Top 10 Toughest Exams in India

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Top 10 Toughest Exams in India: Final exams are just around the corner, which means school is getting over. Exams are a significant part of our educational life. Besides testing the abilities of the students, exams are essential in instilling core skills like discipline, time management, hard work, and patience. 

A lot of exams are conducted in India every year; most of them are easy to crack, but few are considered the toughest.

Top 10 Toughest Exams in India

When we talk about competitive exams, the exams are designed to test skills, psychological stability, physical conditioning, and technical talents among students. These exams are carried out either online or followed by a pen-paper method. In this article, we will cover the top 10 toughest exams in India spread across varied fields of study and disciplines that you must know about!

Brief Descriptions of Top 10 Toughest Exams in India


The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) is held for students for the various engineering courses at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Considered to be the second toughest exam in India. The exams are conducted in two stages, one is IIT-JEE Mains, and the other is IIT-JEE Advanced. For the admissions in the distinguished IITs, a large number of students appear in the exams out of which only a few numbers of students are selected to study in IIT.

IIT JEE Exam toughest exam in India

Students must clear JEE Main to write JEE Advanced. The complex syllabus and tough competition make it one of the toughest exams in India! For three consecutive years, students can appear on the JEE Main. In February, March, April, and May the JEE Main examination is held 4 times.

Candidates who pass JEE Main can apply for undergraduate programs in Engineering, Architecture, or Science provided by the college of their choice, except for any IIT-based or IISc-based college; they will accept only successful JEE Advanced contenders. It is accomplished by providing their All-India Rank (AIR) number in the exam; the higher your rank, the better your possibilities of acquiring admissions. 

Post Examination

If you are unsure about what to do next, you can consult a student counselor once the results of JEE Mains. However, any adviser worth it’s salt would tell you that, beyond IITs and NITs, it is your best option to choose to apply for IIIT, GFTIs, and government colleges.

The entries in the JEE Advanced Entrance Exams are dependent solely on the marks. Scoring candidates greater than cut-off points will be allowed to snag a place in the IIT. The JEE Advanced Examination scoring is supported by 23 IITs and a few institutes.

Note: The new changes from JEE Main 2019 allow candidates to appear twice for the entrance exam in a given year. And the highest scorer among the two exams is taken for the rank procedure as per the regulations laid by the authorities.


All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS UG is conducted to determine candidates for MBBS degrees offered at the seven campuses of AIIMS. Being an eminent and choicest medical institution in India, AIIMS is a dream of almost every medical aspirant and thus attracts a mass of applications every year. As one of the hardest exams in India, it is carried out for a limited number of seats around 1205 and designed on a higher difficulty level. 

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AIIMS question paper is most difficult and a cracking it requires a good amount of preparation, added to it, the number of seats is also limited while the number of applicants is always more than required. Questions are tough and the seats are limited which means only exceptionally high marks can ensure a seat and marks are obtained with a good deal of preparation. 

Age Criteria: the candidate shall be aged 17 years as of 31 December of the admission year or will reach that age.

Why is AIIMS UG one of the toughest exams in India? 

AIIMS UG is best known to be the toughest exam because the number of applicants is high while the number of seats offered by the organizing body is limited. With the growing competition every year, the difficulty level of the questions is increased to ensure that only the most qualified candidates make the cutoff. Considering AIIMS is the topmost medical college in India, every medical aspirant dreams of pursuing their MBBS from AIIMS.


The NEET is popularly known as National Eligibility and Entrance Test is the one test that is regarded to cover about 54000 medical seats throughout the country. Until 2018, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam was conducted by the CBSE, the Central Board of Secondary Education. In 2019, the board was then changed to the National Testing Agency (NTA). The test is additionally eligible for private college seats around the country. 


According to the NEET requirements for eligibility, students who have studied from a free school or are currently qualified for the examination with biology as their further topic. The admission program for the MBBS, Ayush, BDS, and other medical courses will be conducted at NEET. 

The NEET Examination is now permitted for participation by Indians, Indian non-resident citizens (NRIs), Indians overseas (OCIs), Indians of Indian origin (PIOs), and foreign nationals. Aspirants who meet the NEET eligibility requirements given below and finish the registration method within the timeframe specified can qualify for the 2021 medical admission test.

Aspirants should remember that they must apply for and qualify for NEET 2021 if they wish to pursue UG medicine. Candidates who are interested in studying medicine overseas however want to return to India for NEET practice are now also mandatory for them. 

Post Examination 

‘What is the acceptance process once after clearing the NEET exam? The questions that are generally asked embody how to acquire admission to medical or dentistry schools following NEET.’ Following the NEET examination, candidates with NEET reduction are eligible to be admitted. Admission to state colleges is based on 15% of All India’s quota (AIQ) as well as 85% of state quota seats. 

