ISC Class 11 Biology Syllabus 2023-24

CISCE has released the Latest Updated Syllabus of the New Academic Session 2023-24, for class 11. It is available under the ‘‘Regulations and Syllabuses’ page of ISC 2025 on

Class 11th Syllabus has been released by CISCE. It’s very important for both Teachers and Students to understand the changes and strictly follow the topics covered in each subject under each stream for Class 11th.

We have also updated Oswal Gurukul Books as per the Latest Paper Pattern prescribed by CISCE Board for each Subject Curriculum.

Students can directly access the ISC Biology Syllabus for Class 11 of the academic year 2023-24 by clicking on the link below.

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ISC Biology Class 11 Latest Syllabus 2023-24

There will be two papers in the subject:

Paper I: Theory - 3 hours ... 70 marks

Paper II: Practical - 3 hours ... 15 marks
Project Work … 10 marks
Practical File … 5 marks

1. Diversity of Living Organisms 09 Marks
2. Structural Organisation in Animals and Plants 11 Marks
3. Cell: Structure and Function 15 Marks
4. Plant Physiology 17 Marks
5. Human Physiology 18 Marks
TOTAL 70 Marks

Paper I - theory - 70 Marks

Note: All structures (internal and external) are required to be taught along with diagrams.

S.No Unit Topic Marks
1. Diversity of Living Organisms

(i) The Living World

What is living? Need for classification; three domains of life; taxonomy and systematics; concept of species and taxonomical hierarchy; binomial nomenclature; tools for study of taxonomy-museums, zoological parks, herbaria, botanical gardens, key. Characteristics of living organisms. Need for classification should be discussed. Three domains of life – distinguishing features of (archaea, bacteria, eukarya). Definition and explanation of the terms taxonomy (numerical taxonomy, cytotaxonomy and chemotaxonomy) and systematics. Concept of species. Major taxonomical hierarchies (phylum, class, order, family, genus, species): definition and examples with reference to classification of man, house fly, mango and wheat. Rules of binomial nomenclature and advantages of using scientific names. Aids for study of taxonomy –– a very brief idea of museum and herbaria, zoological parks and botanical gardens. Definition of taxonomical keys.Three systems of classification – artificial, natural and phylogenetic.

(ii) Biological Classification

Five kingdom classification; salient features and classification of Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. Lichens, Viruses and Viroids.

(a) Five-kingdom system of classification and characteristics of different kingdoms with examples.

(b) Kingdom Monera: Bacteria - classification of bacteria according to shape, nutrition and mode of respiration; differences between gram +ve and gram –ve bacteria; types of reproduction – definition of fission, conjugation, transduction and transformation (details not required). A brief idea of the role of different types of archaebacteria (methanogens, halophiles and thermoacidophiles in their extreme environments). Mycoplasma – three distinctive features. Economic importance with reference to role of bacteria in sewage treatment, antibiotics, energy production and house hold products (curd and cheese only).

(c) Kingdom Protista – only two general characteristics and two examples of subgroups: (i) Chrysophytes (ii) Dinoflagellates, (iii) Euglenoids, (iv) Slime moulds, (v) Protozoans (to be studied under rhizopods, flagellates, ciliates and sporozoans with two characteristics including modes of locomotion and two examples of each).

(d) Kingdom Fungi: general characteristics and mode of reproduction of each (including types of spores and sexual reproduction – definition of isogamy, anisogamy, oogamy, plasmogamy, karyogamy and dikaryophase). Zygomycetes, Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, Deuteromycetes - characteristics with examples. Role of fungi in the field of medicine, bakery and environmental decomposition. Definition of lichens and mycorrhiza (ecto and endo).

Life cycles not required.

(e) Virus (characteristic features – link between living and non-living, structure of TMV and bacteriophage and contribution of the following scientists: D.J. Ivanowsky, M.W. Beijerinck, W.M. Stanley) and Viroid (definition only).

(iii) Plant Kingdom

(a) Algae - characteristics (morphology, common name, major pigments, stored food, composition of cell wall, flagellar number and position of insertion, habitat, mode of sexual reproduction) and examples of Chlorophyceae, Phaeophyceae, Rhodophyceae; Economic importance of algae – any five.
(b) Bryophyta – general haracteristics, distinctive features of liverworts and mosses; graphic outline of life cycle of Funaria with reference to alternation of generations. Economic importance of bryophytes.

(c) Pteridophyta: characteristics; classification into classes: psilopsida (Psilotum), lycopsida (Selaginella, Lycopodium), sphenopsida (Equisetum) and pteropsida (Dryopteris, Pteris and Adiantum). Graphic outline of life cycle of a typical pteridophyte (fern). Definition of homospory and heterospory with relevant examples. Economic importance.

