ICSE Class 10 Biology Syllabus

ICSE – Indian Council of Secondary Education India is an autonomous educational board of school education in India and is mainly known for its standard educational pattern that provides students with quality education. The ICSE syllabus for Class 10 contains all basic subjects in a required manner. We at BYJU’S provide the ICSE syllabus for Class 10 Biology along with the mark-wise weightage for every chapter, so that students can have a good idea about the pattern of the exam.

Download ICSE Class 10 Biology Reduced Syllabus PDF for 2020-21

The ICSE syllabus for Class 10 Biology includes:

  1. Basic Biology

(i) Cell Cycle and Cell Division:

Cell cycle – Interphase (G1, S, G2) and M Phase

Cell Division: Mitosis and its stages. A basic understanding of Meiosis as a reduction division (stages not required). Significance and major differences between mitotic and meiotic division.

(ii) Structure of chromosome:

Basic structure of chromosome with elementary understanding of terms such as chromatin, chromatid, gene structure of DNA and centromere.

(iii) Genetics: Mendel’s laws of inheritance and sex linked inheritance of diseases.

Monohybrid cross, dihybrid cross. The following terms to be covered: gene, allele, heterozygous, homozygous, dominant, recessive, mutation, variation, phenotype, genotype. Sex determination in human beings. Sex linked inheritance of diseases to include haemophilia and colour blindness.

  1. Plant Physiology

(i) Absorption by roots:

Imbibition, diffusion and osmosis, osmotic pressure, root pressure, turgidity and flaccidity, plasmolysis and deplasmolysis. The absorption of water and minerals, active and passive transport, the importance of root hair. Characteristics of roots, which make them suitable for absorbing water, should be discussed with the process of absorption. Structure of a single full-grown root hair should be explained.

(ii) The rise of water up to the xylem:

A general idea of Cohesive, Adhesive forces and transpiration pull, demonstrated by the use of dyes. Experiments to show the conduction of water through the xylem should be discussed. Mention of the causative forces must be made for better understanding but as per the syllabus. Transpiration, process and significance; experimental work includes the loss in weight of a potted plant or a leafy shoot in a test tube, the use of cobalt chloride paper. Ganong’s potometer and its limitations. The effect of external conditions on the rate of water loss should be stressed. Mechanism of stomata transpiration must be explained so that concept of the process is clear. Adaptations in plants to reduce transpiration to be discussed. A brief idea of guttation and bleeding should be given.

(iii) Photosynthesis:

The nature of the process itself and the great importance of photosynthesis to life in general; experiments to show the necessity of light, carbon dioxide & chlorophyll and also the formation of starch and the output of oxygen; carbon cycle. The internal structure of chloroplast should be explained to give an idea of the site of light and dark reaction. Opening and closing of stomata should be explained. Teachers should stress upon the importance of a correct balanced chemical equation. The terms “photochemical” for light phase and “biosynthetic” for dark phase must be introduced. In the light reaction, activation of chlorophyll molecule followed by photolysis of water, release of O2, formation of ATP and NADPH should be taught. In the dark reaction (detailed equations are not required), only combination of hydrogen released by NADP with CO2 to form glucose to be discussed. Adaptations in a plant for photosynthesis and experiments with regard to the factors essential for the process should be discussed.

  1. Human Anatomy and Physiology

(i) Circulatory System:

Main features; the structure and working of the heart, blood vessels, structure and functions of blood and circulation of blood (only names of the main blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, liver and kidney will be required). Composition of blood (Structure and functions of RBC, WBC and platelets). Brief idea of tissue fluid and lymph. Increase in efficiency of mammalian red blood cells due to absence of certain organelles should be explained with reasons. A brief idea of blood coagulation. Structure of vein, artery and capillary should be explained with the help of diagrams to bring out clearly the relationship between their structure and function. ABO blood group system, Rh factor; concept of double circulation; concept systole and diastole; blood pressure. Reference to portal system should be made. Working of the heart along with names of the main blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, the liver and the kidney must be taught. Examination of a blood smear under a microscope.

(ii) Excretory System:

Elementary treatment of the structure and function of the kidneys; the kidneys treated as comprising cortex and medulla and consisting of a branched system of tubules well supplied with blood vessels leading to the ureter (details of the courses of the tubules and their blood vessels not required).External and internal structure of the kidney; parts of the excretory system along with the blood vessels entering and leaving it should be taught with the help of charts or models. Students should be able to draw the diagrams with correct labelling and know the functions of various parts. A general idea of the structure of a kidney tubule nephron should be given. A brief idea of ultra-filtration, selective reabsorption and tubular secretion in relation to the composition of blood plasma and urine formed.

(iii) Nervous system:

Structure of Neuron; central, autonomous and peripheral nervous system (in brief); brain and spinal cord; reflex action and how it differs from voluntary reflex.

Sense organs – Eye and ear; Eye defects and corrective measures (myopia, hypermetropia, presbyopia, astigmatism and cataract).Various parts of the external structure of the brain and its parts (Medulla Oblongata, Cerebrum, Cerebellum, Thalamus, Hypothalamus) and their functions; reference should be made to the distribution of white and gray matter internally. Diagrammatic explanation of the reflex arc, showing the pathway from receptor to effector, differences between natural and acquired reflex should be taught. Structure and function of the Eye and Ear and their various parts. The external and V.S. of the eye must be taught with a brief idea of stereoscopic vision. The course of perception of sound in human ear. Role of ear in maintaining balance.

(iv) Endocrine System:

General study of the following glands: Adrenal, Pancreas, Thyroid and Pituitary. Difference in Endocrine and Exocrine glands. Correct location and shape of the gland in the human body should be discussed along with the hormones they secrete (Pancreas: insulin and glucagon to be taught; Thyroid: only thyroxine to be taught). Effects of hyposecretion and hypersecretion of hormones must be discussed. The term tropic hormones should be explained in the study of pituitary. Brief idea of feedback mechanism must be given.

(v) The Reproductive System:

Organs, fertilisation and a general outline of nutrition and respiration of the embryo. Menstrual cycle, outline of menstrual cycle. Functions of organs and accessory glands must be discussed. An idea of secondary sexual characters, structure and functions of the various parts of the sperm and an egg. Fertilization, implantation, placenta, foetal membranes, gestation and parturition identical and fraternal twins to be explained briefly.

The duration ICSE Class 10 Biology paper is of two hours and the overall marks is of 100 among which 80 marks is for theory and other 20 marks will be for Internal Assessment of practical works. The Biology question paper is divided into two sections:

  1. Section I carries 40 marks, all questions are compulsory and it mainly contains short answer questions on the entire syllabus.
  2. Section II carries 40 marks, which contains six questions and students are required to answer any four out of six questions.

The syllabus of ICSE Class 10 for Biology help students to get an idea about the course content so that they can prepare themselves accordingly. Studying according to the syllabus of ICSE Biology will help them fetching more marks in the exam. It also provides information about the time duration and the subtopics related to each chapter.

ICSE Class 10 Biology Marking Scheme

Subject Percentage External Examination Marks Internal Assessment
Biology 80%


ICSE Class 10 Biology Exam pattern

The exam pattern of ICSE Class 10 Biology provides the marks distribution, number of questions and important topics. Before starting the exam preparation going through the exam pattern of Biology will help students to understand what type of questions they can expect from each chapter.

For Biology (1.5 hrs)
Section – A  – Short compulsory questions worth 40 marks
Section – B  – 6 questions out of which any 4 are to be solved worth 40 marks

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to get the latest news on ICSE and ISC exam along with the exam syllabus, marking scheme of the exam, time table and other exam details.

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