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Which Are the Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World?
27th Mar, 2024

Which Are the Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World?

These exams push the boundaries of possibility, be it for accreditations, scholastic confirmations, or proficient abilities. The value of that student who pursued these toughest exams in the world has increased automatically. Let’s check out the top 10 toughest exams in the world and some related things.

1. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Examination, India

Date for 2024: Depends on which exam you choose, but you can check the Calendar 2024

Official Website: Welcome to UPSC | UPSC 

UPSC is one of the toughest exams in the world. UPSC is essentially for Indian civil services. By completing this exam, you can become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS), an Indian Police Service (IPS), or another top government employee. 

It is one of the toughest exams, so candidates choose to take private coaching classes to crack it. You will get top-level government positions with this exam.


Approximately 1-year


Selects a candidate for India's top administrative services

Regulated by

The Union Public Service Commission of India

Target Students

Only Indian Students

2. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Examination, The Global

Date for 2024: February, May, August, November

Official Website: CFA Program (cfainstitute.org)

The CFA examination is also one of the toughest exams in the world. It is a financing exam specifically designed for those who want to be CAs and work on a global level. By achieving this certificate, you can enrol as a CA or finance section across the world. Also, you can start your own start-up.

The institution doesn’t have particular classes. Since it’s the toughest exam, you can start your private classes for this exam or even go with the self-study option.


Three steps, each requiring some time for setup. 


To work globally in the finance or accounting sector.

Regulated by

CFA Institute, USA

Target Students

Open to young people around the world

3. All Souls Prize Fellowship Examination, Oxford University, UK

Date for 2024: Expected in September 2024

Official Website: Homepage | All Souls College (ox.ac.uk)

Consider the ultimate brain-bending quiz, where memorising facts is insufficient. That is the entrance exam for All Souls College in Oxford, which is regarded as the toughest exam in the world. 

Only 5% of Oxford graduates are invited to play this mind game! The prize? A sweet 7-year fellowship at Oxford, snagged by just two lucky ducks each year. The exam occurs every September. 


Single a day exam but you have to study hard 


To get a 7-year fellowship at Oxford.

Regulated by

All Souls College, Oxford

Target Students

Open to young people around the world

4. Mensa IQ Test, Global

Exam Date for 2024: Different timings at different places in the world

Official Website: Home Page | Mensa International

The Mensa IQ Test is a standardised test designed to assess general intelligence. It is used to qualify individuals for membership in Mensa, the high IQ society. The test is not a measure of specific knowledge or skills, but rather of your ability to reason, solve problems, and identify patterns.

Usually, there are no classes or something for this test since it is an IQ test and depends on your qualifications, awareness, and knowledge.


One test meeting, usually 4-5 hours


To recognise people with high educational potential

Regulated by

Mensa International

Target Students

Open to anybody meeting the IQ limit

5. Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Global

Exam Date for 2024: 7th July and 1st December

Official Website: 日本語能力試験 JLPT

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a government-sanctioned test that examines the Japanese language proficiency of non-local speakers. It is generally perceived as the most significant and solid mark of Japanese language capacity for outsiders. 

The test is held two times per year, in July and December, in more than 60 nations all over the planet. The JLPT has 5 exams, from N1 to N5. You will get better work possibilities in Japan and globally, as well as educational acknowledgement.


It takes years to complete all modular exams


To assess and guarantee proficiency in the Japanese language.

Regulated by

Japan Educational Trades and Services

Target Students

Essentially focused on non-local Japanese speakers.

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6. Bar Examination, USA

Exam Date for 2024: February and July 2024

Official Website: Bar Exam | MPRE UBE MBE MPT MEE | NCBE (ncbex.org) 

The Bar Examination in the USA is a government-sanctioned test expected for hopeful lawyers to pass before they can be owned up to the bar and provide legal counsel in a particular state or region. There are many of the best law schools, so choose wisely. It's intended to survey a person's knowledge, skills, and professional leadership essential for capable legal practice.


