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The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is an examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, a private, non-governmental board of school education in India, for class 10, i.e., grade 10. It has been designed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986 (India), through the medium of English.

The examination allows secure suitable representation of Governments responsible for schools (which are affiliated to it) in their States/Territories. Private candidates are not permitted to appear for this examination.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) is a private, non-governmental board of school education in India. It conducts two examinations in India: the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC). The CISCE was set up in 1956 at the meeting of the Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Education a proposal was adopted for the setting up of an Indian Council to administer the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate's Examinations in India. It is an all-India, but not a government sponsored board (unlike the CBSE and NIOS). It is based in New Delhi.

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) Examination is a K-10 public board examination for students in India who have just completed Class X (equivalent to the first two years of the 4 year High School programme). Seven subjects are to be taken by the candidates, of which four are compulsory and three have a choice of subjects.

Similarly, the Indian School Certificate (ISC) Examination is a K-12 public board examination for those completing Class XII (equivalent to the end of the 4 year High School programme). Candidates must have English as one of their subjects, and then may choose either three, four or five more subjects to give exams for.

The CISCE does not accept private candidates, and they must come only through the (English medium) schools affiliated to the CISCE. The medium of examination is English, except the Indian language paper. At the end of examination, marks out of 100 are provided in each subject and a separate pass certificate is given containing the equivalent grades (like almost all other Indian educational boards). Note that apart from the CBSE and CISCE, all states in India also have their own state boards for High School education.

The subjects that are offered are divided into three groups. Group I includes Compulsory Subjects - English, History , Civics & Geography, and Indian Language, Group II which includes any two from Mathematics, Science, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Agricultural Science, Commercial Studies, Technical Drawing, A Modern Foreign Language, A Classical Language and Economics, and Group III has any one from Computer Applications, Economic Applications, Commercial Applications, Art, Performing Arts, Home Science, Cookery, Fashion Designing, Physical Education, Technical Drawing Applications, Yoga, and Environmental Applications. All subjects have components of internal assessment, that are carried out by schools, on the basis of assignments/project work, practicals and coursework. There is 20% weightage for internal assessment in group I and II and 50% weightage for group III.

In subjects where there are more than one paper(E.g., Science), the marks obtained in the subject are calculated by taking the average of all the papers in the subject. Candidates appearing for the examination have to study six subjects, with anywhere from 1 to 3 papers in each subject. For subject HC&G the paper 1 consists of History & Civics and paper 2 consists of Geography. Science consists of 3 papers each for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. This makes for a total of 8-11 papers, depending on the subjects.