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PCB vs PCM Stream: Which is the Right Class 11 Science Subject Combination?

By AiswaryaMarch 14, 2024
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What are PCMB Subjects Class 11?

Class 10 is the final step of your secondary-level education. You will enter a vast academic level in Class 11 and have to decide which science subjects are ideal for studying. Based on common preferences, students choose PCM or PCB. To make a better choice, you need to analyse the points related to PCMB Subjects Class 11.

The common subject combinations will be discussed here to help you find the right path and make informed decisions. Let us delve deeper into these subject combinations for the Class 11 science curriculum and focus on making a good choice.

What and How to Choose a Subject Combination?

Also Read: Streams in Class 11: How to Choose for a Better Academic Decision?

Subject Combinations for Class 11 Science

Before entering the Class 11 level of education, students will have to choose a subject combination. This combination is technically a list of chosen subjects available for studying in specific education boards. For instance, the most common choices of Class 11 Science subject combinations are:

  1. PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)

  2. PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)

  3. PCMB (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology)

What are PCB and PCM? These are the common terms the students of Class 11 Science use to signify subject combinations. Let us elaborate on the purpose of these subject combinations with examples. It will help you to make an informed decision for your professional career.

What is PCM Stream?: Is It Ideal for Engineering and Other Technical Streams

We now know PCM's full form. This Class 11 subject combination focuses on the scientific concepts and principles of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The national and state boards have curated the ideal syllabuses for these subjects to develop a strong conceptual foundation among the aspirants.

With this foundation, they will pursue engineering, core science and applied-science courses in the future. The sorted subjects comprise the chapters that allow students to learn new concepts, develop their knowledge and pursue a professional course after completing Class 12. You will gain a clear mindset of what you want to become and what courses you can pursue at graduation and post-graduation. The basic factors for choosing PCM are:

Eligibility to Choose PCM in Class 11

Generally, the eligibility criteria for choosing PCM is an aggregate of 60% marks at the secondary level of education. It varies from school to school.

Graduation Courses After PCM in Class 12

After 12, you will choose a graduation course based on your subject combination. If you choose PCM, you can go with engineering (BE/BTech), science courses (BSc), and other technical courses such as BCA. You can also go for management courses (BBA).

Your Academic Skills Required in PCM

You must develop basic skills while pursuing this subject combination to proceed ahead. The skills are:

  • Computational skills

  • Communication skills

  • Mathematical skills

  • Problem-solving and analytical skills

  • Reasoning skills

All these skills will help you choose a proper professional platform to set your career on.

Future Scope in Opting PCM in Class 12

This subject combination will help you pursue jobs in different sectors of engineering, technology, research, analytics, management, etc.

Percentage Required for PCM in 11th

Choosing the right subjects for Class 11 is a significant decision that sets the stage for your academic and career path. For students considering the Science stream with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM), understanding the percentage required for admission is crucial. 

This table provides an overview of the percentage required for admission to PCM in Class 11 across different boards and state education systems. It's essential to check the specific requirements of your respective board or state to ensure eligibility for the Science stream with PCM subjects.


Minimum Percentage Required for PCM in Class 11


75% aggregate in Class 10 with a minimum of 60% in Mathematics and Science subjects individually.


70% aggregate in Class 10 with a minimum of 60% in Mathematics and Science subjects individually.

State Board

Percentage criteria may vary depending on the state board regulations. Typically, a minimum of 60-70% aggregate with specific minimum marks in Mathematics and Science subjects is required.

Class 11 PCB: Good Stream for Medical and Biology Aspirants

The PCB full form explains that Biology is a crucial part of this subject combination. Medical and biological science aspirants choose this subject combination. Due to the presence of Biology in the curriculum, aspirants can pursue courses related to medical and biological sciences.

This subject combination aims to develop a conceptual foundation of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Based on the concepts developed, you can choose professional medical science, healthcare courses, etc. Aspirants become doctors, dieticians, healthcare specialists, researchers, etc. If you want to study Botany, Zoology and Physiology, this is the right subject combination.

Here is the list of factors to follow:

Eligibility to Choose PCB in Class 11

An aggregate of 60% marks in the secondary-level exam is what you need. This is the prime factor followed by schools in general. This eligibility criterion can vary.

Graduation Courses After PCB in Class 12

The list of graduation courses you can choose after Class 12 is also a prime factor here. You can study MBBS, BDS, or BSc in Biological Sciences, Dietetics, etc. Based on your academic performance and aptitude, you can make the right choice after completing your higher secondary level of education.

Skills You Need During PCB in Class 11th & 12th

To become an avid PCB student, develop these basic skills and choose a graduation course.

  • Vast knowledge of science subjects

  • Human physiology

  • Zeal to learn technological applications and concepts in your career

  • Analytical skills

  • Communication skills

Based on your skill set, you can make a great choice after Class 12.

Future Scope in PCB 

There are multiple domains to pursue a professional career. Biological sciences include botany, zoology and physiology as the prime three pillars. There are core and applied for science courses in these domains you can study at the graduation level.

