What is the difference between IB, Cambridge CIE & IGCSE, and CBSE?

IB vs Cambridge vs CBSE? Spoilt for choice? Given the choice that exists in international schools in Hyderabad, choosing between different curriculum can be quite a dilemma. We break down the basic differences for you:

1.International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate, is the curriculum of choice for more than one million students world-wide. The IB is based in Geneva, Switzerland and has been one of the most popular and recognized international curricula since 1968. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on students’ personal development.

The IB offers four programmes for students of various ages:

  • PYP- Primary Years Programme (3-12 years)
  • MYP- Middle Years Programme (11-16 years)
  • DP- Diploma Programme (16-19 years)
  • CP- Career-related Programme (16-19 years)

DRS International School is one of the few schools in Hyderabad that offer both the Primary Years Programme (PYP) as well as the Diploma Programme (DP). We are one of the oldest IB schools in the city. What makes the IB curriculum unique and effective, in our opinion is its:

  • Research proves that in many cases IB students outperform students pursuing other programmes
  • Emphasis on inquiry-based learning
  • Learner-centric or student centric approach
  • Transdisciplinary approach to learning & teaching
  • Emphasis on developing international-mindedness in students
  • The IB learner profile that emphasizes developing a set of attributes in every child
  • Action-orientedness: all learning eventually encourages students to take action
  • Focus on play-based learning in the early or formative years
  • Focus on research and critical thinking in the Diploma Programme
  • Recognition by top-universities and world-wide such as Oxford, Harvard & Yale.

2. The Cambridge Curriculum

Equally recognized and popular, across the world is Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE, formerly known as CIE). Part of the University of Cambridge, the CAIE’s approach to education is best defined by intellectual rigour.

Cambridge Assessment International Education offers the following programmes and qualifications, called the Cambridge Pathway, for students of various ages:

  • Cambridge Primary
  • Cambridge Lower Secondary
  • Cambridge Upper Secondary
  • Cambridge Advanced

At DRS International School, we offer the Cambridge Lower Secondary and Cambridge Upper Secondary programmes, preparing students to qualify for the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), an internationally recognized qualification. The Cambridge Curriculum is known for its:

  • International Curriculum
  • Focus on Teaching & Learning practices
  • Reliable and rigorous assessments
  • International recognition by top universities and employers
  • Global learning communities of teachers and learners
  • Focus on developing creative thinking and problem solving

3. The CBSE Curriculum

The Central Board for Secondary Education is the national curriculum of choice for most Indian students. It provides robust and holistic education for students that aligns with the objective of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of India. What makes it a popular choice is its:

  • Focus on holistic development of the child
  • Focus on stress-free learning
  • Emphasis on skill-based education
  • Inclusion of local issues, history and culture along with global ones
  • Close alignment with National Curriculum Framework
  • Foundation for competitive exams in India such as the IIT-JEE, NEET, UPSC, CLAT etc.

Here at DRS International School, we offer the C.B.S.E. curriculum at the middle school, secondary school and senior secondary school levels.

Following is an overview of the different curriculum options offered at DRS International School:

Primary School
(Kindergarten – Grade V)
Middle School

(Grades VI- VIII)

Secondary School

(Grades IX & X)

Senior Secondary School

(Grades XI and XII)

IB Primary Years Programme Cambridge Lower Secondary Cambridge Upper Secondary IB Diploma Programme