Class 10th Maths Board Exam- New Paper pattern, Important topics, and Preparation Tips

Mathematics is a crucial subject for class 10th students appearing for board exams. Scoring well in mathematics is essential to score overall good marks in the board examination. Students who wish to pursue a career in science or engineering need to have a strong foundation in math and a good score. Math opens up the door to myriad career choices, be it research, aeronautical sciences, space technology, or software engineering.


The syllabus for the subject is huge and full of lengthy formulas and theories. Knowing the syllabus in depth is the first step towards scoring good marks in the subject. To perform well in the subject, students need intense practice in the critical topics of different chapters like Algebra, Trigonometry, Advanced Geometry, and others. Students need to focus on the topics having the highest weightage first and completely master them. Leaving complex topics having high weightage is not a wise move. Practicing those topics more often than others and revising the concepts and formulas can be especially helpful. CBSE has recently made some significant changes to the mathematics exam syllabus and paper pattern due to the pandemic situations. The exam will now be held twice in one year, in a two-term pattern with 50-50 syllabus covered in each term. Class 10th term-1 math examination is set to take place in Nov-Dec 2021. Let’s take a quick look at the paper pattern, syllabus, and important topics in brief, for class 10th maths CBSE exam.

The class 10th maths board term one examination is 60 marks in total. Fifty marks are allotted for the examination and 10 for the internal assessment. This paper will cover only 50% of the syllabus and will be an objective paper (MCQ) for the very first time. It will have different types of MCQs like case-based and assertion-reasoning types. These 50 marks are divided among the chapters of seven major units. These units and their respective weightage are-

Unit 1- Number Systems- 6 marks

Unit2- Algebra- 10 marks

Unit 3- Coordinate Geometry- 6 marks

Unit 4- Geometry- 6 marks

Unit 5- Trigonometry- 5 marks

Unit 6- Mensuration- 4 marks

Unit 7- Statistics & Probability- 3 marks

Each of these units consists of several chapters, and each has selected important topics. The detailed Syllabus for CBSE Class 10 Maths can be checked from a reliable source. The key points to be noted about the new paper pattern are-

  • The question paper will have 50 questions in total that will be distributed in three sections- A, B, and C. The students have to attempt only 40 among them.
  • Section A will consist of 20 questions having 1 mark each. 16 questions out of 20 are mandatory for students to answer.
  • Section B will also contain 20 questions carrying 1 mark each and 16 questions have to be attempted by the students.
  • Section C will have 10 questions based on two case studies. Students have to attempt any 8.
  • All questions will carry equal weightage and there will be no negative marking.

Internal assessment carries a weightage of 10 marks and should not be ignored. These ten marks are extremely easy to fetch just by completing the work assigned on time. The major components of this internal assessment include-

  • Periodic test for 3 marks
  • Multiple assessments for 2 marks
  • Portfolio for 2 marks
  • Student Enrichment Activities-practical work for 3 marks

Getting a complete clarity of the syllabus, preparing a practical study plan, sticking to it, and practicing regularly are the key requirements of scoring high in the subject.

The most important topics for the mathematics board exams as divulged by the experts, teachers, and ex-toppers are-

  • Quadratic equations
  • Lines in two dimensions
  • Triangles
  • Circles
  • Trigonometric identities
  • Statistics
  • Probability

Important preparation tips for the exam-

  1. NCERT class 10 math book is the bible for the math board exam. Students are advised to read the book inch-by-inch, solve all the questions, cover all the concepts and practice all the problems from the book without a second thought. This will help in not only strengthening the base of the subject but also instill confidence as the majority of the paper is formulated from the NCERT book itself. The easy language and simple explanations of the NCERT books are just a plus for the students.

2. NCERT class 10th exemplar is a treasure trove of tricky and complex objective questions in the MCQ format that is super-important for math term-1 examinations. Students should practice all the problems given in the exemplar to get an extra edge over the other students in the exam. In case of doubts and wrong answers, follow NCERT Class 10th Maths Exemplar solutions for reference and easy explanations to the most complex questions.

3. CBSE has also published a question bank based on the case study section as those kinds of questions are new for the students. Practicing these question banks based on all the chapters of the syllabus is crucial to get the hang of the nature and level of the questions expected in the exam.

4. Practice regularly and solve as many chapter-wise and topic-wise MCQs for the exam. This will make the students comfortable with the new paper pattern and help them gain confidence in understanding the concepts and finding the solutions to even the complex questions. Practice is the only key to good marks in a conceptual subject like mathematics. Students are instructed to give at least 1-2 hours daily on self-study. Practicing clarifies the concept in the theories and consolidates it in mind.

5. The students need to remember that although the new term-wise exam pattern can be challenging, it can also be a boon. Even though the students have to appear for the exam twice a year, the syllabus would also be divided into two parts and easy to understand, retain and practice. There are fewer formulas to remember, fewer concepts to learn, and fewer questions to practice. They can use it to their advantage to boost their overall scores in the board examinations.

6. CBSE Class 10 Maths Previous Years’ Question Papers or PYQs form a very reliable resource to practice important objective-type questions. In past examinations, objective-type questions were asked in different formats like MCQs, concise answer types, or one-mark questions. Students must practice all these questions to revise essential concepts that are the only ways to attempt MCQs efficiently. 

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