World’s Toughest Tests and Final ExamsMay 1, 2012
In addition to the fact that Life itself is a test, there are a number of other scholastic and professional challenges along the way that would defeat even the best of us. That said, below is a list of the hardest final exams you could ever face and, if you’re lucky, you’ll never have to take them. (Not in any particular order!)
1. CPA – Through both word of mouth testimonials and scouring the depths of the Internet, the masses agree, the final exam to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is the toughest final exam one can face. In fact, slightly less than 40% of those that take the test actually pass it the first time. It’s a grueling closed book and administered test that truly separates the men from the boys.
2. CCIE – Although the majority would argue that the CPA test is the most difficult, there is a less mainstream test out there that statistics prove to be even more daunting. The Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) is an IT industry certification that 75% of those that take it, fail. What makes the exam even more intimidating is that there is no study guide – it is experienced based and contests that you either know IT or you don’t.
3. SAT – You may be thinking that the SAT cannot possibly match up to the other professional grade exams on this list but testing is relative. The Scholastic Aptitude Test is a long-winded academic assessment that most high school juniors and seniors take to qualify for college and while most of us have taken it, there are degrees of success. To put it in perspective, a mere .00002 percent of students ace this high school exam.
4. The Oxford Prize Fellowship Exam – Leave it to the distinguished Oxford University in the United Kingdom to offer up one of the toughest tests ever taken. Though Oxford students are widely hailed as a cut above the rest, the All Souls College Oxford is an elite school-within-a-school; only those that pass the Prize Fellowship exam are admitted into the upper tier. While the test consists of many parts, the final and most challenging section is the essay. Students are given a single word for inspiration and three hours to produce a thoughtful and coherent essay in whatever direction they chose to pursue. It might sound flexible but when it comes time for the panel of Oxford select to evaluate the final paper, a fraction of essays get the green light.
5. The California Bar Exam – A career in law is thought to be one of the top five most difficult professions that one can pursue and the feared Bar Exam is the final challenge one must face before becoming a lawyer. While the Bar Exam, in any state, is never a breeze, the California Bar exam in particular has a drastically lower success rate than any other jurisdiction. In fact, the passing rate is only around 48 percent (compared to the national average of roughly 60 percent).
6. LSDT – Though the Language Skills Diagnostic Test is an undergraduate final exam taken for the purpose of admittance into many Journalism programs, it has a looming reputation for being a widow maker – a tool used to weed out the casual linguists. Ultimately this test determines ones grasp on the English language but it is not as easy as it sounds; until you’ve legitimately dissected the language and learned the black and white make up of a sentence, you’ve underestimated the intricacies of the English language.
7. USMLE – Of course, you can’t have a list of toughest final exams without the inclusion of the USMLE. The United States Medical Licensing Examination is a test that any M.D. is required to pass before being allowed to practice medicine in the United States. Even though the test takers have already gone through the excruciating pains of medical school, this final barricade was designed as a professional form of natural selection – only those that truly know medicine will survive.
8. CAEI – Ranking as an international equivalent to the CPA test, the Chartered Accountancy Examination of India is the final exam aspiring accountants must take to join the ranks of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). As global outsourcing in the field of accounting becomes more prevalent, India has earned a stellar reputation for its high accounting and ethical standards and this test is the final audit for those attempting to enter the privileged ranks of the ICAI.
9. NFL – When it comes to becoming a pro in the world of sports, the National Football League scouting combine is one of the toughest final exams in the land and truly separates the men from the boys. While some sports allow you to be big and slow or frail but fast, the NFL requires size, strength and speed with no exceptions. Made up of a 40-yard dash, 225lb bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill and the shuttle run, passing the NFL combine requires a combination of monstrous strength and stealthy agility – no exceptions!
10. DUI – OK, now that we’ve evaluated some of the most grueling scholastic and professional exams from around the world. Just for fun, it’s time to visit a more human exam. Yes, that’s right, the standardized sobriety test one must take when facing the reality of being nailed with a DUI. While it might be a piece of cake for the sober folk, if you’ve ever had a few too many eggnog’s at the office Christmas party, this test of agility and coordination is beyond challenging; though your head might want to perform, the body doesn’t always follow.