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CBSE Class 12 Biology 2020 Exam Review and Analysis

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted the AISSCE Biology exam for students of Class 12 today, on the 14th of March 2020. This paper was after a good gap of 7 days, so the students had sufficient time to revise for the Biology paper. This gap before the exam was much needed as there were couple of changes in this year’s question paper pattern. It's important to note that Biology is considered to be one of the crucial subjects for students who are planning to appear for NEET. Below, we have a detailed analysis of CBSE Class 12 Biology paper (Set 3) for 2020.


Let’s first look at the comparison of the chapter-wise distribution of marks of this year’s 2020 paper with that of the previous year 2019.


Chapter wise Distribution of Marks


The chapters with much weightage in terms of marks this year were, ‘Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants’ and Principles of Inheritance and Variation’ as they summed up to 10 marks. This was in contrast to last year’s high-important chapter ‘Human Health and Disease’ which contributed only 8 marks to the paper. Another chapter that had major contribution worth 9 marks this year was ‘Molecular Basis of Inheritance’. And, finally, the chapter that had the least contribution in this year’s paper was ‘Reproduction in Organisms’ as it only had 1 mark worth of question.


Question Paper Pattern Changes in 2020 

Although, the unit wise distribution of marks remained the same, the typology of questions along with internal choices within the paper were the major areas of change. And that is why, students looked tense as the primary focus of the paper was on conceptual understanding and application.


Section A - Question numbers 1 to 5, multiple choice questions of one mark each. 

Section B - Question numbers 6 to 12, short answer type I questions of two marks each. 

Section C - Question numbers 13 to 21, short answer type II questions of three marks each.

Section D - Question numbers 22 to 24, case-based SAQ of three marks each. 

Section E - Question numbers 25 to 27, long answer type questions of five marks each.


There was no overall choice in the question paper. However, internal choices were provided in two questions of one mark, one question of two marks (earlier choice was in two questions), two questions of three marks (earlier choice was in four questions) and all three questions of five marks. 


General Observations

We’ve noted some observations from every aspect of the paper with respect to typology, distribution of marks and difficulty level.

  • 1 mark and 2 mark questions were easy.
  • 3-mark and 5-mark questions was a bit varied and a little challenging.
  • All the questions were directly from the NCERT textbook and were related to the concept.
  • Most of the questions were remembering and understanding based, with very less focus on application-based and reasoning based questions.
  • Approximately 15 marks went straight into the answer bucket without any thought as four to five questions were remembering based.


Section-wise Analysis

  • Section A was easy as the questions were direct and straightforward.
  • Section B was also relatively easy to moderate with memory-based textbook questions.
  • As expected, Section C seemed a bit time-consuming as most of the questions need explanation and therefore, the answers had to be long.
  • Section D had case-based questions which were also direct and textbook-based and could have been handled with thorough conceptual understanding.
  • Section E had concept-based questions on textbook with application oriented answers in a few cases. This section had 5-marks and hence, appeared a bit lengthy to few students.



The CBSE Class 12 Biology paper featured questions which were mostly from the NCERT syllabus. With about two-three application-based questions, the difficulty level of different sets was also the same and easy. Most students can roughly expect a good score of above 50-60 marks in the 70 marks paper.


The Biology board examiner mentioned that the 2020 Biology paper was relatively easier and approachable.

Last year, the number of conceptual questions or HOTS questions were more. Even though there were tricky questions this year, they came with easier options that students could select.

It’s now time to focus on Mathematics as it is an important subject and also crucial for JEE Main 2020 exam. Apart from a thorough understanding of Mathematical concepts, students who have gone through the TopperLearning Maths Sample PapersPast Years' Papers and Most Important Questions will feel rewarded as most of the questions are covered in these resources and solving them will be an easy feat. So get ready and gear up!


Watch this video for a detailed analysis of the CBSE 12 Biology paper 2020 by a TopperLearning academic expert.


Team TopperLearning wishes you all the very best!

Important topics for your reference:

6 Useful subject-specific tips for CBSE Class 12 Science exam preparation - 2020

Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme for CBSE Class 12 - 2020

If you have any queries related to the CBSE Class 12 Science paper pattern you can post your questions in the ‘Ask the Expert’ section at

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