How is CUET syllabus different from CBSE syllabus?

How is CUET syllabus different from CBSE syllabus?

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Shruti Garg
Assistant Manager- Editorial
Updated on Jun 11, 2024 14:33 IST

Candidates willing to pursue undergraduate courses in India must understand the nuance of entrance exams and board examinations. CUET is the biggest UG entrance examination conducted for admission to UG courses. Let’s understand the basic difference between the CUET and CBSE syllabus. Know the subject-wise important topics and exam pattern.

CUET V/s CBSE Syllabus

CUET V/s CBSE Syllabus

Are you getting ready for the CUET and wondering if it's just like prepping for your CBSE Class 12 exams? We've got it covered for you! Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is not based on the class 12th CBSE syllabus as stated by Ministry of Education. However, CUET syllabus is aligned with the CBSE syllabus with some minor differences. CUET syllabus assesses the candidate’s general understanding, whereas the CBSE class 12th syllabus is comprehensive and specific to assess the candidate’s in-depth knowledge. The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for undergraduate courses has gained prominence as a pathway to central, state, deemed, or private universities. However, it often leaves students wondering, How is CUET UG syllabus different from the CBSE syllabus? In this article, we dive into the distinctions between these two syllabi.

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CUET Vs CBSE Exam Pattern

If you are preparing for CBSE class 12th examination and CUET UG must understand the basic difference between the pattern of both examinations. CUET UG 2025 exam date will be announced by NTA. The CUET 2025 exam will be scheduled tentatively in third week of May 2025 in hybrid mode. CBSE class 12th datesheet is yet to be announced. 

Q:   Will class 12th syllabus be harder than 11th in CBSE board?

Hi Rajdeep, There is no specific answer to this, but you won't find it too difficult as most of the subjects are enhancements of what you studied in class 11th.Comparatively, class 11th is tougher than class 10th, as the entire outlook is changed. The level of difficulty also depends from student to student.

Refer to the table below to know the key differences between CUET exam pattern and class 12th CBSE exam pattern:

CUET V/s CBSE Exam Pattern





Objective-type questions with MCQs

  • MCQs - 20%
  • Competency-based questions in the form of case-based questions, source-based questions, or any other types - 30%
  • Short answer/long answer type questions- 50%


45-60 minutes per subject

Three hours

Number of subjects

Maximum six

5-6 (as elected by student)

Maximum marks

200 per subject

100 (theory+practical) per subject

Passing marks



CUET UG Syllabus Vs. CBSE Syllabus

CBSE releases the class 12th board syllabus, whereas the National Testing Agency (NTA) releases the CUET UG syllabus. While you prepare for both examinations, understand the key differences between the CUET syllabus and CBSE syllabus below:

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Scope and Coverage

CUET UG Syllabus:

  • CUET is designed for admission to undergraduate programs in central, state, private, or deemed universities and encompasses a wider range of domain subjects and topics compared to the CBSE syllabus.
  • While CUET does draw from CBSE and NCERT curriculum, it includes additional components and topics not covered by CBSE.

Also Read:

CUET Syllabus 2025 for Science Students

CUET Syllabus 2025 for Arts Students

CUET Syllabus 2025 for Commerce Students

CBSE Syllabus:

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus is designed for school-level education and typically covers subjects like Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Languages.
  • The CBSE curriculum focuses on foundational knowledge for students up to the 12th grade.

Depth of Knowledge

CUET UG Syllabus:

  • CUET demands a deeper understanding of domain subjects, often requiring candidates to delve into specific topics.
  • It assesses students' readiness for higher education and expects them to have a general understanding of their chosen field of study.

CBSE Syllabus:

  • CBSE syllabus, on the other hand, is primarily geared toward school-level education and lays the foundation for higher studies.
  • While it provides essential knowledge, it covers subjects comprehensively.

Subject Variation

CUET UG Syllabus:

  • CUET tailors its syllabus to different undergraduate courses.
  • Each program has specific subject requirements, meaning that the syllabus can vary based on your intended field of study.

Also Read:

Domain Subjects in CUET 2024; Check Complete List, Course Mapping Criteria

CUET Previous Year Question Papers

CBSE Syllabus:

  • The CBSE syllabus remains relatively consistent across different schools and regions, focusing on core subjects applicable to school education.

Also Read:

What is CUET minimum qualifying marks?

Stream-Wise top UG courses

To excel in the CUET, students must acquaint themselves with the specific syllabus requirements for their desired program and prepare accordingly. This understanding is vital for those aspiring to secure admission to central universities in India through the CUET.

