Exams are a significant part of our education. Besides testing the ability of the student, exams are important in instilling core skills like discipline, time management, hard work and patience. Whether applying for a university to study abroad or for a job, exams are the basic criteria for the selection of the candidates. Amongst the toughest exams in the world, there are many contenders from India which are known for their rigorous pattern and the level of study they demand. Depending on the purpose of the exam, the exam patterns vary greatly. Some exams are descriptive while others are multiple-choice based but in any case, without a strategic study plan, qualifying an exam can be challenging and sometimes can cause disappointment. In this blog, we will cover the top 10 toughest exams in India spread across varied fields of study and disciplines that you must know about!
Quick Read: How to Prepare for Competitive Exams?
UPSC Civil Services Exam
Probably the most prestigious, the UPSC Civil Services Exams are conducted to recruit candidates for top administrative positions in the Central Government of India. The exam encompasses various services like IAS, IPS and IFS. The three-tier exam consisting of Preliminary Exam, Main Exam and the Interview or personality test demands a great level of seriousness, dedication and hard work. The UPSC syllabus is extraordinarily vast, encompassing the diverse range of subjects which makes it one of the toughest exams in India.
The Joint Entrance Exam to screen the students for the various engineering courses at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The exam is conducted in two stages which includes IIT-JEE Mains and IIT-JEE Advanced. For the admissions in prestigious IITs, a huge number of students appear in the exams out of which only a few are selected to study in the institutions. The complex syllabus and hard competition make it one of the toughest exams in the world.
Must Read: How to Prepare for JEE Mains?
Chartered Accountant (CA)
Conducted by ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), the multi-tier exams for the CA course has a rigorous pattern. Qualifying the exam can guarantee a successful career with a lucrative salary but that comes with a great amount of hard work. The exam comprises three stages which include the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and CA Final Examination. To know more about the exam and the job profile, read our detailed blog on how to become a Chartered Accountant.
In order to get admission to medical schools in India, the NEET exam is mandatory. A premedical test administered by National Testing Agency (NTA) is conducted every year to select the candidates for the MBBS, BDS and other courses in top medical schools except AIIMS which has its own exam to offer admissions. The exam is for the medical students who have qualified their 12th class examinations.
Organised by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS UG is conducted to select candidates for MBBS degrees offered at the seven campuses of AIIMS. Being a renowned and choicest medical institution in the country, AIIMS is a dream of every medical aspirant and thus attracts a multitude of applications every year. As one of the toughest exams in India, it is carried out for a limited number of seats around 1205 and designed on a higher difficulty level.
Note: For the year 2020, AIIMS has decided to put away with the AIIMS UG exam and NEET will be conducted as the common exam for admissions into MBBS degrees at AIIMS.
Know All About Medical Entrance Exams
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
The GATE exam is conducted to facilitate admissions for postgraduate engineering courses in IITs. The exam is conducted by the Indian Institute of Science. Considered as one of the toughest exams in India, GATE syllabus comprises of the concepts taught during the 4 years of the undergraduate degree. It is organised as an online exam and evaluates test-takers on two parameters, i.e. General Aptitude and knowledge of Technical and Engineering Mathematics.
National Defence Academy (NDA)
The NDA exam is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) for the recruitment of the candidates to the Army, Naval and Airforce. The exam is conducted twice a year to screen out the best candidates for the countries most prestigious defence academy. The NDA exam pattern involves a written test followed by the SSB interview which further has a list of outdoor activities to evaluate the on-ground performance skills of the candidate. It is mandatory for the students to clear all the stages of the examination to qualify for the admission in NDA.
Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT)
Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an entrance exam that is conducted to offer admissions in LLB and LLM. Though some of the law schools accept LSAT while others rely on the CLAT scores for the admissions. The exam is conducted once a year and the mode of examination is offline. For admission to bachelors course, the eligibility criteria need a candidate to have completed the 12th class examinations while as for a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is prerequisite. The exam demands a vast knowledge of subjects which makes it one of the toughest exams in India.
UGC NET is a national level exam which aims to screen candidates for the post of Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) at Indian universities and colleges. One of the top 10 toughest exams in India, it is organised across 83 subjects as well as 81 centres around the country. From 2018 onwards, it has been conducted under the authority of National Testing Agency (NTA) and is usually pursued by those who are studying or have completed their master’s degree.
National Institute of Design Entrance Exam
Another pivotal mention amongst the top 10 toughest exams in India, NID Exam is a design aptitude test conducted by the admission committee of National Institute of Design to select candidates for its prospective design courses such as Bachelor of Design (BDes), Master of Design (MDes), amongst others. It is carried out in a two-level process, NID Prelims and NID Mains through which aspirants are shortlisted for admissions at National Institutes of Design located across the country.
Recommended Read: NIFT Entrance Exam
[Bonus] Other Toughest Exams Worth Mentioning!
Along with the above-mentioned top 10 toughest exams in India, there are many more competitive exams that deserve a mention! So, here are some other toughest exams in India you must know about!
Indian Engineering Services (IES)
Also referred to as Engineering Services Exam (ESE), IES Exam is another potential contender in our list of top toughest exams in India. It is mainly a recruitment exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with the aim to shortlists candidates for various engineering positions and vacancies under the different departments of the Government of India. It is organised for engineering branches, i.e. Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. More than two lakh aspirants appear for the IES exam every year and the test encompasses a three-level recruitment procedure, i.e. IES Preliminary, IES Main followed by a Personality Test.
Check Out: Engineering Entrance Exams
Common Admission Test (CAT)
The top business schools in India rely upon the CAT exam to facilitate admissions for various courses in Business Management. The exam tests candidates on various parameters which include Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability skills. Every year around 2 Lakh candidates appear in the exam out of which only 1500 are selected. The mode of the exam is online and is conducted once a year.
While applying for the admission in a university in the country or abroad, entrance exams are the gateway. Whether seeking to study in a business school, medical school or engineering college, the institutions either have their own entrance exams or rely on standard entrance exams like GRE, GMAT, GATE, SAT etc. Besides that, a number of language tests are there to allow students to demonstrate their language proficiency required for the admissions. The common language tests are IELTS, TOEFL and PTE. In India also, prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS offer admissions on the basis of entrance exam scores.
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The quickest way to excel in an academic career or to grab a lucrative job opportunity is to qualify an exam for it. By now you must be aware of some of the toughest exams in India. If you are eyeing an exam which you want to prepare for, Leverage Edu can be your go-to exam buddy. Our experts are there to provide you with the tested and strategies to ace any exam. To know more, book your 30-minute free counselling session with us now.