in Indian system. My daughter is starting her 10th grade at an IB school in Abu Dhabi this September. She is keen to go for Medicine, I want to keep her in India and not comfortable sending her abroad.. I chose IB for her as I felt it was better and sure it turned out to be so. The only hurdle is if she wants to get into the Indian system. She is an above average IB student. Would appreciate your guidance on what we need to do to make her dream (doing medicine in India)possible and easy. I am planning to have a detailed chat with her DP adviser at school. Any input from your side will be helpful. Any latest changes in the policy towards IB from the Indian boards.

    Like

    1. The Indian Medical entry exams require a certain type of training and preparedness. If you believe that this can be offered along with the IB diploma, great. However that is not always so…

      Like

  68. Sir, I found your blog very informative and the associated discussion very enriching as well. I have one question and I hope you can help me a bit on this. My daughter is in class 10 in a CBSE school. She is a usual A2, A1 grade holder; however I dont see her passionate or interested in her learning. She learns for a test, does well and thats it. I would like to see her interested in her studies and develop a sense of curiosity. I havent seen this develop in her all through her schooling years so far. I am considering moving her to IB board to help her discover her love for learning. She is likely to continue with her grad studies in India and does not want to do medicine or engineering etc. My purpose would be to see her become a more inquisitive person. So far, she does not know what stream to choose if she continues with CBSE.

    Kindly advise.

    Like

    1. Dear Radhika, I am so pleased to see your comment and to find a parent that is more keen in encouraging a curious mind over other factors. I do believe that the IB diploma is more suited that way. However the tradeoff will be with the fact that your daughter “may” have to lose a year to gain entry into an indian institution.

      Like

  69. Hi, I found this blog very informative. My daugher is in grade 11 having a IB program in KAUST,Jeddah,KSA and is interested in medicine. She has taken biology, chemistry and economics as a HL level subjects and French, English and Maths as a SL subjects. As we know Physics is compulsory subject for admission in India, we are thinking to take Physics as an AP program. Do the colleges allow this AP program for admission. We would also like to know the procedure for admission in medicine in India. Thanks.

    Like

  70. We are Indian Origin British Citizen, living in India for last six years – my son is taking board exam(ICSE, Class X) March, 2016-We are in dilemma, whether we should move back to the UK after his class X or continue to be here for his IB and then move.

    Like

    1. You can certainly have your son study the Yr 11-12 in India. However if you wish him to be studying overseas after the school and if you want him to culturally mix better during his college years, it might be a good idea to complete his final two years of schooling in that country…

      Like

  71. Hi, I am now in CBSE GR 10. I want to pursue engineering in the future and have trouble deciding whether to switch to IB or continue CBSE in GR 11. I have a few concerns.
    1. Do I have to do AIEEE or JEE exams if I take IB and continue college/university in India?
    2. If I continue CBSE in GR 11 and plan to go abroad for college/university, should I still take these two exams?
    3. Like AIEEE and JEE in India, are there any exams I should do if I take IB?
    4. Would it be easier to get admission in colleges/universities abroad if I study CBSE or IB after 10th?
    5. What would you suggest? IB or CBSE? College/University in India or Abroad?
    6. Finally, is AIEEE and JEE compulsory if you do college/university in India? What is it actually?

    I would really like a reply to decide my next step. Thank you is advance…

    Like

  72. We currently live in USA. We are planning to go back India after 5 years Kids will be 10 years old that time. My concern is that which board is good for them as they won’t know any other language like Hindi. I have seen couple of families who moved to india and come back again to USA because of kid’s language problem. Their kids had lot of struggle in hindi as they were 11 and 12 years old.

    Like

  73. Hi Mr. Ravi! I’m an Indian student with an IB Diploma currently studying in my second year of university in Canada.

    I wanted to point out that the “credits” that are received from IB are actually very useful. I may still complete my degree in the same time but I saved a substantial amount of money from the credits I gained. One of my friends, my CBSE counterpart, did NOT receive any credit even after making an appeal to the university. One of my other friends studying in a different university in Canada has been able to reduce his study period by one full year only because he has done the IB Diploma Programme.

    I also noticed that CBSE students at my university found it significantly harder than other students to cope with the academic process in the first year. Because I had done the IB, I was already equipped with some of the paramount university skills such as conducting research (collecting data, running experiments, carrying out data analysis), writing a paper, making references and avoiding plagiarism etc. Because of the IB, I had great research skills, which gave me an edge over, not only my CBSE counterparts, but also other international and domestic non-IB students.

    As for India, although the number of international schools has increased (and with that, the recognition of IB among Indian universities), I still agree that IB is not the best option if one wants to continue studying in India, especially in the more professional fields. However, people who are unsure about where they will study, must seriously consider the IB since the credits can actually be very useful (if they end up going abroad). I feel that this (credits) is the one aspect of the IB in the article that has not been given full justice.

    Regards,
    Indian Panda.

    P.S. I’m no feminist but I think it’s sexist that you use the term “boys” instead of “students” in the last paragraph.

    Like

  74. I am a 12th standard ISC student. I am aiming to pursue higher studies in the USA. I will be highly grateful if you can explain what “rigor of secondary school record” means.

