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All the facts, dates and information you need, about the prestigious Central Board of Secondary Education.

What is CBSE?

The CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) conducts examinations at the end of Class X and Class XII. It is one of the most extensive school boards in the world and covers around 16,000 schools in India and a small number in another 23 countries.

Apart from the major school examinations, the CBSE also conducts most of the major National Level Competitive Exams in the country, and the list keeps on getting bigger and bigger - the latest entrant being the UGC NET exam which is also now conducted by CBSE.

How does CBSE compare with other boards?

The CBSE is considered to be tougher than state boards but is more student friendly and considered by many to be richer in educational content than state boards. CBSE is especially beneficial to those who wish to pursue higher education in some Nationalized Institutions rather than State Institutions. CBSE curriculum will definitely help you a lot if you are planning to pursue your future studies from a centralized institution like an IIT or AIIMS. The preliminary exams for these institutions are organised by CBSE only and therefore you all can get an edge if you have done your primary and secondary education in CBSE board.

(On advice whether to choose CBSE, or ICSE, or any other click here, or here.)

What are the subjects offered in CBSE?

In the CBSE curriculum you are required to opt for five subjects while pursuing a Science/Technology related course. They are:

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Mathematics
  4. A language course
  5. Dependent on the student’s interests

Choosing the five subjects in CBSE is predicated upon what the student wants out of his academic studies. Generally students preparing for entrance exams take up those subjects that that would either help them in cracking JEE Mains and JEE Advanced, AIPMT, AIIMS, etc., or those they can manage easily so that they will be able to focus all their energies on the Competitive exams.

How to decide the 5th (optional) subject in CBSE?

In CBSE, choosing the fifth subject is a question of the student’s own pursuits. If he/she wants to prepare for JEE Mains and JEE Advanced and in turn wants to pursue a career in engineering, and this might be of two aspects:

If the student wants to focus more on the entrance exam itself then the fifth subject is usually one with less syllabus load. Some students prefer picking up a foreign language to help them broaden their career options, or for a richer learning experience.

What is the syllabus for class 12 CBSE?

Updating of the CBSE Curriculum is a perpetual process. CBSE is a recognized standard educational board of India that has a well-structured syllabus and a comprehensive question pattern. The weightage of each chapter is mentioned alongside to help plan for CBSE exams:

  • Phy
  • Chem
  • Bio
  • Maths
Unit Chapter Marks
I Electrostatics 8
II Current Electricity 7
III Magnetic effect of current & Magnetism 8
IV Electromagnetic Induction & Alternating Current 8
V Electromagnetic Waves 3
VI Optics 14
VII Dual Nature of Matter 4
VIII Atoms & Nuclei 6
IX Electronic Devices 7
X Communication Systems 5
Total 70
Unit Title Marks
I Solid State 4
II Solutions 5
III Electrochemistry 5
IV Chemical Kinetics 5
V Surface Chemistry 4
VI Isolation of Elements 3
VII p-Block Elements 8
VIII d- and f-Block Elements 5
IX Coordination Compounds 3
X Haloalkanes and Haloarenes 4
XI Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers 4
XII Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids 6
XIII Organic Compounds containing Nitrogen 4
XIV Biomolecules 4
XV Polymers 3
XVI Chemistry in Everyday Life 3
Total 70
Unit Title Marks
I Reproduction 17
II Genetics and evolution 18
III Biology and human welfare 14
IV Biotechnology and its applications 10
V Ecology and environment 14
Total 70
No. Units Marks
I Sets and Functions 29
II Algebra 37
III Coordinate Geometry 13
IV Calculus 6
V Mathematical Reasoning 3
VI Statistics and Probability 12
Total 100

For detailed information about each subject offered in CBSE Syllabus for Class 12, click here.

Which books should I refer to for CBSE?

  1. For English, NCERT books should suffice.
  2. For Physics, HC Verma is really helpful. It contains the optimum content required for boards and competitive exams.
  3. For Chemistry, Pradeep’s Chemistry is really helpful. You can use O.P. Tandon as an additional reference book.
  4. For Mathematics, RS Aggarwal & ML Khanna are great. RD Sharma (strongly recommended for commerce students) also has a great collection of problems.
  5. For Biology, you can look up S. Chand by BP Pandey. ‘Pradeep – A textbook for biology’ is really helpful for ready reference too.

What after class 12 CBSE?

Depending upon the streams you've chosen, you can enter undergraduate studies in any of the stream - be it science, arts, or commerce. Most science students choose to sit for competitive exams after 12th CBSE boards. In fact, even commerce and arts students write competitive exams in law, management, etc. This is because most private and some top government colleges have their own entrance exams to test the student’s knowledge. For a useful guide about choosing a major, see this comprehensive article.

How should I prepare for CBSE?

Here are a few things you can do to score well in your class 12 CBSE exam:

  1. Constantly revise concepts through your NCERT books as annd when they are covered in your school.
  2. Every single numerical in NCERT books for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are of utmost importance and carry equal weight.
  3. Your 5th subject can be a very scoring section and can push your percentage.
  4. Present the paper with a neat answer script to the examiner. Write each formula used or carefully underline important points.
  5. Divide the three hours of examination according to the weightage of the question.

How should I discuss my doubts of CBSE?

Be very clear regarding the CBSE exam. Any doubts you have should be addressed by your peers, teachers or mentors. Toppr brings you a community of writers who excel at giving insightful suggestions and clear your doubts about CBSE exams

Here are some links to help you clear some doubts:

You can always visit our Discuss page and ask your doubts or check the doubts asked by another student.

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