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CBSE vs. SSC: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 28, 2024
CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) is a national-level board in India, while SSC (Secondary School Certificate) refers to a public examination in South Asian countries.

Key Differences

CBSE, or the Central Board of Secondary Education, is a nationally recognized education board in India, known for its comprehensive curriculum focusing on holistic education. SSC, the Secondary School Certificate, is a public examination conducted in countries like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It marks the end of secondary education and is typically taken by students at the age of 16.
The CBSE curriculum is known for its focus on science and mathematics, with an emphasis on preparing students for competitive exams and higher education. In contrast, the SSC curriculum, while also comprehensive, is more varied among the participating countries and is generally considered to be more focused on general education.
CBSE exams are conducted at two levels: Class 10 and Class 12. These exams are recognized across India and are essential for higher education and professional courses. SSC exams, on the other hand, are qualifying exams for students to progress to higher secondary education in their respective countries.
The assessment methods of CBSE are known for their emphasis on conceptual understanding and analytical skills. SSC assessments, while also rigorous, often focus on a broader range of subjects, with varying degrees of emphasis on rote learning depending on the country.
CBSE offers flexibility in choosing subjects, especially in higher classes, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. The SSC system, while offering some choice, is generally more standardized, with a common curriculum across schools within the same state or country.

Comparison Chart

Country of Origin

South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)

Focus Area

Competitive exams, higher education
General secondary education

Exam Levels

Class 10 and Class 12
End of secondary education


Science and mathematics-focused
Varied, country-specific


High in subject selection
More standardized

CBSE and SSC Definitions


CBSE conducts two main examinations: the AISSE for Class 10 and the AISSCE for Class 12.
He scored exceptionally well in his CBSE Class 12 exams.


SSC stands for Secondary School Certificate, a public examination in South Asia.
She passed her SSC exams with flying colors.


CBSE sets the curriculum for grades 1 to 12 in India.
The CBSE curriculum is updated regularly to keep up with educational trends.


SSC is typically taken by students aged 16, marking the end of secondary education.
After completing his SSC, he planned to pursue higher education.


CBSE is known for its emphasis on science and math education.
CBSE schools often have excellent science labs to support their curriculum.


SSC is a critical academic milestone in countries like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The SSC results are eagerly awaited by students and parents alike.


CBSE is an Indian national education board for public and private schools.
She attended a CBSE-affiliated school in Mumbai.


SSC involves a standardized curriculum across participating schools.
His SSC exams covered a wide range of subjects.


CBSE is an autonomous body under the Government of India.
CBSE guidelines are followed by thousands of schools across India.


SSC is essential for students seeking to enter higher secondary education.
Post SSC, she opted for the science stream in higher secondary.


How is the CBSE curriculum structured?

The CBSE curriculum is structured to provide holistic education with a focus on science and mathematics.

What is CBSE?

CBSE is the Central Board of Secondary Education in India, overseeing school education.

What is the significance of the SSC exam?

SSC marks the completion of secondary education and is a prerequisite for higher secondary schooling.

Is SSC recognized internationally?

SSC is mainly recognized in South Asian countries, with varying international recognition.

Can international students study CBSE?

Yes, international students can study CBSE in CBSE-affiliated schools abroad.

How often are CBSE exams conducted?

CBSE exams for major classes (10th and 12th) are conducted annually.

What does SSC stand for?

SSC stands for Secondary School Certificate, an examination in South Asian countries.

What is the difficulty level of SSC exams?

The difficulty level of SSC exams can vary but generally aligns with the standard secondary education level.

Can SSC students choose their subjects?

SSC students have limited subject choice, depending on their school and country.

Who can appear for CBSE exams?

Students in schools affiliated with CBSE, across various grades, can appear for its exams.

Are CBSE exams recognized for college admissions?

Yes, CBSE exams are widely recognized for college admissions in India and abroad.

How does CBSE support students with special needs?

CBSE provides accommodations and support for students with special needs.

Are CBSE schools available outside India?

Yes, there are CBSE-affiliated schools in several countries outside India.

Does CBSE offer vocational subjects?

Yes, CBSE offers vocational subjects to diversify educational opportunities.

What are the future prospects after SSC?

After SSC, students can pursue higher secondary education or vocational training.

How is SSC different from CBSE?

SSC is a specific exam marking the end of secondary school, while CBSE is a board that oversees a range of exams and educational standards.

What subjects are included in SSC?

SSC includes a variety of subjects, often depending on the country's education system.

What is the medium of instruction in CBSE?

The medium of instruction in CBSE schools is primarily English.

Is the SSC curriculum consistent across countries?

The SSC curriculum varies among countries, reflecting their individual educational standards.

What is the grading system in SSC?

The SSC grading system varies by country but generally includes a mix of letter grades and percentages.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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