College Disha

Update on 2024-04-15

Toughest Exams in the World - Check Tips & Tricks to Crack Tough Exams

In today’s scenario, with millions and billions of candidates, the competition for higher education from a premier institute is cutthroat. Examinations are one of the worst nightmares for hopefuls. As we grow up, the exams become more challenging and competitive.

Exams are the shove that every individual needs in their life. The competition between the applicants to score higher marks help them to work harder and motivate themselves. It is not only to increase knowledge but also helps the scholar to handle any tough situation in life.

For aspirants, a career is tremendously important than anything else, and this is the era where you can find several scholars bundling themselves into the library, opening their notes to inspect the preparation for the dreaded exams.  Scholars must take exams as a platform to analyze the level of their knowledge in a particular subject. These exams are onerous to crack.

Exams have been the source of pressure and anxiety for many youngsters globally. All these exams might scare the aspirants a little bit but with the right motivation and practice candidates can effortlessly crack the exam.

List of Top 20 Toughest Exams In the World:

  • CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)
  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
  • Gaokao
  • Joint Entrance Examination - Advanced (JEE-Advanced)
  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
  • Mensa
  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam
  • Master Sommelier Diploma Exam
  • Chartered Accountancy Exam
  • California Bar Exam
  • National Admissions Test of Law (NATL)
  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
  • 15. Indian Engineering Services (IES)
  • Common Aptitude Test (CAT)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • College Scholastic Ability Test
  • NASA Astronaut Candidate Program
  • Nvidia

Details of Toughest Exams in the World:

Read about all the above-listed exams below:

➤ CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert):

  • The CCIE is a Certification exam offered by Cisco for the recruitment of Internet experts within their organizations. The examination is divided into 6 parts within 2 phases. Only the aspirants who clear the first phase are certified to appear for the second phase. The practical phase of this exam persists for 8 hours and has a 1% clearing rate. According to Cisco, only 3% of the candidates are selected and certified in CCIE. That`s why CCIE is one of the Toughest Exams in the World.

➤ GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering):

  • It is an all India level entrance test for scholars pursuing engineering. The score of the GATE examination is a gateway for postgraduate courses in prestigious universities. This test is a joint venture between The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology(IITs) at Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, and Roorkee administrate the conduction of the GATE Exam.
  • There is one single paper that consists of both multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and numerical questions. About 10 lakh competitors appear for the examination every year, out of which only 15% qualify. Unquestionably, the GATE is one of the toughest exams all over the world.

➤ Gaokao:

  • National College Entrance Examination, commonly known as Gaokao is an academic examination held annually in China. This examination is essential for entrance into almost all higher education institutions at the undergraduate level.
  • The exam is conducted for about nine hours over a period of two days which includes Chinese and Mathematics subjects in all tests. The overall marks received by the candidates is usually the average sum of their individual subject. It is ranked as the 8th most difficult exam to crack globally.

➤ Joint Entrance Examination – Advanced (JEE-Advanced):

  • It is formerly known as IIT-JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination), JEE Advanced is an engineering college entrance examination conducted in India. It has to be cleared by the applicants who wish to be admitted to the most prestigious engineering institutes in India.
  • The first stage of the exam is the JEE Mains, which encompasses the NITs, IIITs, CFTIs and the IIEST, Shibpur, for its dual-degree program whereas the second tier of the exam is JEE Advanced. Only the shortlisted aspirants from JEE Mains are allowed to give this exam.
  • Out of every 5 lakh students appearing for the exam, only 10,000 get selected every year. The exam is divided into two papers of three hours each, both of which are objective type papers. A negative mark of 1/4th is applicable for every incorrect answer.

➤ Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):

  • The central agency in India conducts the exams to recruit all the top-notch government officials in the country. It is considered the most challenging exam in the country because those who clear the IIT and GATE find it difficult to clear UPSC.
  • The exam has three phases, at first candidates answer the objective questions, in the second phase they appear for a subjective one and then an interview. Every year approximately 3 lakh scholars appear for the exam out of which only 1000 get selected. It is one of the Toughest Exams in the World.

➤ Mensa:

  • Mensa is the largest and ancient IQ society in the world. Founded by Roland Berrill (Australian barrister), Dr Lancelot Ware (British scientist) and a  lawyer (at Lincoln College) in Oxford, England, in 1946 to create a society for very intelligent people. The only qualification for membership to Mensa society is a high IQ.
  • It is a non-profit organization accessible to people who score 98th percentile or higher on a regulated, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. Different countries and national groups have their own procedures for exams. Mensa too has its own system where they evaluate people based on the quality of their talents. There is no age restriction to join Mensa.

➤ Graduate Record Examinations (GRE):

  • GRE is a standardized exam held by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) since 1949 and is required to be crack for admission in numerous universities in the US providing higher education. GRE is one of the Toughest Exams in the World
  • The exam can be conducted both online as well as offline mode. There are 6 different sections which include analytical writing sections, verbal reasoning sections, quantitative reasoning sections, issue task, argument task, and research section. This is one of the significant exams for many graduate students across the world.