(d) Gymnosperms: general characteristics and graphic outline of life cycle of a typical gymnosperm (Pinus). Economic importance.

(e) Angiosperms – general characteristics and classification into monocots and dicots; Graphic outline of life cycle of a typical angiosperm.

(f) Comparison of life cycle patterns of different plant groups (haplontic, diplontic and haplo-diplontic).

(iv) Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom: animal construction - body plan (cell aggregate plan, blind-sac plan and tube-within-tube plan), symmetry (spherical, radial and bilateral symmetry), coelom development (diploblastic and triploblastic organisation in animals, acoelomate, pseudocoelomate, coelomate and haemocoelomate), segmentation. Non-chordata - five distinguishing characters with two examples of Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda (Aschelminthes), Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Hemichordata. Chordata – sub-classification of Chordata with reference to notochord - sub phyla Urochordata, Cephalochordata. Vertebrata (classes – cyclostomata, chondrichthyes, osteichthyes, amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammalia) – three distinguishing characters with two examples of each).

70 Marks
2. Structural Organisation in Animals and Plants

(i) Morphology of Flowering Plants

(a) Morphology and modifications of root, stem, leaf.

Types of roots (tap, fibrous, adventitious), regions, modifications of roots for storage (Tuberous – e.g. Mirabilis and sweet potato; fusiform – e.g. radish; conical – e.g., carrot; napiform – e.g. turnip), respiration (pneumatophores) and support (stilt and prop). Stems – features (nodes internodes, buds), modifications – underground (tuber, rhizome, corm) aerial (tendril, thorn, Phylloclade, cladode) and sub-aerial (runner, sucker, stolon, offset). Leaves - parts of a simple leaf, venation, types of leaves (simple and compound – pinnate and palmate), phyllotaxy – alternate, opposite, whorled (with an example of each). Modifications for mechanical support (tendril), protection (spine), storage (bulb), reproduction (Bryophyllum); insectivorous plants (pitcher plant, Venus-fly-trap).

(b) Morphology of flower, fruit and seed. Structure of a typical flower, types of inflorescence (racemose and cymose).

Structure of a typical flower,bracteates/ebracteate, [symmetry (actinomorphic, zygomorphic), trimerous/tetramerous/pentamerous complete/ incomplete, non-essential whorls (calyx: gamosepalous, polysepalous, corolla: gamopetalous, polysepalous, perianth, aestivation: valvate, twisted, imbricate, vexillary), essential whorls (androecium: cohesion - syngenesious, synandrous, monadelphous, diadelphous, polyadelphous; adhesion – epipetalous, epiphyllous; number of lobes – monothecous, dithecous; Gynoecium: position of ovary – epigynous, hypogynous, perigynous, cohesion – apocarpous, syncarpous, number of locules – unilocular, bilocular, multilocular], types of inflorescence (racemose and cymose – definition and differences; subtypes not required)

(ii) Anatomy of Flowering Plants

(a) Plant Tissues: types of plant tissues: Meristematic tissues: classification of meristematic tissue. Permanent Tissues: structure and function of simple tissues (parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma) and complex tissues (xylem and phloem), tissue system. Internal structure of root, stem, and leaf. Characteristics of meristematic tissue; classification of meristems based on origin and location; structure, function and location of permanent tissues; simple and complex tissues; epidermal, ground and vascular tissue systems. Cellular diagrams of T.S. of roots and stem and V.S. of monocot and dicot leaves are required.

(b) Secondary growth in dicot stem and dicot root

Basic idea of how secondary growth takes place in dicot stems and roots (with the help of outline diagrams) and formation of annual rings. Activity of the cambium and cork cambium, formation of secondary tissues, differences between heart wood and sap wood, early wood and late wood. Definition of bark.

(iii) Structural Organisation in Animals

(a) Animal tissues

Epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous tissues to be taught with the help of diagrams. Location, structure and functions of epithelial tissues (simple, stratified, pseudostratified, specialised – transitional, neurosensory and pigmented) with examples, types of junctions (tight, adhering and gap junctions) location and general structure of areolar tissue - functions of different types of cells (fibroblasts, macrophages, Mast cells, plasma cells, adipocytes); fibrous connective tissue (ligaments and tendon); difference between bone and cartilage; types of cartilage (hyaline, white fibrous, yellow elastic and calcified); T.S. of hyaline cartilage, T.S and L.S. of mammalian bone(to be taught with the help of diagrams); different types of muscles and their functions; structure of a neuron (types – unipolar, bipolar, multipolar, myelinated, non-myelinated). Neuroglial cells.

