Indian School Certificate

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Indian School Certificate Examination
Acronym ISC
Type Paper-based academic tests.
Developer / administrator Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations
Knowledge / skills tested High-school level knowledge of 4, 5, or 6 academic subjects (English is compulsory).
Purpose End-of-school (class 12) test for assessment of high school academic performance.
Year started 1926 (1926)
Duration 3 hours per subject (each subject on a different day).
Score / grade range 10-point
Score / grade validity Life-long
Offered Once annually (usually in March).
Countries / regions Most test-takers in India. A few in other countries.
Languages English
Annual no. of test takers About 70,000 high school class 12 students every year.
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria To be enrolled as a class 12 student in a high school affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.
Scores / grades used by All organisations and individuals who use high school academic results for education, employment, or any other purpose.
Qualification rate 96.28% (in 2015)[1]

The Indian School Certificate (ISC) examinations are conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), for Grade 12 (i.e. 12th year of school). A student usually attempts this examination after first completing the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education in Grade 10, although the completion of a recognized equivalent level of education is normally sufficient. The examination has been designed to provide an evaluation in the field of general education. The exam criteria are in accordance with the recommendations of the Indian New Education Policy of 1986, through the medium of English and also regulated by University of Cambridge.

Examinations are conducted for English, which is a compulsory subject, and three to five other subjects of the candidate's choosing. Candidates usually choose one of three streams: arts and humanities, science, and commerce. Schools generally offer a limited subset of all available subjects, depending upon their logistical capabilities. Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) and practical tests are assessed internally by school teachers, while written tests are assessed externally by other examiners outside the school.

The Indian School Certificate is recognized by universities in the United Kingdom, so applicants are no longer required to obtain ‘A’ level qualifications or complete bridging courses, while seeking entry to universities in the UK and some other countries in the Commonwealth. The Indian School Certificate qualification is the only qualification from India that has been granted this special recognition.[citation needed]

The Indian School Certificate (until 1976) was treated as equivalent to pre-university examinations in Indian universities for admission to university undergraduate studies, except for professional courses in engineering and medicine. After 1976, Indian School Certificate was treated equivalent to all higher secondary certificate examinations for admission to all university undergraduate studies, including professional studies.

Although the majority of schools affiliated to the CISCE are in India, a number of schools in other countries with large Non-Resident Indian populations also offer the ICSE and ISC examinations.

The examination is usually conducted in March. Results are declared in May.

Subjects Offered in the ISC[edit]

Compulsory Subject[edit]

English (801)

Indian Languages[edit]

Subject Subject Code
Assamese 817
Bengali 803
Dzongkha 819
Gujarati 804
Hindi 805
Kannada 806
Khasi 807
Mizo 808
Malayalam 809
Manipuri 818
Marathi 810
Nepali 811
Oriya 812
Punjabi 813
Tamil 814
Telugu 815
Urdu 816
Lepcha 821

Modern Foreign Languages[edit]

Subject Subject Code
Chinese 826
French 828
German 829
Tibetan 835
Spanish 836

Classical Languages[edit]

Subject Subject Code
Arabic 837
Sanskrit 838
Persian 839

Elective English (850)

History (851)

Political Science (852)

Geography (853)

Sociology (854)

Psychology (855)

Economics (856)

Commerce (857)

Accounts (858)

Business Studies (859)

Mathematics (860)

Physics (861)

Chemistry (862)

Biology (863)

Home Science (864)

Fashion Designing (865)

Electricity & Electronics (866)

Engineering Science (867)

Computer Science (868)

Geometrical & Mechanical Drawing (869)

Geometrical & Building Drawing (870)

Art (871)


Subject Subject Code
Indian Music (Hindustani) 872
Indian Music (Carnatic) 873
Western Music 874

Physical Education (875)

Environmental Science (877)

Biotechnology (878)


Subject Subject Code
Business Mathematics 876
Environmental Education 802

Possible subject combinations[edit]

The lists given below are only suggestive. Students may take different combinations of their own choosing.

Pre-law: English, History, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology.

Pre-medicine: English, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.


  • Computer science, electrical engineering, and related: English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Electricity & Electronics, and Computer Science.
  • Biotechnology and related: English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Biotechnology.
  • Mechanical engineering and related: English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Geometrical & Mechanical Drawing.

Pre-architecture: English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Geometrical & Building Drawing.

Pre-civil service: English, History, Economics, Political Science, and Geography.

Pre-accounting: English, Accounts, Mathematics, Economics, and Commerce.

Pre-business: English, Accounts, Mathematics, Economics, Commerce and Business Studies.

ISC examination first rankers[edit]

Year Student Name Aggregate Score School
2012 Rohan Sampath 99.5 Dubai Modern High School, Dubai, UAE
2013 Bhuvanya Vijay 99 St. Joseph's Academy, Dehradun, India
2014 Ayush Banerjee 99.25 Loyola School, Jamshedpur, India
2015 Arkya Chatterjee 99.75 Vivekananda Mission School, Kolkata, India

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "CISCE official website". Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. Retrieved 7 June 2015.