India’s top seven toughest exams to crack

What is worth acquiring is never too easy to obtain unless it requires effort, pain, difficulty and determination. Have a look at India’s seven toughest exams to crack.

toughest exam in india

What is worth acquiring is never too easy to obtain unless it means effort, pain, difficulty and determination. Similarly, all the white collar and topmost jobs that can help you lead a comfortable and dignified life are something which one can get hold of only after hard labour, focus and undisturbed attention.

Right from being a level A officer in the civil services to being an armed forces officer, the journey from scratch is never too easy. And the most important factor is that more than luck, it’s only your will power and hard work that pays off.

Have a look at India’s top seven toughest exams to crack.


1. UPSC Civil Services Exam

Considered as the hardest exam, only India’s crme de la crme gets recruited as officers through this test. Over 9,00,00,0 candidates every year appear for the same and the achievement rate is only 0.1 per cent-0.3 per cent.

It is conducted for recruitment of eligible candidates to various central government services such as the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

There are three levels of this exam, namely: Preliminary exam, main exam and personality test or interview.

2. CAT

Gateway to India’s topmost premier management and business schools like the IIMs, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based examination that evaluates a student on the basis of his skills in English, Mathematics and Logical Reasoning. It is one of the most competitive MBA entrance exams conducted in India.

Apart from the IIMs, the scores of the CAT are also accepted by many other colleges offering MBAs.


The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is one of the toughest engineering entrance exams in the world which has a success rate of around 1 in 45.

It is conducted to shortlist candidates seeking admission to undergraduate engineering programmes at NITs, IIITs, other centrally funded technical institutions. Those who are seeking admissions to the undergraduate programmes offered by the IITs/ISM Dhanbad through JEE (Advanced) are also required to take the test.

It is conducted in two parts, JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced.


The exam is conducted for admissions to postgraduate courses (Master’s and Doctoral) with MHRD and other government scholarships/assistantships in engineering/technology/ architecture/science. The scores obtained in GATE are valid for a period of three years, from the date of announcement of results.


The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is conducted for taking admissions to five-year integrated Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (BA plus LLB) Honors and one-year Master of Law (LLM) programme. It is a gateway for admission to 16 National Law Universities in India.

Those who qualify CLAT are eligible to obtain admission in any of the following courses:

  • BA LLB (Hons)
  • BSc LLB (Hons)
  • BA LLB (Hons)
  • BSW LLB (Hons)
  • BCom LLB (Hons)
  • L.L.M.

6. NET

Conducted to shortlist school and college level assistant lecturers and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) candidates, the exam is so tough that many candidates do not clear it even in their fourth or fifth attempt. The test is conducted in 83 subjects at 88 selected NET examination cities spread across the nation.

7. NDA

The NDA NA (National Defence Academy) exam is conducted for recruiting candidates to the army, air force and navy wings. The interview is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) of the Ministry of Defence for those candidates who clear the written part. Overall, the candidates are selected based on the basis of written examination, psychological aptitude test, intelligence and personality test and SSB Interview.

Only the physically and mentally tough candidates get selected for the prestigious job.

(This story originally appeared on INDIA TODAY)

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