Top Competitive Exams After 12th

Many students try clearing various competitive exams after the 12th. Different fields hold multiple exams for students to join positions in numerous departments. This post familiarises you with these competitive exams in detail.

Let’s dive in!

These competitive exams are a gateway to either government jobs or admissions into institutions for higher studies. Some of the most popular undergraduate courses in India are B. Tech/B.E. , BA LLB, BMS, etc. In addition, these exams are organized by reputed organizations such as the NTA, IITs, etc.

Besides seeking admission into higher studies, many opt for joining government services and appearing for exams like SSC CHSL, NDA, Banking, etc.

Top Competitive Exams After 12th

We are dividing the list of competitive exams after the 12th according to various fields. Let’s understand!

  1. Engineering
  2. Medical
  3. Fashion and Design
  4. Defence Services
  5. Law

1. Engineering: Competitive Exams After 12th

EngineeringThousands of students dream of entering reputed engineering institutions such as IITs, NITs, IIITs, etc. However, getting admission into these colleges is challenging and tough. Furthermore, some national-level competitive exams are taken by lakhs of students annually. We are mentioning the same below:

JEE (Joint Entrance Exam)

JEE (Joint Entrance Exam)JEE is one of the toughest exams in the country. JEE Main full form is the Joint Entrance Exam test.

Note: Till 2012, the conducting authority was CBSE. It conducted AIEEE and IIT JEE. Since 2012, this test has been conducted by the NTA or National Testing Agency. Moreover, AIEEE is replaced by JEE Main and IIT JEE by JEE Advanced.

After clearing this exam, students can take admissions into various undergraduate courses such as Bachelor of Engineering/ Bachelor of Technology, Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Planning, etc.

There are two exams:

JEE Main

This is the first test that every eligible candidate takes. There are a total of three exams in this test. Students can appear in any exam as per their interest.

  • B.E./B. Tech
  • B.Arch
  • B.Planning
Exam Total Marks Total Questions Asked
B.E/B. Tech 300 90
B.Arch 400 82
B.Planning 400 105
Key highlights for the JEE Main exam
  • For every correct answer, four marks are awarded, and each incorrect response receives a -1 mark.
  • Moreover, the exam is held in 13 languages; English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Malayalam.
  • The JEE Main exam for B.E/B. Tech is divided into three sections Physics, Chemistry, and Maths.
  • The total duration is 3 hours.
  • Furthermore, JEE Main is a computer-based test.

JEE Advanced

After clearing the Main exam, students must appear in the JEE Advanced exam.

JEE Advanced is a national-level entrance test conducted by one of the seven IITs on a rotational basis. The top 2.5 lakh candidates who successfully clear the JEE Main exam appear in JEE advanced.

Key highlights for the JEE Advanced exam
  • It is also a computer-based test.
  • There are further 2 exams in this test: Paper 1 and Paper 2.
  • Furthermore, the exam duration for papers one and two are three hours each.
  • The language of medium of the exam is English or Hindi.
  • Most universities and colleges accept the score of JEE Advanced for admission into various undergraduate courses.

B.Arch and B.Plan

B.Arch or Bachelor of Architecture is an undergraduate degree for students who wish to study architecture. The field of architecture is diverse, and there are plenty of opportunities for a stable career.

Key highlights for the B.Arch/ B.Plan exam
  • It’s a five-year full-time program that impacts the knowledge of designing and planning different structures.
  • The exam mode is online and offline (drawing test).
  • Moreover, the duration is 3 hours (additional 30 minutes are provided to the candidates attempting both B.Arch and B.Plan).


BITSAT exam is conducted for the students who wish to be admitted into the various BITS campuses such as BITS Pilani, BITS, Goa, and BITS Hyderabad.

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test is a national-level entrance exam organized by the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. Admissions are given to students to enter into B.E, B.Pharm, and multiple M.Tech courses. Furthermore, lakhs of candidates apply for the exam every year.

Key highlights of the BITS exam
Title Details
Conducting Body BITS
Exam Level National-level
Mode of Exam Computer-Based
Exam Duration 3 hours
Total Questions 130 MCQs
Application Mode Online
Official Website

2. Medical: Competitive Exams After 12th

Medical: Competitive Exams After 12thThe medical field attracts thousands of aspirants to join the healthcare sector. It is one of the most popular fields in India. Furthermore, the demand for medical professionals is increasing daily due to the opening of more hospitals.

The most popular competitive exam after 12th in the medical sector is NEET.


NEET, or National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test, is a medical entrance examination for candidates willing to take admissions into medical courses. The top medical courses are MBBS and BDS for students after clearing the NEET exam.

This exam is held online every year.

