Top 10 toughest exams in India

Toughest exams in India - An examination is an evaluation designed to measure the knowledge, skill, aptitude, mental stability, physical fitness or any other aspect of a person. An exam can be conducted orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a specific setup that needs a test taker to perform a set of skills.

Ancient China was the first country that executed a nationwide standardized test and it was called the imperial examination. The main purpose was to select candidates for specific government positions.

Exams are the nightmare of all the students, exams get tougher as we move to higher education. But exams encourage students to gain knowledge in the specific field and provides strength to face any difficult situation in life which most of the students fail to understand.

Benefits of Examination

Competitive environment: The competition between the students to score higher marks are good as it makes the way for more learning. It plays an important role in motivating the students. The most important part is that people get used to the competition early as from their childhood which makes them easier to face the competition in the later part of life.

Increased knowledge: It is required to learn something more than what is given in the textbooks in order to score higher marks in the exams. Students search for external sources like literature works which makes students to increase their proactive skills.

Improves confidence: Analysing the marks obtained from the exam clears you about the level of knowledge you have in the specific topic which further helps you in knowing more about it. Especially, the practical examination builds your confidence in order to effectively implement the theoretical knowledge.

Improves Memory Benefits: It not only increases knowledge but also enhances your memory power. When one tries to learn something and reproduce it at the end of the academics during exams makes the long-term memory stronger. As the studies progress the number of revisions required decreases thus improving the learning skills.

List of Toughest Exams in India

Here is the list of toughest exams in India. You can directly jump to any of the exams from the table below in order to get more details.

  1. UPSC Civil Service Entrance Examinations (IAS)
  2. IIT JEE Entrance Examinations
  3. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
  4. CAT (Common Entrance Test)
  5. NDA (National Defence Academy)
  6. National Institute of Design Entrance Examination
  7. NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test)
  8. UGC- NET (University Grants Commission- National Eligibility Test) 
  9. CLAT (Common Law Admission Test)
  10. AIIMS UG

Here are the toughest exams in India. Brace yourself!

UPSC Civil Service Entrance Examinations (IAS) - Toughest Exam in India

It is considered as the toughest exam.  in India. Over 9 lakh candidates appear for the IAS exam each year, and the achievement rate lies between 0.1 - 0.3%. The exam is conducted to recruit talented candidates to various central government services such as the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police service, etc.

The three levels of this exam include the preliminary exam, main exam and personality test or interview.

UPSC Exam 2019 Important Dates

UPSC Exam 2019 Important Dates
S. No. Name of Examination Date  of
Last Date  for
receipt of
Date  of
commencement of Exam
Duration of Exam
1 Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2019 26.09.2018 22.10.2018 06.01.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
2 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     20.01.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
3 C.D.S. Examination (I), 2019 31.10.2018 26.11.2018 03.02.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
4 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     24.02.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
5 CISF AC(EXE) LDCE-2019 05.12.2018 31.12.2018 03.03.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
6 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     10.03.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
7 N.D.A. & N.A.  Examination (I), 2019 09.01.2019 04.02.2019 21.04.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
8 Civil Services (Preliminary)  Examination, 2019 19.02.2019 18.03.2019 02.06.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
9 Indian Forest Service (Preliminary)  Examination, 2019 through CS(P)  Examination 2019
10 I.E.S./I.S.S.  Examination, 2019 20.03.2019 16.04.2019 28.06.2019 (FRIDAY) 3 DAYS
11 Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist  Examination,
20.03.2019 16.04.2019 28.06.2019 (FRIDAY) 3 DAYS
12 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     07.07.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
13 Engineering Services (Main) Examination, 2019     30.06.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
14 Combined Medical  Services  Examination, 2019 10.04.2019 06.05.2019 21.07.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
15 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     11.08.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
16 Central Armed Police Forces (ACs)  Examination, 2019 24.04.2019 20.05.2019 18.08.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
17 C.D.S.  Examination (II), 2019 12.06.2019 08.07.2019 08.09.2019
18 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     15.09.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
19 Civil Services (Main)  Examination, 2019     20.09.2019 (FRIDAY) 5 DAYS
20 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     20.10.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
21 N.D.A. & N.A.  Examination (II), 2019 07.08.2019 03.09.2019 17.11.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
22 Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination     24.11.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
23 Indian Forest Service (Main)  Examination, 2019     01.12.2019 (SUNDAY) 10 DAYS
24 S.O./Steno (GD-B/GD-I)  LDCE 18.09.2019 10.10.2019 14.12.2019 (SATURDAY) 2 DAYS

