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All About CBSE Basic, Standard and Applied Mathematics

June 2, 2020,


In the beginning of 2019, CBSE announced that it will introduce two-levels of Mathematics for class 10 students – Basic and Standard. The idea behind introducing two different papers was to cater to the two sets of students; one who wish to take up Mathematics (041) after class 10 and the other that doesn’t want to take Mathematics at all after class 10 or wishes to study Applied Maths (241).

Answers of important frequently asked questions:

Are there two exams for Maths now?

No. Students can choose if they want to give Maths Basic, or Maths Standard. The paper will be held on the same day.

Can a student opt for both – Maths Basic and Maths Standard?

No. Student can only solve 1 exam. She has to choose between – Maths Basic and Maths Standard

Is the Syllabus same in both Maths Basic and Maths Standard?

Yes. The Syllabus of Maths Basic and Maths Standard exam is the same.

What is difference in Maths Basic and Maths Standard?

The Maths Basic Exam is much easier than Maths Standard Exam.

Will this lead to dilution of Mathematics syllabus/teaching?

No, the idea is to make the evaluation more students centric and reduce the pressure on the student who doesn’t want to pursue Mathematics after class 10 or wishes to take Applied Maths.

Is CBSE increasing the burden on the child by introducing the concept of two Levels of Exams in Mathematics?

No,  because  the option  to  pick  either  Level  is  with  the student.   Further, the syllabus prescribed by CBSE will remain the same for both the levels.

What is the procedure to opt for the paper?

A student will have the right to choose between the two levels of Examination at the time of submission of List of Candidates (LoC) by the affiliated school to the Board online.

Why do I choose Maths Standard over Maths Basic?

If you want to take up Maths in Class 11 and Class 12, then take Maths Standard. If you are sure you won’t study Maths in the future, take Maths Basic. Students with Basic Maths can however, also opt for Applied Maths in class 11 and 12.

To continue Mathematics as a subject in class 11/12 and further, which Level Exam does a student need to pass?

Mathematics – Standard is to be passed at class X, for taking up Mathematics (041) at Senior Secondary level.

If a student qualifies only the Mathematics-Basics in class X, can he/she opt for Mathematics in class 11/12?

No. If he/she intends to take Mathematics (041) in class 11/12, he/she has to pass Mathematics-Standard. However, he can opt for Applied Mathematics (241).

What if I give the Basic Exam now, but want to appear for Standard Exam later?

If after giving the exam, you realise that you should have given the Standard Exam… then there’s an option. You can give the Maths Standard Compartment Exam

I am still not sure what exam to give, help me?

Try solving the Sample Papers of both – Maths Basic and Maths Standard. If the result in Maths Standard is really poor, you can do Maths Basic. But, keep in mind, if you take up Maths Basic, you can only take Applied Mathematic (241) and not Mathematics (041) in Class 11 and 12. Don’t forget, you need to do NCERT Questions of Class 10, no matter which paper you take.

How I can get the CBSE Sample Papers and question paper designs of Standard Level and Basics level Mathematics papers?

CBSE Sample papers and Blue Print based on the curriculum for 2019-20 are available on: http://cbseacademic.nic.in/

What if I fail in the exam?

There is an option to give Compartment Exams.

Failed in                                                               Compartment Options

Mathematics – Basic                                       Mathematics – Basic

Mathematics – Standard                              Mathematics – Standard or Mathematics – Basic

So, you can give Maths Basic Compartment Exam if you fail in Maths Standard

What about the internal assessment of 20 marks?

20 marks internal assessment is the same for both Maths Basic and Maths Standard

The total marks for Maths Exam is 100, out of which 20 marks are internal assessment. These 20 marks are for

  • Internal Tests (10 Marks)
  • Lab Report (5 Marks)
  • Activities done in the lab (5 marks)

What about the Class 9 Exam?

The Class 9 exam is conducted by the schools and they will be the same for all students.

