3 Entrance Exams tougher than JEE

Ask anyone today: "Which is the toughest entrance exam?" and one is most likely to hear, "Of course, JEE for admissions into the IIT's !".

True, the Joint Entrance Exam or JEE, as it is known to millions globally, is extremely tough to crack. Students spend months preparing for the exam, sacrificing significant portions of their adolescent years of fun and, along with their parents, go through a heady emotional roller-coaster constituting anxiety-stress-worry-pressure-anxiety ; All for one goal- that of getting into the IIT.

Arguably, one of the toughest entrance exams on the planet, the difficulty level of JEE has a reputation hard to match. The JEE has spawned a dynamic test prep market, constituting organized, neighbourhood and online coaching, worth billions of dollars. No other entrance exam has been able to match the aura of JEE successfully built over decades.

The Selection Ratio factor

However, here comes the tricky question - Is the JEE really the toughest entrance exam? Toughest, in this context, would loosely mean, the most difficult to crack, thereby, having the lowest selection ratio. Selection ratio is the ratio between number of seats offered and total number of candidates appeared. For instance, IIT's offer around 10,000 seats across its institutes annually. Nearly 14 lakh candidates appeared for JEE-Mains last year. The selection ratio of IIT's would then be 10,000 divided by 14 lakhs, which is 0.0071, or in percentage terms, 0.71%.

And here comes the surprise. There are entrance exams after Class XII that are even tougher that IIT's when measured against selection ratio parameter. Special Class Railways Apprentices Exam (or SCRA) conducted by UPSC has a selection ratio of just 0.04%. That means SCRA, arguably, is 17 times tougher to crack than IIT-JEE! A few notable exams that have tough selection ratio's are:

  • SCRA (Engg) : 0.04 % (54 seats, 1.5 lakh applicants)
  • JIPMER (Med): 0.18% (150 seats, 85,000 applicants)
  • AIPMT (Med): 0.6% (3700 seats, 6.3 lakh applicants)
  • JEE (Engg): 0.71% (10,000 seats, 14 lakh applicants)
  • AIIMS (Med): 1% (672 seats, 65,000 applicants)
  • BITSAT (Engg): 1.1% (2020 seats, 1.8 lakh applicants)
  • COMED-K (Med) : 2.6% (1500 seats, 58,000 applicants)

The purpose of this write-up wasn't in any way to challenge the supremacy, or for that matter, the covetousness of the JEE, but rather to highlight the extreme levels of competition for admissions into premier professional courses after Class 12. Some of these entrance exams probably deserve the level of recognition and regard as much as the JEE. The question is, will they?

Finally, signing-off with a moot point - shouldn't we be calling these exams as 'Rejection Exams' instead of 'Entrance Exams' ?

About the blogger: Tarun is the Co-Founder at MyExamPlan.com. He can be reached at tarun@myexamplan.com

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