Top PhD Entrance Exams

Top PhD Entrance Exams

Top PhD Entrance Exams
Mandira Pangeni

A PhD can be pursued in various subjects and specialized domains, regardless of the person's field of study, science, business, or humanities. Typically, academically inclined students enrol in PhD programs to gain the information and abilities necessary to flourish in their fields of study. 

PhD is a doctorate that offers the most solid employment options and is regarded as an excellent qualification.

It is the most prestigious degree, not just in India but also in other countries. In India, the possibility of studying PhD programs has multiplied over the past several years.

Numerous applicants apply for PhD admissions in India yearly via various entrance tests.

Most applicants struggle to choose the best entrance exam for a PhD school, so we have included the top entrance examinations for a PhD. 

Universities have established several tests as one of the primary requirements to apply for a doctoral degree. However, PhD study abroad options free students from sitting in admission exams to continue their chosen subject. Thus, passing the PhD entrance exams is crucial for individuals interested in travelling down this path.

Ph.D. Specialization Courses

Before we get into the top PhD admission tests, let's look at the wide range of specializations within this degree's scope. The list below explains some of the graduates' most popular PhD programs.

  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Music
  • Fine Arts
  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Business Administration
  • Hospitality Management
  • Mass Communication
  • Mathematics

Ph.D. Admission Criteria

Students who want to pursue a PhD must complete the university's qualifying conditions. The following are the precise PhD eligibility requirements for students pursuing this course in India:

  • Master's degree holders are eligible to apply for admission to the doctorate program. Candidates should be aware that in some Indian universities, applicants must obtain a certain percentage (or equivalent CGPA) to be qualified to apply for a PhD program after completing a Master's program.
  • An applicant must pass the all-India test. Furthermore, final-year master's degree students can apply by presenting certified copies of their qualified degree certificates.
  • Interviews will be used to determine admission to the Ph.D. programs. If necessary, the discussion may be supplemented with a written examination.
  • To study for a PhD in engineering and technology, applicants must have a relevant Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE 2022) grade. In addition, he or she must have finished an M.Tech/M.E in any engineering branch to apply for a PhD in engineering.
  • One can take several additional national-level PhD entrance tests in India to qualify for PhD courses.

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Popular Ph.D. Entrance Exam

This blog is an effort to compile all of the top PhD entrance examinations held in India at the national level to familiarize students with the many exams they can apply to accomplish their dream of earning a doctorate of philosophy (PhD).


This is the first thing that comes to mind for anyone interested in pursuing a PhD in history, political science, or public administration.

The National Testing Agency administers the exam on behalf of the University Grants Commission. This exam is taken by students who want to be associate professors or research scholars.

It is one of the critical PhD admission tests, intending to determine candidates' eligibility for Assistant Professor alone, Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), or both. UGC NET is held twice a year and consists of two papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 is worth 100 points, whereas Paper 2 is worth 200 points.


The exam is also known as the CSIR NET. The National Testing Agency administers it on behalf of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

It is a national exam administered by NTA twice a year (in June and December) to select applicants for JRF awards and to determine their eligibility for recruitment as teachers in Indian universities and colleges. 

Those interested in applying for the fellowship must also enrol in a PhD program at a recognized institution. In contrast, those interested in applying for the lecturership must have a graduate degree.

This exam also includes Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Physical Sciences.

The question paper for this PhD entrance test is divided into three portions, namely Section A (considered the standard section, with questions related to General Aptitude, Graphical Analysis, Logical Reasoning, and Mathematical Ability), Section B (questions for Engineering Sciences, with questions from Mathematics and Engineering Aptitude, also included), and Section C (high-status questions that assess the student's understanding of scientific concepts and their application).


This exam is administered by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to admit students to the PhD and combined postgraduate and PhD programs offered by the TIFR Deemed University. TIFR is one of India's influential organizations for conducting research work in basic sciences.

Candidates who want to research or join doctoral or postgraduate + PhD programs in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer & Systems Sciences (including Communications and Machine Learning), and Science Education can take this test.

Candidates who have completed their postgraduate studies in the above disciplines are qualified to apply for PhD programs through this test.

The test questions will apply to postgraduate-level math, physics, chemistry, computer, and systems sciences lessons.

DBT JRF Biotechnology Test

The increasing popularity of this exam among biotechnology research enthusiasts demonstrates that it is one of India's top ten PhD admission exams. The Department of Biotechnology administers the exam, which is part of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

The exam aims to offer Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) to students who want to research cutting-edge biotechnology fields. JRF candidates are chosen through the Biotechnology Eligibility Test. Candidates will be divided into two groups based on their performance in the BET.

Scholarships in the first category can be used at any university or institution where candidates pursue a PhD.

According to the Department of Science and Technology criteria, eligible candidates in the second category can participate in a Department of Biotechnology-sponsored project and receive a fellowship equivalent to NET/GATE qualifications.


Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the apparent hub of learning in the national capital.

Students from around the country come to this academic institution to pursue postgraduate or doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and languages.

The exam, commonly known as the JNU Entrance Examination (JNUEE), is administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

JNUEE is one of India's top ten PhD admission exams, lasting three hours. The exam contains multiple-choice questions (MCQ). Candidates who have completed a postgraduate degree in any discipline with a passing grade of 50 or 55 per cent can apply for a PhD through JNUEE.

Many consider this test to be one of the most difficult in India because the question paper is designed in such a way that only those who are well-versed in the subject would be able to pass it.

Tips for preparing Ph.D. Entrance Exam

Because of the high competition for admission to PhD schools, passing the exam is exceedingly challenging. The comprehensive study guide for the Ph.D. entrance exam 2022 is provided below.

  • Be familiar with the exam pattern and syllabus.
  • Practise mock tests and question papers.
  • Go through your previous exam results and analyze them.
  • Highlight and study essential topics for the exam.

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