    Like

  75. Hi Mr Ravi, my son’s school has introduced the CIE board would it be advisable to go ahead if considering further education in India itself…Thank u

    Like

    1. It all depends on what your son wants to study in India. Some of the entrance exams are tuned more to the All India boards. The other issue for you to check is if the exams for entry to Indian institutions will clash with the studies for the international curriculum. If not, then why not…

      Like

  76. dear sir,

    As I know its too early for my daughter who is not even a three to decide a particular board for her,but in indian school admission process we have to select a particular board(international ib or cie)at very small age that is nursey we have to tell school which board we want for her and accordingly fill the forms n other formalities and we don’t knows how she will be in sturdy wise n all.so my question to you is is it possible that,as of now I have taken admission for her in icse board but later on in betwwen when she goes to higher grade say grade 7 or 8 if at all she wants to change the board to ib or cie can she change it.As system is changing drastically so not possible to plan in advance and so compitetive that cant wait for our turn.

    please help.

    Like

  77. Dear Ravi Sir,
    My daughter is in grade 4 and son in grade 1, both in IB schools. Me and my wife are from ICSE boards. Initially we thought IB would be a better platform for them, but since we are from ICSE, we really cant relate to the IB platform. Its too slow we feel. We also dont have any plans for sending them abroad for further studies yet. My concern is if we now change both to ICSE schols, will they be able to cope with the ICSE curriculum. Or when is the right time to shift them to ICSE schools ?

    Like

  78. hi mr ravi i need ur help my son he his in 5std in cbse board and we are move in dubai so what board we can put him same cbse board or any other board pls give me ur advise i am waiting ur reply asap
    thanks
    parag shukla

    Like

    1. There are several schools in the Dubai region that offer Indian boards. If your stay in Dubai is only for a limited period and you believe that your son will be returning to India thereafter and possibly pursue his future studies in India, he can continue in similar board. Remember that he can anyways go overseas to study too even if he studies an Indian curriculum. However if you believe that you are not likely to return to India, then an international system may just be more apt.

      Like

  79. Dear Mr Ravi, thanks for the article. A number of counsellors say that A levels are better than ISC for the understanding of subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Computers etc. as they encourage analysis rather than learning by rote. My daughter faces a choice of choosing A level or ISC after the ICSE next year. Purely from an academic point of view (and not from an admissions point of view) would it benefit her to choose A levels instead of ISC? Would A level be an advantage when she needs to give her SAT? Thanks for your time.

    Like

  80. Interesting article and having worked in an IB school in India and in Dubai ,I can say this with firm affirmation that we cannot stereotype the curriculum offered by IB. Yes it’s an advanced curriculum but then CBSE or ICSE curriculum is no less. At the end curriculum is nothing but subject expertise. The basic concepts remain the same across all curriculum. It is only how it is delivered that has created all the hype about IB. Parents feel that since IB is an inquiry based curriculum that’s why it is better. This is pretty cliched. Inquiry can be developed in a lot of ways. After all the scientists who received noble prize in India were not IB students. Or IIT , IIM students who work abroad were also not IB students. Hence we cannot classify Indian board curriculum as anything inferior because all these entrance exams are not based on mere process of memorizing facts but application of knowledge. So my advice or point to parents is cost needs to be kept in mind and more than that not to be swayed by simple marketing gimmicks of private educational institutes.

    Like

    1. Very well written post. My experience as a parent is similar. IB is big business in India. The impression schools give in their literature is that it is required for US and UK admissions. Parents should check with the US/UK colleges directly – they will tell you that they are familiar with and accept Indian systems.

      Like

  81. hi, my son will go to grade 1 next year 2016. I want to make my sons foundation strong. so I want to put him in Cambridge syllabus till grade 3 and from grade 4 to cbse. As no plan to study abroad. Will he able to cope up the cbse easily after grade 3 or will he face difficulty. The only reason to put him in Cambridge syllabus is for good basic knowledge. Plz need ur advice. is Cambridge syllabus vast than cbse.

    Like

  82. Yasmeen, pity that having worked with IB you still feel it is not superior to Indian curricula. It is FAR superior to CBSE and ICSE where just MUGGING is the basis of grades, the child has NO freedom to explore or express or become, it is a straightjacketing and regressive system churning out spoon fed cattle.

    This author is prickly about IB and right sexist. Not someone I’d want to take advice from.

    The position is simple: If you want your child to mug and get tested on his mugging powers, go the CBSE and ICSE way.

    If you want your child to understand concepts, relate them to the real world, be truly able to function as a global citizen, develop clarity, analytical power, reason, empathy and superior human values, then go the the IB way.

    The author is simply confusing people by not telling this clearly: If you do IB, there MAY BE SOME issues with SOME universities in India. Not ALL.

    IB is simply superior education. Period.

    Like

  83. Hi, Excellent information and gave me a clear cut direction. I am from Philippines. My son studied in Philippines till 8th Under IB and later, I transferred him to india and put him in IGCSE. I thought of shifting him back to IB diploma in Philippines but was confused till I read your blog. Now my question is if it is better for him to continue onwards after IGCSE in the same Cambridge syllabus or shift him to ISC or CBSE in India?Do Indian Universities accept students who have done the Cambridge courses equally as students who have done ISC or CBSE?

    Like

  84. Hi Ravi,

    My son is in Grade 10 IB school in Saudi Arabia and I am planing to switch him to ICSE school at Dehradun India for grade 11 & 12 so that he would not face any problem if he pursues his study either in India or else where. I know there are some advantages in IB curriculum but ICSE/CBSE boards also have leads in certain areas of education.

    For switching my son from grade 10 IB to ICSE, is there any specific requirements needed?

    Regards,

    Ghufran

    Like

  85. Hi, I am currently studying in year 10 in an IB board in Botswana. Am I eligible for admission in a defense university in India. What is the process for admission and which university do you reccommend for military science. What is the scope and what career paths might be available?

