Top 10 Toughest Exams in India

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Toughest Exams in India

Toughest Exams in India: India is famous for having some of the most challenging exams in the world. But do you know which exam is the toughest of them all? It’s always been up for debate whether it’s UPSC CSE or JEE or CLAT. Lakhs of candidates prepare each year for these exams making it difficult to even come close to top 90th percentile of performers.

The toughest exams in India are called so because of their strict selection process, limited number of vacancies, vast and complicated syllabus and high quality competition among students. Here, in this blog, we will learn everything about the most difficult exams in India in detail.

List of Top 10 Toughest Exams in India

Depending on the purpose of the exam, they vary greatly. But these are some of the toughest exams in India:

  1. UPSC Civil Services Exam
  2. IIT- JEE
  3. Chartered Accountant (CA)
  4. CAT ( Common Admission Test )
  5. NEET UG
  7. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
  8. National Defence Academy (NDA)
  9. Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT)
  10. UGC NET
  11. National Institute of Design Entrance Exam

UPSC CSE (UPSC Civil Services Examination)

UPSC CSE is India’s toughest exam for recruitment into civil services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and similar roles. To be eligible, you must have a recognized university graduation. The exam has three stages: preliminary, main written, and personality tests. Prelims have two multiple-choice papers, and mains have nine descriptive papers. Merit is based on main and personality test scores, testing consistency and problem-solving skills, emphasizing current events and book knowledge. Despite many applicants, the selection rate is under 1%.

Candidates appeared 10 lakh (approx.)
Selection rate0.1 to 0.3%
Duration of examPrelims – 2 hours each for both papers
Mains – 3 hours each for 9 papers
Purpose of examRecruitment for the posts of IAS, IPS, IFS, and central services as per the rules of the Department of Personnel & Training

UPSC Study Material

How to Prepare for UPSC 2024 at Home?Backup Plan for UPSC Aspirants
UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
For the Last 10 Years
UPSC Book List
How Many Questions are there in UPSC Mains?UPSC Preparation for Working People

IIT – JEE (Joint Entrance Examination)

The JEE exam is conducted annually by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and attracts a large number of students. It is divided into two papers: Paper 1 for B.E/B.Tech and Paper 2 for B.Arch/B.Planning courses. There are two levels of the exam – JEE Main for NITs, IITs, and other government institutes, and JEE Advanced for IITs, IISc, and RGIPT, with questions from physics, chemistry, and math.

The number of JEE Advanced questions varies each year, making it one of India’s most challenging exams. It fosters intense competition among candidates for top rankings and IIT admissions.

Candidates appeared6 lakh approx.
Selection rate25 – 30%
Duration of exam3 hours
Purpose of examto get admission to engineering colleges

Read More About JEE Exam Here

Top Colleges Accepting JEE Main for B.Tech in India

JEE Main 2024: Exam Dates, Admit Card, Eligibility and More

JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2024 (Updated): Age, Education, Attempts

Important Chapters for JEE Mains: Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics

CAT (Common Admission Test)

The CAT exam is a national-level test that is conducted by IIM on a rotational basis. It is a computer-based exam that students take to gain admission to the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program. Students who have scored 50% or more in their Bachelor’s degree can apply for the exam, while the aggregate score for reserved categories is 45%.

The exam consists of three sections, namely quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning and data interpretation, verbal ability, and reading comprehension. The questions in the exam will be in the form of multiple-choice and non-multiple-choice questions. This year, the exam is expected to have 66 questions. To determine CAT scores, the exam undergoes scaling and normalization processes since it is conducted in multiple shifts.

Candidates appeared2.30 lakh approx.
Selection rate2%
Duration of exam2 hours
Purpose of examPursuing MBA courses in business schools

Must Read: 21 Trignometry Formulas Every Student Should Remember

CLAT (Common Law Admission Test)

The CLAT exam is conducted annually by the Consortium of National Law Universities to provide admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law programs at 24 national law universities in India. The exam is conducted offline and comprises 150 questions across five sections, including Logical Reasoning, Legal Aptitude, English, General Knowledge, and Maths. Qualifying candidates can pursue careers in law, judiciary, higher education, and civil services. A minimum cut-off mark is necessary, and there is no maximum age limit for candidates.

Candidates appeared60,000 approx.
Selection rate3% approx.
Duration of exam2 hours
Purpose of examFor admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law colleges

CA (Chartered Accountant)

The CA exam has been administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) since its inception. The CA degree carries the same weight as a postgraduate degree from Delhi University (DU). Candidates must pass three levels – foundation, intermediate, and final – to obtain the degree.

The exam is held twice a year and consists of multiple-choice and descriptive questions in the intermediate and final stages, while the foundation stage is based solely on multiple-choice questions. The foundation test consists of four papers, while the intermediate and final exams are divided into two groups, each with four papers. This is one of the most challenging exams, requiring more study time and effort from candidates. To achieve their goal of becoming a chartered accountant, candidates must pass all three stages.

Candidates appeared93,729 approx.
Selection rate25%
Duration of exam3 hours for the final exam
Purpose of examCandidates who qualify will become certified chartered accountants

Did you know: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was back in 1949 by the Parliament of India to regulate the accountancy profession in India.