To Summarise

Choose Maths Basic if you want to

  • Take arts in Class 11 and 12
  • Take Commerce without maths or with Applied Maths (241) in Class 11 and 12
  • Take any non-maths course after Class 12 – like Design, Animation, Humanities
  • Any course without Maths

Choose Maths Standard if you want to

  • Take Commerce with Maths (041) in Class 11 and 12
  • Take Science in Class 11 and 12
  • Give IIT-JEE or Medical Exams (NEET)
  • To do any Engineering course after Class 12
  • Want to go to Medical Field after Class 12


CBSE Maths Curriculum for Classes 11 & 12 has been revised by the introduction of Applied Mathematics (241) for Commerce, Arts students from academic session 2020-21. The CBSE Applied Mathematics subject (Code 241) would be now available for students who would be entering Class 11th and also for present CBSE Class 12 students. The subject would be available as a main or academic elective subject.

What is Applied Mathematics?

Applied Mathematics is a new subject introduced by CBSE for Senior Secondary Classes. The subject Applied Mathematics has been designed specifically for Commerce and Social Science students of classes 11 and 12. The new subject or paper would be under the subject code 241.

Would the existing Mathematics subject be changed?

No. The existing CBSE Maths for Classes 11 and 12 has not been changed. The current CBSE Mathematics (subject code 041) curriculum remains the same. CBSE Applied Mathematics is a new subject introduced for Classes 11 and 12 from academic session 2020-21.

What is the difference between the subjects of ‘Mathematics (041)’ and ‘Applied Mathematics (241)’ at Senior Secondary Level?

The Curriculum of Subject Code (041) or present CBSE Mathematics for Classes 11 and 12 is designed to cater to the Science stream students (students of Physics and Chemistry). Applied Mathematics (Subject code 241) is a new curriculum or subject introduced by CBSE for Commerce and Arts students. This would be applicable for students who wish to take up Economics, Commerce and Social science subjects.

Is this an easier version of CBSE Mathematics (like Basics and Standard Maths for CBSE 10th)?

No. The curriculum of Applied Mathematics has been designed to cater to the Commerce and Humanities stream students. These are two different subjects and the syllabus is also different. Applied Mathematics would in turn be focussed on fundamentals required for Business, Finance, Economics, etc.

Can a student opt for both ‘Mathematics (041)’ and ‘Applied Mathematics (241)’?

No. These are two different subjects and students can either chose 041 or 241 (Mathematics or Applied Mathematics).

To continue Mathematics as a subject for higher education, which course will a student need to pass?

Both courses are applicable and makes the student eligible to continue mathematics in the higher education. However, Students who wish to take up Engineering, Mathematics Honours, have to opt for CBSE Mathematics 041 subject. Applied Mathematics course is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of Mathematics required to be successful in other fields like banking, finance ect.

Would this subject be counted as a main subject for my University Admission in B.Com Hons, Economics Hons.?

There is no clarity as yet. However, since the subject is an academic elective, it is probable that it would be considered by the University admissions. Also, since the present course under skill elective is accepted (after a deduction in percentage) for honours subjects, it is likely that the same would be accepted for Commerce students wishing to continue B.Com (Honours) and the like courses.

If a student fails in Mathematics (041) in the Board Examination, will the student be allowed to take up Applied Mathematics (241) or vice versa during compartment examination?

No. This provision is not available. These are two separate subject and students cannot interchange.

If a student has passed Basic Mathematics in Grade X, can he/she offer ‘Applied Mathematics’ at Sr. Secondary Level?

Yes, a student who has passed Basic Mathematics at Secondary level can offer Applied Mathematics at Sr. Secondary level. This option is now available due to introduction of Applied Mathematics. However, such students cannot offer Mathematics (041) at Sr. Secondary Level

Can a student who has passed Standard Mathematics in Grade X, offer Applied Mathematics at Sr. Secondary level?

Yes. Students who have appeared for Standard Mathematics in CBSE Class 10 can also apply for Applied Mathematics in Class 11.

What are the topics included in Applied Mathematics?

The topics included in applied mathematics are number theory, interpretation of data, Commercial Mathematics, Set Theory, Algebra, Relation, and Function etc. Candidates can check Complete Syllabus here.

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