    Like

  86. Ravi – your strong base article, readers’ well researched queries / responses have certainly made the blog very rich – thanks for making a very informative & focused blog post. Kudos all.

    My ward is moving post CBSE X to the US, this year. I am in process of finalizing the best fit : regular US public schooling or IB.

    Couple of specific queries here:

    a. I understand one would be required to do a mapping of “CBSE X results transcript” to US regular school curriculum (PS: the subjects/granularity of grading differs across boards). It will be very helpful if there is an existing template one can use.

    b. Will there also exist a mapping of “CBSE X results transcript” to IB curriculm / grade X subjects. I am assuming this will be common across IB schools worldwide (given they would be following same guidelines). Again, it will be great to see such a mapping or gain insights from Ravi and experiences of parents.

    Thanks again!

    Like

    1. I shall let one of the parents reply to this query. My gut feel is that moving after Yr 10 in India to US and then seeking entry to the schooling system should not be an issue even if your ward has undertaken CBSE till Yr 10. My son moved to Australia in his Yr 10 in India and all options were open to him whether it was the Australian curriculum or the IB. However, if there are any peculiarities in the US schooling system that requires something extra, am not sure…

      Like

    2. Hi kidinhighschool, there are two issues: (1) entry into a US school at an appropriate grade level, (2) entry into a US college. You did not mention anything about college – but since US kids finish their college applications early in their Grade 12, and finish their testing in Grade 11 – you should think about those issues at this time.

      Identification of school: Each US public school serves a specific geographical location – so your public school generally will depend on your location. There are exceptions to this rule, but only a few. If you have a good idea about your location already, you should directly contact the public school and ask them their specific criteria for admission. You should do this before school officials leave for their summer vacations. The public school is the best resource – but this is what you will probably find: Admission to the area public school is guaranteed. They will rarely quibble about whether your ward has ‘met’ the Grade X level (students are not held back in the US like they are in India), but they may quibble about the age. In other words, in most cases the age will determine the grade level. I have seen several students who came in from CBSE after Grade 8, and they didn’t face any problems – either with the evaluation of their transcripts or with the classes themselves (a bit of an exception for English – see later).
      There are no restrictions in the way you choose private schools.

      IB or not: You should note that ‘US public school’ and ‘IB school’ are not mutually exclusive – meaning some public schools offer IB. Now, colleges want the student to take the highest level of courses available at the school – so if the school offers IB and your student doesn’t take it, then it will not look good in the college application. In other words, the IB decision may be forced on the student. In some cases the school may offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes or Honors classes – and those could be acceptable alternatives. You should talk to the school counselor in Grade 10 itself (most students will have made their IB vs. no-IB choices by the end of Grade 10).

      If the public school offers an equivalent level choice or if you are choosing a private school – then you should consider the following factors for making a choice of IB vs. no-IB.

      First, two IB subjects become difficult for CBSE students. One is IB English Literature HL (many schools offer only HL since English is their first language), and the other is IB History HL (here too HL is often forced, as American history is offered only in HL). Both need a very high level of writing skills that CBSE kids often do not possess. Generally, Math and science present no problems. Foreign language shouldn’t be a problem either – since the kid can start a new language from scratch in IB.

      Second, you should look at the requirements of admission to the state university in your intended state (you will pay lower tuition if you are deemed resident in the state) and the university of California (since they have several campuses you can apply to using a single application – really convenient). There you will find the minimum course requirements for admission. If your kid applies from the US, you will find it very hard to get in if you do not satisfy the minimum requirements. In this respect, you may find IB to be a disadvantage – since there are 6 subjects only. If you take the regular school courses (including AP and Honors), then you can take a wider variety of courses every quarter / semester.

      Third, the CBSE board exam grade-card is only an advantage for college applications. Almost all US colleges understand CBSE. And they love board exams as opposed to in-school exams where standards vary across schools. You will find that many students from CBSE / ICSE Indian schools get into top technical colleges like MIT or Caltech. So CBSE is well understood by them. They will probably want the interim grades to be sent from the CBSE school. This you need to arrange for before you leave India. In short – logistics may be your biggest problem here.

      Fourth, you should pay attention to other requirements of college applications. SAT or ACT (science focused students do better in ACT) – taken in Grade 11. SAT subject tests – even though public schools only take between 0 and 2 tests – private colleges will appreciate if you send them more. You may want to take AP tests at the end of Grade 11. Standardized tests are important for your ward, as they help the college admissions officer know the level of a student coming from a non-traditional background. With respect to standardized testing, AP courses offer some advantage over IB.

      You should also develop some extracurricular interests – research them on the web.

      Resources for more information: The best resources for college specific information though are the colleges themselves. They will almost always answer if you send them email – particularly now that the admissions decisions are out and their workload is a bit light.

      Also do your own research on the internet. There is good information and there is bad information out there – but if you browse some, you will be able to distinguish between them.

      Like

  87. Hi,

    My query may seem a bit early , for my child is only 3 years 2 months only. We live in Dubai currently.
    Honestly the education system isn’t exactly great here, especially for the kind of money demanded.
    I come from an ICSE backgroud and convent education in Kolkata,India (Loreto, which has its roots from Ireland). Although we were ICSE lot of things that were taught to us were very similar to an IB curriculum….in a way we got best of both worlds. For example, moral value classes, SUPW etc etc. I could still answer questions in ‘my own words’ if I knew the concept and not by rote. Topped school and scored 88% in ICSE.
    This however changed when I moved to ISC (the +2 for ICSE) in a different school (reputed though) in the same city. I failed a theoretical subject like BO for answering in my own words. Maths was supposed to be ‘memorized’….awful.