IIT JEE Entrance Examinations - Toughest Exam in India

It is considered one of the toughest exam in the world. It is an entrance examination for the engineering students. It is conducted to shortlist the eligible students seeking admission at centrally funded technical institutions for the engineering programmes. The exam consists of two parts they are JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced.

Students who pass the JEE Advance successfully will be able to join the undergraduate programs in Engineering, Architecture and Sciences at the college of their dreams in accordance with their All India Rank (AIR) in the exam. The success rate of the exam is only about 1 out of 45. Students need to clear the JEE-Main exam first followed by JEE-Advanced in order to get admission into Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

About 12 to 14 lakh students appear for JEE Main and only around 2.2 lakh students make it to the JEE Advanced. Ultimately, only 11,000 students make it to the top engineering colleges in India. The new changes in JEE Main 2019 allow for candidates to appear twice for the entrance exam in a given year. The better of the two scores will be used for the purpose of ranking as per the regulations laid by the authorities.

JEE-Main II Exam date 2019

JEE Main Important Dates 2019 – National Testing Agency (NTA) has announced JEE Main exam dates for April exam. There is a change in Exam date due to recently announced election dates. The authorities will conduct JEE Main 2019 Paper 2 on April 7 while Paper 1 will be conducted on April 8, 9, 10 and 12. NTA has conducted JEE Main first attempt from January 8 to 12, 2019.

JEE-Advanced Exam date 2019

In view of the clash in the dates of JEE (Advanced) 2019 and the last phase of General Elections 2019, the examination date of JEE (Advanced) 2019 has been shifted to May 27, 2019 (Monday).

The examination will be held in India and abroad, on May 27, 2019 (Monday), in the following two shifts: Paper 1 (09:00 to 12:00 IST) and Paper 2 (14:00 to 17:00 IST).

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) - Toughest Exam in India

This exam is conducted for admissions to Masters and Doctoral courses in engineering, technology, architecture and science. It is the ticket to various Government Engineering Colleges including IITs and NITs. 

GATE is conducted to initiate admission into postgraduate courses like ME/MTech offered by the nation's premier institutes such as IITs, IIITs, NITs and other top colleges. The GATE score is also accepted by selected PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) companies of the Indian Government.

The score obtained from the exam is valid to make admission within 3 years of from the date of announcement of results. Before enrolling for the exam it is important to know the eligibility criteria required to qualify for GATE. Some of it is given below

  • Bachelor's degree in the related engineering/ science stream.

  • A Master's Degree from any branch of Mathematics, Science, Statistics, Computer Applications.

  • A student in his or her final year of either bachelors or a masters degree can also attend the GATE exam.

  • There is no age limit whatsoever here.

GATE 2019 was organized by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in online mode on February 2, 3, 9 and 10, 2019. Candidates can visit the official website of GATE 2019 i.e. to check their scorecard.

  • An interested candidate can apply for GATE through online mode.

  • The GATE Online Application Processing System is the official online portal through which a candidate can register for the exam.

  • A Candidate is mandated to provide his or her photograph, signature and other required documents 

CAT (Common Entrance Test) - Toughest Exam in India

CAT is an online examination conducted as an entry-level exam which acts as the gateway for the admission in premier management and business schools. The candidates are evaluated on the basis of the skills in English, Mathematics, and Logical Reasoning.

The score of the CAT exam is accepted by the IIMs and many other universities offering MBA.

Only 1500 candidates out of 2 lakh people get into the IIMs annually. That makes it one of the toughest entrance exams to be conducted in India.

