Discover India’s top entrance tests or competitive exams for admission and job opportunities

Exclusive by Rudra Narayan Sahoo: In India there are more than 34 million students in the higher education system. Each year more than 12 million workers enter into job market in India. Also India is set to leverage the demographic dividend benefits. Amid this environment, the competitive examinations or entrance tests for both government job opportunities and admission to premier higher educational institutes are very tough to crack these.

Here, SkillOutlook presents the top ten competitive examinations or tests which are held on a pan India basis. There entrance tests are selected on the basis of number applicants (popularity), success rate/pass rate and its importance. These top ten entrance tests or competitive exams are given below: Civil Services Examination (CSE), Engineering Services Examination (ESE), IIT-JEE, GATE, NEET (UG), CAT, XAT, Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE), NDA & NA, and JNU Entrance test for Admission.

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Civil Services Examination (CSE):  The applicants to Post Ratio is too high in Civil Services Examination. Civil Services Examination (CSE), India’s most prestigious competitive exam conducted by the UPSC, saw 11.30 lakh applying in 2016. Out of these, only 1,099 candidates were finally recommend. Applicants to Post Ratio (APR) stands at 1,033. Hence, out of 1,033 candidates, only one is able to crack CSE exam.

CSE Exam is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. The national competitive exam is conducted in two phases – a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, followed by a personality test (interview).

Indian Institutes of Technology – Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE): Getting a seat in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for BTech programmes is a dream for 12th pass out students. IIT-Joint Entrance Examination is a two step process: JEE Main & JEE Advanced.  More than 10.20 lakh students applied JEE Main 2017 with a hope to crack a seat in any Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Finally, out of these only 50,455 candidates are able to clear JEE Advanced 2017 exam, the second round pan India test for admission to BTech programmes in IITs.

However, the dream run for cracking a seat in any IITs does not end here as for the academic year 2017-18, a total of 10,998 seats available for admission under various BTech programmes in all 23 IITs.  Out of 93 candidates only one was able to clear the IIT-JEE to a get a berth in any IITs for BTech programmes.

 Engineering Services Examination: Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services. ESE is considered as one of the toughest exams in India due to less number of posts. Most toppers of this exam are graduates of premier institutes like IITs and IISc.

In Engineering Services Examination 2015, more than 2.5 lakh candidates applied for 481 posts: As per the Annual Report 2015-16, a total number of 2,50,041 candidates applied for the examination. As against a total of 92,817 candidates, who had appeared in the written examination, a total number of 1,134 candidates qualified for the Personality Test. Hence, 519.84 candidates applied for every post filled through Engineering Services Examination 2015.

Common Admission Test (CAT): Common Admission Test or CAT is the sole entrance exam for admission in MBA and PGDM programs in Institute of Management (IIMs) and some premier B-Schools in India.  In a total 20 IIMs and more than 136 management institutes participate in CAT and accept its scorecard for admission.  In CAT 2016, more than 2.30 lakh candidates applied for the test while more than 1.95 candidates appeared the test. The historical practices reflect that admission into IIMs for their flagship program PGDM is based upon CAT Score Card, 10th Marks, 12th Marks and a Group Discussion and Personal Interview round conducted by respective IIMs.

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE):  Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, the popularly known as GATE, is one of the toughest competitive entrance tests in India. More than nine lakh graduate engineering students appear the test each year. To crack a seat in MTech programmes in any IITs, candidates need to scope higher GATE score. In the GATE 2017 exam, only 16% of total candidates appeared the text were declared qualified.

The use of GATE score card can be broadly divided three parts: Higher education at IITs, IISc, NITs, CFTIs; employment opportunities at leading PSUs for Graduate Engineers; and Financial Assistance/Fellowships supported by Ministry of HRD and other government agencies.

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET -UG):  The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG is an entrance examination in India, for students who plan to study any graduate medical courses (MBBS/ dental course (BDS). The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts NEET (UG). More than 11.38 lakh students  appeared the NEET –UG 2017 held on 07 May 2017.

The total number of available seats for UG Admissions  95,000 seats (65,000 MBBS & 25,000 BDS) in all Government Medical Colleges, Private Medical Colleges & Deemed Universities in the entire country for the academic year 2017-18. All the seats are classified in the following categories: (i) All India Quota Seats, (ii) State Government Quota Seats, (iii) State/Management/NRI Quota Seats in Private Medical / Dental Colleges or any Private/ Deemed University, (iv) Central Pool Quota Seats.

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT):  After CAT, Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is the most popular MBA Entrance test.  XLRI Jamshedpur conducts XAT on behalf of the XAMI. For more than 60 years XLRI is conducting XAT at all India level to select the most right students for management education. The XAT score is being used by more than 100 institutes for the admission.  XAT 2017 was conducted on 08 January 2017 (Sunday). Around 92,000 candidates appeared for the XAT 2017 exam.

Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE): The Staff Selection Commission  conducts Combined Graduate Level Examination to recruit staff to various posts in ministries, departments and organisations of the Government of India. The posts are for various Group B and Group C posts. The examination consists of a Preliminary Examination followed by a Main examination.

Candidates applying for the various posts must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university at the time of applying. The exam is one of largest competitive test held in India as in CGLE 2016, more than 38 lakh candidates registered for appearing the exam.

National Defence Academy Entrance Exam: National Defence Academy  & Naval Academy (NDA & NA) written exam is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment of candidates to Army, Navy and Air force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA). The exam is held twice a year: April and September. A candidate must be an unmarried male. The course of training is for three years.

For NDA & NA (I) 2015-16, more than 5 lakh candidates applied to appear the test. For NDA & NA (II) 2015-16, more than 4.1 lakh candidates applied to appear the pan India test. The interview part of NDA & NA (II) is conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) of Ministryof Defence.

JNU Admission Entrance Test:  Admission to various programmes offered by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is  is purely based on merit. The candidate’s performance in the written examination and the interview (if any) is the key matrix for final selection of candidates who seek admission to MPhil/PhD/Pre-PhD programmes , MA programmes and PG Diploma programmes.

For the academic session 2015-16, a total number of 79,714 candidates (76,375 online and 3339 through OMR) registered.  Based on the performance of the candidates in the entrance examination and the merit lists prepared the University in accordance to the admission policy, 3,146 candidates were offered admission to various programmes of study, out of which 2,184 candidates joined.

These top ten entrance tests or competitive exams are given below: Civil Services Examination (CSE), Engineering Services Examination (ESE), IIT-JEE, GATE, NEET (UG), CAT, XAT, Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE), NDA & NA, and JNU Entrance test for Admission.

These top ten entrance tests or competitive exams are given below: Civil Services Examination (CSE), Engineering Services Examination (ESE), IIT-JEE, GATE, NEET (UG), CAT, XAT, Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE), NDA & NA, and JNU Entrance test for Admission.

List of top ten entrance tests or competitive exams in India

Civil Services Examination (CSE)

Engineering Services Examination (ESE)

Indian Institutes of Technology – Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE)

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET -UG)

Common Admission Test (CAT)

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE)

National Defence Academy Entrance Exam

JNU Entrance test for Admission

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