Two days for the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), longer for state-explicit exams


To ensure that legal counsel is provided to the greatest extent possible.

Regulated by

National Gathering of Bar Examiners and individual state

Target Students

Open to all

7. Gaokao (National College Entrance Examination), China

Date of Examination for 2024: 7th and 8th June 

Official Website: there is no specific official date

The Gaokao, China's National College Entrance Examination, remains a vital second for a huge number of understudies every year. While influencing Chinese hopefuls, it additionally stretches out its range to include international up-and-comers. 

The achievement opens the way to esteemed establishments like Tsinghua and Peking University, making them ready for promising professions. However, the actual test is free, and broad planning requires huge ventures, driving numerous individuals to commit themselves to particular Gaokao schools. 

The cycle includes thorough, recognisable proof systems, test affirmation tickets, and a heap of desk work, however, the potential prizes are immense. Acing the Gaokao isn't just about confirmation, it's tied in with opening a bright future with a potential open door.


A few days, contingent upon the region.


To choose students for advanced education in light of legitimacy.

Regulated by

Commonplace Education Offices in China

Target Students

Chinese residents 


Dates Exam for 2024: JEE Main 2024 - Session 1: January 24th, 2024, to February 1st, 2024 | JEE Main 2024 - Session 2: April 4th, 2024, to April 15th, 2024 | JEE (Advanced) 2024: The JEE (Advanced) - Sunday, May 26th, 2024 

Official Website: Joint Entrance Examination (Main) | India (nta.ac.in) 

The IIT-JEE, India's premier engineering entrance exam, unlocks doors to prestigious IITs. This two-stage challenge tests top minds in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. 

The main level acts as a stepping stone, with only high scorers advancing to the globally acclaimed advanced stage, the sole path to IIT admission. 

In 2024, cut-offs reached a demanding 90.77% for the general category, highlighting the fierce competition. While Main scores open doors to engineering programmes across India, only the advanced elite earn the coveted IIT seat. The exam applies to all branches of engineering.


3 hours


To enter the top engineering colleges in India

Regulated by

National Testing Agency (NTA)

Target Students


9. United States Medical Licencing Examination (USMLE), USA

Date of Examination in 2024: You can choose your exam period 

Official Website: Home | United States Medical Licensing Examination (usmle.org)

For international medical graduates (IMGs), the USMLE opens the way to practicing medicine in the US. This multi-step exam assesses their knowledge, skills, and patient care capacities. While requiring planning and costing more than $1,000, it makes you ready for a compensating career in a lofty field.

IMGs need a medical degree, ECFMG certification, and different requirements. The thorough exam mirrors its significance in guaranteeing high healthcare guidelines. Passing it gives you the sought-after permit to work, sending off a satisfying career in a highly regarded calling.


Three stages, each requiring a long time of planning


To evaluate the availability of medical practice in the USA

Regulated by

The League of State Medical Examiners and the National Leading Body of Medical Examiners.

Target Students

International medical graduates

10. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering), India

Date of Examination in 2024: February

Official Website: GATE 2024 | GRADUATE APTITUDE TEST IN ENGINEERING 2024 (iisc.ac.in)

GATE, India's prestigious engineering exam, holds global recognition for postgraduate admissions. Affordable and offering access to top institutes and PSU jobs, it unlocks opportunities for aspiring engineers. While coaching is common due to its technical nature and competition, success paves the way for impactful careers.


Single-day exam


To evaluate aptitude and subject knowledge in engineering and science

Regulated by

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

Target Students

Mostly for Indian citizens, but also open to foreign nationals


These ten exams stand out for their difficulty, stringent requirements, and worldwide significance. Whether it's gaining admission to prestigious universities, obtaining professional certifications, or demonstrating cognitive abilities, these exams represent some of the toughest challenges individuals can undertake in their respective fields.

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