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TOP 10 TOUGHEST EXAMS IN THE WORLD

Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World

List of Toughest Exams in the World - Overview

Exams are a rite of passage for students, a daunting yet inevitable journey that often determines the course of one's academic and professional life.
Whether you're navigating high school, pursuing a graduate degree, or eyeing coveted job positions, examinations are the gatekeepers of progress. 
Here, we delve into the top 10 toughest exams globally, exploring the challenges they present and the opportunities they unlock.

(Read More: What are the hardest degrees to pursue across the globe?)

Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World

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Exam Country Purpose Duration Candidates (Yearly) Pass Percentage (Yearly)

Gaokao Exam in China

China

College Entrance exam for high school students

9 hours

12 million

Not available

IIT JEE Advanced

India

UG admission to Indian Institutes of Technology

3 hours

1,55,538 (2022)

26.17% (2022)

Civil Services Exam (CSE)/UPSC

India

Recruitment to administrative posts

2-3 hours

10,93,948 (2021)

0.2%

GATE

India

Admission to Post Graduate studies recruitment

3 hours

8,45,432 (2022)

Not available

GRE

Accepted worldwide

Admission to MBA MS courses

3h 45min

Not available

Not available

Master Sommelier Diploma Exam

USA

To become a certified Sommelier

Part 1 - 50 mins

Part 2 - n/a

Part 3 - 25 mins

10% (theory)

 

ICAI CA Exams

India

Training and certifying Chartered Accountants

2 hours

Not available

14%

CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)

USA

Technical certifications for senior networking professionals

2 hours

8,000/year

26%

Mensa International

Founded in England

IQ Test and high IQ society

Not applicable

Over 1,500 members in India

Not applicable

CFA

Global

Designation for investment professionals

Varies

Not available

Not available

Gaokao Exam in China

Considered one of the toughest exams globally, the Gaokao Exam is China's National College Entrance Exam, held annually over a two-day period. With a staggering 12 million participants each year, this exam plays a crucial role in shaping the academic and professional trajectory of Chinese students.Mandarin language being one of the hardest languages, students are recommended to learn it for easy communication.

IIT JEE Advanced

In India, the IIT JEE Advanced stands as a formidable challenge for those aspiring to enter the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). A multi-tier selection process, including JEE Mains and JEE Advanced exams, makes it a rigorous journey for the 1,55,538 candidates who participated in 2022.

Civil Services Exam (CSE)/UPSC

The Civil Services Exam, conducted by UPSC in India, is renowned for its difficulty. Serving as the gateway to administrative posts such as IAS and IPS, this national-level exam drew a whopping 10,93,948 aspirants in 2021, with a mere 0.2% passing rate.

GATE

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an online national-level examination in India. With 8,45,432 candidates registering for the 2022 exam, GATE serves as a crucial gateway for postgraduate studies and recruitment across various prestigious institutes and organizations.

GRE

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), accepted worldwide, is a key requirement for admission to graduate and business schools globally. The 3 hours 45 minutes test is a popular choice for those pursuing MS or MBA studies abroad, with a fee of INR 22,550.

Master Sommelier Diploma Exam

In the USA, the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam is an elite examination for those aspiring to become certified Sommeliers. With three challenging parts covering theory, deductive tasting, and practical wine service, it boasts a pass rate of approximately 10%.

ICAI CA Exams

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) conducts the Chartered Accountancy (CA) exam. With three levels - Foundation, Intermediate, and Final - aspiring Chartered Accountants in India undergo a rigorous testing process, with a pass rate of 14%.

CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)

For networking professionals in the USA, the CCIE certification is a pinnacle achievement. Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts design, build, and troubleshoot complex networking infrastructures. With 8,000 candidates yearly and a 26% pass rate, it stands as a mark of technical prowess.

Mensa International

Founded in England, Mensa is not an exam but a society for individuals scoring in the upper 2% on an approved intelligence test. Present in over 90 countries, including India, Mensa fosters intellectual and social development among its 145,000 members worldwide.

CFA

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a globally recognized qualification for investment professionals. With three levels to clear, CFA candidates gain in-depth insights into finance and investment management, making it a sought-after designation.

(Read More: What are the best courses after 12th MEC?)

Conclusion

From the daunting Gaokao Exam in China to the globally accepted GRE, these exams pose unique challenges to individuals worldwide. Whether testing academic prowess, technical expertise, or intellectual acumen, these exams stand as gateways to future opportunities. As students contemplate their academic and professional journeys, these top 10 toughest exams serve as benchmarks of excellence and resilience.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Is CA one of the toughest exam in the world?

The CA exam conducted in India is another exam to take on the title of being among the toughest papers in the world. This is a three-level paper conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Which exam is most difficult?

The UPSC Exam is said to be the toughest exam in India. It is the most competitive and difficult exam that is conducted in India. The exam is conducted in three stages – Prelims, Mains, and the Interview round.

[Suggested Read: Looking for GRE Coaching from Experts? Check this Out ]

Is Gaokao harder than JEE?

Since Gaokao is the sole criterion for admission into tier-1 universities in China, we can find the level of question paper meaty. Inference - Though Jee advanced is very tough, the toughness level Gaokao is still tougher.

What if I fail Gaokao?

There is no way to fail Gaokao since it does not have a single threshold for pass/fail. It gives you a score and colleges admit students based on this score. Assuming you got a bad score from Gaokao, you could choose from the following options. You could retake it.

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