Updated at: 28-02-2023 - By: Eden Wise

The tests detailed here are among the most challenging in the United States. By hard work, we mean lots of forethought, effort, and time, and maybe a smidgen of luck, if you’re superstitious.

However, it is often argued that exams do not accurately reflect a student’s level of knowledge. However, in the United States, the test is widely used as a yardstick by which to judge an individual’s level of scholastic proficiency and intellectual prowess.

It’s safe to say that test-based grading has become the norm in the United States from its inception to the present day. Many people, and especially students, become overwhelmed with anxiety right before an exam. For others, it’s just a temporary setback that needs a little extra work to overcome.

As a result, in this article, we will examine the Top 10 Toughest US Exams.

Top hardest exams in the us


A passing score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required for admission to medical school in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Caribbean. The test is multiple-choice and evaluates your familiarity with and ability to think critically about and solve problems in a variety of scientific and social-science disciplines. It takes about seven and a half hours to complete the exam, and some students devote their entire lives to preparing for it.


The SAT covers ground typically encountered in the first two years of a high school education. Therefore, there is little chance that you will gain any useful knowledge by taking the SAT in your junior year. The most difficult aspects of the SAT test are getting used to the format of the questions and realizing how different it is from regular classroom tests. The most effective methods of overcoming SAT difficulties involve familiarizing oneself with the test’s format and preparing for the types of questions that will be asked.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Designation

If you want to work in the investment or wealth management industries, earning your CFP certification is a must. The financial planning and retail investment management markets are the primary areas of study for this credential. The CFP exam covers a lot of ground in the realm of wealth management, but its narrow focus limits its applicability to other fields of finance.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has consistently been rated as one of the world’s most challenging tests. The exam is given by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and measures verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. Those who do well on this test will be accepted into U.S. graduate programs.

California Bar Exam

To become a practicing attorney in the Golden State, one must first pass the California Bar Exam, which is given by the State Bar of California.

One of the nation’s longest and most difficult bar examinations, the pass rate in the most recent sitting was less than 47%.

The multi-day California Bar Exam covers a wide range of legal topics, including business associations, civil procedure, community property, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, professional responsibility, real property, remedies, torts, trusts, wills, and succession.

Chartered Financial Analyst Exams

Those who have put in the time and effort to complete the CFA Program and gain the necessary work experience are awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst charter.

There are three distinct sections of the CFA Program, each of which tests candidates’ knowledge of the essentials of various investment-related tools and techniques, such as asset valuation, portfolio management, and wealth planning. Candidates with academic or professional experience in the fields of finance, accounting, economics, or business have a higher chance of completing the CFA Program.

The Institute claims that students put in an average of more than 300 hours of study time across all three exam phases. Passing the exam will make you one of the most sought-after finance and investment professionals in the world.


The four skills that make up your linguistic arsenal are all tested in the IELTS. All aspects of the exam, such as its length, its structure, the types of questions and tasks it includes, its methods of correction, and so on, are uniform.

This simply means that the test conditions are uniform for every examinee, and that the categories of questions in each section are known in advance. The answer is one on which you can count. There is a plethora of resources available for the IELTS, including sample tests.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Designation

If you want to work in the investment or wealth management industries, earning your CFP certification is a must.

The financial planning and retail investment management markets are the primary areas of study for this credential. While the CFP does provide a broad foundation in wealth management, its narrow focus limits its applicability to other fields within finance.

There are two levels to this accreditation and corresponding tests. To become a Certified Financial Planner, you must also earn a Level 1 certificate from the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC).


Mensa is one of the most exclusive organizations on the planet. The group’s stated mission is to “discover and develop human intelligence for the benefit of all people everywhere.”

It’s rumored to be nearly impossible to get into the exclusive club, which only accepts the top two percent of test takers on its famous intelligence test. In order to attract only the brightest minds, the American Mensa Admissions Test was designed to be challenging.

Test takers can expect to be challenged by reasoning and deductive reasoning questions across both parts of the test. American Mensa offers a specialized non-verbal test that evaluates the ability to make connections between figures and forms for people who are not native English speakers.

Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert

This test is not only expensive (around $450) and challenging (to pass) to take. Cisco Networks is in charge of the certification test known as the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE).

It was written in two distinct phases and consists of several parts. Candidates must first pass a written examination in order to move on to the oral interview phase, which takes place over the course of a single day and lasts for more than eight hours.

Only about one percent of applicants are chosen for the next round.


The USMLE is a three-part exam required to practice medicine in the United States.

Essential in health and disease, and laying the groundwork for safe and effective patient care, are the knowledge, concepts, and principles that the USMLE tests for and rewards.

Examination difficulties are a common feature of medical school. In order to practice medicine in the United States, one must first take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

There are three parts to the USMLE, and taking the whole test will take you more than forty hours.

First given after the second or third year of medical school, Step 2 after the third year, and Step 3 after the intern year.

The exam is designed to test a candidate’s ability to put into practice what they’ve learned in medical school or residency.


The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is a reading comprehension test that undergraduates in India can take to increase their chances of being accepted into a master’s program or to enter the workforce in the field of engineering. The GATE is an important indicator of how well a student has grasped the fundamentals of engineering and science at the undergraduate level. This is a very challenging test, even by Indian standards. There are a total of 65 questions on the three-hour computer-based exam, including both multiple-choice and numerical response options.


The Union Public Service Commission (USPC) of India administers the Civil Services Examination, which is required to enter various branches of the Indian government, including the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Administrative Service. There are three stages to the examination, and finishing it can take several months. Pass rates are well below 1 percent, making this exam one of the most difficult in the world.


The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) in the UK has quickly become one of the most difficult exams despite being relatively new on our list (it was only established in 2004). It lasts nearly 2.5 hours and consists of a reading section and an essay section. The top UK law schools use it as a criterion for admittance. In light of this, it is clear that


Are UK tests harder than US?

Courses and exams in the United States are less challenging than their British counterparts. However, the sheer quantity of challenging courses and ECs adds up if you want to attend any college with a good reputation.

What are the hardest test exams in America to pass?

The Mensa test, the California bar exam, the Chartered Financial Analyst exams, the USMLE, the Graduate Record Examination, the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert exam, the SAT, and the International English Language Testing System are some of the most challenging exams in the United States.

Is SAT exam tough?

Indian students who take the time to prepare for the SAT easily achieve high scores. Some people might find the test more challenging than others because of factors such as time constraints, unfamiliar concepts, and lengthy reading passages. The SAT is less challenging than other exams due to its repetitive structure, lack of memorization requirements, and use of multiple-choice questions.

What are the most difficult professional exams in the US?

T he three most difficult U.S. professional examinations are the California Bar Exam, the Certified Public Accountant exam, and the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert exam.


No matter what field of study or profession you pursue, you can expect to encounter challenges along the way.

Exams in the fields of law, medicine, and engineering are known for being particularly challenging because they are meant to test candidates’ ability to apply the specialized skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in their chosen careers.

The tests mentioned are the most difficult ones offered in the USA. Which one do you find more difficult? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.