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NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test)

The NEET exam, considered the toughest exam in the medical field, is conducted by the National Testing Agency every year. It is aimed at providing admission to various undergraduate courses like Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), AYUSH, and veterinary courses.

The exam consists of questions from Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, and Botany subjects, and the total marks for the exam is 720. Due to the increasing competition, the cut-off marks are also rising at a fast pace. The exam is a single-stage exam, and there is no maximum age limit defined for the candidates. However, the minimum age requirement is 17 years or above.

Candidates appeared 18 lakh approx.
Selection rate6.5 – 7%
Duration of exam3 hours
Purpose of examFor admission to undergraduate courses like Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), AYUSH, and veterinary courses

Also Read: NEET Marks vs Rank

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)

The GATE exam, which is an all-India exam, is conducted by the GATE committee in eight regions across the country. The committee comprises diverse members from the National Coordinating Board and Department of Higher Education, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and IISc. The final GATE score will be used by Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to recruit students for jobs such as Indian oil, GAIL and Hindustan Petroleum.

The exam pattern will consist of multiple-choice, multiple-select questions, or numerical answer types, with 2 sections – General aptitude and the candidate’s selected section.

Candidates appeared7 lakh approx.
Selection rate17%
Duration of exam3 hours
Purpose of examTo test student knowledge in Engineering and Science and for recruitment in companies like GAIL

NDA (National Defence Academy)

The NDA exam, which is India’s toughest exam for the defence line, is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Those who pass this exam will have the opportunity to join the Army, Navy, and Air Force wings of the NDA. The exam is held twice a year and consists of a written test and a Service Selection Board (SSB) interview.

The exam pattern includes questions from the mathematics and general ability sections, which cover topics from English and general awareness. The general ability test syllabus has 600 questions, and the mathematics paper is worth 300 marks. In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that women are allowed to take the NDA exam, opening up new opportunities for them to serve the nation after getting selected in this exam.

Candidates appeared3 lakh approx.
Selection rate0.1%
Duration of exam2.5 hours each for both papers
Purpose of examTo serve in the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA

Read More about NDA Here:

NDA Exam Dates 2024: Dates (OUT) Registration Dates, Admit Card & Result Dates

NDA Exam Syllabus 2024: Subject-wise Syllabus👮

NDA Exam Eligibility 2024: Age Limit, Qualifications, No. of Attempts

NDA Previous Year’s Question Papers: PDF (Out Now), Tips To Solve

NDA Exam Result 2024 – Link to Download Scorecard

UGC NET (UGC National Eligibility Test)

The UGC NET exam for the University Grants Commission (UGC) is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) twice a year. The exam aims to help candidates become assistant professors or seek junior research fellowships.

In order to be eligible to apply, candidates must have secured at least 55% marks in their Master’s degree. The exam consists of two papers that are conducted online. The first one is a common paper that includes questions related to teaching and research aptitude, general awareness, reasoning ability, and reading comprehension. The second paper is subject-specific. To qualify for the paper, candidates need to score a minimum of 40% marks. Reserved candidates must secure at least 35% marks.

Candidates appeared 5 lakh approx.
Selection rate9% approx.
Duration of exam3 hours
Purpose of examGetting eligibility for the posts of assistant professor and junior research fellowship award in Indian universities and colleges

NID (National Institute of Design Entrance)

The National Institute of Design conducts the NID Design Aptitude Test (DAT) at a national level, which is taken by candidates for admission into undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The exam consists of two qualifying stages, namely NID DAT prelims and NID DAT mains.

The candidates must be at least 19 years old before applying for the exam. The merit list is prepared based on the scores obtained in prelims and mains. The NID conducts counselling in two stages.

Candidates appeared15000
Selection rate14%
Duration of exam3 hours
Purpose of examadmission for undergraduate and postgraduate design programs

Strategies to Crack Tough Exams

To ace an exam, follow these steps:

1. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus.

2. Create a study plan and prioritize weaker areas.

3. Use quality study materials.

4. Practice regularly with mock tests and sample papers.

5. Manage your time effectively.

6. Revise regularly to retain information.

7. Seek guidance from experts.

8. Stay updated on current affairs and developments.

9. Take care of your health and well-being.

10. Believe in yourself and stay confident.

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Which is the toughest exam in India?

One of the toughest exams in India is UPSC. The full form of UPSC is the Union Public Service Commission.

Which is the 3 toughest exam in India?

The 3 exams which are considered the toughest in India are UPSC, IIT, and NDA.

Is UPSC tougher than JEE?

Both the exams in India are considered the toughest exams for the students. It depends on the candidate’s performance and preparation.

This was all about the “Top 10 Toughest Exams in India”. For more such informative blogs, check out ourIndian examspage.

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  1. I think you should include the ISI Entrance Exam in the list it is way tougher than IIT JEE, NEET, NDA and NID

  2. IT was good, but lacking sources and requirements of a nation like India , what’s the plan of the government and other contribute assessment forecast and goal exam’s are tough fine but there’s always a way and plan to resolve it which is a serious lack from government they have budgets for defence but not for educational purpose to create more aspirants to qualify