    So I do understand that SCHOOL is more important than the Curriculum.

    I looked at the best ICSE school here in Dxb,…..not pleased at all. Very ‘herd’ like. 400 students per batch…13 sections. No value system in place. In short I dont have an ICSE option here.

    Hence I am looking at IB…for it will not ‘kill’ the curiosity of my child and make her an ‘innovator’….the need of today’s world. Self sufficient, self motivated, out of the box thinkers and entrepreneurs. Global citizens and will stand her for life, just like my education at Loreto did.
    (That’s how I chanced upon your blog) 🙂

    I don’t know what the scenario in the Indian context will be like…for IB students in the next 10 years, but hoping it will only be progressive.

    My concerns are:
    1. Is my thinking correct in putting my child in an IB environment…right at the start to condition her brain and encourage questions.
    2. Will this pose a problem on her when it comes to handling pressure, or for further studies (India or abroad, in the next 15 years)
    3. Can you pls advise of a couple of great “schools” for the same here in Dxb.
    Not looking for hi-fi page 3 crowds type of schools, but a school which stresses on moral values and uniformity.

    Will be indebted to you and to anyone else reading this post, to come forward and answer.

    Thanks ahead.

    Like

    1. Dear Navita,

      I am familiar with Loreto since I am from Kolkata too. Though didn’t study in Kolkata.

      Your child is till fairly young and what is important is that a good school is selected irrespective of the board. It is important to develop the child’s overall learning than simply memorising for exams. Thus you can go with an IB school if that is better in Dubai. In 10 years, a lot will change and there will be greater acceptance of the curriculum in India.

      All the best.

      Ravi

      Like

    2. I moved to dxb recently and have enrolled my kids (yr2 and yr5) in a british school – GCSE. So far very happy with the way things are being taught. I have lived in the US before and i felt american curriculum was the best for primary education. getting the concepts clarified and no rote learnng.but american schools are expensice here. So brit schools look likea good second option. If u have qs about any specific schools feels free to ask. I have done a lot of research here 🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks Anu, Yes I would want to know 1. the best IB schools in Dubai…through and through IB. 2. And most IB schools here have British/Cambridge education in the beginning PYP MYP…..is it recommended over those schools that are IB through and through. Thank u

        Like

    3. I feel that whatever be the case, education has become a business. I feel that most of the IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE and IB schools do not have good teachers. They don’t even know how to speak in English. We don’t get good teachers in any curriculum. The marks offered to the students are all fake. Students are asked to write re-tests and asked to copy for SA1 and awarded full internal marks and those are kept as evidences. The board also approves those evidences sent to the them for verification. There are no inspections conducted in schools by the board to see the standard. Sadly children are not taught properly and there are 1 or 2 students who does not even know how to write an essay in English on their own in grade 8 or 9.
      As a parent we have to coach our children at home. Teachers do nothing for the benefit of the students now-a-days. They only give home work and stress out their students.
      Be it ICSE, CBSE, MATRIC-STATE BOARD, IGCSE, IB etc… we have to have good teachers with good subject knowledge first to make students understand what they learn. Teachers are not paid properly in most of the schools and so we don’t get qualified and enthusiastic teachers who are committed to their work. They are stressed in the first place. Ultimately its the students who suffer.
      When I was studying in a ICSE school 20 years back, we still had SUPW as extra curricular activities in school. Now teachers are not able to balance curriculum with that of activities. CBSE says its all activity based education and no failures up-to 10th grade and it becomes easy for the children not to concentrate in studies. They just pass anyhow.
      I am talking about the teachers who have Ma, M.ed, B.ed, M.phil and even doctorate sometimes etc.. who are not capable of teaching. They don’t teach values in life. They are least bothered about life skills. I being a BE graduate am able to do much better than qualified teachers in teaching stream. I have studied a lot and prepared my own syllabus and come out with values which is not recognized. I can send few materials if you are interested. Its important that every teacher should take his or her own responsibility to coach their students truthfully. This is the ultimate that we have to look for.
      If the schools can collect so much of fees from parents for the education which is so called business, why can’t they pay the teachers well and retain good talented teachers for the benefit of the students.
      So no matter what school our kids are in, what curriculum that we choose, as a parent its our effort in the end that we mold our children and lead them in the right path. Its all God’s blessings in the end to give us good wisdom and the right place for our kids to have a good education….

      Like

  88. Dear Sir,
    I’m a student of class 12 and in ISC board. I had scored a 96% in my ICSE class 10 board. I want to pursue medicine in UK or Singapore, so how and where should I apply.

    Like

  89. is IB better than ISC or HSC (maharashtra state board) for engineering in germany or australia or uk AND can i take hsc if i want to carry engineering in germany or any other country

    Like

  90. Collins

    Dear all,

    I was working as a spoken English teacher in one of the reputed CBSE schools in south India and I do not want to mention the name of the school for it has a good name and want to do some justice for the salary that I received from them for 1 year.

    I feel that whatever be the case, education has become a business. I feel that most of the schools in Namakkal area do not have good teachers. They don’t even know how to speak in English. The marks offered to the students are all fake. Students are asked to write re-tests and asked to copy for SA1 and awarded full internal makes and those are kept as evidences. CBSE board also approves those evidences sent to the board for verification. There are no inspections conducted in schools by the board to see the standard. Sadly children are not taught properly and there are 1 or 2 students who does not even know how to write an essay in English on their own in grade 8.

