CBSE vs IB | Which One Is Better for Your Child Today?

The world becomes more competitive as time passes. It seems to be changing more quickly than ever before. Today, without a college degree, anyone would have a hard time finding a proper job with a stable income. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the right to study in a good school. According toStatista, 90% of the population had finished primary education, while 66% got secondary education. And beyond that, only 40% earned tertiary education and gained a college degree.

This drop happens due to various reasons, from lack of funds to low self-esteem or not knowing what they want in life. As parents, it is our job to help our children to have a bright future.

That is why making educational decisions while they are still young matters. Doing so should help parents think about whether they should enrol their children in international schools from kindergarten to college in Singapore or not.

Other than that, parents also have to decide which board their child should take on. Out of all the options, IB and CBSE are the most popular choices in Singapore. And choosing between the two without an in-depth understanding of both sides can be burdensome tasks.

Therefore, if you cannot decide which one is a better choice for your child, read the rest of the article. Doing so should help you grasp their differences and come up with the right educational decision.

The Difference Between CBSE and IB Programme.

CBSE and IB are two curricula that International Schools in Singapore offer.  But realistically speaking, only one of these options you can let your child pursue. Therefore, which among the choices should you choose for your child? CBSE or IB?

By getting into CBSE schools in Singapore, your child could pursue their studies without much pressure since it has fewer subjects and more compact structures. All your child needs to do when studying under this curriculum is to follow the syllabus as it is. 

To give you a brief idea of what subjects a student takes in CBSE, check this infographic below.


As for the IB programme, your child would need to exert more time and effort since there are more subjects to learn and there are many exams to pass along the way before the whole curriculum ends. That is why if you choose this one for your child, you should give your full support so they would not get discouraged to learn new things and apply them in real life.

Nevertheless, here are the subjects and structure they have to go through under the IBDP in Singapore. Make sure to take note of them so you would know what lessons are your child is learning, 


In summary, any of these options can help your child become ready for their future. Just make sure that whatever you choose, you would be there for your child. Note that parental guidance is something that schools cannot teach to children. 

The Pros and Cons of CBSE and IB Programme.

Both the CBSE and IB are beneficial since they provide more learning opportunities, but the better option for your child’s education is for you to decide. To help you know which one you should choose between the two, consider the advantages and disadvantages of learning in CBSE and IB. 




CBSE is less stressful than the IB programme because of the fewer subjects it has. Because of that, they have the time to take a break and breathe for a while. That means they do not have to cram themselves so they could finish and meet the deadline submission.


Yes, since CBSE is a national board level of education in India, both private and public schools. That is why if you let your child study in CBSE schools in Singapore and suddenly you got a job transfer in India, your child could pursue their study there without any problem. 

In other words, your child would not have any trouble adjusting since they could easily pick up where they left off. Of course, to make that happen, your child needs to exert time and effort reaching out to their new teachers and classmates. 


When your child learns from a CBSE international school from kindergarten to junior college in Singapore, they would be able to use Hindi as their third language. And since they become multilingual, their career opportunities increase. 

For example, your child can use Hindi when presenting a business proposal to clients who speak the same language. With that, your child would be able to convince them more to accept the deal.

Also, just a quick fact, Hindi ranked thirdwith the most speakers in the world. That is why learning them from a very young age is beneficial for your child. 


Another reason why CBSE is less stressful than IB is that they focus more on standard recommended textbooks. When your child learns from that, they will not know about what is happening outside that curriculum. In other words, your child is only learning inside the box. They are becoming book smart and not street smart.

Therefore, if you want your child to learn new things outside the box, choose the IB programme as your child’s curriculum.


The grading system in CBSE is unconventional because of unfair grading. That means if one student got a 90 on the exam and the other got a higher score, like 93, the grade they would both have is A. And, that is why the grading system is non-judgemental for those who score better and higher in exams.

But do not worry! This unconventional grading system is slowly changing. Some CBSE schools no longer use and now grade their students fairly according to the remarks they got.


The reason behind it is that CBSE is not traditionally prepared to teach students to have a research-oriented mindset. What their curriculum does is to spoon-fed children to learn things.

