Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World 2022

Examinations have always scared the hell out of students, even the brightest ones.

We lose our sanity and logical thinking when exams come knocking on the door.

But what if I told you that there are tougher exams that you have never encountered before? You may wonder: “Who can help write my essay for me for my toughest exams?” or “Whom can I pay to write my papers from scratch?”.

Check out these top 10 toughest exams in the world.

Every other activity except sleep and eating is forgotten before exams and just a mere look at the time table of our examinations sends a chill down the spine, such is its severity.

From a very early age, we are introduced to exams and they do not leave us for a very long time.

First school exams, high school exams, followed by college, university, entrances, and interviews and by the time we get a job, we are already planning to leave it and switch to a better job. Another exam! This is the bitter truth of our lives!

The competition for getting into some of the world’s most prestigious institutions or getting lucrative jobs is fierce. But as the world population continues to increase, more and more students are taking these exams.

Competition has become greater than ever before and students are under so much pressure to get into the top institutes that sometimes they end up committing suicide when they fail. Here we take a look at the top 10 toughest exams in the world.

How to Prepare for the World’s Toughest Exams in 2022/2023

Preparing for an exam is actually fun when you have a clear goal in your mind, a goal to become something special in life. For all that, the exam act as a gateway. Passing exams would be like getting one step closer to your dream.

Please I want you to note these, no exam is tough or easy it’s only in your mind. Just remember one thing you have to do for yourself. Build that urge to achieve your goals. Just be consistent and determined towards your preparation and I am sure that you can crack the exam with a good rank or marks. Apart from the above mentioned, you can also follow these tips:

  1. Know the syllabus and exam pattern of the exam.
  2. Solve past years paper as much as you can.
  3. Have study buddies.
  4. Get your doubts clear.
  5. believe in yourself.

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What are the Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World in 2022?

The top 10 toughest exams in the world are

  • National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao)
  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
  • All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam
  • Common Admission Test (CAT)
  • Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IITJEE)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT)
  • National Admission Test for Law (LNAT)
  • Mensa

#10 Mensa


Mensa is the society of the highest IQ holders. How much percentile do you require? Let’s just say 98 is the minimum. With its location worldwide and headquarters in Carthorse, Lincolnshire, England; Mensa has over 110,000 highly intelligent members.

It is also the only test which is not age-restricted. Hence, the youngest member is a mere 2 years and 5 months old with an astounding IQ of 141 and the oldest member is 102 years old.

Roland Berrill who was an Australian barrister along with a British Scientist cum lawyer, Dr Lancelot War came up with the idea of a society made up of people who ranked high on Intelligent Quotient.

In 1946 they laid the groundwork for a society which would comprise of intellectuals from over 50 countries just six decades into its formation. What started from the Lincoln College in Oxford became the beacon of identifying, encouraging and stimulating human intelligence

#9 National Admission Test for Law (LNAT)

National Admission Test for Law (LNAT)

LNAT or the National Admission Test for Law is an aptitude test for the main law universities in the United Kingdom. Currently over 9 law universities have adopted it. Established on the leading requirement of Oxford University, LNAT was aimed at a better sorting process, as it was difficult for the law universities to choose between applicants with only slightly varied A-Level scores.

The exam is not restricted primarily to U.K citizens so all applicants natural or overseas have to apply for it in order to be considered for the law universities based in the United Kingdom.

This rigorous 150 minutes exam tests the applicant on the basis of reading comprehensions and logical reasoning skills. There are 10 sets in the reading portion with 2 to 5 questions per set; one includes an essay that could take up around 40 gruelling minutes to attempt which is basically on open-ended topics regarding societal issues especially related to student strata of the society.

#8 College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT)

College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT)
College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT)

CSAT or College Scholastic Ability Test is also known as Suneung in South Korea. This is one of the most exhaustive standardized tests in existence. Held every year on the second Thursday of November the importance of the test is illustrated by the fact that on the test day all employees working with the South Korean Government are directed to arrive late at work so as not to cause traffic jams which might lead to any unfortunate delay of an applicant.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the OCED countries and quite a considerate percentage of most of the youth’s suicide cases are due to despair and depression which is resultant of the disappointment in CSAT. The sincerity for the exam is such that the students start preparing for it as early as from elementary school. Since the country has the highest number of post-secondary degree holders the pressure of expectations is unmatchable.

#7 Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE or The Graduate Record Examination is a standard test one is required to take for seeking a seat in many American Graduate Schools as well as other English Speaking Countries. So what makes it tougher is not just the level of difficulty of the examination but the stiff competition as well. Education Testing Service or ETS came up with it in 1949. The GRE is rated amongst the top 10 toughest Exams in the World.

It is a computer-based examination and tests the candidates primarily on the basis of critical thinking, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Though the importance of this examination as an admission criteria differ from institute to institute while some just consider it a mere formality others take it as an important selection basis.

