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Top 10 Hardest Exams in the US


The exams we have listed in this article for you are the hardest exams in the US that require a great deal of effort to pass.. By a great deal of effort we mean a lot of preparation, a lot of dedicated time, and a little bit of luck if you believe in it.

Although, it is often stated that examination is not the true test of knowledge. What is popular in the United States, however, is examination as a bar to grade people’s intelligence and learning abilities, and as a determinant of whether they are fit to pass that particular level or not.

From the beginning of time until now, it is safe to say that the United States has become accustomed to this system in which people are tested and graded based on their test scores. As exams approach, a cloud of anxiety descends on some people, particularly students. Others see it as a necessary phase that requires a little extra effort to get through.

That being said, in this article, we will discuss the top toughest exams in the United States.

Hardest Exam Preparation Tips In The US

Here are the top tips for passing any difficult examination in the United States:

  • Give yourself enough time to study
  • Make sure your study space is organized
  • Use flow charts and diagrams
  • Practice on old exams
  • Explain your answers to others
  • Organize study groups with friends
  • Plan the day of your exams.

Give yourself enough time to study

Make a study plan that works for you and don’t leave anything until the last minute.

While some students appear to thrive on last-minute studying, it is often not the best approach for exam preparation.

Make a list of how many exams you have, how many pages you need to learn, and how many days you have left. Following that, organize your study habits accordingly.

Make sure your study space is organized

Make sure your desk has enough space for your textbooks and notes. It’s also important to make sure the room is well-lit and that your chair is comfortable.

Take note of any details that may distract you and remove them from your study area. Make sure you’re comfortable in your study space and that you can focus. To aid you, you can source for free textbook pdf online.

For some, this may imply complete silence, whereas for others, listening to music may be beneficial. Some of us require complete order in order to concentrate, while others prefer to study in a more cluttered environment.

Make your study area welcoming and pleasant so that you can concentrate fully.

Use flow charts and diagrams

When revising study material, visual aids can be especially beneficial. Write down everything you already know about a topic at the start.

As the exam date approaches, turn your revision notes into a diagram. As a result of doing this, visual memory can significantly aid your readiness when taking the exam.

Practice on old exams

Practicing with an old version of previous exams is one of the most effective ways to prepare for exams. An old test will also help you see the format and formulation of the questions, which will be useful not only for knowing what to expect but also for measuring the time you need for the actual test.

Explain your answers to others

You could ace your exam with the help of family and friends. Explain to them why you answered a particular question in a particular way.

Organize study groups with friends

Study groups can help you get the answers you need and finish tasks faster. Simply ensure that the group remains focused on the topic at hand and is not easily distracted.

Plan the day of your exams

Examine all of the rules and requirements. Plan your route and how long it will take you to get to your destination, then add some extra time. You don’t want to be late and cause yourself even more stress.

List of the Hardest Exams in the US

Below is a list of the top 10 hardest exams in the US: 

Top 10 Hardest Exams in the United States

#1. Mensa

Mensa is one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. The mission of the organization is to “discover and develop human intelligence for the benefit of humanity.”

Getting into the elite society is notoriously difficult and is only available to those who score in the top 2% on its famous IQ test. The American Mensa Admission Test was developed to be challenging in order to attract only the best brain.

The two-part test includes questions on logic and deductive reasoning. For people who are not native English speakers, American Mensa offers a separate nonverbal test concerning the relationships between figures and shapes.

#2. California Bar Exam

Passing the California Bar Exam, administered by the State Bar of California, is one of the requirements for practicing law in California.

In the most recent exam sitting, the pass rate was less than 47 percent, making it one of the nation’s longest and most difficult bar exams.

Business associations, civil procedure, community property, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, professional responsibility, real property, remedies, torts, trusts, and wills and succession are among the topics covered on the multi-day California Bar Exam.

#3. MCAT

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), developed and administered by the AAMC, is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to help medical school admissions offices assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioural, and social science concepts and principles required for the study of medicine.

MCAT program places a high value on the integrity and security of the exam process. This is currently one of the most difficult and feared computer-based exams in the United States. MCAT was established in 1928 and has been in operation for the past 98 years.

