Exams become a part of students’ lives early on and most students wonder which exams are the hardest in the world. The article talks about the top 10 most difficult exams in the world. Competition between students for higher grades encourages them to work smarter and harder. This helps them retain knowledge and self-assess their results. Students can view exams as a platform to analyze and stress-test subject knowledge.
Not all exams are on the same wavelength of difficulty; some are more difficult than others and for good reason. For example, if the exam is exclusively for a particular stream, they expect candidates to be able to see a deep understanding of the stream. So we’ve put this article together to give you an idea of how complicated they can get.
Most of us know that some exams are more difficult than others; we just don’t find it true for ourselves. But that’s not entirely true, not if you’re aiming for certain streams.
With that said, here is a list of the 10 toughest exams in the world based on general analysis. To find out about a specific exam, click on the relevant link and you will be taken to it.
List of 10 toughest exams in the world
There is still no common criterion for comparing the level of difficulty of all exams since they serve independent purposes. However, this article will look at the exams separately to give you an idea of the toughest exams in the world that students have to take at different stages of life.
Here are 10 of the toughest exam in the world, in no particular order:
- Gaokao: China’s National Higher Education Entrance Examination
- UPSC Civil Services Examination: India’s Union Public Service Commission Exam
- CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst Exam
- California Bar Exam: U.S. State Bar Exam
- Mensa IQ Test: High IQ Society Membership Test
- CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Exam
- IIT JEE: Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Exam
- All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam: Oxford University Exam
- Master Sommelier Diploma Exam: Court of Master Sommeliers Exam
- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE): Medical Licensing Exam in the U.S.
About the top 5 toughest exams in the world
In this section, we will discuss the above-mentioned toughest exam in the world:
Gaokao: China’s National Higher Education Entrance Examination
The Gaokao is China’s National Higher Education Entrance Examination, which is taken by high school students in their final year. The exam is conducted over two or three days, covering subjects like Chinese, mathematics, and English, as well as subjects that vary based on the student’s choice of specialization. The exam is highly competitive, with over 10 million students taking it each year. To clear the exam, students need to score well in all the subjects and secure a high rank in their region.
UPSC Civil Services Examination: India’s Union Public Service Commission Exam
The UPSC Civil Services Examination is a highly competitive exam conducted by India’s Union Public Service Commission. The exam is conducted in three stages: the preliminary examination, the main examination, and the interview. The preliminary examination consists of two objective-type papers, while the main examination consists of nine papers of essay and descriptive types. The interview is the final stage of the exam. Eligibility criteria include a graduate degree from a recognized university, and age limitations vary based on the category of the applicant. To clear the exam, candidates need to prepare thoroughly for all stages of the examination and score well on all papers.
CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst Exam
The CFA Exam is a globally recognized certification exam for professionals in the finance industry. The exam is conducted in three levels, and it covers topics such as economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, and ethics. To be eligible for the exam, candidates need to have a bachelor’s degree, four years of qualified work experience, and membership in the CFA Institute. To clear the exam, candidates need to prepare thoroughly for all three levels and score well in each level.
California Bar Exam: U.S. State Bar Exam
The California Bar Exam is a state bar exam in the United States that is considered to be one of the most difficult bar exams in the country. The exam is conducted over three days and covers subjects such as contracts, criminal law, evidence, torts, and constitutional law. To be eligible for the exam, candidates need to have completed a law degree from an accredited law school. To clear the exam, candidates need to prepare extensively for all subjects and pass each section of the exam.
Mensa IQ Test: High IQ Society Membership Test
The Mensa IQ Test is a membership test for the high-IQ society, Mensa. The test consists of two parts, and it measures a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) based on their performance in the test. The test does not have a specific eligibility criterion, and anyone can take the test regardless of their educational qualifications. To clear the exam, candidates need to score above a certain IQ threshold, which varies based on the test version and country. There is no specific way to prepare for the test, but candidates can practice solving similar types of questions to get a feel for the exam.
How to ace the toughest exam in the world?
It’s difficult to determine which exam is the toughest in the world since several exams are notoriously difficult in different fields. However, regardless of the exam, here are some tips that can help you ace it:
- Understand the exam format: Make sure you know the format of the exam, including the number of sections, the time allotted for each section, and the types of questions you will be asked. This will help you prepare accordingly.
- Create a study plan: Develop a study plan that covers all the topics you need to study, and allocate sufficient time to each topic. Be sure to incorporate regular breaks and review sessions.
- Utilize study materials: Use a variety of study materials, such as textbooks, practice exams, online resources, and study groups. This will help you get a comprehensive understanding of the topics.
- Practice regularly: Practice answering questions regularly to improve your speed and accuracy. Make sure to simulate exam conditions as much as possible.
- Manage your time effectively: During the exam, manage your time effectively by allocating sufficient time to each section and question. Make sure you don’t spend too much time on one question and end up running out of time for the rest of the exam.
- Stay calm and focused: Stay calm and focused during the exam, and don’t let anxiety or stress get the best of you. Take deep breaths, and if needed, take short breaks to clear your mind.
- Get sufficient rest: Make sure to get enough sleep and rest the night before the exam. This will help you feel refreshed and alert during the exam.
So, if you want to reach your dreams and are looking for a place where you can make a leap of faith toward success, go for it!
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There is no clear answer to this question as different exams are considered the toughest in their respective fields. For example, the CPA exam is considered tough in accounting, the bar exam in law, the MCAT in medicine, and so on.
To prepare for the toughest exam in the world, you need to have a solid study plan, use different study materials, practice regularly, manage your time effectively, stay calm and focused during the exam, and get enough rest.
Common challenges faced in the toughest exam in the world include time pressure, difficulty level of questions, anxiety, stress, lack of preparation, and lack of proper study materials.
To overcome the challenges of the toughest exam in the world, you need to develop a solid study plan, use a variety of study materials, practice regularly, manage your time effectively, stay calm and focused, and seek help from peers, mentors, or tutors if needed.
In most cases, you can retake the toughest exam in the world if you fail, but there are usually limits on the number of times you can retake it. However, it’s important to take the necessary steps to pass the exam the first time to save time and money.
Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.