Indian Certificate of Secondary Education

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The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is an examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, a private board designed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986 (India), through the medium of English.[1]

The examination allows secure suitable representations of responsible schools (which are affiliated to it) in their states or territories.[2] Private candidates are not permitted to appear for this examination.[3]


In the subjects where there is more than one paper (e.g., Science), the marks obtained in the subject are calculated by taking the average of all the papers in the subject. Candidates appearing for the examination have to study six or seven subjects, with one to three papers in each subject. This makes for a total of eight to eleven papers, depending on the subjects.[4][5]

For classes IX, X (ICSE)[edit]

For classes XI, XII (ISC)[edit]

Students are allowed to choose any three/four/five out of the following with the sixth one, English being compulsory. Subjects are offered in an array of combinations, based on the stream of education, and school picked.

Legal validity challenged[edit]

In the year 2015, the human resource development ministry had asked the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the ICSE and the ISC examinations, to furnish evidence to justify its existence.[6]


In 2013, a 20-year-old Indian student studying in the US, Debarghya Das, claimed in his personal blog to have downloaded the ICSE scores for over 100,000 students by scraping. His analysis of the data showed interesting patterns in the marking system, suggesting that the marks were rounded off with no student getting under 33 marks out of a possible 100. The reason for this was reportedly attributed to moderation; a practice also followed by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), it involved tweaking candidates' marks to account for paper variances. [7][8]


  1. ^ "CISCE". Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "CISCE". Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Counting 7 subjects is discriminatory, says ICSE Board". HT Correspondent. Hindustan Times. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ "ICSE pupils can again draw best-5 score from six subjects". The Times of India. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Govt test for ICSE board". Telegraph India. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Indian student in Cornell University hacks into ICSE, ISC database". The Times of India. 6 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  8. ^ "He didn't hack, he scraped ICSE results and look what he found". NDTV Gadgets. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.

External links[edit]