    As a parent we have to coach our children at home. Teachers do nothing for the benefit of the students now-a-days. They only give home work and stress out their students.

    Be it ICSE, CBSE, MATRIC-STATE BOARD, IGCSE, IB etc… we have to have good teachers with good subject knowledge first to make students understand what they learn. Teachers are not paid properly in most of the schools and so we don’t get qualified and enthusiastic teachers who are committed to their work. They are stressed in the first place. Ultimately its the students who suffer.

    When I was studying in a ICSE school 20 years back, we still had SUPW as extra curricular activities in school. Now teachers are not able to balance curriculum with that of activities. CBSE says its all activity based education and no failures up-to 10th grade and it becomes easy for the children not to concentrate in studies. They just pass anyhow.

    I am talking about the teachers who have Ma, M.ed, B.ed, M.phil and even doctorate sometimes etc.. who are not capable of teaching. They don’t teach values in life. They are least bothered about life skills. I being a BE graduate am able to do much better than qualified teachers in teaching stream. I have studied a lot and prepared my own syllabus and come out with values which is not recognized. I can send few materials if you are interested. Its important that every teacher should take his or her own responsibility to coach their students truthfully. This is the ultimate that we have to look for.

    If the schools can collect so much of fees from parents for the education which is so called business, why can’t they pay the teachers well and retain good talented teachers for the benefit of the students.

    So no matter what school our kids are in, what curriculum that we choose, as a parent its our effort in the end that we mold our children and lead them in the right path. Its all God’s blessings in the end to give us good wisdom and the right place for our kids to have a good education….

    Like

  91. Your article is an interesting read. However, I would like to share a personal anecdote that might give you another perspective on the issue. I am an 18 year old Indian girl who completed her IB schooling in Dubai, scoring a total of 41 points in May 2015. Now I am currently a medical student at a private college in Lucknow. Getting admission was a hurdle, but not an impossibility. Using the guidelines from the AIU website, I was able to convert my score into a percentage which happens to be 94%. I was further required to produce an official document from the IBO to verify this. Although the process was painstaking and time taking, in the end I was successful in my admission. Another Indian friend of mine who studied at the same school, was also successful in getting admission into a private college in Pune. You’re right that taking IB is difficult for getting admission into India but it’s not an impossibility. IB is not by any means superior to any curriculum in the world, but it teaches you to think differently. It is precisely this difference in thinking that we need in order to help put our country on par with the other world nations in terms of development and progress. Hence, I think we should not discourage students from pursuing IB but try and find a solution to the problem ourselves. Thank you for your time and patience.

    Like

    1. Of course, in a few years, there will be solution available. It is the timing of the exam and the various entrance tests that happen around the same time that often lead to issues. Also the entrance tests are often based on the CBSE curriculum.

      Like

  92. Hi,
    I am a grade 10 student doing igcse. I want to know whether i should continue with IB or shift to cbse. I want to take up economics at the university and i aiming at UK. I am getting an A* in hindi, economics and business, A in ICT, B in mathematics, D in biology and english. Not very good at english so i feel it would be difficult for me to survive in IB because of extended essays and IA’s.
    I feel i will waste time in IB, rather i can do cbse and focus more on economics. Also i feel scoring 38 ib points with 7 in maths HL is going to be way more difficult than scoring 90% in cbse. you mentioned in the blog that getting an special edge in overseas universities in mere perception only. What your suggestion? I am very confused and need your help.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Like

  93. Thanks for the excellent article, Ravi!

    I am in a dilemma currently over CISCE vs IB for my daughter, who will be starting schooling soon. I prefer the IB because of the curriculum and the methodology of teaching.

    Your points are very valid currently, however do you think the situation will change 10-12 yrs down the line (when my daughter will complete her schooling)? And will she be able to get into IIT / Medical etc smoothly?

    I get this feeling considering the way Schools are moving towards IB these days (http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/icse-cbse-lose-out-to-foreign-boards-114111901354_1.html)

    What would you prefer for kids that are going to start schooling soon (CBSE/CISCE/IB)?

    Like

  94. my child has completed his grade 7th from ICSE board in mumbai, now he is interested in doing a IGCSE (cambrdige board) curriculum from 8th grade onwards due to better overall development and stress free studies.

    i am a engineer with a manufacturing factory and want may child to do mechanical or chemical engineering preferably in India

    is it possible to get in to Indian engg colleges after 12th IB or should he change to HSC or ISC board after 10th or he should continue with ICSE board . IS changing board after 10th IGCSE to HSC or ISC smooth and easily adaptable ?

    what is your best advise

    Like

  95. My son is looking for 4 yrs course BBA in international business from Canada do u recommend it and is this bachelor degree acceptable by Indian college/ universities

    Like

  96. hey dear Ravi sir , i would like know that what are facilities of study of my both daughter in Australia because my planing shift to australia/canada ? and how could be find all things(school etc)related to education of my both daughters?

    Like

  97. Dear Sir,

    It was great reading your Blog… I am currently pursuing IB and I wanted to ask you about some aviation colleges in india as well abroad which offer large scholarships to undergo Commercial pilot training. I don’t belong to a upper class family and hence it can be difficult for me to fund overseas education therefore scholarships is the only opportunity.

    Like

  98. Sir,
    My son is in class 3rd in IB board.what do you think..I should go ahead few more years with IB or switch to some other board.Two doubts come in my mind 1st will he be able to adjust in senior classes in other boards if I shift him later or IB will gain recognition in Indian colleges,because I’m not sure I’ll send him abroad for studies after 12.I put up in Kanpur and we have one IB board school ,where parents face faculty problems in senior classes.plz suggest what can I do?

