The Central Board of Secondary Education had introduced applied mathematics as one of the optional subjects in CBSE class 11 and class 12 curriculum. If you want to keep studying maths, then you have to choose between applied mathematics and mathematics. 

This post takes you through detailed information about the difference between applied mathematics and pure mathematics.

Applied Mathematics vs Mathematics Major Differences

Parameters Applied mathematics Mathematics
Definition It is the application of mathematical methods by various fields such as Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Business, Computer Science, etc It is the study of topics like quantity (number theory), structure (algebra), space (geometry), and change (mathematical analysis)
Applications Algebra, geometry, number theory, differential or integral calculus Physics, biology, business, economics
Career Options  Accountant, Computer programmer, Engineer, Investment manager, Lawyer, Theoretical mathematician, Numerical analyst  Academic institutions and research institutes, aerospace, and transportation equipment manufacturers or service providers, Analytics and forecasting organizations, Chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers, Communications services providers Computer information and software firms, Consumer products companies, Energy systems firms
 Difficulty Level Easy Moderate

Applied Mathematics vs Mathematics 

Mathematics helps students to explore future career options after graduating from school. It has been observed that the syllabus of mathematics which is meant for science students is not much helpful for students pursuing Commerce or Humanities. Hence, CBSE has added applied mathematics into the academic syllabus as an elective subject.

Mathematics helps you to acquire knowledge and critical understanding and to develop a positive attitude to think, analyze, and lucid logically whereas Applied mathematics helps you to develop an understanding of basic mathematical and statistical tools and their applications in the field of Commerce and social sciences. 

Topic-Based Difference Between Mathematics & Applied Mathematics

Mathematics syllabus is aligned very well to help you with the science stream whereas the applied mathematics syllabus is aligned for those who choose commerce, science, or humanities stream.

You can compare Mathematics & Applied Mathematics topics from the table below to better understand the difference between them.

Mathematics Applied Mathematics
Sets and Functions Numbers, Quantification and Numerical Applications
Algebra Algebra
Coordinate Geometry Mathematical Reasoning
Calculus Calculus
Mathematical Reasoning Probability
Statistics and Probability Descriptive Statistics
Relations and Functions Basics of Financial Mathematics
Vectors Coordinate Geometry
Three Dimensional Geometry Inferential Statistics
Linear programming Index Numbers and Time-based data
Linear Programming
Financial Mathematics

Application Based Difference Between Pure Mathematics & Applied Mathematics

Pure mathematics is used to solve problems related to mathematics and applied mathematics is used to answer questions related to various fields like physics, biology, economics, and so on.

The problems and theorems that directly challenge pure mathematics can appear in fields such as algebra, geometry, number theory, differential or integral calculus, etc whereas applied mathematics adopts problem solutions or proven theorems to apply them in other fields such as physics, biology, business, etc.

It is known that without mathematics, neither physics nor engineering would be possible. The application of applied mathematics includes numerical analysis, the mathematics of engineering, information theory, continuous modelling, information theory, game theory, and cryptography.

Pure mathematics involves the use of pure numbers while applied mathematics involves quantities such as numerical values and units of measurement. Applied mathematics is used in practical applications in day-to-day life while pure mathematics is the study of principles without much practical application.

Career Difference Between Applied Math and Mathematics

Let us have a look at the detailed career options for both pure mathematics and applied mathematics and choose the one as per your interest in the CBSE class 11 and class 12.


You can pursue graduation, business, science, etc if you opt for mathematics in your secondary school of education. You can enter into the following fields with mathematics.

  • Accountant
  • Computer programmer
  • Engineer
  • Investmnet manager
  • Lawyer
  • Theoretical mathematician
  • Numerical analyst
  • Teacher
  • Market Researcher
  • System analyst
  • Statistician
  • Government

Applied Mathematics

Let us have a look at the organizations that offer jobs for applied mathematics.

  • Academic institutions and research institutes
  • Aerospace and transportation equipment manufacturers or service providers
  • Analytics and forecasting organizations
  • Chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Communications services providers
  • Computer information and software firms; established or start-ups
  • Consumer products companies
  • Energy systems firms
  • Electronics and computer manufacturers
  • Engineering research organizations
  • Financial service and investment management firms
  • Government labs, research offices and agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Medical device companies
  • Producers of petroleum and petroleum products

Which is tough Mathematics or Applied Mathematics?

Generally, depending on the area of individual interest, the easiness of the mathematics and applied mathematics subject depends. Knowing the difference between pure maths and applied maths will let you better understand which is the hard subject.


Pure mathematics is abstract and theoretical. It is used to solve problems, find facts and answer questions that do not depend on the world around us, but on the rules of mathematics itself. If you are an arts or science graduate, then pure mathematics is easy to learn.

Applied Mathematics

The activity of applied mathematics is intimately connected with research in pure mathematics. It is better than pure mathematics because it uses the formulas of pure maths and applies them in the real life. Applied maths tries to model predict, and explain things in the real world. 

Applied maths is easy for students who are strong with engineering concepts. You can learn applied mathematics just as easily if they can learn new words and use them in daily life.


What is the difference between pure mathematics and applied mathematics?

Pure mathematics is used to solve the problems related to mathematics and applied mathematics is used to answer the questions related to various fields like physics, biology, economics, and so on.

Is Applied Mathematics tough compare to Maths subject?

No. Applied mathematics is not tough if you are strong with engineering concepts. Try to learn all the basic formulas of pre maths to become strong in applied mathematics subject. Opting for online coaching will help students to learn applied mathematics easily by sitting at home.

What are the branches of applied mathematics?

Numerical analysis, mathematics of engineering, linear programming, optimization and operations research, continuous modelling, mathematical biology and bioinformatics, information theory, game theory, probability and statistics, financial mathematics, actuarial science, cryptography are some of the branches of Applied Mathematics.

What are the topics included in CBSE Applied mathematics?

The following topics are included in CBSE Applied mathematics:

  • Numbers, Quantification and Numerical Applications
  • Algebra
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Calculus
  • Probability
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Basics of Financial Mathematics
  • Coordinate Geometry