➤ Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA):

  • The CFA is not exactly an examination, it is a professional credential offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute. The Wall Street Journal has recognized it as the most difficult exam in the world. Aspirants who complete the program and meets other professional requirements are awarded the ‘‘CFA charter’’ and become ‘‘CFA Charterholders’’.
  • After several repeated attempts only 1/5th of the applicants clear the test each year. The test includes two objectives and one essay type paper. Only 9% of the students have consecutively to pass all three levels in the past decade. The exam has a wicked reputation of being enormously tough, with success rates as low as 32%.

➤ All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam:

  • This fellowship exam is conducted by Oxford University in London. Clearing the exam is necessary to gain a Fellowship at the University. The exam includes four papers, each has a duration of three hours. The level of difficulty can be analyzed when only two members are selected every year. One needs to have an enormous level of factual knowledge and highly brainstorming skills to answer the questions in the exams.

➤ Master Sommelier Diploma Exam:

  • Master Sommelier Diploma Exam is considered the world’s toughest examination. Aspirants have no idea of how selective the administrators can get while selecting in the exam. The exam is divided into three sections which include theory, service, and blind tasting.
  • As a result, most of the contender fails in the third phase and try to reappear for the third phase. On an average basis, the applicant attempts it 2-3 times, some attempt as many as six times. The exam was first taken 40 years ago in the UK and as of now, only 200 candidates have been selected based on this exam.

➤ Chartered Accountancy Exam:

  • The CA exam is a three-level exam conducted in India by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI). The first stage is the Common Proficiency Test (CPT). The second level is the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC). The IPCC has a total of seven subjects that it encompasses and is split into groups of four and three.
  • The final exam, unceremoniously called the CA Final Examination, is where all the blood, sweat and tears merge to give the toughest exams in the world. The success rate of this CA exam varies from 8-16%. It is considered to be one of the Toughest Exams in the World.

➤ California Bar Exam:

  • California Bar exam is conducted in the United States. It is the most difficult bar examination, which is conducted two times a year (in February and July). The duration of the exam is eighteen hours, spread over three days.
  • On the first day, there are three essay questions in the morning and a performance test in the afternoon. On the second day applicants has to answer 100 Multistate Bar Questions in the morning and afternoon session. The third day follows suit with the first one. California Bar Exam has the lowest success rate of any exam held in the US, with a success rate varying between 35-55%.

➤ National Admissions Test of Law (NATL):

  • This is an admissions aptitude test conducted in the UK for lawyers, with nine participating universities. The duration of the test is 2 hours 25 minutes and is aimed at measuring reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills. There is a reading part, followed by an essay. It is a very prestigious exam, with the average score of competitors being 22.3/42 in the exam conducted in 2014/15.

➤ The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE):

  • The USMLE is a multi-part examination held in the United States sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiner (NBME) and Federation of State Medical Boards(FSMB). This examination grants a Physician with an M.D to practice medicine in the country.
  • The exam is divided into a three-part process, which tests the knowledge and ability of the applicant to apply medical knowledge in medicine. It is a 16-hour test divided into 2 days, each day of testing should be completed within 8 hours. There is a total of 454 multiple choice questions and candidates get a maximum of 1 hour to rest each day.

➤ Indian Engineering Services (IES):

  • IES is a combined competitive exam held in India, conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). The exam comprises a General Aptitude Test, an Objective Technical paper, a Conventional Technical paper, and an Interview. This is one of the most sought fields once the exam gets cleared as there are lucrative job opportunities.

➤ Common Admission Test (CAT):

  • Common Admission Test (CAT) is orchestrated every year by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for selecting scholars for their business administration programs. It is a computer-based test.
  • CAT is a 3-hour exam that tests the applicants' quantitative ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, verbal ability, and logical reasoning. Every year, more than 2 lakh hopefuls apply for the exam and only 1500 get admission in IIMs.

➤ Law School Admission Test (LSAT):

  • LSAT is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries too. The test was commenced in 1948, and the current structure of the exam has been used since 1991.
  • The LSAT is basically designed to measure 3 skills: analytical & logical reasoning and reading comprehension. The exam consists of a total of six sections: four multiple-choice sections, one writing, and one experimental section. It is conducted four times a year. However, the candidate is allowed to appear not more than 3 times within a two year period.

➤ College Scholastic Ability Test:

  • College Scholastic Ability Test is a standardized test regulated by South Korean universities. It was declared official in 1994 and managed by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation. The exam is praised for its efficiency, high international results and meritocratic factors. CSAT is often described as “the chance to make or break one’s career”. About 20% of students re-apply for the exam.

➤ NASA Astronaut Candidate Program:

  • NASA accepts an application for the position of astronaut scholars on a needed basis. Along with the degree, aspirants must have followed time as a student by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or a minimum of 1,000.
  • Selection in NASA is a week-long process of personal interviews and medical screening. The introduction is required for both civilian and military applicants under final consideration.

➤ Nvidia:

  • Nvidia develops Graphics Processing Units for the gaming market as well as systems on a chip unit for mobile computing. According to Glassdoor, it is one of the top 25 companies that conducts the toughest exams in the world.
  • There is a two-phase process to get selected. The first one is a written test that covers topics like a finite state machine, pipelining, cache organization, digital CMOS design, and C programming concepts. The next phase is a technical interview. They do not focus on the formalities like what certificates you have rather than this they focus on how technically strong you are.

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