    Like

    1. Your son is still in early schooling and the board really doesn’t commence a format at this level. Students do change over to other curriculums at the higher levels. I also expect greater acceptance of the IB with time.

      Like

  99. Hello sir, Sir an indian student who is now studying in Scotland 5th year, can take admission in indian CBSE school in 11th grade? He was moved to Scotland when he was studying in 10th in a CBSE school. Now due to some visa problem he have to come back after completing 5th year study of Scotland. Can he take admission in cbse school here in india?

    Like

  100. Dear sir,
    I am going through a lot of confusion. I have done CBSE till Grade 9 and then have persuaded IGCSE for 9-10. I am about to start with my IB. I have no intentions to study abroad. My aim is pursue BBA from recognised universities like Christ, Bangalore, Narsee Monjee,etc universities and further MBA from IIM. I have read the IBDP guide and am finding it very difficult and stressful. I am in the notion that CBSE or any other indian board will be far easier for me than IB. I have formed this notion by reading the syllabus of other boards. Am I right? I am a good student and am confident that I will score distinction in IGCSE but still am very confused with IB. I am willing to change the board and want to seek a good advice from so that I dont regret in future. I would like to contact you. Please reply as soon as possible.
    Please give me your valuable suggestions.

    Like

  101. Hi Ravi, I would like to know whether a student can complete CIE’s AS & A level in one year? Will the admissions be rejected by indian colleges for lack of duration of +2 years? Is 24 months duration for HSC mandatory?

    Like

    1. It will be tough since the preparation for the IIT requires additional study and from what I hear the students who have taken Indian boards find it easier to handle the entrance test.

      Like

  102. Dear Sir,
    It is indeed a very informative article by you. I have a question. Is it possible to switch boards in between? like my daughter is in 9th standard in CBSE and we have to move abroad for a couple of years where CBSE schools are not available. Can she study there in IB school for 2 years and join CBSE again on return? How will CBSE recognize the certificates?

    Like

    1. I would not recommend such frequent shifting between curriculums. Once you are abroad and have opted for the IB school, on return to India you should consider another IB school in India. There are many around these days.

      Like

  103. Dear Mr. Singh,
    Your blog and the comments and feedback of all the people have left me confused!
    I have 2 daughters – a 10 yr old and a 5 yr old – both going to an ICSE school. However, as my older daughter is very creatively inclined and completely disinterested in subjects like Maths – or rather, the way in which the maths concepts are being taught in the current ICSE school, which is also facing high teacher attrition and lots of management issues, I have shifted her this year to an IB school, which, I felt, would help her build on her “non-academic” strengths, which is also the career path that she wishes to opt for in the future.
    As the current IB school had no vacancy for my younger one, she is continuing to go to the ICSE school. The IB school has just started its new academic session and I was hopeful that, if all goes well for my older one, I would try and shift the younger one also into the IB school next year.
    However, after reading the above posts, I am totally confused….On the one hand, both, my older daughter and I, are grappling with the new environment in the IB school, on the other, am now really clueless with regards to my younger one? Am wondering if I did make the right decision by moving her out of the ICSE school into IB….Please advise.

    Like

    1. I do believe that I am not the right person to provide the advise. Your younger daughter is only 5 years old and so by the time your daughter is in Yr 12 and thereafter, things will change in India and I expect greater acceptance of the IB curriculum.

      Like

  104. dear sir,
    I am an IB student, studying in class 12 and i am unsure about my future courses but i am sure that i will not go in science field. However, my plans are that I am expected do my under grad. in India and my post grad. overseas. Also, i am very worried about myself, as most good colleges in India does not accept IB students easily and I seek to get into top and best college of India. I am an above average student and wish to get into the best college. i am working very hard to increase my grades but my worries are increasing with the passing days, sir if you could guide me what exactly i have to do next will help me.( maths, hindi, eco, bm -hl’s) (physics & english -sl’s)
    thank you…..

    Like

    1. It is not true that good colleges in India don’t accept IB results. There are issues but there are several good institutions that have found a way to accept the students. If you were taking the competitive entrance exams, then I would have talked about the mismatch of the curriculum.

      Like

      1. sir what kind of competitive exams, as in the entrance exams of colleges in India?
        and yes if it is the entrance exams, i believe i will apply for some of it.
        please can you tell me what will be the best for me and what i can do to get the best college.

        Like

  105. my daughters are reading in 6th and 1st std in cbse schoolin india.but from 7th stdonwards upto 10th class they have to read in australiian curicullam in sydney(australia) as we are relocating their. my qurries is if they will be able to continue their studies in 11th standard and 6th std in cbse board in india,because their will bea sift in board.will they able to cope in indian syestem ,as i dont to study them in ib or igcse in india.

    Like

    1. It is very much possible to shift to an Indian board after having studied in Australia. The mis match will be with the academic calendar since Australia being in southern hemisphere it follows differently to what India does. There might be some loss of time.

      Like

  106. Hellow Raviji. Thankyou for sharing valuble information. my major doubt was about IB being equivalent to indian +2 level, which is verymuch cleared after reading your blog. But in our case the situation is we are presently placed in norway. My daughter is studying year9 in an IB curriculum school in Norway. She is been in Ib since grade 6. She is aspiring to be a doctor. If she completes her IB here in norway will her grades be considered for writing the entrance exams for the same. will she be accepted by all the universities. As it was mentioned in the blog there will be clash in the timings of the final exams in norway and the entrance exam timings in india. if they dont accept the predicted score then how can we deal with it.

    my most important question is we cant predict our stay here in norway. if she comes back to india in pre IB that is year 11 will she be able to continue year 12 in india in an other curriculum.

