Top 10 Toughest Competitive Exams In India!

The top 10 toughest and uncrackable competitive exams in India are here. The motive or concept of designing a competitive exam is to examine a competitor\’s mental stability, ability, technical skills, anaerobic fitness, and many more characteristics. These assessments can be conducted through viva, written, or online. There are many easy and difficult exams conducted in India every year. Many are easy or medium; however, some are difficult to crack or the toughest competitive exams in India. In this article, I am going to provide you with the names of those exams and a short introduction.

Here Is A List Of The Top 10 Toughest Competitive Exams In India: –

  • UPSC (Union Public Service Commission)
  • JEE Main (joining entrance examination)
  • The GATE Exam (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
  • CAT (Common Admission Test) Examenda
  • (National Defense Academy)
  • NID Entrance Exam (National Institute of Design)
  • NEET (national eligibility cumulation entrance exam)
  • UGC-NET (University Grant Commission National Eligibility Test)
  • CLAT (common law admission test)
  • CA (Chartered Accountant) Exam

So, these are the toughest exams. To crack them, we need to study hard and have to be mentally and physically strong. To learn more about these exams, here is a short passage based on each one:


The UPSC or Civil Service Entrance Examinations (IAS) UPSC or IAS Exam is one of the most strenuous and combative exams in India nowadays. Competitors cover a large syllabus that includes subjects like history, geography, and laws based on human rights, political science, etc., which can be considered main and major subjects.

At a time, more than 8 to 10 lakh candidates give this exam, which is conducted in three levels: –
Level 1 is the preliminary exam.
Level 2 is the main exam.
Level 3 is the last one, the interview.

As per a survey, over 8–10 lakh candidates, the passing percentage is as little as 0.1%–0.3%. Roughly 10 lakh candidates put in an application for a preliminary test, and the result will be that only 5 lakh candidates will come in to look for prelims. Around 13,000 candidates are selected for level 2, \”the main exam\”. After attempting level 2, only 3000 candidates will appear for level 3. At level 3, the remaining seats are only 796. This shows the strictness and the high level of competition.

After seeing the median of 2017 and 2018, the passing rate of candidates is somewhere between 0.1% and 0.2%. So the people who are working in central government services like IAS, IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IPS (Indian Police Services), and many more stand in need of proper skills, knowledge, and strong character to look after things, and this is the actual reason for this much strictness in this exam.

  • IIT-JEE Entrance Examinations: –

This is an engineering entrance exam that allows students to gain admission to the best engineering institutes in India. It is evaluated to be the second-hardest exam in India. Students pursue admissions at centrally funded technical universities. They are nominated on the basis of 2 main levels of IIT-JEE:-JEE Mains. JEE Advance Candidates have to proceed to level 1 to get short-listed for level 2.


According to a survey, the success rate is 1 out of 45 students being affluent on the exam. Therefore, we can expect only 2,200–10,000 participants out of 1 lakh to pass the exam. Every year, around 12 to 14 lakh students appear for JEE Mains. Still, only around 2.2 lakh students are eligible for the second round. Of the total of 2 lakh candidates, only 11,000 get certified by top engineering institutions.

Candidates who pass JEE Mains can take admission in undergraduate programmes like engineering, architecture, science, etc.
The university is selected on the basis of the candidate\’s rank, also known as the \”ALL-INDIA RANK (AIR).\” Therefore, high-ranking candidates have the preferable opportunity of procuring admission to the topmost universities. There are also some new changes from the JEE Mains 2019. This allows candidates to make an appearance for the entrance test twice a year.

  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering):-

An exam is conducted in India that fundamentally checks the brainpower of several undergraduate subjects in engineering and science for admission to master\’s programs and jobs in private sectors, including IITs and NITs. This exam is directed at acknowledging students in master, technology, science, technology, doctoral courses in engineering, etc.

Once acquired, the GATE score, once acquired, will be certified for three years from the selection date and is also acceptable in government and public sector undertakings.
There is no age limit for this exam, but a few qualifications are needed:

  1. Candidates should obtain a bachelor\’s degree linked to an engineering or science stream.
  2. Candidates require a Master\’s degree from any department of math, science, statistics, or computer applications.
  3. Candidates in their final year should finish with either a bachelor\’s degree or a master\’s degree program.
  • CAT (Common Admission Test):

This is a computer-based test to gain admission to graduate management programs. Competitors are analyzed based on skills mainly in English, mathematics, and logical reasoning.
The result of CAT entrance is accepted by all IIMs and institutes, and universities that provide MBA programs. However, hardly 1500 students succeed out of 2 lakh every year who qualify for admission. A survey also clarifies that failure is too common here, but students should never lose hope and always try to score better. If students feel like dropping their aspirations after a failure, there is no need to do so. Just improve your skills and give yourself another chance.


There are criteria for candidates to participate in an entrance exam.
Candidates must have a bachelor\’s degree with a minimum percentage of 50%.
The degree must be from a college accredited by the MHRD or the UGC Act of 1956.
Students in their final year of a bachelor\’s program can also appear for the exam by providing a transfer certificate.

