Top 5 Toughest Exams In India

Top 5 Toughest Exams In India

Toughest Exams In India

UPSC, JEE, CAT, etc. are the toughest exams in India. The demand for government jobs is very high in India. India is known for its robust education system and competitive spirit. lakhs of Indians fight to get a government position. Hence, cracking government exams is not easy. It is very challenging because of the long syllabus, huge competition and very limited seats. You need to work hard if you are applying for any of top toughest exams in India-

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


UPSC is the toughest exam in India. It is an exam to select the candidate for various civil services of the government of India like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). It is highly prestigious and competitive among Indians.

  • UPSC exam is conducted in a three-stage process: Preliminary Examination (Objective Type), Main Examination (Descriptive Type), and Personality Test (Interview). The Preliminary Examination has two papers-General Studies (GS) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), which have to be cleared to reach stages two and three.

  • Only Indian candidates can apply for it with a bachelor’s degree.

  • The UPSC syllabus is huge and contains various subjects like history, geography, politics, economics, science and technology, current affairs, and optional subjects.

  • Aspiring candidates can attempt the UPSC exam a limited number of times, which varies with the different categories.

  • The preliminary exam is conducted in different cities of India. However, the Main exam and personality test are only held in the UPSC’s office in New Delhi.

2. IIT JEE (Indian Institute of Technology – Joint Entrance Exam)


It is the toughest entrance exam in India. It is the selection of candidates to get admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other renowned engineering institutions. Candidates apply for IIT-JEE to get the top engineering institutes for better education in India. Qualifying for the IIT-JEE exam is a significant achievement and opens the door to a brighter future.

  • The IIT-JEE exam conducts two main papers: JEE Main and JEE Advanced. Main is the initial stage. One who completes JEE main is eligible for the JEE Advance. After clearing both exams, candidates get admission into IITs.

  • Aspiring candidates must complete 10+2 to enter the JEE-Main. In addition, they have Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects in their 12th.

  • The exam format is multiple choice questions, numerical-based questions, and subjective questions. Candidates have to complete the exam at a specific time only.

  • Successful performance in the JEE Main is a sign of appearing in the JEE Advance. After clearing JEE Advance, the candidate is eligible for the counselling and seat allocation in All India Rank.

3. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)


It is a national-level exam for the Master of Engineering (ME), Master in Technology (MTech) and direct PhD admissions to IITs, NITs, IIITs and other institutes/universities around India. This exam is conducted to test the knowledge and understanding of the candidate in various undergraduate engineering and science subjects.

  • GATE is a computer-based test with multiple-choice questions and numerical questions. It covers all the subjects like engineering, technology and science.

  • Aspiring candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology, or science, which means they must clear all their subjects in all semesters.

  • The GATE score is valid for three years after the announcement of the result. It is calculated by the marks obtained in the exam. This GATE score can be accepted by various academic institutions, research organisations, and public sector undertakings (PSUs) for admission, recruitment or internship.

  • GATE is the toughest examination to pursue higher education and research in engineering and technology.

  • Qualifying GATE is a way to postgraduate programs at top institutions in India and abroad.

  • Apply for the GATE exam, when they are open. GATE examination conducted multiple sessions annually. There is no fixed time. It varies every year.

4. CAT (Indian Institutes of Management Common Admission Test)


CAT is also the entrance exam for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and various other premier business schools or institutes. CAT is the toughest exam and the achievement to qualify for it.

  • CAT is a computer-based exam in three sections Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).

  • To enter the CAT exam, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with minimum specified percentages. There is no age limit to apply for the CAT exam.

  • The CAT exam format is a mix of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and non-MCQs, which have to be completed in 180 minutes without any help.

  • CAT score is calculated by the obtained marks that will be used to determine the rank of the candidate in India.

  • CAT Score is an important component of the admission process for management programs. They are shortlisted by various business schools and institutes according to the CAT Score. After selection, you need to clear group discussions, personal interviews, and written ability tests.

5. NDA (National Defence Academy)


NDA is also the entrance exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for admission to the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is a training program for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. The NDA exam aims to select the candidate to give a three-year training program at the NDA. Training includes academics, physical fitness, and military skills.

  • The NDA exam is held in two stages- The writing exam and the interview exam. The writing exam contains objective-type questions on Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT), covering subjects like English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

  • To apply for NDA, candidates must complete their 10+2 and should be an unmarried male Indian citizen.

  • There is an age limit for NDA. Candidates must be between 16.5 to 19.5 years old.

  • For selection, candidates first clear their written exam, then interview which will be conducted by the  Services Selection Board (SSB). The Services Selection Board (SSB) interview is a test of candidates’ psychological, physical, and group testing skills.

  • After completing their NDA training, candidates are hired as officers in the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force, which is a great achievement.




1. What makes UPSC exam the toughest in India?
– The UPSC exam is considered tough due to its extensive syllabus covering various subjects like history, geography, politics, economics, science, and technology. Additionally, the multi-stage selection process, including the Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test, adds to its difficulty.


2. How many attempts are allowed for the JEE exam?
– Candidates can attempt the JEE exam for a maximum of two consecutive years, starting from the year they complete their 12th standard.


3. What is the minimum qualification required for appearing in the GATE exam?
– Candidates must have completed or be in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology or Master’s degree in any relevant science subject to appear for the GATE exam.


4. How does CAT differ from other MBA entrance exams?
– CAT is known for its rigorous selection process and high level of competition. It tests candidates’ aptitude and problem-solving skills through its three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).


5. What are the career opportunities after clearing the UPSC exam?
– Clearing the UPSC exam opens up prestigious career opportunities in various civil services of the Indian government, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).


6. Is coaching necessary for cracking the IIT JEE exam?
– While coaching can be beneficial, it’s not mandatory. Many students have successfully cracked the IIT JEE exam through self-study, practice, and guidance from standard study materials.


7. How does the NDA exam differ from other defense entrance exams?
– The NDA exam is unique as it aims to select candidates for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force through a comprehensive selection process that includes a written exam followed by an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).


8. What is the minimum score required in the GATE exam for admission to top institutes?
– The minimum score required in the GATE exam varies for different institutes and disciplines. However, a high GATE score increases the chances of admission to premier institutes like IITs and NITs.


9. Are there any age restrictions for appearing in the CAT exam?
– No, there are no age restrictions for appearing in the CAT exam. Candidates of any age can apply as long as they meet the educational eligibility criteria.


10. What are the advantages of qualifying for the UPSC exam?
– Qualifying for the UPSC exam opens up a world of opportunities, including prestigious positions in the civil services, leadership roles in government departments, and the chance to contribute significantly to nation-building and policymaking.



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