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Every Question About Opting for a 6th Subject in Class 11th

30 April,2023  |  By Brainwonders

subject selection

After passing out class 10th, every student is met with a string of choices, beginning with the maximum tension of selecting an appropriate stream. However, these doubts and dilemmas do not end here only. Even though CBSE offers only three streams - Science, Commerce, and Humanities- there is still empty room for many choices. Students are trapped in questions like Which additional subject is aligned with my interests? Is it compulsory to take an additional subject? All these questions make a fuss in students' minds, making them even more confused.

Are you also unclear about your choice concerning your 6th subject? If - Yes, then you have landed at the right place. We have tried to resolve some of your doubts in this article. But before that, What do you understand by having an additional subject? Let us find out.

Q 1. What is an additional 6th subject?

To ease the tension of low scorers, CBSE added the 6th subject, compensating for the marks lost in the main topic, for example: opting fine arts to balance the impacts lost in mathematics. However, students must remember that this 6th subject is not a substitute for the five main issues.

Many schools provide vocational or elective subjects such as Physical Education, Arts, Hindi, Mass Media, Financial Literacy, Artificial Intelligence, etc. In contrast, the other schools offer academic subjects, such as Mathematics, Biology, Psychology, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, etc.

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Q 2. What are the advantages of having the 6th subject in class 12?

One of the most critical questions that strike every student's mind while going for the 6th subject is the advantages it will offer. It isn't worth it if the 6th subject does not provide benefits. However, that is not the actual scenario, as it offers a handful of advantages, such as:

1. Improving your percentage:

6th subject increases your overall average score by compensating for the marks lost in any main topics, increasing your overall rate. But for that, you must select the case which is easy for you to learn and offers great chances of scoring an extension. The greater your score, the greater will be the calculated percentage. 

For example, if you scored 89, 90, 75, 94, and 97 in your five main subjects, i.e., Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, and Physical education, while 98 in your optional subject, your final percentage will come out to be 93.6%.

2. Can increase career options: 

Many students were worried about their limited career options after selecting their streams. But choosing an optional 6th subject opens a wide range of career opportunities for you. For instance, suppose you have humanities in class 11th and selected computer science as an additional subject. It allows you to pursue any technical course, such as software engineering, cyber security, web development, etc. Physical education as an optional subject may not provide any advantage in career opportunities except increasing your total percentile. It might benefit only students looking for a sports career or fitness trainer. 

3. Can create a backup if you fail to score well:

Suppose you love the science stream, but those Newton'sNewton's questions in physics haunt you, and you are afraid to score low because of that, then it may be a better option to select a more accessible 6th subject which will work as a perfect backup plan to score high.

Q 3. What are the disadvantages of having an additional 6th subject?

Turning to the other side of the same coin, an additional subject for classes 11th and 12th also had some drawbacks. Such as:

  1. More work:

Different subjects can be more stressful, especially when overloaded with work. Often students opt for an additional subject as it offers benefits in university and career. However, the workload is often neglected, so it is advisable to select an additional subject only if you can work efficiently on every subject equally. Make sure that you are not taking more than what you can handle.

  1. May cost extra:

To prepare for every subject, you need to pay tuition fees. Moreover, any activity related to that subject may require some additional props. This, of course, will have an impact on your total budget.

  1. Time-consuming:

No matter what course you are in, deadlines to meet and tight exam schedules might make you feel uncomfortable. Naturally, the more subjects you choose, the less time you have for preparation. Moreover, you will have more assignments to complete, which will consume some of your self-study time.

Generally speaking, although having an additional subject might interest you, you must consider its pros and cons before choosing.

Consult a counsellor who will help you cope with the disadvantages, making it even easy for you to work under pressure with an additional subject. Visit Brainwonders and schedule your appointment with the best experts immediately.

 Q 4. Is a sixth subject compulsory in class 11th?

Opting for a 6th subject is not compulsory. You need to have five main subjects for which your percentage is calculated. So, whether you have opted for an optional subject in class 11th CBSE, you are bound to appear for board exams without any restriction.

Q 5. Is giving the 6th subject exam compulsory if I have opted for it?

Examination for every opted subject is necessary, even if it is an additional subject. However, fret not because even if you score less in it or fail, you will not be bound to take the compartment exam. They are only considered in your total percentage calculation if you have scored less in five main subjects or languages.

Q 7. What if I flunk my 6th subject? Will I be considered a Pass or Fail?

According to CBSE, if a student fails in more than one subject, he has declared a failure. But, if you failed only in your optional subject, you need not worry as marks for the 6th subject are not counted in total per cent and not even in entrance cut-offs.

However, they will still be noted in your mark sheet columns, which may destroy your first impression in front of employers. So, this fact must be considered before going too easy with the sixth subject.

Q 8. What if I pass my additional subject but score low/fail in one of the main subjects? What will my result show?

CBSE board allows you to replace your prominent subject marks with 6th subject in some instances. 

As per CBSE guidelines:
  • A language offered as an additional subject may be able to substitute a language in case the candidate fails in the same, provided the replacement candidate has English or Hindi as a provision.
  • An elective subject selected as an optional subject can replace the scores of an elective one.
  • Additional language provided at the elective level may replace an elective subject provided after the replacement. The number of languages offered shall not exceed two.

If you are still unsatisfied with the results, you can appear for a compartment exam generally held after a few months.

Q 9. Which subject options do I have for a 6th subject?

CBSE offers a range of options for the 6th subject. Some of these are mentioned below for each stream:

  • Optional subjects with PCB (Medical stream): Psychology, Home Science, Biotechnology, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Mathematics, and Economics.
  • Optional subjects with PCM (Non-Medical stream):  Computer Science, Home Science, Biotechnology, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Mathematics, and Economics.
  • Optional subject with Commerce stream: Mathematics, Informatics, Psychology, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Multimedia and Web Technology, Legal Studies, and Entrepreneurship.
  • Optional subject with Humanities stream: Economics, Psychology, Mathematics, Home Science, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Media Studies, Music, etc.

The choices you make will differ from school to school since top schools offer only mathematics, physical education, and

computer science as optional subjects.

Are you still confused about the right choice? If - Yes, then visit Brainwonders, India's largest career counselling platform, with trained specialists who can remove your doubts and present you with an even better choice.

Q 10. How do I calculate my class 12th percentage with the 6th subject?

Only the best five subjects will be considered in class 12th CBSE result even if you have six subjects in which one is a language subject, i.e., English and the other four are the subjects with high scores.

For calculating percentage, divide the student's total score by maximum marks and multiply it by a hundred.


We hope that this article was able to fix most of your problems. If you still have some remnants of doubts lingering in your mind, you must consult them with a counsellor. You can visit our "Brainwonders" site and set up a calling schedule with the best of the counsellors.

Choosing a sixth subject must be considered carefully and patiently instead of deciding over it impulsively. Because, even though it helps you improve your result, flunking in it might destroy your impression or hirers as these marks occupy a column in your mark sheets.


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