Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Study Guide


“We want to send our child to the US, so we put him in IB.” Now is that logic really sound? And really, in the debate of “Which board to take you Abroad” who emerges the victor? Is IB the ticket to the Ivy League? Urvashi Malik on the difference between IB and other options available in India.

In the last few weeks in particular, we’ve been meeting a number of students who have just completed grade 10. At this cusp in their High School journey, they are debating subjects, AND boards. Over the years we have noticed that there is a sudden demand of IB schools and curriculum. Many applying to universities overseas have an impression that IB curriculum is preferred over ISC/CBSE board and studying IB curriculum will get them easy access to those universities. Considering the fact that we have been guiding students successfully to overseas opportunities for over 15 years now, we can assure you with complete confidence that students definitely went to the best of colleges without IB as well!

Now that we have refuted “IB for Ivy” Myth, let’s figure out why the Big Board Debate is a non-issue. The US education system broadly looks at 5 criteria before they offer you a place in their university
– School grades (and subjects): Some dependency on Board of Education
– SAT/ACT scores: No dependency on Board
– Resume: No dependency on Board
– Essays: No dependency on Board
– Letters of Recommendation: No dependency on Board

Result: 1 of 5 factors has SOME dependency on IB vs. The Indian boards See how little Board of Education matters in the grand scheme of things?

So if you’re an IB student with average grades and low SAT/ACT scores you will not get accepted into a great college anyway. Whereas, if you are a CBSE or ISC student with great school grades and SAT/ACT scores you do stand a decent chance to gain admission into a good university.

Moreover, when considering switching board in Grade 11, keep this in mind: The IB curriculum is very different from CBSE/ISC system in terms of its approach, teaching & learning style, therefore many Indian students find the board extremely challenging and demanding and not able to score high marks.

But we’ve been focusing on the U.S. What about those bound to the U.K.?

It’s important to note that colleges abroad very well recognize ISC/CBSE curriculum, except a handful of them who are still somewhat reluctant in admitting these students-may be due to their limited understanding of ISC/CBSE board, such as Cambridge University and London School of Economics. However, those are two colleges out of thousands. Over the last few years, we have students from ISC and CBSE board get into the top colleges –
– Stanford University (USA)
– Harvard University (USA)
– Princeton University (USA)
– Columbia University (USA)
– University of Oxford (UK)
– Imperial College (UK)
– Singapore Management University (Singapore)
– University of Hong Kong & Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
and many, many more.

In a nutshell, no doubt that IB curriculum is fantastic but attempt it only if you can nail it or else stick to our Indian boards, score brilliantly and secure admission to the best colleges abroad.

So next time if someone advises you to consider IB curriculum only because you are going to study overseas you exactly know what to tell them!

For further questions and queries, reach out to CollegeCore Education at