(b) Cockroach

Morphology, anatomy and functions of different systems (digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous and reproductive) of an insect (cockroach) - a brief account only.

3. Cell: Structure and Function

(i) Cell - the Unit of Life

Cell theory and cell as the basic unit of life: Structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; Plant cell and animal cell; cell envelope; cell membrane, cell wall (including definition of plasmodesmata); cell organelles – ultrastructure and function; endomembrane system (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, vacuoles), mitochondria, ribosomes, plastids, microbodies; cytoskeleton, cilia, flagella, centrioles; nucleus, nuclear membrane, chromatin, nucleolus.

Historical aspects, cell theory, size and shape of cells; general structure of prokaryotic cell.

General structure of eukaryotic cell, ultra-structure and function of cell wall, cell membrane (description of fluid mosaic model; functions of the plasma membrane: active and passive transport, brief explanation of facilitated diffusion (uniport, symport and antiport) with one example. Mitochondria, nucleus (structure and types of chromosomes on the basis of the position of centromere, satellite), types of plastids, endomembrane system (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complex, lysosomes and vacuoles), ribosomes, microbodies, cytoskeleton, cilia, flagella and centrioles; difference between prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell, plant and animal cell, microfilaments and microtubules, flagella and cilia.

(ii) Biomolecules

Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, enzymes.

Carbohydrates: general classification and functions of: monosaccharides (glucose, ribose and deoxyribose), disaccharides (maltose, lactose and sucrose), polysaccharides (glycogen, starch, cellulose, inulin, and chitin).

Proteins: amino acids – (structure: glycine, alanine, serine); amino acids as zwitter-ion; examples of acidic, basic, neutral, sulphur containing amino acids; essential and nonessential amino acids; levels of protein structure (primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary); functions of proteins. Lipids: classification, structure and functions of fats and oils.

Enzymes: general properties, nomenclature and classification of enzymes according to type of reactions, co-factors (prosthetic groups, coenzymes and metal ions. Factors affecting enzyme activity - temperature, pH, substrate concentration. Competitive inhibitors.

(iii) Cell Cycle and Cell Division

Cell cycle, mitosis, meiosis and their significance. Definition of C-value, different stages of cell cycle (G o, G 1, S and G 2 and M). Different stages of mitosis and prophase – I of meiosis with diagrams. Significance of mitosis and meiosis. Differences between mitosis and meiosis.

4. Plant Physiology

(i) Transport in Plants

Movement of water, gases and nutrients; cell to cell transport, diffusion, facilitated diffusion, active transport; plant-water relations, imbibition, water potential, osmosis, plasmolysis; long distance transport of water - absorption, apoplast, symplast, transpiration pull, root pressure and guttation; transpiration, opening and closing of stomata; uptake and translocation of mineral nutrients - transport of food - phloem transport, mass flow hypothesis; diffusion of gases.

Definition of imbibition; factors affecting imbibition; importance of imbibition, characteristics and significance of diffusion; osmosis - endosmosis and exosmosis; significance of osmosis and turgidity - osmotic pressure, turgor pressure, wall pressure; definition of turgidity, plasmolysis, deplasmolysis, importance of water; active and passive absorption of water; apoplastic and symplastic movements, definition of water potential and its components viz. solute, matrix and pressure potential (numerical problems based on this concept are not required). Root pressure – definition and experiment to demonstrate it. Explanation and definition of transpiration, significance of transpiration. Stomatal mechanism – starch ↔ sugar interconversion and K+-ion mechanism. Mechanism of ascent of sap by cohesion – tension and transpiration pull theory. Guttation – efinition, differences between transpiration and guttation. Function of stomata, lenticel and hydathode. Mineral uptake by active and passive transport. Transport of solutes; evidences which indicate that downward movement of organic solutes takes place in phloem (girdling and tracer techniques), mechanism of translocation - mass flow hypothesis.

(ii) Mineral Nutrition

Essential minerals, macro- and micronutrients and their role; deficiency symptoms; mineral toxicity; elementary idea of hydroponics nitrogen metabolism, nitrogen cycle, biological nitrogen fixation. Criteria for essentiality of minerals, hydroponics, macro and micronutrients; role and deficiency symptoms (hunger signs) of various elements. Mineral toxicity. Root nodule formation, biological nitrogen fixation, non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Role of Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Azolla, Anabaena and Nostoc; importance of nitrogenase complex and leghaemoglobin pigment. Nitrogen cycle (graphic outline).