#4. Chartered Financial Analyst Exams

A Chartered Financial Analyst charter is a designation given to those who have completed the CFA Program as well as the required work experience.

The CFA Program consists of three parts that assess the fundamentals of investment tools, asset valuation, portfolio management, and wealth planning. Those with backgrounds in finance, accounting, economics, or business are more likely to complete the CFA Program.

According to the Institute, candidates study for more than 300 hours on average to prepare for each of the three stages of exams. The payoff is enormous: passing the exam qualifies you as one of the world’s top finance and investment professionals.


The USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) is a three-part examination for medical licensure in the United States.

USMLE evaluates a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, as well as demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, which are important in health and disease and form the foundation of safe and effective patient care.

The path to becoming a doctor is fraught with difficult tests. Students who pass the US Medical Licensing Examination are eligible to apply for a medical license in the United States.

USMLE consists of three parts and takes more than 40 hours to complete.

Step 1 is taken after the second or third year of medical school, Step 2 is taken at the end of the third year, and Step 3 is taken at the end of the intern year.

The exam measures a doctor’s ability to apply classroom or clinic-based knowledge and concepts.

#6. Graduate Record Examination

This exam, popularly known as the GRE, has long been ranked among the top 20 most difficult in the world.

ETS (Educational Testing Service) administers the exam, which assesses the candidate’s verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking abilities. Candidates who pass this exam will be admitted to graduate schools in the United States.

#7. Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert

This examination is not only difficult to pass, but it is also expensive to take, with a fee of around 450 dollars. Cisco Networks is the organization that administers the CCIE or Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert examination.

It is divided into several parts and written in two stages. The first stage is a written test that candidates must pass before proceeding to the next stage, which lasts more than eight hours and is completed in a single day.

Only about 1% of applicants make it past the second round.

#8.  SAT

If you don’t know much about the SAT, it can be intimidating, but it’s far from an insurmountable challenge if you prepare properly and understand the format of the test.

The SAT covers concepts typically taught in the first two years of high school, with a few more advanced concepts thrown in for good measure. That means that if you take the SAT junior year, you’re unlikely to encounter anything completely new.

Scholastic Assessment Test’s main challenge is understanding how the SAT asks questions and accepting that it is very different from most in-class tests.

The best way to overcome SAT challenges is to prepare for the types of questions that will be asked and to become familiar with how the test is structured.

Again, the SAT content is almost certainly within your capabilities. The key to acing it is to spend time familiarizing yourself with the questions and correcting any errors you make on practice tests.


IELTS evaluates your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. The exam conditions are standardized, including the length and format of each section, the types of questions and tasks included, the methodology used to correct the test, and so on.

That simply means that everyone who takes the test faces the same conditions, and the types of questions in each section are predictable. You can rely on it. There is an abundance of IELTS materials, including practice tests.

#10. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Designation

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is ideal for anyone interested in a career in investment or wealth management.

This certification focuses on financial planning, which includes the high net worth and retail segments of investment management. Though the CFP covers a wide range of topics in wealth management, its focus is narrow, making it less applicable to other finance careers.

This certification consists of two levels and two exams. As part of the CFP process, you also complete an FPSC (Financial Planning Standards Council) Level 1 certificate.

FAQs about Hardest Exams in the US

What are the hardest test exams in America to pass?

The hardest exams in America are: Mensa, California Bar Exam, MCAT, Chartered Financial Analyst Exams, USMLE, Graduate Record Examination, Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert, SAT, IELTS...

What are the most difficult professional exams in the US?

The most difficult professional exams in the US are: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert, Certified Public Accountant, The California Bar Exam...

Are UK tests harder than US?

Academically, the United States is easier than the United Kingdom, with easier courses and tests. However, if you want to attend any college with a good reputation, the sheer number of difficult courses and ECs adds up.

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Whatever your degree or line of work, you will face some difficult tests throughout your education and career.

If you want to pursue a high-stakes career such as law, medicine, or engineering, you’ll almost certainly need to sit for particularly rigorous exams designed to assess your mastery of the competencies and knowledge required in the profession.

The exams listed are the toughest in the United States of America. Which one of them do you think is more challenging? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


    • You can pass these exams if you take your time and resources to prepare for it. People actually pass the exams and you can too.


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