Examinations are a universal part of academic and professional life, but some tests stand out for their difficulty and rigor. These exams are not merely assessments of knowledge; they are crucibles that challenge the mental and emotional fortitude of those who dare to attempt them. From medical licensing exams to civil service assessments, the world’s toughest exams demand dedication, perseverance, and exceptional intellect. Here, we present a definitive list of the top 10 toughest exams in the world.
World’s Toughest Exams 2024
As of 2024, the world’s toughest exams include the IIT-JEE for admission to India’s prestigious Institutes of Technology, China’s Gaokao determining university placements, the CFA exams for financial analysts, and the UPSC Civil Services Exam in India. The California Bar Exam challenges aspiring lawyers, while Mensa’s IQ Test gauges exceptional intelligence. The JLPT assesses Japanese language proficiency, while the USMLE tests medical practitioners in the United States. These exams demand rigorous preparation and extraordinary skill to succeed.
Toughest in the World 2024
China’s Gaokao, a pinnacle of academic rigor, stands as one of the world’s toughest exams. Administered annually over two days, this National College Entrance Exam is a crucible for high school seniors seeking undergraduate studies. With a staggering 12 million candidates enduring its challenges, Gaokao’s grueling 9-hour duration engulfs the nation. Success in Gaokao promises not just academic advancement but societal status, rendering it a defining moment in China’s educational landscape.
Top-10 Toughest Exams in the World By 2024
Gaokao exam of China which has the duration of 2 days holds the title of the toughest exam in the world followed by IIT JEE Advanced, Civil Services Exam (CSE), GATE, and GRE.
Here is the list of top-10 toughest exams of the world by 2024:
|Toughest Exams in the World 2024
|College Entrance Exam for high school
|IIT JEE Advanced
|Undergraduate admission to IITs
|Civil Services Exam (CSE)
|Recruitment to administrative posts
|Post Graduate studies admission, recruitment
|3 hours 45 minutes
|Admission to MBA MS Courses
|Master Sommelier Diploma
|ICAI CA Exams
|Training and certifying Chartered Accountants
|Technical certifications for networking professionals
|Society for the top 2% intelligence
|Designation for investment professionals
Toughest Exam in the World – Gaokao
Duration: 2 days
Purpose: College Entrance Exam for High School
No. of Candidates: 12 million/year
Regarded as one of the most challenging examinations globally, the National College Entrance Exam (NCEE), also known as Gaokao, stands as a formidable hurdle for high school seniors aspiring to enter college. Administered annually over a span of two days, this pivotal examination brings the entire nation to a halt. Held typically in early June, success in the Gaokao exam opens doors to promising academic and professional opportunities, along with favorable prospects for marriage.
World’s Second Most Tough Exam – IIT JEE Advanced
Duration: 3 hours
Purpose: UG Admission to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
No. of Candidates: 1,55,538
Ranked among the most challenging examinations in India, the IIT JEE Advanced stands as the country’s second toughest exam. Aspiring candidates vying for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) must undertake the rigorous IIT-JEE Advanced assessment. This national-level examination serves as the sole gateway for securing admission to undergraduate programs leading to degrees in Engineering, Science, or Architecture. Notably, the admission process for IITs entails a comprehensive selection procedure, requiring candidates to qualify both the JEE Mains and JEE Advanced exams.
Third Most Difficult Exam in the World – Civil Services Exam (CSE)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Purpose: Recruitment to administrative posts such as IAS, IPS, and IFS.
No. of Candidates: 10,93,948
Regarded as the third toughest exam globally, the Civil Services Exam, also known as the IAS exam, is a pinnacle for Indian aspirants aspiring to serve their nation in administrative roles. Administered by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), this national-level examination comprises three stages: Prelims, Mains, and a rigorous interview round. Successful candidates secure positions in prestigious services such as the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), and Central Civil Services. The significance of this exam is underscored by the fact that IAS officers helm ministries and departments across union and state governments, lending it unparalleled prestige and difficulty.