(iii) Photosynthesis in higher plants

Photosynthesis as a mean of autotrophic nutrition; site of photosynthesis, pigments involved in photosynthesis (elementary

idea); photochemical and biosynthetic phases of photosynthesis; cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphorylation; chemiosmotic hypothesis; photorespiration; C3 and C4 pathways; factors affecting photosynthesis. Contributions of Priestley, Sachs, Engelmann, van Neil; differences between absorption and action spectra. Brief idea of photosynthetic pigments (difference between chlorophyll ‘a’&‘b’, carotenoids and xanthophyll), photochemical phase - pigment systems, cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphorylation, chemiosmotic hypothesis; biosynthetic phase - C3 and C4 cycles – graphic representation in correct sequence (carboxylation, glycolytic reversal and regeneration of pentose); Differences between C3 and C4 plants, C3 and C4 cycles, Photosystems I and II, Photorespiration pathway in brief - explanation of how RuBP carboxylase acts as RuBP oxygenase. Kranz anatomy. Blackman’s Law of limiting factors, factors affecting photosynthesis.

(iv) Respiration in Plants

Exchange of gases; cellular respiration - glycolysis, fermentation (anaerobic), TCA cycle and electron transport system (aerobic); energy relations - number of ATP molecules generated; amphibolic pathways; respiratory quotient.

Types of respiration; mechanism of respiration: glycolysis, Krebs’ cycle, ETS (only flowchart). Oxidative phosphorylation – definition; Brief idea of fermentation and Amphibolic pathway. Definition of respiratory quotient and RQ values of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

(v) Plant Growth and Development

Seed germination; phases of plant growth; differentiation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation; sequence of developmental processes in a plant cell; growth regulators - auxin, gibberellin, cytokinin, ethylene, ABA; seed dormancy; vernalisation; photoperiodism. A brief idea about differentiation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation. Phases of growth in meristems, growth rate –definition; measurement of growth by direct method and use of auxanometer, factors affecting growth.

Discovery and physiological role of growth regulators in plants (such as auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, ethylene and abscisic acid – four effects of each); application of growth regulators, Definition of dormancy and quiescence; causes and methods of breaking seed dormancy. Photomorphogenesis in plants. A brief idea of short day, long day and day neutral plants; critical day length, definition and differences between photoperiodism and vernalisation.

5. Human Physiology

(i) Digestion and Absorption.

Alimentary canal and digestive glands, role of digestive enzymes; peristalsis, digestion, absorption and assimilation of proteins, carbohydrates and fats; calorific values of proteins, carbohydrates and fats; egestion; nutritional and digestive disorders.

Calorific value of carbohydrates, proteins and fats per gram; Structure and functions of the digestive organs and their associated glands, types of dentition (thecodont, heterodont, diphyodont) and dental formula of human; diagram of the digestive system with correct position of the organs and the associated glands; diagrammatic representation of T.S. of gut showing the four layers - histology of individual organs not required; physiology of digestion and absorption of food; definition of bolus, peristalsis, deglutition, emulsification; assimilation of digested food; disorders of the digestive system – Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM), indigestion, constipation, vomiting, jaundice, diarrhoea.

(ii) Breathing and exchange of gases.

Respiratory organs in animals (recall only); Respiratory system in humans; mechanism of breathing and its regulation - exchange of gases, transport of gases and regulation of respiration, respiratory volumes; disorders related to respiration.

Organs involved in respiration; mechanism of pulmonary gas exchange; breathing process should be explained showing the action of diaphragm and intercostal muscles, regulation of respiration; transport of oxygen in the blood, oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve; transport of CO2; chloride shift, pulmonary air volumes and lung capacities; disorders of respiratory system such as - asthma, emphysema, occupational respiratory disorders.

(iii) Body fluids and circulation.

Composition of blood, blood groups, coagulation of blood; composition of lymph and its function; human circulatory system - structure of human heart and blood vessels; cardiac cycle, cardiac output, ECG; double circulation; regulation of cardiac activity; disorders of circulatory system.

Composition of blood plasma, functions of plasma proteins, blood corpuscles. Difference between closed and open vascular system; external and internal structure of heart; working of the heart and blood flow through the heart during different phases should be described under the following headings - auricular systole, auricular diastole, ventricular systole, ventricular diastole and joint diastole; definition of stroke volume and cardiac output, regulation of heart beat, ECG; arterial blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), double circulation. The internal structure of artery, vein and capillary. Importance of ABO groups in blood transfusion, Rh factor and its importance in transfusion and pregnancy; clotting of blood to be taught briefly; lymphatic system – a brief idea of lymph (composition and function), lymphatic capillaries and lymph nodes; disorders of the circulatory system such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, angina pectoris and heart failure.

