Every year, lakhs of students face a gradual divergence of paths after their 10th Standard exams, where they have to select their choice of subjects among Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology, which they wish to continue with in their 11th and 12th Standards, and possibly throughout their careers. Whereas Physics and Chemistry are compulsory subjects for the students considering the science stream, they do have an option of choosing whether they want to study Mathematics and/or Biology with the aforementioned two. Here, we will talk about picking up PCMB, i.e., both Maths AND Biology along with the usual selection of Physics and Chemistry.
Following are the main advantages of choosing the PCMB combination of subjects. It:
- Keeps a lot of options open for getting admission into prestigious institutions in the fields of engineering, medicine, basic sciences and allied fields.
- Provides a strong foundation for pursuing the course of your choice while keeping open the road to interdisciplinary collaborations.
- Accentuates your profile for both research and industrial fields.
Some FAQs Related to Picking the Choice of PCMB:
Q. I am sure of pursuing a career in biology or bio-related applications. Why should I consider mathematics?
Ans. As a student from the science stream, mathematics forms an indispensable part of your learning process. A lot of concepts in chemistry and physics actually depend on your understanding of mathematics covered in classes 11th and 12th. Also, mathematics is a prerequisite for various career options and avenues, which you will might not be able to avail if you don’t consider mathematics in this level. Interdisciplinary fields like computational biology and biological signal processing require a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts.
Q. I am not aspiring for a seat in medical/dental/veterinary/life sciences. Why should I consider biology?
Ans. When the only acceptable options were either pursuing engineering or medicine, only the medical aspirants chose biology. However, in the current scenario where a lot of graduates are pursuing inter-disciplinary projects and research work, two additional years of learning biology can make a significant difference.
Following are some of the exciting applications of biology in engineering where the additional knowledge of the subject will prove to be significant:
- Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering
- Cognitive Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence
- Internet of Things and Smart Wearables
- Healthcare, Bioinformatics and Data Mining
- Swarm Algorithms and Robotics
- Agricultural Engineering
- Biochemical and Biophysical Processes
The additional insights gained while studying biology will add on to your understanding of the natural and biological phenomenons, which will be very much useful in daily life.
Q. Won’t choosing an easier subject instead of mathematics/biology make it better for me?
Ans. The understanding of what constitutes an ‘easy’ subject varies from person to person, and the trade-off here is the ease of scoring high versus having a lot of options open while giving you more time and opportunities to make an informed decision later. Ease of scoring and having more options open needn’t be mutually exclusive. For people who are extremely sure and confident of their aspirations, not choosing biology/mathematics might be a prudent option. But since the vast majority of the students are not sure about their future career paths, and which ultimately are sculpted based on their performance in various exams, keeping all the avenues wide open is the best way to go forward. And choosing PCMB enables you to do so.
Q. Will preparing for four subjects with respect to various entrance exams be too hard?
Ans. A lot of the preparation depends on your systematic planning, efficient pedagogical methods and time management. If you are not sure of your future, putting your best effort across all possible options will help you immensely at a later stage. And an added advantage with biology is that, unlike other subjects, the gap between the board syllabus and entrance exam preparation is not relatively large. Therefore, preparation for four subjects can be handled conveniently with proper planning and focus in place.
Q. What if I end up in engineering after I choose biology? Will I be at any disadvantage?
Ans. Since the first year syllabus in engineering is common across all the branches, the basics and fundamentals will be covered through these common courses only. It is here that the students of biology have an added advantage of using their knowledge in the interdisciplinary work.
Thus, taking up PCMB will allow you to keep multiple options open for your subsequent career. However, there are more careers besides just medical and engineering. You can read more about how to choose your career after 10th standard here.