Top 10 Toughest Exams in India

India has a long way to go in terms of acquiring esteemed professions and entering the most prestigious institutions, coupled with some of the most challenging examinations conducted across the country. With tension rising and stakes being higher than before, one can look towards the year 2024 to witness stiff competition. These are not just simple exams, they are the biggest challenges that require unmatched dedication, wisdom, and determination. From talented engineers to potential civil servants, the examinations prepare the best candidates to be molded and tested by aspiring physicians and future managers.

Let’s, explore the list of the hardest exams in India for 2024 along with an opportunity to achieve the peak of success in the respective domain.



The UPSC Civil Services Examination is one of the most challenging exams in India. This exam is highly valued and fiercely competitive as it is a gateway for esteemed roles like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service(IPS), Indian Revenue Service(IRS), and Indian Foreign Service(IFS). It is known for its extensive syllabus and rigorous selection process. Candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and personality traits are evaluated by various levels of exams such as prelims, main, and personal interviews. The demand for comprehensive conceptual thinking lowers the success rate and makes the exam difficult to crack by the aspirants.

2. JEE Advanced

The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Advanced is a national-level common entrance exam for aspirants who dreamt of entering the prestigious IITs known for their renowned Engineering services. It evaluates the conceptual depth of the candidates in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The exam comprises two stages namely JEE Main and JEE Advanced. The candidates are supposed to clear JEE Main for attending the JEE Advanced exam. The challenging problems make the competition far above the ground and difficult.


The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is jointly conducted by seven IITs and the Indian Institute of Science. This national-level examination tests the technical knowledge of the aspirants at an undergraduate level under the stream of Engineering and Science. Gate scores are used by the aspirants to seek admission in various IITs and NITs for postgraduate programs. Using this score Public Sector Companies recruit their entry-level positions for Graduate Engineers. With a huge number of aspirants, the GATE exam serves as the third toughest exam position in India.


Indian Institutes of Management Common Admission Test (IIM CAT) is an entrance exam for pursuing higher education in the Indian Institute of Management and other B-schools in India. CAT scores are widely accepted by the prestigious institute for their management programs. This exam assesses the aspirant’s quantitative ability, verbal ability, and logical skills. Since the competition is very intense this exam is high.

5. NDA

National Defence Academy (NDA) is a national-level exam conducted by UPSC aimed to recruit highly skilled individuals for the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian wings of the defense academy. As the eligibility criterion is the completion of the 12th standard, the competition is huge. The NDA exam comprises a written test, an interview, and physical fitness. A candidate who aspires to be military personnel must pass this examination. Since the process is tough, qualifying for the exam is very difficult.


Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an entrance exam to secure admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law programs in National Law Universities and other institutes offering legal education across the country. Aspiring lawyers should excel in their examination by showing their expertise in subjects such as English, Mathematics, General Knowledge, Aptitude, and Reasoning. It is a computer-based test that occurs only once a year. The appearance of candidates is about 60,000 to 70,000 number makes the exam tough and challenging.


University Grant Commission- National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) is conducted by NTA for the University Grants Commission (UGC) to determine the eligibility for a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) as well as Assistant Professor in Indian Universities & Colleges. These examinations assess the academic performance of the candidates and are sat for due to their competitive nature and the promising employment opportunities that accompany the relevant positions across various fields.

8. CA

The ICAI oversees the Chartered Accountancy (CA) process with examinations that check the candidate’s knowledge and skills in finance, accounting, taxation, and audit. It is one of the most challenging professional examinations in India and has a passing percentage of less than ten percent. On the other hand, those candidates who complete the CA exam have a door opened on the job market and these experts are valuable in the financial and business sectors.


The individuals who want to practice in the medical and dental field, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) holds an unchallenged place. It remains the only examination through which students can be afforded a chance to join prestigious medical and dental colleges in India. This assessment tests the knowledge of important subjects in the curriculum like biology, chemistry, and physics. This examination is quite rigid since there are limited places to be offered a slot. This is one of the most important exams which can be passed only with great dedication and the hard-working ability of a candidate.

10. IES

The Indian Engineering Services (IES) is conducted by the UPSC every year and the examination comprises three levels to provide the candidates with a chance to obtain highly paid engineering and managerial jobs in the Indian government sectors. This process involves a General Aptitude Test, an Objective Technical paper, a Technical paper, and an interview. The IES examination is highly desired for the promising career opportunities it offers thus making it one of the most competitive tests in India.

On the whole, cracking these top toughest exams requires a thorough understanding of the syllabus, regular practices, clearing mock tests, smart preparation strategy, and a complete dedication towards work. Aspirants with balanced knowledge of technical proficiency, aptitude, and logical skills can achieve success.

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