Top 10 Most Challenging Exams Worldwide

Top 10 Most Challenging Exams Worldwide


In today's highly competitive world, pursuing prestigious institutions and lucrative career paths often involves conquering some of the most challenging exams on the planet. These exams not only test knowledge but also demand unwavering dedication and determination. We've compiled a list of the top 10 most difficult exams globally, based on extensive analysis and student research.

1. Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE)

Cisco, the networking heavyweight, conducts the CCIE exam to recruit network engineers. This examination evaluates a candidate's ability to plan, operate, and troubleshoot converged network infrastructures on various Cisco equipment. What sets CCIE apart is its practical phase, lasting a grueling eight hours. Remarkably, less than 1 percent of network engineers worldwide achieve this prestigious certification.

2. Indian Engineering Services (IES)

Conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India, IES is a four-stage competitive exam. It serves as a gateway to managerial and technical roles within the Indian government. While hundreds of thousands of engineers attempt this exam annually, only a select few manage to crack it.

3. Mensa IQ Test

Mensa, the world's oldest high IQ society, sets the bar high for its members. To join Mensa, one must score at least in the 98th percentile on their IQ test. The society has chapters in various countries, each with its own set of criteria.

4. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Wall Street Journal describes the CFA exam as one of the toughest globally. With less than 20 percent of applicants successfully clearing it, most candidates require multiple attempts. On average, candidates need four attempts to pass this rigorous exam.

5. Chartered Accountants (CA)

Administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the CA exam comprises three levels. The journey to becoming a CA is arduous, with approximately only 10 percent of candidates achieving success.

6. All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam

Conducted by Oxford University, this Fellowship exam includes four papers, each lasting three hours. Astonishingly, only two candidates are selected annually. Until 2010, one of the papers required candidates to write a lengthy essay based on a single word.

7. Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced

Formerly known as IIT-JEE, this exam is the key to admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). It comprises two papers, each three hours long, with both papers being objective type. Out of the vast number of students who appear for this exam, only a fraction secures a place in the IITs.

8. Gaokao

China's Gaokao examination is mandatory for high school students aspiring to pursue higher education. Spanning nine hours across two days, it's a formidable challenge. A mere 0.2 percent of candidates score high enough to gain entry into the top colleges.

9. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

The UPSC exam, conducted annually, is the gateway to various government jobs in India. Comprising three phases, it involves objective questions, subjective tests, and interviews. Impressively, only a fraction, ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 percent, succeed in clearing this demanding exam.

10. Master Sommelier Diploma Exam

Considered the world's toughest examination, this test assesses expert winemakers. It's divided into three sections: theory, service, and blind tasting. The blind tasting stage, where candidates must identify the year and region of a wine, is particularly challenging. Over the past 40 years, only 229 individuals have earned this prestigious title.

In conclusion, these exams stand as formidable challenges, demanding not just knowledge but also exceptional dedication. Conquering them is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the pursuit of excellence.

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