#6 Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

LSAT or the Law School Admission Test is held in the United States, Canada, and Australia. This test stretches over half a day. It aims to assess the reading comprehension, logical analysis and verbal reasoning attainments of the applicant.

The representatives from Harvard and Yale Law School came together on the initiated enquiry of Frank Bowels, Admission Director of Columbia Law School to draft the pattern of LSAT exam in 1947 while the first exam was finally held in 1948.

Held by the Law School Admission Council, passing this test gives the applicant an edge over his/her GPA. Although it has existed since 1948 the prevalent form, however, was incorporated in the year 1991. An applicant has just 3 chances in a period of 2 years to clear the exam.

The test evaluates the applicant on the basis of five sections which includes multiple-choice questions, aptitude test. The LSAT is rated as one of the toughest exams in the World

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#5 Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IITJEE)

Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IITJEE)

IIT is one of premier engineering institutes in the world, the entrance for which is the IITJEE or The Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (or simply JEE).

It is held in two phases; JEE main and JEE advanced. It has an admission ratio of 10,000:5,00,000 thus making it one of the toughest engineering exam in the world. Each year only 1 out of every 50 that apply makes it to IIT.

In fact, many students who do not get through IIT either try again or seek admission in MIT, Harvard, Princeton and Caltech some even on a full scholarship. The aspirants claim that there is nothing beyond IIT.
The exam is objective and divided into two questions papers of 3 hours each.

Both sections measure the skills of the candidate in Physics, Chemistry and Maths as well the comprehensive, reasoning and analytical abilities. The students exacted preparing from as early as 5th grade and sacrificing on extracurricular hours with an added marathon of more than 8 hours of diligent studies as the fastest step towards the institute of one’s dream.

#4 Common Admission Test (CAT)

World most toughest exam

Established on the initiation of planning commission of India, the IIM or Indian Institute of Management is the premier business school of India and amongst the top 10 toughest exams in the world. It offers postgraduate, doctoral and executive education programs and even the diploma and fellowship from this institute are at par with MBA and PhD respectively.

There are 13 institutes and they admit students for their business administration programs on the basis of CAT or Common Admission Test.
This test scores the applicant on the basis of four skills: quantitative, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning.

What makes it all the tougher is the negative marking and section-wise cutoff! Due to the number of applicants on the rise every year the test is now held in a window of approximately three weeks in the months of October and November. The test itself is computer-based and exactly 150 minutes long.

#3 All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam

hardest exams in the world

All the entrance exams in the world test students and churn out geniuses but All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam test geniuses and bring out the cleverest people on earth. Only the top 500 oxford graduates who qualify with first-class honours and students from other universities with equivalent academic achievements are eligible to take this exam.

The Examination fellowship is of even years each and two fellow examinations are elected to each other. We’d like to underscore that although selecting none is quite rare but the college has awarded single fellowship on many occasions.

#2 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Many exceptionally bright children who clear CAT post IIT-JEE choose to appear for UPSC exams as well. And many of them who term CAT and JEE as cakewalk deem UPSC as the toughest exam they have had to face. Recruitment to IAS or Indian Administrative Service is on the basis of an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission of India or UPSC.

The exam is known as UPSC exam or simple ‘Civils’, working for the government is tantamount to any job in corporate or technological arenas.
The Exam is conducted in two phases: Preliminary – which is an objective type examination and Mains- which include a thoroughly subjective examination along with an interview.

From around 3 Lakh students that apply every year, only 16,000 make it to the final exam and 1000 join the Indian Administrative Service. The exam is held annually, the prelim in the month of March and mains in the month of December so the candidates who have cleared the objective type prelim examination have only 8 gruelling months to prepare themselves for Mains and the interview.

Without no further argument, you will agree with me that UPSC is one of the hardest exams in the world.

#1 National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao)

National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao)

National Higher Education Entrance Examination is better known as ‘Gaokao’ and is perhaps one of the most important landmarks in a Chinese teenager’s life. This exam is rated as the hardest test in the world.

It won’t be an overstatement, to say the least, that one’s academic future wholly depends on one’s performances in ‘Gaokao’. It is a pre-requisite for admission to all the higher education universities in China.

The vehemency of this exam is such that ‘n; of documentaries have been made on this subject recording the mental stress a teenager preparing for Gaokao has to undergo. Each year more than 7 million people apply for it in 2006; however, the number easily crossed a 9.5 million mark.
Being a high-school level and pre-undergraduate level exam it encompasses all subjects.

But what puts it on our list is the psychological stress that comes along with it. It is not just the students that are affected but also their teachers and parents. Cases of suicides, nervous breakdowns and clinical depression see a jaw-dropping rise during this duration.

Some parents are reported to have to get their female wards to prescribe to birth control pills in order to avoid undergoing menstruation.

Conclusion: Top 10 toughest exams in the world

Although these exams are really difficult, people still sit for them successfully and pass.

So, if you are intending to sit for any of these difficult exams, there is an assurance that you too can excel in it.

If you have more questions regarding this topic, kindly leave it in the comment section.

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