The Medical Counseling Committee admits 15% of the AIQ seats in government programs NEET: MBBS, AYUSH, BDS, BVSc, AH, & BSc in nursing. The remaining 85% are allocated by the state counseling body based on the NEET results. The corresponding State authorities shall even be admitted to private colleges after NEET-UG. NEET home criteria for admissions to State quota seats shall be met by candidates only, but, prescribed by the respective states.


UGC NET is a national-level exam that aspires to candidates for the post of Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) at national universities and colleges. UGC NET is one of the hardest exams in India, it is organized across 83 subjects as well as 81 centers around the nation. 

The eligibility among the examination is that a candidate must have secured at least 55% marks in their master’s degree examination (which can be from any field) and must have graduated from a UGC-recognised college or university. 

The UGC NET exam is tough enough for candidates to fail on their 4th or 5th attempts. As a result, only 6% of them reach success in these exams. Candidates that hold Ph.D. Degrees whose post-graduation was completed before September 19, 1991, are provided relaxation of 5% in minimum marks.

Above that, a category-wise reservation policy is applied to these successful candidates, which means depending on the category, candidates would be chosen by colleges respectively. 

UGC NET 2022 Age Limit

The age limit criteria for UGC NET 2021 is given below:

  • Junior Research Fellowship (JRF): For candidates belonging to the General category, the upper age limit is 31 years as of June 1, 2022.
  • Assistant Professorship: No age limit

UGC NET Syllabus 2021 is determined by the National Testing Agency (NTA). UGC NET 2021 has 2 papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2. Candidates must go through the syllabus rigorously and prepare well for the examination by covering all the topics mentioned in the list. The subject and remarks allotment for paper-1 and paper-2 is given under. 

Paper-1 intends to test the ability of the candidates in terms of teaching and analysis. The questions here are going to be generic and not core subject-oriented. It will test the candidates’ comprehension, general awareness, divergent thinking skills, and reasoning ability. Paper-1 is to access the psychological skills of the candidates. Paper-2 is subject-oriented, and it will test the core subject knowledge of the candidates.

Note: From the beginning of 2018, it has been held under the authority of the National Testing Agency (NTA) and is pursued by the students who are studying or have completed their master’s degree.

UPSC Civil Services Exam 

UPSC civil services exams are known for the foremost prestigious exams in the country. The UPSC Civil Services Exams are executed to recruit candidates for top administrative positions within the Central Government of India. The exam encompasses varied services like IAS, IPS, and IFS. 

The three-tier exam consisting of Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and also the Interview or personality test mandates a major level of seriousness, dedication, and diligence. The UPSC syllabus is comprehensive, encompassing a diverse range of subjects which makes it one of the toughest exams in India. 

The UPSC exam is conducted in three levels: 

Level 1: The Preliminary Exam 
Level 2: The Main Exam 
Level 3: Personality Test or Interview 

A median of over 8 lakh candidates appeared for the IAS exams every year, with 2017 and 2018 seeing approximately 10 lakh aspirants. Although, the pass rate among candidates is between 0.1% and 0.3%. 

As per the 69th Annual report, about 10 lakh candidates apply for the preliminary exams. However, only around 5 lakh candidates appeared for the Prelims, and out of these candidates, only the brink of 13,000 of them made it to level 2, which is the main exam. After that, only around 3000 candidates can get to level 3. This level funneled the candidates, out of which only half of that number were selected for the process. The final vacancies, thus, showed up as 796. This shows the character of their strict selection procedures. 

National Institute of Design Entrance Exam 

NID is another key mention amongst the hardest exams in India, NID Exam is a design aptitude test conducted by the admission committee of the National Institute of Design to select candidates for anticipation in design courses such as Bachelor of Design (BDes), Master of Design (MDes), amongst many. It is taken out in a two-level procedure, NID Prelims, and NID Mains through which candidates are shortlisted for admissions at the National Institutes of Design located across the nation. 

After clearing NID DAT Prelims, candidates are followed to appear for NID DAT Mains. NID Prelims is conducted as a standard pen-and-paper test, whereas the Mains is conducted in 2 parts: studio test and personal interview. 

Reason Why it’s One of the Toughest Exams is India: Only extremely inventive students get selected.

Chartered Accountant (CA) 

Operated by ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), was established in July 1949 for regulating the chartered accountancy profession in India. The multi-tier exams for the CA course have an inflexible pattern. Students qualifying for the exam can guarantee a successful career with a lucrative salary but that comes with a great amount of hard work and dedication. 