Key highlights of the NEET exam
  • The National Testing Agency is the conducting authority of this medical entrance exam.
  • The exam is held every year.
  • It is the only entrance exam for students seeking to get admission into MBBS and BDS courses in India.
  • The duration is 3 hours and 20 minutes.
  • It is conducted in 13 different languages.
  • The total marks are 720, and the total number of questions is 200.
  • The questions are asked from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
  • Every wrong response results in a -1 mark, and every correct answer gets 4 marks.
Subject Total Marks
Physics 180
Chemistry 180
Maths 360
Major Changes in the Exam
  • The duration has been extended from three to 3 hours and 20 minutes.
  • There is a 100 Rupees increase in application fees.

3. Fashion And Design: Competitive Exams After 12th

Fashion And DesignFashion and design is a budding industry, and many people wish to join this creative sector. If you wish to join the same, here are the top 3 competitive exams after 12th that you must take to enter this field.

  1. National Institute of Fashion Technology Entrance Test
  2. Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design
  3. All India Entrance Examination for Design

National Institute of Fashion Technology Entrance Test (NIFT)

NIFT conducts the national-level examination for candidates seeking admission into various fashion and design courses. Aspirants must take both CAT (Creative Ability Test) and GAT (General Ability Test) exams to be admitted to the B.Des course. Whereas only GAT is mandatory for students seeking admission into B.F.Tech courses.

Eligibility Criteria for B.Des (Bachelor of Designing)
  • Candidates must have passed the 12th standard from a recognized board or the senior secondary school examination organized by the National Open School (minimum of 5 subjects).
  • The maximum age for the candidate to take this exam is 24 years.
Eligibility Criteria for B.F.Tech (Bachelor of Fashion Technology)
  • Candidates must have passed the 12th standard from a recognized board with Physics and Mathematics or must have passed the senior secondary school examination organized by the National Open School (minimum of 5 subjects with Physics and Maths).
  • The maximum age limit is 24 years.
Key highlights of the NIFT entrance examination
  1. There are two written tests: the Creative Ability Test (CAT) and General Ability Test (GAT).
  2. GAT is compulsory for all the courses except the B.Des course.
  3. After clearing the written test, a next step is a group discussion/ situation test followed by a personal interview.
  4. B.F.Tech students are given admissions based on their GAT scores only. No further rounds are required.

Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design (UCEED)

UCEED is another popular exam students take to enter the design field.

There are two compulsory sections of this exam; part A and part B. Part A is a computer-based exam with a time duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Whereas Part B is a drawing-based exam with a time limit of 30 minutes. It is an offline test.

Eligibility Criteria for the UCEED exam
  • Must have cleared the 12th standard from a recognized board.
  • The maximum number of attempts is 2 times (consecutive years).
Key highlights of the UCEED exam
  • It’s a national-level entrance exam conducted by IIT Bombay annually.
  • The exam duration is 3 hours.
  • There are 2 parts of the exam; offline and online.

All India Entrance Examination for Design

The All India Entrance Exam for Design is a national-level entrance examination for undergraduate and postgraduate design courses. This exam has three rounds:

  1. GAT (General Aptitude Test)
  2. CAT (Creative Aptitude Test)
  3. Personal Interview

These exams test a student’s problem-solving skills and logical reasoning aptitude that is applicable in various fields of design.

Eligibility criteria for the AIEED exam
  • Candidates must have cleared or appeared in class 12th from a recognized board.
  • Students currently in the 11th standard can also appear for this exam.
  • The minimum age limit for aspirants is 16 years.

After clearing this exam, candidates can apply for various undergraduate courses as enlisted below:

  • B.Des Fashion Designing
  • B.Des Interior Designing
  • B.Des Jewellery Design
  • B.Des Craft Product Designing
  • B.Des Graphic Designing

4. Defence Services: Competitive Exams After 12th

Defence ServicesIt is a dream for many to join the country’s defense forces. These jobs are one of the most prestigious and respectful jobs in India. Many candidates prepare for the competitive exams to join the defense forces every year. However, only a few crack them.

Here are some of the most popular exams taken by candidates every year.

  1. NDA and NA Examination
  2. Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test
  3. Indian Navy B. Tech Entry Scheme

NDA and NA exam

NDA or the National Defence Academy examination is organized by the UPSC annually twice: NDA I and NDA II. It provides a chance for the candidates to join the country’s defense forces.

The National Defence Academy and Naval Academy exam is a 2-step examination. The first step is to take the written exam, and the second is the personality test conducted by the SSB (Service Selection Board).

Key highlights of the NDA & NA exam
1. Written Examination

This exam is of 900 marks and is divided into two categories: Maths and General Ability test. Students must clear this round to get to the next one.

2. SSB Interview

The Service Selection Board interview is a challenging and long process. There are again two rounds: the Intelligence test and the Psychological Aptitude Test.

Candidates willing to take the exam can click here for further exam schedule details.

3. Educational Qualifications

A candidate must have passed the 12th standard with physics and maths as the main subjects.

4. Gender

Only male candidates were allowed to apply for the examination. But, after that, the Supreme Court passed an order on September 22, 2021, that allows women to appear for the UPSC NDA examination.

Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test

IMU CET is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Maritime University. The exam is organized once a year in online mode.

