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NEET preparation for State Board students:

When it comes to education, one should never make a compromise. India is home to multiple boards of education such as CBSE, ICSE and State Board. This diversity has caused a great deal of difficulty and confusion among both students and parents. The anxiety is further compounded when students start seeking admissions in universities for their undergraduate education as the quota for each board varies from state to state and university to university.

There are several critical factors that are very important when it comes to comparing the various boards of education such as curriculum & syllabus, scope for extracurricular activities, quality of teachers, undergraduate admissions etc. Keeping all of this in mind, the preparation for competitive entrance exams varies for student from one board to another. So much how much does NEET preparation of a state board student vary from CBSE or ICSE student? Let’s find out!


CBSE curriculum is geared towards developing student’s application skills and problem solving abilities. Once a particular concept is taught, students are tested on the concept using various methodologies.This helps students learn how to apply the concepts in various contexts. Also, since CBSE will conduct JEE 2018 and NEET 2018, students will have the basic background required to crack these exams. CBSE syllabus is tough and students will have to work hard to get good results.

The ICSE curriculum is designed in such a way that students develop thorough knowledge about various concepts and topics, both content and application wise. Practical and lab work is given a lot of importance which in turn helps students develop excellent analytical skills. ICSE syllabus is vast and tough. Students have to refer to numerous books other than the prescribed text books. Most importantly, evaluation is super strict in ICSE and the board exam scores will not be as high as CBSE and State Board exam scores. This could affect entrance exams which give weightage to board exam scores.

There are approximately 30 State Boards of education in India. Each board’s curriculum and syllabus varies from state to state. The general perception is that State Board curriculum promotes rote learning and does not give enough importance to application and critical thinking. This does not hold true for all state boards in India. Some state boards are more rigorous than CBSE and exam evaluations and scorings are very strict.

Undergraduate admission-wise

Students have to write various entrance exams in order to gain admissions in universities across India. NEET preparation is based on the CBSE curriculum but that alone is not sufficient to crack the exams. Extra help in the form of tuitions and coaching classes is required to clear the entrance exams. 12th board exam results are important for admissions to courses such as sciences, commerce and humanities and the quota for CBSE students varies from state to state.

Many universities use this process called normalization in order to admit students on a common platform but this doesn’t seem to be helping much and CBSE students may be at a disadvantage in places such as Tamil Nadu where universities favor state board results over CBSE or CISCE. 

Most ICSE students shift to CBSE and State Board in order to get better scores in their 12th or have more time for their NEET preparation as ICSE syllabus in 11th & 12th is way more demanding than CBSE and State Board. At the end of the day, the decision is up to the students. When it comes to undergraduate admissions, there will be a big disparity as ICSE board’s exam evaluations are very strict and they do not give high percentages as CBSE and State Boards do.

The admissions requirements and quota varies from state to state. Some states give more importance to students from state board systems, specifically in TN, while some states give more importance to CBSE students. Therefore, it is important that adequate research be done on the various universities and their quotas for state board students.

Plenty of state board students do phenomenally well in their professional lives. At the end of the day, your abilities and work ethic plays a larger role in life than the board you studied in.

Remember, your level of NEET preparation alone will determine your rank. And preparation can never be complete without a strategy. Find about the preparation strategy and most important chapters.

All the best!

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