The exam comprises three stages which enclose: 

I) Common Proficiency Test (CPT), 
II) Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC), and 
III) CA Final Examination. 

The competition between the students to get higher marks plays a vital role in motivating the students. The foremost important part is that people get accustomed to the competition early as from their childhood, making it easier to face the competition in the latter part of life.

National Defence Academy (NDA) 

The NDA exam is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) for the accomplishment of the candidates based on a written examination, psychological aptitude test, intelligence test, personality test, and an interview. This examination is conducted twice a year, in April and September month for the countries most prestigious defense academy. 

The NDA examination pattern lays a written test followed by the SSB interview that more incorporates a list of outdoor sports to assess the on-ground performance skills of the candidate. The students must should all the stages of the examination to qualify for admission in NDA. 

Around 4 lakh candidates appear for the examination, out of that only a meager 6,000 are called for the SSB interview. That is accounting for 66.7% of the candidates failing the exams. It’s may not be the exams themselves, however, the strenuous SSB interview contributes to the high failure rate; the interview lasts for a total of 5 days. 

Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT)

A career in Finance will take you into a various range of industries. Chartered Accountancy is the most popular career path in finance as a CA is deemed as a necessary part of a corporate organization. Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an entrance exam that is executed to offer admissions in LLB and LLM. However, some of the law schools carry LSAT whereas others believe in the CLAT scores for the entrances. 

The mode of the examination is offline and conducted once a year. For admission to a bachelor’s course, the eligibility criteria of the prospect need to have completed the 12th class examinations whereas, for a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite. The examination demands a huge knowledge of subjects which makes it one of the foremost toughest exams in India. 

It doesn’t change however the scoring works; each wrong answer deducts 0.25 marks from your total score. This will be an enormous setback to your performance, which is why the candidates take so much caution in obtaining their answers right. 

A few courses that you will take admission to by taking CLAT are: 

  • BA Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 
  • BSc Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 
  • BA Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 
  • BSW Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 
  • BCom Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 
  • L.M 

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 

The GATE examination is conducted to facilitate admissions for postgraduate engineering practices in IITs. The exam is executed by the Indian Institute of Science. Well-Considered as one of the toughest exams in India, the GATE syllabus comprises the concepts studied during the 4 years of the undergraduate degree. It is organized as an online exam and evaluates test-takers on 2 parameters, i.e. General Aptitude and understanding of Technical and Engineering Mathematics. 

The GATE score, once obtained, is valid for up to three years, ranging from the announcement date. It is also accepted by already selected government PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings). However, before enrolling for the exam, some eligibility criteria have to be met.

Although there is no age limit, ensure to meet at least one of the subsequent criteria: Secure a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in the related Engineering or Science stream. Secure a minimum of a Master’s degree from any branch of Mathematics, Science, Statistics, or Computer Applications.

Students in the final year of either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program. Reason for being one of the toughest exams: Almost the complete syllabus of the UG engineering course of 4 years duration is included in GATE, making it extremely difficult for candidates to cover efficiently.

Conclusion (Top 10 toughest exams in India)

The exams mentioned on the top have the reputation of being the toughest in India. There is a reason why they aim to regulate the hardest exam, to know whether the candidates who come to write these exams are qualified or not. Cracking these hardest exams in India can surely take a lot from you.

The concept is to confirm the right candidate is selected for the position of prominence or a seat in a reputed institution. Once the right person takes charge, things will variably be smooth.

However, the toughest exams do not mean one should stay away from them. One has got to prepare well to come back of these exams with great success. 

The effective factor to try and do would be to take the guidance of the experts. Aspirants can discuss with those who have already cracked these exams successfully. Their viewpoints can offer aspirants the right way to approach these tough tests.

The best way to crack one of these top 10 toughest exams in India is having complete knowledge of the tests. One has got to be aware of the exam pattern, its syllabus so that the proper preparation technique could be worked out.

Top 10 toughest exams in India – The other strategy is to also to conjointly obtain the right study material for preparation. People will divide the syllabus into minor schedules and then allot time to study each of the schedules. It is just not regarding what you study but how you prepare.

Technology also involves the rescue. Online sources are used to revise, take tests to grasp know where one stands as far as the lessons are involved. Download all the information as possible to assist yourself.

Top 10 toughest exams in India – A number of these exams might not be keen on testing your subject knowledge however it might be focused on testing your ability to speak, work out solutions in the shortest potential time, and so on. Candidates can note down the important points for the preparation for the exam intends to test and then prepare consequently.

The other factor to do is to take help from experts steering. Their suggestions, ideas can facilitate working out a better strategy.

Also, we wish you all the best if you are getting prepared to crack these exams.

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