(iv) Excretory products and their elimination.

Modes of excretion - ammonotelism, ureotelism, uricotelism; human excretory system - structure and function; urine

formation, osmoregulation; regulation of kidney function, renin - angiotensin, atrial natriuretic factor, ADH and diabetes insipidus; role of erythropoietin; role of other organs in excretion; disorders of the excretory system - uraemia, renal failure, renal calculi, nephritis; dialysis and artificial kidney.

Define, differentiate and explain the terms ammonotelism, ureotelism and uricotelism; external and internal structure of the kidney (L.S.); structure of nephron; physiology of urine formation - ultra filtration, selective reabsorption and active (tubular) secretion. Counter current system, regulation of urine formation, definition of micturition, renin-angiotensin system, role of atrial natriuretic factor, ADH and erythropoietin.

Role of skin, liver and lungs in excretion. Homeostasis – definition. Disorders of the excretory system - uraemia, renal failure, renal calculi, nephritis.

Haemodialysis and artificial kidney.

(v) Locomotion and Movement

Types of movement - ciliary, flagellar, muscular; skeletal muscles - contractile proteins and muscle contraction; skeletal system and its functions; joints; disorders of muscular and skeletal system.

Locomotion: Basic aspects of human skeleton (number and names of the bones of axial and appendicular skeleton).

Functions of human skeleton; different types of joints - their location and function; general properties of muscles; structure of skeletal muscle - sliding filament theory of muscle contraction; chemical events during muscle contraction; definition of summation, tetanus, rigor mortis, differences between red and white muscles.

Disorders of muscular and skeletal system:

(i) Myasthenia gravis, (ii) Tetany,

(iii Muscular dystrophy, (iv) Arthritis,

(v) Osteoporosis, (vi) gout.

(vi) Neural Control and Coordination

Neuron and nerves; nervous system in humans - central nervous system; peripheral nervous system and visceral nervous system; generation and conduction of nerve impulse; reflex action; sensory perception; sense organs; elementary structure and functions of eye and ear.

Structure and functions of various parts of the brain and spinal cord; conduction of nerve impulses through nerve fibre (non- myelinated and myelinated) and through synapse; physiology of reflex action, natural reflex and conditioned reflex - definition, examples and differences; reflex arc to be taught with diagram showing the pathway by means of arrows; eye and ear: structure and working to be done along with the help of diagrams. Elementary idea of nose (olfactory receptor) and tongue (gustato receptor).

(vii) Chemical Co-ordination and Integration

Endocrine glands and hormones; human endocrine system - hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, gonads; mechanism of hormone action (elementary idea); role of hormones as messengers and regulators, hypo - and hyperactivity and related disorders; dwarfism, acromegaly, cretinism, goitre, exophthalmic goitre, diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus, Grave’s disease, Addison's disease.

Brief idea of location of endocrine glands; role of hypothalamus; hormones secreted by different lobes of pituitary and their functions; feedback control of tropic hormones to be discussed giving examples; hormones of pineal, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, GI tract (gastrin, secretin, GIP, CCK-PZ) and gonads; mechanism of hormone action (through cAMP and steroid hormones only); effects of hypo secretion and hyper secretion of various hormones of the above mentioned glands.

Note: Diseases related to all the human physiological systems to be taught in brief.

Internal Assessment

Project Work And Practical File 15 Marks

Project Work – 10 Marks

Candidate is to creatively execute one project/assignment on any aspect of Biology. Preference is to be given to investigatory projects. Following is only a suggestive list of projects. Teachers may assign or students may choose any one project of their choice.

(i) Project related to experiment on any aspect of plant life/animal life.
(ii) Project related to any aspect of environment.
(iii) Diabetes.
(iv) Endocrine disorders.
(v) Yeast fermentation and production of alcohol or any other commercial industry dependant on plants and/or animals or their products. In addition, students may be taught how to culture:
− Earthworms.
− Protozoans.
− Moulds.
− Setting up of an aquarium.

Suggested Evaluation criteria for Project Work:

Format of the Project:

  • Content
  • Introduction
  • Presentation (graphs, tables, charts, newspaper cuttings, diagrams, photographs, statistical analysis if relevant)
  • Conclusion/ Summary
  • Bibliography

Practical File-5 Marks

Teachers are required to assess students on the basis of the Physics practical file maintained by them during the academic year.


2022-23 Reduced Syllabus

(for reference purposes only)

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