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Toughest Exams in The World

Toughest Exams in The World

This article contains information about the toughest exams in the world.

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Exams are a source of joy! Exams cause heartache and pain! Well, both statements are true depending on you.

Most students would express shock at the first statement though.

They feel the inventor of exams, Henry Fischel couldn’t have picked a worse thing to invent.

That is because exams tend to add more stress to them, limit their chances of earning a certification or chances of getting a job.

Competitive students, on the other hand, you know, those always at the top of their classes love exams.

It allows them to show off how brilliant they are one more time.

Well, regardless of what category you fall into, some exams can shake the game out of you hence this research.

After analyzing different kinds of exams around the world based on student reports and pass rates, we deem it fit to call the underlisted exams some of the toughest in the world.

List of Toughest Exams in The World

  • Gaokao

  • Mensa

  • CCIE- Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert

  • GATE- Gratitude Aptitude Test in Engineering

  • IIT-JEE Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination

  • GRE- Graduate Record Examinations
  • CFA- Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Master Sommelier Diploma Exam


The Chinese exam, Gaokao is mandatory for students in high school who wish to pursue higher education. It is ranked as one of the toughest exams in the world.

Many Chinese teenagers find it stressful just to think about sitting for the exam.

This examination has attracted many documentary makers all over the world.


The Mensa Society is a society with a global reach consisting of people with the highest IQs.

Every country has its own Mensa Society, and it’s the oldest and the largest IQ organization in the world.

The Mensa IQ Test is arguably the most difficult IQ Test in the world and only genius-level IQs are accepted into the society.

The lowest IQ accepted in the society is an all-high 98 percentile.

There is no age barrier to becoming a member of the society and its youngest member is 2 years old.

CCIE- Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert

This exam is conducted by Cisco Networks for the recruitment of Internet experts seeking to work with them.

The test is divided into 6 parts within 2 phases.

You only move to the second phase if you pass the first phase.

The practical phase of this exam lasts for 8 hours and has a 1% pass rate.

GATE- Gratitude Aptitude Test in Engineering

GATE is an all India level examination which serves as an entrance test for Indian students pursuing Engineering on a postgraduate level.

The test is by professors from The Indian Institute of Science and the 7 IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) across India.

There is one single paper that consists of both numerical questions and MCQs.

IIT-JEE Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination

The Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination is an exam which is to be aced by engineering aspirants in India who wish to enter one of the 7 most prestigious engineering institutes in the country.

The exam is two objective papers of three hours each.

It is objective and has a low pass rate. Out of the 500000 candidates who appear for the exam every year, just 10000 are successful.

UPSC- Union Public Service Commission

This is the central agency in India that conducts all major examinations to recruit all the top-notch government officials in the country.

It is considered to be the most difficult Examination in India.

Even the people who clear IIT and GATE find it difficult to pass this exam.

Out of nearly 300000 candidates that take the exam annually, barely 1000 of them pass.

GRE- Graduate Record Examinations

GRE is one of the most widely taken tests in the world and also one of the most difficult to crack.

It is usually a requirement for entrance into most schools in the US especially to pursue a master’s degree.

It is available online as well as offline modes.

CFA- Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA is more of professional status. The Wall Street Journal at one time ranked it as the most difficult exam in the world.

Less than 20% of the applicants pass each year, that too after repeated attempts.

The test consists of one essay type subjective phase and two objective parts.

All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam
This fellowship exam conducted by Oxford University’s All Souls College is considered one of the most challenging exams in the world.

Until quite recently, the applicants were expected to write an essay based on just one word in the paper.

It requires a huge amount of factual knowledge and a highly imaginative mind to pass. Only two candidates are selected for fellowship each year.

Master Sommelier Diploma Exam

An average candidate who tries the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam gives up after the 5th or 6th attempt.

The exam is comprised of 3 sections: theory, service, and blind tasting.

Since it is an exam designed for expert winemakers, the participants not only have to identify the taste, but also the year and region of the wine.

Ever since the first exam in 1940, only 200 candidates have been successful with this exam and mostly after their 3rd or 4th attempt.

These exams are definitely very hard nuts to crack.

We hail those who have dared to take any of these exams in the past and those intending to take them in the future, we wish you a huge success.

Feel free to hit our comment section and tell us if you feel there are more exams that you think could make this list of the toughest exams in the world.

You could also share the exams that have thrown you off balance in the past.

For now, enjoy the rest of your day, stay safe, and stay tuned to Career Acada.

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