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Which subject is toughest in class 11?

Deciding which subject is the toughest in class 11 can be a challenging task as students have many new subjects to tackle in their first year of higher secondary education. However, there are a few key subjects that are often cited as being particularly difficult for class 11 students.


Physics is frequently noted as one of the toughest subjects for class 11 students. There are a few key reasons why physics proves to be so challenging:

  • New concepts – Class 11 physics introduces many new and abstract concepts that students would not have encountered before, such as modern physics, electrostatics, electromagnetism, etc. These can be difficult to grasp.
  • Mathematical nature – Physics relies heavily on mathematical formulas and problem solving. Students need a strong grasp of mathematics to excel in physics.
  • Less emphasis on rote learning – Earlier physics courses focused more on rote learning. Now students need to apply conceptual knowledge to solve numerical problems.

The shift to more abstract concepts and mathematical problem solving takes time to adjust to. Many students find their marks drop significantly when making the transition from class 10 to 11 due to the increased difficulty of physics. Strong mathematical, analytical and problem solving skills are required to successfully master class 11 physics.


Chemistry is another subject that students often struggle with in class 11. Some of the key challenges include:

  • New terminology – Class 11 chemistry introduces many new terms, formulas, structures and processes that students must memorize.
  • Conceptual understanding – Students must grasp abstract concepts like atomic structure, chemical bonding, redox reactions, etc. Rote learning alone is insufficient.
  • Logical thinking – Chemistry requires developing logical thinking and reasoning skills in order to understand reactions and solve numerical problems.
  • Practical application – Laboratory work comes into play which requires learning new practical skills and techniques.

The shift from basic to higher level concepts and the need to develop new scientific skills makes chemistry one of the most difficult subjects for many class 11 students. A strong foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry from earlier grades is essential to build upon.


Mathematics is universally considered one of the toughest subjects, and this remains true in class 11. Some key reasons for this include:

  • New topics – Many new and challenging topics like calculus, matrices, complex numbers, vectors/3D geometry get introduced.
  • Higher difficulty – The difficulty level jumps sharply from basic math in earlier grades. More complex theorems, formulas and techniques are required.
  • Problem solving – Students need strong analytical and logical skills. Merely memorizing formulas is not enough to solve problems.
  • Abstract concepts – Topics like calculus and matrices involve grasping abstract theoretical concepts.

Mathematics requires a shift from calculation-based questions to more proof and logic based problem solving. Students need to bridge gaps in their conceptual knowledge from earlier grades and adapt to higher difficulty level math of class 11 – making it an uphill climb for many.


Accountancy is one of the new subjects introduced in class 11 under the commerce stream. Some key reasons it poses difficulties include:

  • Completely new subject – Most students opting for commerce and humanities streams will not have studied accountancy before. The subject is entirely new to them.
  • Conceptual understanding – Accountancy relies on comprehending accounting concepts like journal entries, ledger postings, trial balance rather than rote techniques.
  • Application – Practical application is required in making journal entries, ledger accounts, financial statements etc. for different transaction types.
  • Detailed concepts – Many detailed concepts like subdivisions of journal, rules of debit/credit, policies like realization etc. need thorough understanding.

Since accountancy is a completely new practical subject, the initial learning curve is quite steep for students without any prior experience. Grasping the conceptual knowledge and practical book-keeping skills takes concerted effort.


Economics is another new subject for commerce and humanities students that poses difficulties including:

  • New terminology – There are many new economic terms related to markets, banking, trade, fiscal policies etc. to master.
  • Theoretical concepts – Economics includes many abstract theories like demand-supply, consumer choice, market structures that require conceptualization.
  • Analytical ability – Strong reasoning and logic is needed to analyze economic scenarios and apply theoretical concepts.
  • Subjective nature – Economics is more subjective than quantitative subjects like maths. Answers depend on reasoning applied.

Since economics involves mastering many new abstract theories and developing analytical thinking, students without prior knowledge struggle to develop economic perspective needed to excel in the subject.


While not a conventional academic subject, English can also pose difficulties for class 11 students due to:

  • Grammar concepts – Advanced grammatical concepts like clauses, reported speech, active/passive voice etc. require understanding.
  • Literature study – The shift from ordinary reading to analyzing advanced literary works like poetry, prose is challenging.
  • Composition skills – Students must develop sophisticated composition skills for essay writing, letters, speech writing etc.
  • Unseen passages – Unseen comprehension passages test understanding and vocabulary.

Thus English requires students to master advanced grammar skills, higher level comprehension and develop literary analysis capabilities through new forms of writing – making it a tough subject for many.

Subject-wise Difficulty Comparison

The table below summarizes the key reasons why the major subjects in class 11 prove to be difficult for students:

Subject Main Difficulties
Physics New abstract concepts, mathematical problem solving
Chemistry New terminology, conceptual understanding, practical skills
Mathematics Higher difficulty level, complex theorems and problem solving
Accountancy Completely new subject, conceptual and practical knowledge
Economics New terms and abstract theories, analytical ability
English Advanced grammar, higher level literature and composition


In conclusion, while no one subject can be singled out as the absolute toughest in class 11, mathematics, physics and chemistry are most frequently cited by students as the most difficult. These STEM subjects involve the biggest leap in difficulty level, the most abstract concepts and the strongest foundation in reasoning and problem solving skills. Accountancy and economics pose a whole new challenge for commerce and humanities students as entirely unfamiliar subjects. Even English cannot be taken lightly given the higher level language and literary skills required. Ultimately, class 11 marks the transition from basic to advanced study across subjects – making it a challenging year for most students. The key is for students to identify their weaker areas and work diligently right from the start to avoid falling behind in any subject.