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Top 10 Most Toughest Exams In The World To Crack

Countries around the world want to separate the cream of the crop, and they’ve contrived different measures of weighing abilities in different fields. Here are some of the most toughest exams in the world, based on student research and overall analysis.

1. Master Sommelier Diploma Exam:

The Court of Master Sommeliers is an educational organisation established in April 1977 in order to encourage improved standards of beverage service by sommeliers, particularly in wine and food pairing.

The court has four stages of certification:


The level 1 sommelier course, also called the Introductory Sommelier course, requires two full days of in-person scrutinizing. The course covers three primary topics at an introductory level:

  • A review of wine and beverage theory
  • An introduction to tasting methodology
  • Wine service etiquette, covering all service steps.


This stage was created in 2006 to bridge the gap between the Introductory and Advanced levels. The exam has three parts: theoretical consisting of multiple choice and short answer questions, a written blind tasting of four wines which includes 2 red and 2 white , and service. An individual should secure at least 60% in order to pass.


Roughly 14 students pass each Advanced Sommelier evaluation, and the Advanced Sommelier exam is offered three times per year.
The examination is a written test with multiple choice and 60 short answer questions, a blind tasting of 6 wines in around 25 minutes, and a 45-minute service test. The minimum passing mark is 60% in each section, and all three sections must be passed together.


A Master Sommelier is a wine professional who has passed the fourth and final level of sommelier certification. Doing so earns them a Master Sommelier Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. It is the highest level of sommelier.

2. UPSC ( Union Public Service Commission):

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commision for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS),Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS).

UPSC examination is conducted in 3 phases:

  • Preliminary exam consists of 2 objective type papers which are , general studies paper I and II , also known as Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT).
  • Main examination consists of 9 papers of essay types in which 2 papers are qualifying and only marks of 7 are counted.
  • Third phase of the examination consists of a personality test (interview).

3. Gaokao or National College Entrance Exam:

The Gaokao is an exam that is taken by the students in China in their 3rd and final year of high school. It is also the only criterion for admission into Chinese universities. This examination generally includes tests of Chinese literature, mathematics, and a foreign language. If they choose science , they will take physics , chemistry and biology tests.

The exam lasts about 9 hours over a period of 2-3 days , depending on the province.
Although there has been no restriction with respect to age since 2001.

4. JEE (Joint Entrance Exam):

It was formerly known as the All India Engineering Entrance Examination introduced in 2002 by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The competitive exam is regarding admission to various undergraduate engineering and architecture colleges like IIT’s, NIT’s, and government-funded technical institutes.

The exam has two levels, JEE MAINS and JEE ADVANCE. An applicant can opt for one or both the papers. Paper 1 is considered compulsory and is a computer-based test (online) and, then a certain amount of rankers in JEE MAINS qualify for JEE ADVANCE. The number of attempts is limited to three consecutive years.

The syllabus is enormous. It contains 3 subjects, physics, chemistry, and maths. The paper pattern is unpredictable, and cut-offs are reaching to the sky. The examination is considered difficult because of the large number of contestants eyeing for a relatively tiny number of seats.


Every autumn, all soul prize fellowship exams are held by All Souls College (Oxford University) to elect examination fellows, also known as prize fellows. 2 students out of the batch of 50 from every field are selected, and their fees are also paid by Oxford University.

The candidate sits for two general papers based on humanities and social science. The exam is nearly difficult to revise, and the questions are abstract, and there are no right and wrong answers. After clearing the exam, the candidates are invited to present a viva. These scholars are elected for 7 years, and it cannot be renewed after that.

6. CA (Chartered Accountant):

The course of CA is completed in 5 years. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is responsible for regulating and maintaining the profession of chartered accountancy in India.

There are three stages to become a CA i.e CPT (common proficiency test), IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence) and CA final exam. One has to clear all the exams and then only will be assigned the designation of a Chartered Accountant. The course is humongous and takes students several years to pass each of three levels. Only about 10% of candidates manage to pass the exam.

7. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst):

A chartered Financial Analyst is a worldwide reputed professional designation offered by the CFA institute , that computes and certifies the proficiency of financial analysis. Candidates are required to clear 3 levels of exams covering areas, such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis.

In order to become a CFA charter holder,a candidate must have 4 years of professional work experience, a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of the bachelor’s degree program,or an amalgamation of professional work experience and education totalling 4 years.

8. IES (Indian Engineering Services):

The Engineering Services Examination is conducted to enlist officers for the services which cater to the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India in the field of engineering.

There are 3 steps in IES recruitment exam:

  • Stage 1- Known as IES preliminary exam. This exam has 2 objective papers of total 500 marks. Candidates have to clear overall cut off as well as cut off of both the papers separately
    to clear the first stage.
  • Stage 2- It is also referred to as IES main exam. Candidates who passed stage 1are eligible to appear in this stage. Main exam has 2 descriptive papers of 300 marks each.
  • Stage 3- The final stage of the exam consists of the personality test (interview. It is of 200 marks.

9. CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert):

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, is a technical certification offered by cisco systems. The CCIE program is currently divided into 6 different areas of prowess. Individuals may choose to pursue multiple CCIE tracks in several different categories of Cisco technology: Routing and switching , Service provider ,Security, Collaboration, Data
center and wireless.

There are 2 test sets in this examination:

  • Written exam: Consists of 90-110 questions with multiple choice and simulation and has to be completed within the time limit of 120 minutes.
  • Lab exam: 8 hours lab exam. This exam tests one’s potentiality to configure actual equipment and troubleshoot the network in a timed test situation.

10. MENSA:

A non-profitable organisation attainable to people who secure the 98th percentile or higher on a balanced, superintendent IQ or other approved intelligence test. There is no age restriction to take the test. It is the oldest and the most substantial high IQ society in the world. Each country has its own MENSA

The MENSA admission takes 2hrs to complete and includes 2 tests featuring questions involving logic and deductive reasoning.

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