  • NDA (National Defence Academy):-

This exam is held for candidates who want to join the Indian Army, Air Force, or Navy and serve their country. Candidates are selected on the basis of a written test, a psychological aptitude test, an intelligence test, a personality assessment, and, last but not least, an interview. Generally, this exam is conducted in the months of April and September, twice a year.

In India, students, after completing class 12, can apply for the NDA exam. The interview process is conducted by the SSB (Service Selection Board). Every year, 4 lakh students prepare for exams, but only 6000 are selected for the SSB interview.

Therefore, an average of 66.7% of candidates have to face failure in an exam. Army cadets who are selected for IMA (Indian Military Academy) have to go to Dehradun, AFA cadets (Air Force Academy) to Dundigal, Hyderabad, and INA (Indian Naval Academy) to Ezhimala, Kerala.

  • National Institute of Design (NID):

This exam is a design aptitude test mainly focusing on faculty, which the NID admission committee conducts. It is basically to check candidates\’ creativity and artistic level in designing. NIT ranks are allocated based on a candidate\’s rank, which is obtained by giving the NID exam.
The NID entrance test has some criteria: –
Bachelor of Design (B. Des) degree
M. Des (Master of Design) degree

If a candidate wants to occupy a seat, then it is compulsory to clear the following two entrances:

This is conducted to check candidates\’ qualities and attributes in designing. Candidates who pass the preliminary examination can take the main examination of the prelims in 3 hours and consist of 100 marks.
This is basically a studio test that depends on the candidate\’s specialisation. The interview is conducted by the official head or by the faculty.

The NID DAT Prelims is a written test, whereas the NID DAT Mains is divided into two parts; the first is a studio test, and the second is an interview. In this exam, candidates have to really work hard for admission because the elimination procedure is too rigid.

  • NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test):

NEET is an abbreviation for National Eligibility Entrance Test. As we know, till 2018, NEET (National Eligibility and Entrance Test) was under the control of CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education). But starting in 2019, the exam is conducted by NAT (National Testing Agency).

NEET is replaced by a previous exam, the AIPMT (All India Pre-Medical Test), but both exams have the same pattern. Students have to clear the NEET Exam to get admission to MBBS and BDS courses either in India\’s government or private medical colleges. This exam is conducted once a year, mostly in the month of May.


Why do candidates have to face so much fear while waiting for results?

As per the latest survey report, 15 lakh candidates registered for the NEET Exam. Out of these, only 13 lakh candidates get selected. Therefore, 7.7 lakh candidates get certification upon passing the exam, and on average, around 56.6% of candidates get professional certification.

What is the main problem that occurs after passing the exam?

Generally, the main problem is ranking. It\’s not about scoring high marks; the main thing that matters has a higher rank. The higher the rank you score, the better the opportunity you get.

  • UGC-NET (University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test):-

The UGC-NET (University Grant Commission-National Eligibility Test) is a national-level hiring exam to appoint assistant professors and JRFs (junior research fellowships) for universities and colleges all over India. A reservation policy is also applied during the selection process, which signifies that, based on category, applicants will be selected by colleges. Failure in this exam is tough enough for candidates.

Therefore, from 2018, exams have been managed by NTA (National Testing Agency), which is carrying on with 83 subjects out of 88 NEET exams, holding up cities.
According to UGC NET capabilities, candidates should have to obtain at least 55% of their graduation from a UGC-accredited university or college.

  • CLAT (Common Law Admission Test):

The goal of the CLAT Exam is to direct candidates who are qualified to take admission in five-year programmes like Bachelor of Arts desegregated with Law, Bachelor of Law, and LLM (Master of Law). In India, 16 national universities agree to receive a candidate\’s marks obtained by giving the CLAT Exam.

In a year, 60,000 candidates come into view for CLAT. Out of only 3,000 candidates, meaning only 5% get hold of a National Law University degree,
There is a systematic change in the CLAT Exam. Nowadays, candidates have to deal with fewer questions as compared to before. For example, the number of questions has decreased from 200 to 150, and the sections that consist of comprehension should be 300 to 450 words. Despite that, it doesn\’t change the scoring. For every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted from the total score obtained by a candidate.

  • CA (Certified Accountant):

The CA Exam is primarily administered by the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), which was founded in July 1949 to regulate the chartered accountancy profession in India.
The ICAI Exam is conducted at three levels of Chartered Accountant exams: –
CA (Chartered Accountant) foundation
CA (Chartered Accountant) intermediate
The first exam for a CA (Chartered Accountant) is the final exam.


This is a national-level prelim exam, administered four times a year in the months of January, June, November, and December. Earlier, it was regarded as the common proficiency test (CA CPT). After passing this exam, candidates get to apply for ICAI Chartered Accountant courses.

Still, suppose a candidate clears all three levels. In that case, they will become a Validated Chartered Accountant in India, also known as a Determined Certification in India.
In this exam, competition between students is to score higher in the examination, which plays an important role in motivating them.

I hope this article may help you prepare yourself for whatever field you choose for your future, analyze your knowledge, and develop self-confidence. Failure can erode your confidence, leaving you with only two options: first, give up hope, or second, put in more effort and hard work to achieve your goal. By concluding this article, I will say that study is the only thing that will never leave you behind and will always support you in making your present and future much stronger and greater. I hope this article may help you face the upcoming situations more easily.

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