5 Of The Hardest Standardized Tests In The U.S.

Depending on what type of career path you’re interested in, you might need to take a standardized exam at some point. Some exams are more challenging than others. Here are five of the hardest standardized tests in the U.S. (in no particular order).

5 Hardest Standardized Tests US



The Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, is an exam that’s administered by the Law School Admission Council for students who are interested in attending law school. The test assesses your legal knowledge to make sure that you’re an ideal fit for a career in the industry.

Even though it’s challenging, it’s possible to achieve a good score. Using LSAT sample questions and online study guides is the best way to prepare for the exam, which consists of reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning.


If you want to get into a medical program, you will generally need to score high on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The exam is widely regarded as one of the hardest — if not the hardest — standardized exams in the United States.

Others say it is the first of many difficult exams medical students must pass. The MCAT consists of four sections: 1). Biological and Biochemical Foundations in Living Systems, 2). Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3). Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and 4).

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. The last section is known to be the most challenging.

According to Inspira Advantage, a prominent MCAT tutoring organization, only 40% of students are accepted into the exam. This rigorous test demands consistent preparation for successful passage.

The good news is that many schools now offer programs that don’t require the MCAT for acceptance. This can be a stress-free way to go to med school without having to worry about obtaining a good score.

3. GRE

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is one of the most challenging standardized tests in the country. It’s taken by college students who want to earn a graduate degree. The exam includes analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

In order to receive a good or even acceptable score on the exam, you’ll need to do a lot of preparation. There are lots of online practice exams, as well as practice books, which students should focus on when preparing for the exam.


The United States Medical Licensing Exam, or USMLE, is an exam offered by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

The exam, which is taken in three steps, is taken by medical school students who want to receive licensure as a physician in the U.S. This test is so challenging that it’s even been referred to as the most difficult exam in the entire world.

Individuals must pass all three steps on the exam within seven years.

5. The California Bar Exam

Contrary to popular belief, the New York Bar Exam isn’t the hardest bar exam in the country. The California Bar Exam is widely regarded as the most challenging bar exam of any state. In 2018, 60 percent of test takers failed the exam.

Part of the reason why the exam is so hard is that it covers a broad scope of subjects, some of which include criminal law, civil law, and contracts.

The state’s bar exam is intentionally difficult due to California’s population and the number of yearly test takers. That being said, the passing score was recently lowered by the Supreme Court.

These are just five of the hardest standardized tests in the U.S. Depending on what type of career path you plan on taking, you might encounter one or more of these exams.

The best thing you can do when facing any standardized test is give yourself adequate time to prepare with practice exams and study guides.

5 Hardest Standardized Tests US


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