CUET UG and CBSE Syllabus

Candidates preparing for board and CUET UG examination can check and compare the subject-wise syllabus for CUET UG and CBSE in the table below:

CUET UG Syllabus

CBSE Syllabus

CUET Accounts Syllabus PDF

CBSE Accountancy Syllabus PDF

CUET Biology Syllabus PDF

CBSE Biology Syllabus PDF

CBSE Biotechnology Syllabus PDF

CUET Business Studies  Syllabus PDF

CBSE Business Studies Syllabus PDF

CUET Chemistry Syllabus PDF

CBSE Chemistry Syllabus PDF

CUET Computer Science Syllabus PDF

CBSE Computer Science Syllabus PDF

CUET Economics/Business Economics Syllabus PDF

CBSE Economics Syllabus PDF

CUET Engineering Graphics Syllabus PDF

CBSE Engineering Graphics Syllabus PDF

CUET Entrepreneurship Syllabus PDF

CBSE Entrepreneurship Syllabus PDF

CUET General Test Syllabus PDF

CBSE General Studies PDF

CUET Geography Syllabus PDF

CBSE Geography Syllabus PDF

CUET History Syllabus PDF

CBSE History Syllabus PDF

CUET Home Science Syllabus PDF

CBSE Home Science Syllabus PDF

CUET Knowledge Tradition – Practices India Syllabus PDF

CBSE Knowledge Tradition – Practices India Syllabus PDF

CUET Languages Syllabus PDF

CBSE Languages Syllabus PDF

CUET Legal Studies Syllabus PDF

CBSE Legal Studies Syllabus PDF

CUET Mathematics/ Applied Mathematics Syllabus PDF

CBSE Mathematics Syllabus PDF

CBSE Applied Mathematics Syllabus PDF

CUET Performing Arts Syllabus PDF

CBSE Fine Arts PDF

Carnatic Melodic

Carnatic Percussion

Carnatic Vocal

CUET Physical Education Syllabus PDF

CBSE Physical Education Syllabus PDF

CUET Physics Syllabus PDF

CBSE Physics Syllabus PDF

CUET Political Science Syllabus PDF

CBSE Political Science Syllabus PDF

CUET Psychology Syllabus PDF

CBSE Psychology Syllabus PDF

CUET Sociology Syllabus PDF

CBSE Sociology Syllabus PDF

Managing Boards and CUET UG Preparation

As an aspirant, you might find yourself standing at the crossroads of two significant academic milestones – your CBSE Class 12th board exams and the upcoming CUET 2025. The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is your gateway to top universities- central, private, state or deemed, across the nation. To navigate this journey it's essential to maintain balance between your board exam preparation and CUET UG readiness. 

Read More:

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Download CUET Question Paper PDFs

FAQs Related to CUET UG and CBSE Syllabus

Q. Is CUET syllabus based on CBSE?

Ans. No, CUET syllabus is not based on CBSE syllabus. CUET syllabus assesses the candidate’s general understanding of the subject chosen whereas, CBSE syllabus evaluates candidate’s comprehensive knowledge about the subject. Candidates preparing for CUET UG are advised to be thorough with the CUET syllabus to know the important topics and key areas to cover.

Q. Is CUET based on NCERT syllabus?

Ans. Yes, CUET is based on the NCERT syllabus. Candidates preparing for CUET UG can refer NCERT books for preparation to ace the examination. Students may note that CUET UG syllabus is not based on CBSE or ICSE boards syllabus.

Q. Is CUET different from class 12th syllabus?

Ans. Yes, CUET syllabus is different from class 12th syllabus. CUET syllabus is designed to examine candidate’s general understanding of the domain subjects he/she has applied for. Whereas, CBSE syllabus evaluates candidate’s specific and in depth understanding of the domain subjects he/she has chosen.

Q. Does CUET have different syllabus for different courses?

Ans. Yes, CUET syllabus is different for different courses. Candidates will be required to map subjects with the subjects studied in class 12th for the course they wish to apply for. For instance, if the candidate wishes to apply for B.Com (H) course, he/she will be required to map any one language from Section I + Mathematics/Applied Mathematics/ Accountancy/Book Keeping + Any other two subjects from Section II of CUET. Candidates must ensure that they must have studied the mapped subjects in class 12th.

About the Author
Shruti Garg
Assistant Manager- Editorial

Shruti is a graduate in Education and Literature. She is a passionate writer. As her name suggests she is a good listener, a binge-watcher, and a great foodie. She loves playing badminton and doing meditation in her... Read Full Bio