Top 5 Hardest Tests and Exams in India

India’s educational landscape is renowned for its competitive spirit, and certain examinations stand out as particularly demanding gateways to coveted careers and academic pursuits. These assessments, often referred to as “toughest tests,” require meticulous preparation, exceptional intellect, and unwavering resilience.

In this blog post, we will discuss the Top 5 hardest tests and exams in India, along with some contextual information about the exams.

Civil Services Examination (UPSC)

The Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is widely regarded as the toughest exam in India. It is a highly competitive examination that selects candidates for prestigious government positions like Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS), and Indian Police Services (IPS). The exam consists of three stages: Preliminary, Main, and Interview. With its comprehensive syllabus and rigorous selection process, the Civil Services Examination tests candidates on various aspects of knowledge, aptitude, and personality traits.

Civil Services Examination (UPSC) Selection Process

The Civil Services Examination (UPSC) follows a rigorous selection process consisting of three stages: – Preliminary, Main and Interview. The Preliminary stage consists of two objective-type papers, while the Main stage includes nine descriptive papers. Candidates who clear the main stage are then called for the Interview round, which assesses the candidate’s personality traits and suitability for administrative positions. The final selection is based on the cumulative performance in all three stages of the examination.

Common Admission Test (CAT)

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly competitive entrance exam for admission into prestigious management institutes in India, such as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). It is considered one of the toughest exams due to its high difficulty level and the intense competition among aspirants. The CAT exam assesses a candidate’s aptitude in various areas like English, mathematics, logical reasoning, and data interpretation. Success in the CAT exam requires a strong foundation in these areas and thorough preparation.

The CAT (Common Admission Test) follows a standardized exam pattern and syllabus. The exam is conducted in computer-based format and consists of three sections – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. The duration of the exam is 180 minutes, with 60 minutes for each section. The CAT syllabus includes topics such as grammar and vocabulary, data analysis and interpretation, mathematical problems, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension. Candidates are expected to have a strong understanding of these subjects in order to excel in the exam.

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is considered one of the toughest exams in India. It is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). GATE is an entrance test for postgraduate programs in engineering and technology. It evaluates candidates’ comprehensive understanding of various subjects in engineering. GATE scores are also used for recruitment purposes in government organizations and research institutions. GATE preparation requires thorough knowledge of the syllabus, solving previous years’ question papers, and practising time management.

The GATE Exam is conducted online and consists of multiple-choice questions, numerical answer type questions, and multiple select questions. The exam is structured in a way that assesses a comprehensive understanding of engineering subjects. To be eligible for the GATE Exam, candidates must have completed or be in their final year of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology, or architecture. There is no age limit for appearing in the GATE Exam.

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)

Conducted by the National Testing Agency every year, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is considered the toughest exam in the medical field. It provides admission to undergraduate courses in fields such as medicine, dentistry, AYUSH, and veterinary science. NEET has a rigorous exam format and a challenging marking scheme, making it a highly competitive test for aspiring medical students.

The NEET exam follows a specific format and has a challenging marking scheme. It consists of a single paper with 180 multiple-choice questions. Each question carries 4 marks for a correct answer, while 1 mark is deducted for every wrong answer. The exam is divided into three sections: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Considering the rigorous marking scheme, NEET is considered one of the toughest exams in India.

Joint Entrance Examination

The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Advanced) is considered one of India’s toughest exams. It serves as the gateway for students seeking admission to prestigious engineering institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The exam evaluates students on their knowledge in subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The JEE-Advanced exam is challenging, and students must thoroughly prepare and practice to secure a good score and get admission into their desired institution.

The JEE-Advanced exam is renowned for its high difficulty level. The questions in physics, chemistry, and math require a deep understanding of concepts and problem-solving skills. The competition is intense, with a large number of students vying for limited seats in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The score analysis of the exam reveals that only a small percentage of candidates are able to achieve high scores, making it one of the toughest exams in India.


In conclusion, India is home to some of the toughest exams in the world. The Civil Services Examination (UPSC), Common Admission Test (CAT), Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and Joint Entrance Examination – Advanced (JEE-Advanced) are highly competitive and require extensive preparation. These exams assess knowledge, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and perseverance. For those aspiring to excel in their respective fields, these exams serve as a benchmark and a stepping stone towards success. It is important for aspirants to understand the exam patterns, syllabi, and preparation strategies to perform well. With dedication and proper guidance, these exams can be cracked.

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and When not working, he plays Valorant.

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