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IB vs CBSE Curriculum – Know the Difference

A child’s early education is critical in shaping them for the future. Consequently, a strong beginning is essential for the child’s complete growth. A successful start suggests selecting the appropriate school board.

Choosing a suitable and acceptable board for your child is crucial. The methodologies employed by each board are essential for developing one’s career and serving as a bridge for achieving goals. IB and CBSE are among the leading academic boards in Saudi Arabia. Using this article as a guide, let’s compare the CBSE curriculum and IB curriculum and examine the specifics of the two boards.

What is IB?

At every step of a child’s academic career, the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum offers a nurturing and all-encompassing learning environment and high-quality and demanding educational programmes. The IB program’s curriculum strongly emphasises fostering creativity and imagination. It is known for its high academic excellence and purpose of producing citizens of the world for the twenty-first century.

What is CBSE?

An educational system at the national level in India is called the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). With more than 20,000 schools affiliated with the board in 25 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the CBSE is one of the most popular boards among parents and is a recognized educational establishment. Some of the top international schools in Riyadh also offer CBSE.

Difference between IB and CBSE education boards

Structure and goal IB structure focuses on intercultural awareness, holistic learning, languages, communication skill development, arts, and humanities. CBSE’s primary focus is preparing students for the Medical or Engineering exams. The structure gives importance to theoretical application. CBSE focuses less on languages.
Language IB has an international curriculum with a primary focus on English. The subjects are offered in an integrated manner to prevent a fragmented approach. CBSE offers languages like English and Hindi.
Exams There are 3 crucial exams, namely, PYP (Primary years program for KG-5th), MYP (Middle years program for 6th-10th), and DYP (Diploma years program for 11th-12th). CBSE has 2 significant exams: AISSE (Class 10) and AISSCE (Class 12).
Cost IB schools are known for being prestigious and expensive. Comparing the CBSE syllabus to other boards, it is more accessible to some level. And it is also less expensive than other boards.
Focus IB places more of an emphasis on “how” rather than “what.” As a result, IB students have an edge on tests like the CAT, SAT, and GRE due to their more vital analytical skills. CBSE focuses on traditional learning, which is limited to theoretical analysis.


Reasons to choose IB

  • An IB curriculum promotes a student’s personal and academic growth by including critical educational components.
  • Through their state-of-the-art campus and cutting-edge technology employed in their intelligent classrooms, IB schools offer the best amenities for IB students.
  • IB schools have partnerships with major Ivy-League institutions and offer university placements to those who have earned the IB diploma by holding career forums and placement drives to facilitate a seamless transition into professional colleges throughout the globe.
  • To enhance the learning environment and shorten the students’ learning curve, IB schools also employ technology like Data Analytics to evaluate the performances of all of their students across seven areas of growth.
  • The faculty at IB schools is of the highest degree, adheres to strict teaching standards, and has extensive knowledge of the IB and effective teaching techniques.
  • To promote recreational and co-curricular activities for personal growth and to enhance their innate talents, IB schools have developed distinctive and sturdy frameworks.
  • Initiatives like STEM are beneficial to students that are employed in IB schools. These ideas support students’ understanding of fundamental ideas.

Reasons to choose CBSE

  • Students benefit from personal improvement due to lifelong learning since it deepens their grasp of the world surrounding them.
  • Through critical thinking, cooperation, creative thinking, and communication skills, teachers in CBSE schools frequently promote lifelong learning abilities.
  • The NCERT (National Council for Educational Research and Training) provides guidelines for standardised curricula. It is simpler for pupils to continue their education at foreign schools should their families decide to move.
  • For establishing and sustaining partnerships, interpersonal skills are crucial. Therefore, teachers frequently encourage pupils to take the initiative and push themselves to excel in a field they are enthusiastic about or skilled at.
  • The curriculum develops a student-friendly approach using efficient teaching and learning methodologies.
  • In the CBSE curriculum, information literacy skills are also taught to the students. Information literacy is finding, evaluating, and using information from various sources.

Which one to choose?

Choosing the right board for your children can be a very challenging decision. Both boards serve a variety of student and parent needs. In contrast to CBSE, IB places a greater emphasis on application-based learning, and the top international schools in Riyadh follow and employ IB compared to CBSE. IB emphasises qualitative assignments that demonstrate a conceptual grasp of the disciplines. It gets them ready for international study. The CBSE, on the other hand, provides an affordable, thorough education. You should first decide by considering what is best for your children.


Parents may occasionally insist on enrolling their child in an international school for the IB program, even though it can be difficult and may only be appropriate for some children. Schools that provide the IB curriculum are renowned for graduating knowledgeable and compassionate students and delivering comprehensive value-based education. International schools in Saudi Arabia are dedicated to transferring information and values in the spirit of excellence to develop their pupils into entrepreneurs of distinction.

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