CAT Exam 2019 Important Dates

Here are the important dates of CAT Exam

CAT Exam 2019 Important Dates
Event Dates (Tentative)
Release of CAT 2019 Notification Last Saturday of July 2019
Application Commencement The second week of August 2019
Last date to apply Last week of September 2019
Re-upload of blur/improper photograph in CAT Application form Last week of September 2019
Issuing Admit Card Last week of October 2019
CAT 2019 Tutorial/Mock Test The third week of October 2019
CAT 2019 Exam

Last week of November 2019 (Forenoon slot - 9 am-12 pm)

Last week of November 2019 (Afternoon slot - 2:30 pm-5:30 pm)

Candidate Response File Last week of November 2019
Releasing of Answer Key The first week of December 2019
Last date to file an objection (if any) based on the official answer key The first week of December 2019
The announcement of CAT 2019 Result The first week of January 2019

NDA (National Defence Academy) - Toughest Exam in India

NDA Exams are conducted to select candidates to the army, air force, and navy wings. The candidates are picked on the basis of written examination, psychological aptitude test, intelligence test, personality test, an interview.

There are different eligibility criteria for different national defence wings. It is conducted twice a year in April and September respectively. This objective type exam is conducted by the UPSC. Any student who has completed or written his class 12 exam can prepare and appear for the NDA Test.

The interview is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) of the Ministry of Defence and it is required to clear all the previous tests to be eligible for the interview. The SSB Interview is one that includes a psychological aptitude test, intelligence, and personality test.

NDA Exam 2019 Important Dates

Here are the important dates of NDA Exam

NDA Exam 2019 Important Dates
Release of notification 9th January 2019 7th August 2019
Application form available 9th January 2019 7th August 2019
End date to submit the application 4th February 2019 3rd September 2019
Admit card release 1 or 2 weeks before the exam 1 or 2 weeks before the exam
Exam date 21st April 2019 17th November 2019
Declaration of result May 2019 November 2019

National Institute of Design (NID) Entrance Examination - Toughest Exam in India

This is a Design Aptitude Test, conducted by the NID Admission Committee. This test is intended to check the level of creativity in design possessed by the candidates and ranked on the basis of merit via NID Design Aptitude Test. The examination will be held in all the major cities of India.

National Institute of Design (NID) offers admissions to aspirants in courses such as

  • Bachelor of Design (BDes)
  • Graduate Diploma Programme in Design (GDPD)
  • Master of Design (MDes)

In order to secure admission in design programmes offered at National Institute of Design (NID) aspirants need to take part in NID DAT (Prelims) and NID DAT (Mains). Only candidates who are shortlisted in NID DAT (Prelims) can appear for NID DAT (Mains). For more information about the institute and exam, one is advised to visit their official website.

The NID Exam consists of 2 parts - Stage 1 is the preliminary exam conducted through pen and paper mode (written test). Stage 2 of the exam is the main test comprising of a studio test and personal interview round.

NID DAT Prelims

This Design Aptitude Test conducted by NID Institute is a three-hour long exam with a total marking being 100 marks. The medium of instruction is English. The paper is divided into 2 sections comprising of objective and subjective questions. NID DAT Preliminary Exam is conducted to test an aspirant of the qualities and attributes namely knowledge, comprehension, analysis, creativity and visualization skills. The students who qualify this round can appear for the main exam.


The studio test (Mains) is conducted separately for each specialization. The interview is conducted by the faculty and/or head officials of a said discipline or specialization.

A total of 100 seats will be allotted solely on merit basis in Bachelor of Design in six specializations across Industrial Design, Communication Design, and Textile, Apparel & Lifestyle Accessory Design faculty.

NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) - Toughest Exam in India

From 2012, All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) was replaced by National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG), popularly known as (NEET-UG). It is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) until 2018. It is the gateway entrance exam for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in some government or private medical colleges across India.

From 2019 onwards, the NEET-UG is going to be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) as per the same pattern. The exam will be held once a year in the month of May. For more information on NEET Exam, we can read the following article.