In other words, students should be able to recall the information they have learned from their textbooks. And that does not help students. They cannot grow and develop as they have to memorise everything printed on the curriculum materials.

That is why if you do not want your child to learn through this approach, consider registering them under the IB programme. There they will be able to challenge themselves and become more independent to think things beyond their programme. 




This advantage is the most significant thing your child would gain under the IB programme in Singapore. When they start learning the entire curriculum, your child will instantly be on the global stage for education. That means their capability exceeds what other students their age could offer. As such, your child could easily pass and get into the university or college they want. 

Besides, the IB schools are not only in Singapore but also in the rest of the world. According to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO),there are over 5,500 schools in 159 countries across the globe. That means if your child got an IBDP, they could pursue their tertiary education abroad.


When your child finishes the IBDP in Singapore, they will gain a certificate that proves their skills. In other words, colleges and universities will become more willing to accept your child as their students. Also, thanks to their two full years of mastering fundamental learning, your child would not have a hard time in the university. 

For example, if one professional asks your child to write a 4,000-word essay, your child could do it without a problem. Since they have done it before, composing with the same word count would no longer scare them.

In short, the IB programme indeed prepares your child to have a better university experience. 


When you choose the IB programme for your child, you will be introducing them to a whole new level that other curricula in the world cannot provide. Here, your child would receive lessons in various subjects. Depending on their choice, they can pursue computer science, global politics, psychology, philosophy, and many more. 

By learning all of those, they would become more aware of the world and the current events. Because of that, they could express and grasp opinions of their own. 


Besides having more subjects to learn than CBSE in Singapore, this curriculum has more coursework and assignments to complete. That is why students under this programme do not have leisure time to do much of their hobby. They have to focus for two whole years until they finish the entire curriculum. 


As you can see in the infographics above about the IB programme, students have to learn three core elements and six subjects. That is why for some people, this curriculum is holistic. They cannot make time and only focus on one matter.

For example, if your child is more interested in an accounting career, they have to put their time and effort into Mathematics. But they cannot easily do that in the IB programme since they have five more other subjects and three core elements to keep in mind. 


Unlike in CBSE in Singapore, the exams in this curriculum do not have multiple choices. That means memorisation here does not work since students have to grasp the lesson to answer their exams. Most of the time, they have to write their answers in essay form and depend on their responses.

Now you know the pros and cons of each curriculum, weigh them carefully so you would know which one suits your child best. Make sure you take your time since either can cost a bit more than local schools.

CBSE or IB | Which One Should You Enrol Your Child?


All necessary facts, pros, and cons of a CBSE and IB programme in Singapore are listed above. If you took the time to read them as carefully as possible, you would find a big difference between the two. 

But to give you a brief explanation: CBSE is more on the theoretical side, while the IB programme focuses on a practical approach. 

That is why before you choose a board for your child, you should have a clear vision and plan. Doing so should help you make a choice that is right for them. As such, they would have a better future than their peers. After all, the lessons they will learn from a young age would still be there until they grow old. 

For instance, if you want them to pursue their study and life in India, CBSE is a better choice to learn in Singapore. Meanwhile, if you have plans to migrate to other countries like the United States of America or the United Kingdom, the IB programme is the one you should choose. Know that most schools there accept IB diplomas.

Are You Ready to Make Educational Decisions for Your Child’s Future?


It is okay if you still cannot decide which one to choose between a CBSE and IB programme in Singapore. That is a natural thing to happen since the future of your child is at stake. But keep in mind that time is continuously running, and your child is growing up so fast. If you take too long to decide, it would only cause you a headache when they are at the right age to go to school.

Therefore, do yourself a favour by pondering about this matter right now. Note that the earlier, the better since nothing would pressure you to come up with a decision.

Remember, the choice is yours to decide. But if you need an expert opinion, try contacting NPS International School! Since they both offer CBSE and IB curriculum in Singapore, they can easily explain which one suits your child best. 

If you want to get in touch with them now, leave NPS International School a message here.

James Sullivan
the authorJames Sullivan