    Like

    1. If she returns to India, she can certainly begin studies in another format since the IB is certainly recognised in India. The argument pertains to the format of the curricula and its match with the content of the various entrance exams.

      Like

  107. My son is in Y8 GCSE in Dubai.I want him to keep his option open for both medicine and engg.Is it true that it’s not possible in IB post 16.If not than what are his options

    Like

    1. It is very much possible to take the Engineering or Medicine entrance for an IB student. The argument is primarily pertaining to the suitability of the curricula to the exam format and content.

      Like

  108. Hi
    I am a student from the UK I took betec level three engineering would I be able to get into entrance exams in India?

    Like

  109. Dear Sir,
    Thank you for the valuable article. We stay in Nairobi, and our daughter is studying in the 11th of IGCSE. She has not yet decided about the career. would it be okay if she continues with the same or it is advisable to come back to India? She studied in the CBSE pattern till 8th, in Maharashtra. She came to Nairobi and joined the 10th level of IGCSE here. She is finding a bit difficult to adjust though we find it as a good curricula. What if she decides to go back to India and Join CBSE 11th there? Will it be a problem in her future? Please guide us. Thank you. Prajna.

    Like

  110. Hi.
    I am in 10 th standard igcse. Is good to take ib even if I want to do my bachelors in india at some good institutes like bits pilani or symbiosis. Do these universities accept ib predicted score. If not what board shall I pursue my education in. I don’t like cbse or state board and I also prefer isc less. Please answer my query

    Like

  111. Dear Sir,
    My daughter is appearing for her grade 10 boards this year (ICSE). She is looking at Arts/ Humanities( Please do explain the difference between the two ). We are based in Mumbai where various boards are available and am very confused as to which board to choose further- ISC, HSC, A levels or AS levels. As of continuing studies in India or abroad after 12h is a call she will take after 12th she wants to keep all options open. Kindly advise

    Like

  112. Sir,
    I have a doubt about the eligibility of IB Diploma students for Engineering/Medicine in India. As per the IBO pattern, a student of DP (equals to 10+2) can choose the following subejcts.

    DP students choose one subject from each of the following six ‘Subject Groups’:

    Group 1: First Language (English)
    Group 2: Second Language (French, Hindi, etc).
    Group 3: Individuals and Societies (History, Economics, Business and Management, etc).
    Group 4: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems).
    Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science.
    Group 6: Electives (either Visual Arts or a second subject from Groups 3, 4 or 5).

    Now, my question is in India, for getting admissions in any engineering or medicine course, the minimum eligibility is 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Maths. That means all these 3 subejcts must have been passed at +2 level. But, if we see the IBO pattern, there is no possibility of taking these 3 subjects, because in each group one can study only 1 subects and assuming that the electives also taken one of the science subject, then also only 2 subejcts are studies. Under these circumstances, how can an IB DP student satisfy the minimum eligibility requirements of 3 science subjects.

    Can you please elobarate on this matter?
    Thanks
    Kumar

    Like

    1. Your research is absolutely correct. It is possible, but immensely difficult, to take 3 sciences in IB. So yes, that is a crippling deficiency of IB. This affects foreign bound students also – though admissions committees there are more understanding, so the students find out in their first university course in their ‘missing’ science.

      Now about the ways to handle this. There are two paths, both difficult. One is to take an 8th subject, for which you need special permission from IBO. Schools are reluctant to ask for this permission, since the standard IB load of 7 subjects is onerous even for the best of students. The second path is to abandon the IB diploma and take the subjects you want in what is called a certificate. But remember in this path you won’t have any high school diploma! US admissions are OK with this, but I am not sure how that will work in India. Frankly I wouldn’t try this second method. The first method is horrible, but still will at least work.

      Like

  113. Hello,
    I’m currently pursuing my diploma (IBDP) first year and I’ve recently gotten very worked up regarding my future years. I’m planning to do my UG in India and am planning to choose a degree from the engineering section. But I’m afraid that the applications and entrance exams close before my result is even announced. So, the only score that Indian colleges will accept is my predicted scores. IB is a very rigorous course and on top of this, I have to give a JEE exam to get into a good Indian college. Firstly, I want to know if studying by myself is enough. Second, what are some good opportunities in the engineering field? Third, will it really be much of a problem by taking IB and entering an Indian college? Because after this, I’m planning to study abroad for my PG.

    Please enunciate and assist.

    Best,
    Swathi.

    Like

    1. Your heart rendering story should serve as a warning to many who underestimate the difficulty of having Indian colleges accept IB. As for IITs, it is common knowledge and I have mentioned in one of my posts here, that anyone who wants to go for IIT after IB needs to take a skip year – just because the dates do not line up.

      Do not underestimate the IIT JEE, quite possibly the toughest exam at this level. Even after IB you need to prepare for it. The good news in all this is that you do have a strong base in IB Chemistry (assuming HL) and that will serve you well. IB Physics is not that great, so be forewarned. The web is full of instructions on how to prepare for IIT JEE.

      Like

  114. Hi Ravi,

    Informative blog on boards!

    My daughter is studying in Grade 5 ICS .in Bangalore. Her school is also offering IGSCE/IB. This year I have seen a surge moving to IGSCE from ICSE board. There are multiple reasons to it and I have heard that IGCSE course develops the thinking/analytical ability of students and less of rote .
    This year, honestly marking mechanism in ICSE little disturbing , and to me looks like indian curriculum is more marks oriented not knowledge focused,
    My daughter is an average marks scoring student and some of parents whose kids are average scorer are finding improvement in terms of interest in studies and learn with own pace in IGSCE.
    For an average student not aiming at IIT or high ended competitive examination and just knowledge and learning will suggest IGSCE as better curriculum?
    I mean till 10th grade.