NEET 2019 Important Dates

Here are the important dates of NEET 2019

NEET 2019 Important Dates


NEET 2019 Application Form start date

1st November 2018

The last date to submit online NEET 2019 Application

30th November 2018

Last date for paying of Exam fees through credit/debit card /e-challan

10th March 2019

Application Form for NEET 2019 Correction window

15th March 2019 to 17th March 2019

The issue of NEET 2019 Admit Card(MBBS/BDS)

15th April 2019

Date of NEET 2019 (exam day)

5th May 2019


5th June 2019

Challenge to Answer Key of NEET 2019

Last week of May 2019 

Counselling Session for NEET 2019 (1st round)

10th June 2019

Counselling (2nd round)

6th July 2019 to 8th July 2019

UGC- NET (University Grants Commission- National Eligibility Test) - Toughest Exam in India

The University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) is a national level exam conducted with the aim to select candidates for only Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) in Indian universities and colleges. It is conducted to qualify the meritorious assistant lecturers and Junior Research Fellowship candidates who will be hired for the school and college level. The test is conducted in 83 subjects at 88 NET examination cities.

The exam is so tough that many candidates fail to tackle the exam even in the fourth or fifth attempt. From 2018 onwards, the exam is being conducted by NTA (National Testing Agency). This is no doubt one of the toughest exams to crack in India.

In terms of Eligibility, a candidate must have secured at least 55% marks in their master's degree examination (could be from any field) and off course from a UGC recognized college/university. Candidates are recommended to give the UGC NET 2019 exam in the subject of their post-graduation only. 

UGC-NET 2019 Important Dates

Here are the important dates of UGC-NET 2019

UGC-NET 2019 Important Dates
Event December 2018  June 2019 Session 
UGC NET 2019 Exam Notification September 1, 2018 February 4, 2019
Availability of Online Application Form September 1 – 30, 2018 March 1 – 30, 2019
Availability of UGC NET Admit Card November 19,  2018 May 15, 2019
UGC NET 2019 Exam Date December 18 – 22, 2018 June 20 – 28, 2019
Availability of Answer Key & OMR Sheet January 6, 2019 July 2019
Result Declaration January 10, 2019 July 15, 2019

CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) - Toughest Exam in India

It is conducted to determine eligible students to take admissions to five-year integrated Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Law or Master of Law (LLM) programme. The score obtained is accepted by 16 National Law Universities in India.

The candidates who qualify CLAT are eligible to obtain admission in the courses such as BA LLB, BSc LLB, BA LLB, BSW LLB, BCom LLB, and L.L.M.

CLAT 2019 Important Dates

Here are the important dates of CLAT 2019

CLAT 2019 Important Dates
Event Date 
CLAT 2019 Exam Notification December 20, 2018
Availability of CLAT 2019 Application Form January 13 – March 31, 2019
Availability of CLAT 2019 Admit Card

April 26, 2019

CLAT Exam Date 2019 May 12, 2019 (Sunday 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM)
Uploading of Answer Key May 15, 2019
Declaration of CLAT 2019 Result (Merit List) May 31 – June 30, 2019
Publication of 1st Indicative Seat Allotment List June 10, 2019
Payment of CLAT Counselling Fee (INR 50000) June 10 – 14, 2019

AIIMS UG - Toughest Exam in India

AIIMS UG is an offshoot of the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) UG Exam. Its exclusively for admissions at only AIIMS and for other colleges, The NEET-UG score is counted. It is attempted by medical aspirants post Class 12 exams.

There are only 1200 seats up for grabs across 15 AIIMS campuses. Cracking AIIMS is every medical aspirant’s dream. AIIMS is conducted by the prestigious All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, New Delhi to select candidates for admission to the seven campuses of AIIMS. Since AIIMS is the topmost medical college in India, every medical aspirant dreams of pursuing their MBBS from AIIMS.

This computer-based online test is divided into the following five sections

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • General Knowledge
  • Aptitude & Logical Thinking

 The limited number of seats and extremely difficult question paper makes it one of the toughest examinations to clear in India.

Event Date
Application deadline 25th March 2019
Examination date 25th and 26th May


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