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Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World


The world seems to be advanced and there are millions and billions of people who compete to obtain higher education in well reputed institutions across the globe. Here is the list of the toughest exams from the JEE advanced in India to the All Souls prize exam in London which are quite difficult to clear and which offer bright future once cleared.

IES (Indian Engineering Services)

Indian Engineering Services is an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This competitive exam is a four stage process with General Aptitude Test, an Objective Technical paper, Conventional Technical paper, and an Interview included in it. IES is one of the toughest exams to be cleared and is held in India which offers lucrative job opportunities.

GRE (Graduate Record Exams)

GRE (Graduate Record Exams)
The exam being conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) is a standardized exam to be cleared for the admission to many different universities in the US. The exam not related to any specific field of study aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. GRE is one of the major exams for graduate students across the world with the scoring scale ranging from 130 to 170.

USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)

United States Medical Licensing Examination
This multi-part examination held in the United States which grants a Physician with an M.D. to practice medicine in the country is USMLE. The three-part process exam is conducted by FSMB and NBME which tests the knowledge and ability to apply medical knowledge in medicine. This is considered to be one of the toughest exams conducted in the US.

LNAT (National Admissions Test of Law)

LNAT (National Admissions Test of Law)
National Admissions Test of Law is an aptitude test for law conducted in the UK aimed at testing the reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills. This 2 hour 25 minutes long exam is a prestigious exam with the participation of nine universities.

CCIE (Cisco Certified Inter-networking Expert)

Cisco Certified Inter-networking Expert
This is a technical certified course offered by Cisco to network engineers based on their ability to plan, operate and troubleshoot complex and converge network infrastructure on a wide variety of Cisco equipment. With less than 3% of their own engineers and less 1% of the network engineers worldwide to receive the certification so far, the exam is considered to be one of the toughest exams to pass.

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)


The Graduate Aptitude test in Engineering is considered as one of the toughest exam all over the world which is required to be passed for admission in an ME or M.Tech in various premier colleges in India.

The exam jointly conducted by seven IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIS (Indian Institute of Sciences) use applicants GATE score to shortlist the number of entrants.

GAOKAO or NCEE (National College Entrance Exam)

National College Entrance Exam

The National College Entrance Examination or GAOKAO held in China is quite a difficult exam to get through and it is required to be cleared to get admission to the colleges at the undergraduate level. The exam do possess strict age restrictions and most of them take the GAOKAO exam during their last year of their high school.

California Bar Exam

California Bar Exam

California Bar Exam is considered to be one of the most difficult bar examination, conducted twice a year in the United States. The exam is conducted for about 18 hours and is spread over three days and has the lowest success rate of any exam held in the US.


The largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, Mensa chooses members to the society who score 98th percentile in a supervised standardized IQ test like Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. The requirement to be a member of the Mensa society is to score 130 on the tests.

CA-Chartered Accountancy Exam

CA-Chartered Accountancy Exam

Chartered Accountancy Exam is a three-level exam with Common Proficiency Test(CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and CA final exam as its three levels and is conducted in India by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. With the success rate varying from 8-16%, this is one among the toughest exam in the world.

JEE (Joint Entrance Examination)


Joint Entrance Examination is an all-India engineering entrance exam and one of the most difficult exam in the world, with two levels JEE main and JEE advanced conducted by the Joint Seat Allocation Authority from 2015 onwards. JEE main exam encompasses admission to NITs, IIITs, CFTIs and the IIEST and only short listed candidates can appear for JEE advanced to gain a seat in any one of the IITs and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. The sheer number of applicants and the quota system increases the difficulty of the exam.

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission)

Union Public Service Commission is responsible for conducting various exams for government jobs and civil service across India. Conducted in a tier fashion, the first tier of the UPSC exam is an objective type and the second tier is a subjective one with a final round of interview. Upon qualifying the UPSC, a large number of job opportunities open up , including Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police, Indian Foreign Service etc.

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Exam

Chartered Financial Analyst Exam conducted by the American-based CFA Institute offers a professional credential to those who successfully completes the program. Only four attempts are allowed to clear this and the success rates are as low as 32%.

All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam

All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam must be cleared to gain a Fellowship in the university conducted by the Oxford University in London. Only two or less are granted this fellowship each year denoting the difficultness of exam.

Key Takeaways on the Toughest Exams in the World

In conclusion, the world is home to a multitude of challenging examinations in the world that push individuals to their limits. From the technical prowess required in exams like IES, GRE, and CCIE to the specialized knowledge tested in USMLE, LNAT, and CFA, these exams demand dedication and perseverance. The intense competition of exams such as GATE, GAOKAO, and JEE make them renowned for their difficulty. Additionally, the California Bar Exam, Mensa, CA-Chartered Accountancy Exam, All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam, and Master Sommelier Diploma Exam each have their unique set of rigorous requirements. Lastly, the prestigious UPSC exam tests candidates on a wide range of subjects, making it one of the top toughest exams in the world. These exams truly separate the best from the rest, requiring individuals to go above and beyond to prove their capabilities.