Eligibility Criteria for the IMU CET exam
  • Candidates must have passed the 12th standard with a 60% aggregate from a recognized board with Physics, Chemistry, and Maths. In addition, 50% in English.
  • The minimum age must be 17 years and the maximum of 25 years.
Key highlights of the IMU CET exam
  • The exam is held annually in online mode.
  • The test has six sections: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, English, General Knowledge, and General Aptitude.
  • The type of questions are MCQs. 120 MCQs for the MBA exam and 200 MCQs for other exams.
  • There is no negative marking.
Section-wise marks distribution
Subject Number of Questions
Physics 50
Chemistry 25
Maths 50
English 25
General Knowledge 25
General Aptitude 25
Total Marks 200

The courses offered by the IMU for students willing to join the defense services are tabulated below:

Course Name Time Duration
Sc. In Nautical Science 3 Years
Tech in Marine Engineering 4 years
MBA in Port and Shipping Management 2 years
Sc. In Ship Building and Repair 3 years
Tech in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 4 years
MBA in International Transportation and Logistics Management 2 years
Sc. In Commercial Shipping and Logistics 2 years
Tech in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 2 years
Tech in Marine Engineering and Management 2 years
Tech in Dredging and Harbour Engineering 2 years

Indian Army Technical Entry Scheme

The TES exam is a technical entry examination for candidates willing to join the Indian Army. The Indian Army recruits fresh 12th standard Paas candidates.

Key highlights of the TES
  • After getting the entry, they will be appointed as Gentlemen cadets.
  • The army trains them for a period of four years.
  • After completing the training, cadets are awarded the engineering degree and are commissioned as Lieutenant in the Indian Army.
  • There is no application fee for filling out the application form.
  • Candidates get a permanent job in the Indian Army.
  • Every aspirant must have appeared in JEE Main.
Eligibility Criteria for TES
  • All the candidates who have passed their 12th standard with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics and a minimum aggregate of 60% are eligible.
  • The minimum age limit is 16 1/2 years, and the maximum is 19 ½ years.

After clearing the TES exam, aspirants must appear in their SSB interview.

5. Law: Competitive Exams After 12th

LawLaw is a popular field of study. There are two most popular competitive exams for 12th students interested in practicing law.

  1. Common Law Admission Test
  2. All India Law Entrance Test

Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)

This is a national-level examination conducted by the consortium of NLUs. After clearing the exam, students are admitted into a five-year integrated course.

Eligibility criteria for the CLAT exam
  • The candidate must have passed the 12th standard to take admitted into the undergraduate program.
  • There is no upper age limit.
  • The minimum mark required by the general category is 45%, and that for SC/ST is 40%.
Key highlights for the CLAT exam
  • The conducting body is the consortium of national Law Universities.
  • Exam mode is offline i.e., pen and paper.
  • The exam duration is two hours.
  • This exam has five sections: current affairs, logical reasoning, English language, legal reasoning, and quantitative techniques.
  • The total number of questions is 150.
  • The total marks are 150.
  • The current affairs section and legal reasoning carry the most weightage in the exam, with a total of approximately 70-75 questions.

All India Law Entrance Test

This national-level test is organized by the National Law University, Delhi, for candidates seeking admission in undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate courses.

Eligibility criteria for the AILET exam
  • Candidates must have passed their 12th standard with a minimum of 45% aggregate.
  • Candidates who are currently in the 12th standard can apply for the exam.
Key highlights of the AILET exam
  • The exam is conducted once a year.
  • The exam duration is 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 12th-pass students get direct admissions to BA LLB based on merit.
  • Admissions are given to students in BA LLB, LLM, and Ph.D. courses at NLU Delhi.
  • The total number of seats in the undergraduate course is 10, with five seats for foreign nationals and OCI/PIO.


As you can see, various competitive exams after the 12th provide excellent job opportunities. However, all these exams have a high competition rate. Therefore, you must prepare diligently.

It is a confusing time for students when they have to make an informed decision about their careers. However, we have divided the exams into different fields. We hope that this information helps you in the best possible way!

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques.1 Which competitive exam is based after 12th?

Ans. There are various competitive exams in different fields such as JEE, NEET, NDA, AFCAT, etc. For more detailed information, kindly go through the article.

Ques.2 Which government exam I can give after 12th?

Ans. Candidates who have cleared their 12th standard from a recognized board can appear for JEE, NEET, NDA & NA, Indian Army Technical Entry Scheme, and many more exams. Please go through the article for more information.

Ques.3 Which is the toughest exam after 12th?

Ans. There are many tough and challenging exams. Some of them are JEE, NEET, and NDA.

Ques.4 Which government job is easy?

Ans. Every job has its challenges and obstacles. However, the sitting jobs in different departments can be titled comparatively easier than the field jobs. For instance, DMRC, RRB, Banks, etc.

Ques.5 is JEE Main hard to crack?

Ans. Yes, the JEE Main exam is considered as one of the most challenging exams in the country. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication with smart preparation strategies.

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