From KG admission to PhD, a student has to go through numerous entrance tests. In the primary education sector, the significance of an admission test is considerably less as there are enough seats available in the schools across the nation. While moving towards secondary education, where students get their first chance to make a choice about their education, admission tests play an important role. Generally, in secondary education, various institutes conduct their own admission tests. Even though, in India many students drop their dream of higher education mainly due to the financial constraints, it is hard to get admission for a top rated course in high profile institutes. The mammoth amount of student base and insufficient number of seats in colleges has made entrance tests a major mode of admission in the major higher education institutions in India. As there are many areas, where students can deviate after secondary education, there are as many entrance tests available. Most students appear for at least two entrance exams thinking that getting admission for a top demanded course in a reputed institution can secure their career. Due to this belief the country missed many of its future doctors as they ended up gaining an engineering degree and missed many scientists, as they became bank managers. While many more such unlikely transformations are materializing at every minute of the day at every nook and corner of the country, nobody can blame anyone for such crucifixion of inborn talent. The problem is rooted in the mindset of secondary school students, who are oblivious of where they really fit in.
After under graduation, students' focuses are clearer as they have a vague picture of what they want from their life. Still, they have to encounter some preliminary tests in order get into a good institution or into a public sector job. However, choosing the right option is still a pondering question for many students as there are many of these kinds available with different priorities. CSAT for civil service aspirants, GATE for mastering in technology, CAT for future managers, CLAT for advocates and CDSE to become Army officer are few exams to unfold the list. Even though students know about such long lists, they ruminate on them as there is a lack of proper guidance to get motivated or they consult with people who do not have much knowledge about these exams.
With all these in mind, we have come up with a list of various competitive exams in the country. This may not be a comprehensive list, which contains information about every tests from the all the available categories. However, we have managed to list out most important exams and have given neutral and much needed information about the same. Hope it helps the students to regain the lost compass of their life.
Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
With success rate of less than 0.3 percentage Indian Civil Service Examination is considered as one of the toughest exams in the world. On an average, 5 to 6 lakh candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing is roughly 3 lakhs for the examination. It is a nationwide competitive examination in the country conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) among others. The whole test is conducted in two phases and the process from conducting preliminary test to declare the final result will take almost one year. The first phase consists of two objective-type papers includes general studies and aptitude test. The second phase called main examination consists of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by the Personality Test (interview). To apply for IAS and IPS entrance tests, the candidate must be an Indian citizen within the age limit of 21 to 30 with degree from a Central, State or Deemed University or equivalent qualification. For the other remaining services, candidates with of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, SriLanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India are also considered.
Common Admission Test (CAT)
Conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), Common Admission Test is a gateway to many Indian students who are hoping for a bright future in the management sector. The CAT score is used separately by each institute along with other parameters such as academic performance, work experience, group discussion, written assessment and interview performance to select candidates. The candidate must be a graduate with 50 percent marks or equivalent CGPA or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the ministry of HRD, Government of India. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. This test scores a person on the basis of quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning. More than two lakhs applicants appear for this computer based test every year.
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
It was a headache for Public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India to conduct their recruitment processes with more than 100,000 students giving the exams for less than 1000 jobs, which means a selection rate of less than 1 percent. Few years back, PSU decided that a GATE score shall be the primary criteria for initial short listing. This change was the primary cause for the rapid increase in applicants for GATE 2012. GATE is conducted jointly by the IISc and seven IITs on behalf of the National Coordination Board GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India. The exam primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. The task of mastering an entire course of engineering for a three hour test, itself gives the test a certain level of sturdiness and only around 15 percent of all appearing candidates qualify each year.
Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE)
Serving the nation by joining armed forces is not only a matter of pride but also choice of an adventurous career. Conducted by Union Public Service Commission, CDSE is a chance to become a part of Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The SSB interview lasts for approximately a week, during which a candidate undergoes various physical and psychological tests to ascertain whether or not he is officer material. The system of selection is based on the "trait theory" of leadership, which assumes that every leader must have some specific and pre-determined leadership traits. It also presumes that such traits can be acquired by a candidate with the passage of time meaning thereby that a person once rejected in an SSB interview is likely to succeed if he acquires some of the traits with the passage of time.
Indian Engineering Services (IES)
Known for vast number of candidates applying for limited vacancies, IES considered as the most sought-after careers for the engineering graduates in India. IES officers carry high respect and stature in the society and are able to manage activities in diverse areas. Government spending comprises more than 15 percent of India\'s GDP and given the extent of tasks and functions managed by the public sector, this extends to a fairly broad segment of the economy covering the railways, roads, defense, manufacturing, inspection, supply, construction, public works, power, telecommunications and several others. A combined four-stage competitive examination, which comprising six tests called the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services. The candidates are required to have a bachelor's degree in Engineering (B.E. / B. Tech) from a recognized university or equivalent. M.Sc degree or its equivalent with Wireless Communications, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering to be eligible for this prestigious career.
Joint Admission Test for Masters (JAM)
The Joint Admission test for Masters (JAM) is an admission test to M.Sc. and other post-B.Sc. programs at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Started in academic year 2004-05, it is expected to become a benchmark for normalizing undergraduate level science education in the country. The main objective of JAM is to provide admissions to various M.Sc., M.Sc.-PhD Dual degree and other post-B.Sc. programs based on the performance in a single test and consolidate 'Science' as a career option for bright students from across the nation. Even though IISc and IITs posses different cut off scores to admit students, the candidates are expected to have at least 50 percentage aggregate score in their undergraduate level.