toughest exams in India

The 19 Toughest Exams in India: A Comprehensive Overview

India is known for its rigorous academic and competitive exam culture, with numerous exams that are renowned for their challenging syllabi, intense competition, and low success rates. The toughest exams in India are gateways to prestigious careers and top institutions in the country.

This article delves into the top 19 toughest exams in India, providing details on their full forms, conducting authorities, exam dates, frequencies, modes, mediums, durations, question types, and official websites.

The Toughest Exams in India

There are various job profiles in India with respect to every government department. From engineering, to medical to revenue and forest. You can generate an opportunity for yourself by cracking any one of the toughest exams in India.

Based on your aptitude and interests and also your qualifications, you can get into government administrative positions as well. All you need to do is devote yourself to cracking one of the toughest exams in India. Check out the list of these exams and choose the best for yourself.

If you are still not sure of a career path, click the image below:

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1. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination

  • Full Form: UPSC CSE
  • Conducting Authority: Union Public Service Commission
  • Exam Date: June 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective and Descriptive
  • Official Website: UPSC Official Website

The UPSC CSE is considered to be one of the toughest exams in India, with a success rate of less than 1%. It comprises three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. The Prelims consist of two objective-type papers, while the Mains have nine descriptive-type papers. The final stage is a personal interview assessing personality, communication skills, and leadership qualities.


2. Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE)

  • Full Form: JEE (Main and Advanced)
  • Conducting Authority: National Testing Agency (NTA)
  • Exam Date: April and May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: JEE Main Official Website

The IIT-JEE is the toughest exam in India for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other top engineering institutions. It has two stages: JEE Main and JEE Advanced, testing candidates in physics, chemistry, and mathematics.


3. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Entrance Exam

  • Full Form: AIIMS MBBS Entrance Exam
  • Conducting Authority: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • Exam Date: May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: AIIMS Official Website

This exam is for admission to undergraduate medical courses at AIIMS and other top medical institutions. It tests knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, and general knowledge, based on the 11th and 12th standard syllabus.


4. National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy Examination

  • Full Form: NDA & NA Exam
  • Conducting Authority: Union Public Service Commission
  • Exam Date: April 2024
  • Frequency: Twice a year
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 5 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: UPSC Official Website

The NDA & NA Exam is for admission to the National Defence Academy and the Indian Naval Academy. It includes two parts: Mathematics and General Ability Test, covering mathematics, English, and general knowledge.


5. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

  • Full Form: GATE
  • Conducting Authority: Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
  • Exam Date: February 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: GATE Official Website

GATE is one of the toughest exams in India for admission to postgraduate programs in engineering, technology, architecture, and science. It tests candidates on mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering knowledge.


6. Common Admission Test (CAT)

  • Full Form: CAT
  • Conducting Authority: Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
  • Exam Date: November 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: CAT Official Website

CAT is for admission to postgraduate management programs at IIMs and other top business schools. It tests quantitative aptitude, verbal ability, data interpretation, and logical reasoning.


7. Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for B.Arch

  • Full Form: JEE (B.Arch)
  • Conducting Authority: National Testing Agency (NTA)
  • Exam Date: January 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: JEE Main Official Website

This exam is for admission to undergraduate architecture courses at NITs and other top architecture institutions. It covers mathematics, aptitude, and drawing.


8. National Eligibility Test (NET)

  • Full Form: UGC-NET
  • Conducting Authority: National Testing Agency (NTA)
  • Exam Date: December 2024
  • Frequency: Twice a year
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: UGC-NET Official Website

UGC-NET determines eligibility for assistant professor and junior research fellowship (JRF) posts. It tests teaching and research aptitude, general awareness, reasoning ability, and reading comprehension.


9. Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Entrance Exam

  • Full Form: ISI Entrance Exam
  • Conducting Authority: Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)
  • Exam Date: May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective and Descriptive
  • Official Website: ISI Official Website

ISI Entrance Exam is for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate programs in statistics, mathematics, and computer science. It includes two objective-type papers and one descriptive-type paper.


10. National Institute of Design (NID) Entrance Exam

  • Full Form: NID DAT
  • Conducting Authority: National Institute of Design (NID)
  • Exam Date: January 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective and Descriptive
  • Official Website: NID Official Website

NID DAT is for admission to design programs at NID. It tests design aptitude, creativity, and problem-solving skills through objective and descriptive papers.


11. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Entrance Exam

  • Full Form: IIFT Entrance Exam
  • Conducting Authority: Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)
  • Exam Date: December 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: IIFT Official Website

IIFT Entrance Exam is for admission to the MBA program in International Business. It tests English, general awareness, logical reasoning, and data interpretation.


12. Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Exam (JNUEE)

  • Full Form: JNUEE
  • Conducting Authority: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
  • Exam Date: May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: JNU Official Website

JNUEE is for admission to undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs at JNU. It tests candidates’ knowledge of their subjects and general awareness.


13. Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT)

  • Full Form: BITSAT
  • Conducting Authority: Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani
  • Exam Date: May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: BITS Official Website

BITSAT is for admission to undergraduate programs at BITS Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad. It tests physics, chemistry, mathematics

, and English proficiency.


14. Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

  • Full Form: XAT
  • Conducting Authority: XLRI Jamshedpur
  • Exam Date: January 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: XAT Official Website

XAT is for admission to postgraduate management programs at XLRI and other top B-schools. It tests quantitative aptitude, verbal ability, data interpretation, and logical reasoning.


15. Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP)

  • Full Form: SNAP
  • Conducting Authority: Symbiosis International University (SIU)
  • Exam Date: December 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Online
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: SNAP Official Website

SNAP is for admission to postgraduate management programs at Symbiosis institutes. It tests general English, quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, and data interpretation.


16. Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)

  • Full Form: CLAT
  • Conducting Authority: Consortium of National Law Universities
  • Exam Date: May 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: CLAT Official Website

CLAT is for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law programs at National Law Universities. It tests English, general knowledge, legal aptitude, logical reasoning, and mathematics.


17. National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Entrance Exam

  • Full Form: NIFT Entrance Exam
  • Conducting Authority: National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)
  • Exam Date: January 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective and Descriptive
  • Official Website: NIFT Official Website

NIFT Entrance Exam is for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate fashion programs. It tests design aptitude, creativity, and problem-solving skills.


18. All India Bar Examination (AIBE)

  • Full Form: AIBE
  • Conducting Authority: Bar Council of India (BCI)
  • Exam Date: January 2024
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective
  • Official Website: AIBE Official Website

AIBE is for law graduates to practice law in India. It tests knowledge of various areas of law, legal reasoning, and general legal awareness.


19. Chartered Accountancy (CA) Exam

  • Full Form: CA Exam
  • Conducting Authority: Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
  • Exam Date: May and November 2024
  • Frequency: Twice a year
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Medium of Exam: English and Hindi
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours per paper
  • Type of Questions: Objective and Descriptive
  • Official Website: ICAI Official Website

The CA Exam comprises three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. It tests accounting, auditing, taxation, financial management, and corporate laws.


These exams are gateways to some of the most prestigious careers and educational opportunities in India, known for their rigorous selection processes and demanding standards. Preparing for these exams requires dedication, thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and strategic planning.

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