Percentage Required for PCB in 11th

As students transition from Class 10 to Class 11, one of the critical considerations is the percentage required for admission into the Science stream with PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). This percentage criterion can vary based on educational boards, schools, and even individual institutions. 

This table outlines the percentage requirements for admission into the Science stream with PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) in Class 11 across different educational boards. Please note that these percentages are approximate and may vary depending on specific school policies and admission criteria. Students are advised to consult with their respective schools or educational boards for the most accurate information regarding admission requirements.

Educational Board

Percentage Required for PCB in Class 11


50% to 60%


55% to 65%

State Boards

Varies by state; typically 45% to 60%

International Boards

Varies by board; typically 60% to 70%

PCMB: All-Subject Combination

As the acronym suggests, it combines Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology. Students choose this combination to study all four subjects and increase their scope of choosing professional courses. These aspirants prepare for engineering and medical entrance exams.

Even though the Class 11 and 12 syllabuses become strenuous, aspirants prefer PCMB Subjects Class 11 combination for applied, core, and interdisciplinary science courses such as bioengineering, biotechnology, etc.

Percentage Required for PCMB in 11th

Various schools and educational boards may have different eligibility criteria for opting for the PCMB combination in Class 11. Generally, students are required to maintain a minimum percentage in their Class 10 board exams to qualify for the Science stream with Mathematics and Biology. This percentage requirement typically varies between 50% to 60%, depending on the specific school or board. It's important for students to check with their school or educational board to determine the exact percentage criteria for opting for PCMB in Class 11.


Now that we have compared these subject combinations, it is time for you to decide which is the best PCM or PCB. Focus on your preferences, suitability and conceptual grasp to choose a subject combination and follow your passion for making the right choice. Seek professional assistance from our experts to make the right decision.

FAQs on PCB vs PCM Stream: Which is the Right Class 11 Science Subject Combination?

1. Which subject is best for engineering in Class 11?

From the above discussion, it is clear that Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) are the right subjects to add to your Class 11 curriculum to develop your scientific concepts.

2. Can I prepare for engineering and medical entrance exams at the same time?

The PCMB subject combination prepares you for engineering and medical entrance exams. The syllabus will be comparatively bigger than PCB and PCM combinations.

3. How can I pick a subject combination for Class 11?

Consider the subjects you like to study in Class 11. Make sure you like studying new scientific and mathematical concepts. Find out the subject list and then choose a subject combination accordingly.

4. Which stream is better for competitive exams like JEE Main and NEET?

PCM stream is preferred for engineering entrance exams like JEE Main, while PCB stream is required for medical entrance exams like NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test).

5. Are there any interdisciplinary career options that combine both PCB and PCM subjects?

Yes, there are interdisciplinary fields like biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, biophysics, medical physics, and environmental engineering that require knowledge of both biology and mathematics or physics.

6. Can I pursue a career in computer science or IT with PCB stream?

While PCB stream focuses more on biology and life sciences, you can still pursue a career in computer science or IT by taking additional courses or certifications in computer programming, software development, or information technology.

7. How can I make an informed decision about choosing between PCB and PCM streams?

Research the subjects, career options, and academic requirements of each stream. Consider your interests, strengths, and long-term goals. Seek advice from teachers, parents, and career counselors to help you make the right choice for your future.

8. Can I switch from PCB to PCM or vice versa after Class 10?

Yes, it is possible to switch streams after Class 10, but it's important to consider your interests, academic performance, and future goals before making the decision. Seek guidance from teachers, parents, and career counselors.

9. What is the difference between PCB and PCM streams?

PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) stream is for students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, healthcare, and life sciences, while PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics) stream is for those interested in engineering, technology, and related fields.

10. How do I decide between PCB and PCM streams?

Consider your interests, strengths, and career aspirations. If you enjoy biology, are interested in healthcare professions, or aspire to become a doctor, PCB might be the right choice. If you excel in mathematics, enjoy problem-solving, and are interested in engineering or technology, PCM might be more suitable.

11. What career options are available with PCB stream?

PCB stream opens up career opportunities in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, biotechnology, microbiology, genetics, physiotherapy, and other healthcare and life sciences-related fields.

12. What is PCM stream?

PCM stream leads to career opportunities in engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, computer, etc.), architecture, computer science, information technology, aerospace, defense, research, and development, among others.

13. PCM or PCB Which is Best?

Determining whether PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics) or PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) is better depends on individual interests, career aspirations, and strengths. PCM is ideal for students inclined towards engineering, technology, or research fields, offering opportunities in civil engineering, computer science, and more, requiring strong mathematical and analytical skills. Conversely, PCB suits those interested in medical or life sciences careers, leading to paths in medicine, dentistry, and biotechnology, emphasizing biological understanding and critical thinking. Ultimately, the choice between PCM and PCB hinges on personal interests, career goals, and academic abilities.