    Like

  115. I am thinking to join the United World College to get an IB DIPLOMA. Since the post was approximately 5 years old. Was there any reform in IB recognition and acceptance with respect to India.

    Like

  116. Mr. Ravi, my husband travels a lot n most of the time we are left back… If my kid takes an igcse program outside india, can she appear for medical entrance in india??

    Like

  117. Thank you so much !!
    Glad to know that the systems in which we have educated are at par in times when many schools around are selling a menu of boards for our kids.

    Like

  118. Hi Ravi,

    My son’s education was half in India and half in US. Now he is in 7th grade in US. Would like to get back to India and continue his studies till +2. For higher studies, planning to send him to Canada as he is a citizen there. Kindly suggest me the best way to proceed.

    Like

  119. Hi Ravi, My daughter is in 9th standard now and we are shifting to Colombo in a couple of months. I just wanted to check with you if she takes IB in colombo, will she still be eligible to sit for JEE Mains and Advance? What all do i stand to lose or gain if i shift from CBSE in India to IB in Colombo. Please advise

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  120. Hi Ravi I am in the 9th . I am doing IGCSE at JBCN International School, Parel I have an option of continuing with JBCN for 11and 12 IB or going to another school for IB. I can also go to an Indian college. I am not exactly sure for what I want to do as a job in the future. What do you suggest me to do? My subjects are English
    Hindi
    Math
    Physics
    Chemistry
    Economics
    I.C.T (computers)

    Like

  121. Finished reading till the end 🙂
    My kid will be finishing ELCs and moving to Grade 1 coming academic year. I am brainstorming to finalise the syllabus. The comments are really helpful in diving deep with the study..though i couldn’t conclude on syllabus yet. will follow the thread closely. Anybody regretting for opting IB or IGCSE in their career for any reason ?

    Like

  122. What is more advisable going abroad for under graduation or for post graduation. My son is in class 8-CBSE. His school offers IGCSE and IB curriculum as well.

    Like

  123. I find this blog very good and it gives very useful and comprehensive information for parents. I am a mother of us citizen studying in India and concluded the same and going with cbse for my son even though he wants to do undergraduation in USA .

    Like

  124. Hello sir my name is Prashant and right now I am studying in a icse board school grade 10 and has decided to go for isc for 11th and 12th grades . Please advice me sir am I on the right path.

    Like

  125. Hi ! I am a class tenth student about to give the boards. I hate mugging up knowledge but at the same time, I am unsure about the IB program and that whether or not will it suit me. I want to pursue architecture from an Indian university ( Undergraduate level – B.Arch ) and I read that most of the famous schools require 50% above marks in physics and maths which I can do quite easily and either require students to give IIT-JEE or NATA test. I may also try to apply for my undergrad studies abroad in hope of getting good financial aid otherwise I will everything from India. Which board should I take after tenth since I am unsure of ruling out the possibility of giving a NATA test or a IIT JEE test ?

    Like

  126. Hello Sir,
    I have done my 12th from IB board and I do totally agree with you. Even though IB syllabus and way of teaching is far better than CBSE or ICSC it doesn’t at all : in any way suits Indian student. I took art and design in my 12th and spend two continuous years working on my skills, passionately enhancing my artistic thinking and researching till no ends. I was a “A” student in my school. All the teacher had full confidence on me and on my work but when my final result came with merely passing marks everyone was shocked! My teachers didn’t had any explanations to give, my parents were utterly disappointed and I ……. but I tried again , worked harder , went to different IB schools to meet different art teachers but again after 6 months i had similar results.
    Conclusion of my story when the top government art colleges had their admission open I had no marksheet to show them because results were due and no university was accepting predicted grades. When I had my marksheet , my grades were honestly “shameful” . No top private college were ready to take my admission. I went through more than 70 entrance exams and interview (yes I counted ). My work was appreciated each time but when it came to my 12 score which is apparently above all , every college turned its back to me. As you said fair or unfair its India.
    Well, right now I am in this low grade local college which I m thankful for but also in a desperate need to move out of!
    Please sir help me , tell me what can be done.. I keep searching for international scholarship but it all comes to an end when I look at my marksheet… please suggest if anything could be done… If any college could take me for my work and not my grades

    Like

  127. HI Ravi, My daughter, born on Sept end 2004, is currently in class 7 in CBSE school now..We have plans to move to UK for a 3 yrs duration but on seeking admissions in an IB school in London, they have offered her Grade 7. I see that taking this will affect by kids education by 1 yr and on her return she will have to sit for Class 10 which could be tough. What would be your advice ?

    Like

  128. The facts above , shares information which is helpful. My IGCSE class 10th boards finished on the 9th of june.I am expecting 85-87% in igcse. my undergraduation college aim is to focus on commerce subjects (B.COM) and study in indian colleges . my main aim is in Saint Xaviers Mumbai and HR college in mumbai. subsequently i am planning to change to the CBSE board due to the same reason of less preference. Can you please help me with it, Does this problem really occur? I am not into mugging as Igcse focuses on more thoughtful process of studies.

    So please tell me what advantages i will gain if i continue IBDP and what advantages i will gain if i switch to CBSE. this is a crucial decision. hoping for an urgent reply.

    Like

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