To choose the right course for you

To choose the right course for you

The author on some of the subject combinations that students can select at the pre-university level

After Class 10, many students will be making a very important decision: which course, in particular, what combination of subjects, should they take at the pre-university level? Ensuring that one makes the right choice can be a bit difficult as there is a wide variety of subjects being offered in unique combinations across various colleges in the State. The pre-university course is a preparatory course that acts as a bridge to university and can enable students to know more about the field they want to specialise in. In fact, the Department of Pre-University Education recognises the two-year course as a crucial level of study, a stepping stone as it were, to a student’s academic career.

At the PUC level, students can choose to study in three streams — Arts, Science and Commerce, and there are 23 subjects and 11 languages in not less than 50 combinations. Junior colleges in the State are constantly vying with each other to offer unique courses. Every student must study four core subjects in one of the streams along with a first language and a second language. Here’s a brief overview of the courses and subject combinations available:


Students can learn a variety of languages either as a first or second language. While most colleges offer English as a first language, students can choose to study Kannada, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu among others as a second language. In some cases, English can even be taken as a second language. Many schools offer foreign languages such as French and Spanish after seeing how our children aspire to be global citizens.


When a youngster is so focussed, educationalists need to be more flexible in their curriculum planning to accommodate varied interests. The traditional Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology (PCMB) course has Zoology, Computer Science, Electronics and even Home Science to spice up the stream. Some colleges even offer subject combinations without Mathematics, which will definitely benefit many students who wish to pursue Science without this subject. Tarasha, a 15-year-old, outlined what Chemistry means to her, “It is such an exciting subject and has an interesting line up behind it like forensic medicine (which is what she is looking at), ballistics, toxicology, photomicrography and so many allied fields.”


For those looking to do Commerce, students have an opportunity to study different subjects in a variety of combinations. These combinations often include subjects such as Accountancy, Business Studies, Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, Political Science and Psychology. Accountancy and Business Studies are the mainstays in all commerce streams. Savita, a Commerce lecturer, explains, “These combinations can help students gain entrepreneurial skills and interpersonal skills together with the ability to think and analyse independently.”


Interestingly enough, there are over 30 subject combinations that students of Humanities can choose from and these are approved by the Pre-University Board. A dozen subjects are offered in sets of four. For example, you can do History, Economics, Political Science and Optional Kannada or you could choose Music in place of Political Science. The range of subjects include English literature, Economics, History, Psychology, Sociology and Political Science, Logic, Optional Kannada, Geography, Education and even Statistics. There are even options to take Fine Arts subjects such as Music (Hindustani and Carnatic).

Some higher secondary schools also give students the opportunity to study a Commerce or Arts subject alongside Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Some of these options include Economics, Information Technology, Legal Studies, Fine Arts, Human Rights and General Studies. Such combinations are perfect for students who may want to pursue Science but also want to explore other areas of study.

Technical training

Under the Department of Technical Education, multiple technical skill institutions have been training generations of students since 1959. Now, there is an increase in the number of students attending polytechnic colleges to pursue a three-year diploma in various disciplines to become job-ready. This also helps them keep their options open to pursue a professional degree course like BTech or BE through lateral entry. These polytechnic colleges are present in
various places across the State. The colleges offer both technical and non-technical courses. There are nearly 40 technical courses and 10 non-technical ones like travel and tourism, dress designing, garment manufacturing, interior decoration and food science.

The Karnataka State Paramedical Board offers a three-year diploma course in Paramedical Sciences for students who have completed Class 10. A paramedic is an authorised person who works as a technician in a specific area of medical industry and becomes an integral part of a hospital.

Fine Arts

Fine Arts has been, is and will remain a major area of research studies and is catching on as a full-time course. At the pre-university level, short-term courses in theatre, dance, filmmaking, painting, photography, sculpting, etc are offered to students. Such courses allow the students to explore and test their skills before deciding to zoom in on one.

These are just some of the many options that are available for students after Class 10. While narrowing on the right subject combination will require you to do judicious research, it is important to look at the pros and cons of each before finalising your decision. Once done, ensure that you enjoy and maximise your time as a student as this will be the time for you to gather knowledge and explore your capabilities. So, get ready to explore a whole new world of opportunities!