The CBSE Science Stream Journey: Complete Subject List for Class 11 and 12

April 5, 2024 | By: Extramarks

CBSE Science Stream

The crucial decision of selecting the right combination of subjects in Classes 11 and 12 marks a significant milestone in every Science student’s career. It holds a transformative potential in shaping your academic trajectory and charting the course for your professional future. Beyond textbooks and exams, these pivotal years serve as a great opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the world, ignite curiosity, refine your skills and set the stage for your dream career. 

Picture this – Physics making sense of the forces that govern the universe, Chemistry unlocking the secrets of matter, Biology decoding the mysteries of life, and Math becoming your toolkit for problem-solving in every sphere.Opting for Science isn’t just about academic prestige, it’s about embracing curiosity, innovation and a passion for how things work. 

In this blog, we provide key insights into the list of subjects in the Science stream in Classes 11 and 12 to empower you in making a well-informed decision. 

Core Subjects in CBSE Science Stream

CBSE Science Stream

The science stream is further divided into two categories – Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics (PCM) and Physics, Chemistry & Biology (PCB). The key difference between the two lies in the selection of the third subject. While Physics and Chemistry are mandatory for both, PCB includes Biology as the third subject, whereas PCM includes Mathematics. PCM is typically chosen by students who are aiming for non-medical careers such as Architecture or Engineering, while those who are inclined towards building a career in medical sciences opt for PCB.    

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The Physics curriculum of Classes 11 and 12 plays a pivotal role in nurturing observational, analytical and decision-making abilities, while understanding the fundamental laws governing the universe. It helps you develop investigative skills while also fostering analytical and problem-solving acumen. 

Key topics covered: 

  • Kinematics
  • Laws of motion
  • Electromagnetism
  • Thermodynamics
  • Oscillations & waves
  • Quantum mechanics 


Chemistry serves as a gateway to understanding the composition, structure, properties and changes of matter. It empowers you to understand the molecular mechanisms behind everyday phenomena, from the food we eat to the medicines we take. It equips you with the skills required to tackle complex problems, build critical thinking skills and develop an appreciation for the natural world. 

Key topics covered:  

  • Chemical bonding and molecular structure
  • States of matter
  • Thermodynamics and equilibrium 
  • Redox reactions 
  • Chemical kinetics 
  • Organic chemistry 


The biology curriculum in Classes 11 and 12 serves as the foundation upon which medical knowledge is built. It offers insights on the body’s intricate systems, from cellular mechanisms to organ functions, that prepares students to address diverse medical challenges with precision, empathy and innovation. It focuses on establishing a strong foundation and conceptual understanding while connecting subjects with real-world scenarios. 

Key topics covered:

  • Structural organization in animals and plants 
  • Genetics and evolution
  • Cell structure and function 
  • Biotechnology and its applications 
  • Human physiology 


Mathematics will help you develop critical thinking and analytical skills required for advanced studies and practical applications in the field of engineering, economics, architecture, computer science and many others. It aids in the development of logical reasoning skills that are essential for understanding complex concepts and making informed decisions. Mathematics is beyond a mere school subject, it serves as a key tool for success in life. 

Key topics covered: 

  • Algebra
  • Calculus 
  • Statistics and probability 
  • Vector algebra
  • Applications of derivatives 
  • Linear programming 

Elective Subjects in CBSE Science Stream

Besides the four mandatory subjects in the science stream (PCM and PCB), CBSE presents a diverse array for elective subjects that can be explored beyond the core curriculum. These optional modules offer a gateway to specialized knowledge and career paths. Let’s take a look at some of the key elective subjects that are part of CBSE’s science stream:

Computer Science

Computer science is among the most popular choice of electives among students and refers to the study of computer applications and technology. It offers a comprehensive look at the foundations of computer applications, programming languages, network technologies along with computing and logic. It equips students with key digital literacy skills and opens doors to lucrative career opportunities in tech-driven fields. 

Informatics Practices

This subject focuses on the processing of information, computer systems and program development, among other modules. The key curriculum highlights include database management, internet applications, web development, programming fundamentals and integrated device electronics. 

Engineering Drawing

Engineering drawing offers a foundational understanding of technical drawing principles, crucial for aspiring engineers. It involves concepts like orthographic projections, isometric drawings and CAD software usage. Proficiency in these skills is vital to design and analyze structures, machines and systems. 


Economics forms a core subject for students in the Commerce and Humanities field but is also a popular choice for Science students. It helps you understand how different economies work, what are their basic components and how markets function on national and international levels. Students who opt for this elective will cover key highlights including various aspects of microeconomics and macroeconomics. 


Also known as the study of the mind, Psychology bridges the gap between science and human behavior by examining the mental processes and behaviors of individuals. It will help you understand cognitive processes, social psychology, developmental psychology, emotional intelligence and other aspects of human nature. 

Choosing the Right Subject Combination

It is important that you consider your interests, strengths and career aspirations before making a decision regarding the elective subject. Exploring subjects that align with your passions is likely to foster intrinsic motivation, thereby boosting your learning outcomes. Here are some quick tips to choose the right elective and make a choice that your future self will thank you for: 

  • Assess the relevance of the elective subject to your future career path 
  • Explore electives that will broaden your perspective and help you discover new interests
  • Ensure that the chosen elective offers the foundational knowledge and skill sets that support your future goals 

This strategic selection enhances employability, opens doors to career opportunities, and facilitates seamless transitions into higher education programs, laying a solid foundation for future success. 

Preparing for Success in CBSE Science

Gearing up for the science stream requires students to be well-prepared with effective study techniques and planning. It is important that you begin by setting realistic goals, breaking down study material into manageable chunks and allocate specific time slots for each. You can make use of various online resources, reference books and educational apps to solidify your preparation. The Extramarks Learning App is a dynamic digital solution that can elevate your academic performance using cutting-edge tools and expert guidance. Explore interactive learning content, doubt-solving sessions, gamified modules, live classes and unlimited test papers that make for the perfect self-paced learning experience. 

Moreover, taking a look at previous years question papers and sample papers can offer a glimpse into the exam structure, marking scheme, help identify important topics and get familiar with the format, which can help enhance your overall academic performance. 


We hope this blog has successfully simplified the list of CBSE science subjects for you and helps you choose the right combination of subjects that support your future career path. If you’re looking for a learning partner to aid you through these crucial academic years, register for the Extramarks Learning App and gear up for a science-centric career today! 


  • How many subjects are there in Class 11 science?

Ans. Generally, the Science stream in class 11 consists of four compulsory subjects – Physics, Chemistry, English and Biology/Mathematics.   

  • How many subjects are there in 12th science?

Ans. The class 12 Science curriculum commonly encompasses Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, along with compulsory subjects like English. The subject combination remains the same as the ones you choose in class 11.  

  • What are the 5 subjects in PCB Class 11?

Ans. Under PCB, students will study Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and one optional subject. 

  • What are the optional subjects in science class 11?

Ans. Besides the compulsory subjects, students can pick one optional from a range of electives like Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Economics, Engineering Drawing, Environmental Studies, Electronics, Statistics and Psychology. 

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

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