What are the possible tests you can take up for applying for PhDs?

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Before applying for PhD you need to know what tests you need to sit for PhD in India or PhD in foreign countries. Yes, you need to pick where you will do your PhD and what PhD (full time, part time or online) you will pursue, but if you know beforehand all the possible tests you can take, it will help a lot in later stages. Moreover, you would be able to prepare yourself well for the tests you would like to take.

In this article, we will talk about all the tests students generally take for pursuing PhD. There would be two sections. First section would be about tests you can take for pursuing Indian PhD and the second section would be about possible tests you can take for foreign PhD. 

Without much ado, let’s begin.

Tests for Indian PhD

As you already know that there are multiple tests being conducted every year, it would be impossible to pick all of them. We will pick top 15 of the PhD entrance tests conducted by different institutes and universities all over India for admitting students for their doctoral studies. The information is taken from the recent notice being given from different universities and institutes in India.


UGC NET exam is one of the most significant tests for PhD and for applying to assistant professorship in reputed institute. This exam is conducted twice in a year, once in June and again in December, every year. This exam is being conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India. If you aim to go for a credible PhD, sit for this exam.

Joint Graduate Entrance Examination for Biology and Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (JGEEBILS)

Students who have completed their masters in Biology or Life Sciences or in related fields, they should go for this exam to pursue their doctoral studies. This exam is conducted by National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore. This exam is conducted in December, every year.

JRF Biotech Entrance Test

Students who have done their Bachelor and Master in Biotechnology can sit for this exam for PhD. It is being conducted by Department of Biotechnology (DBT). Every year, this exam is taken in February.

Graduate School Admission Entrance Test

This is very important test for students who want to pursue PhD studies in India. It is being conducted by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. It is conducted in November every year.

Junior Research Fellowships

If you have passed out from Master degree and want to pursue PhD in India, this is another option you can take. This entrance is being conducted by The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi. Every year in July, this entrance is being conducted.

PhD Online Entrance Test

If you want to pursue your doctoral studies in Neuroscience or any mental health sciences, then this test is perfect for you. It is being conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHN), Bangalore. The exam is taken in February every year.

JNU PhD Entrance

If you are in studies, you must have heard about JNU. They also conduct an entrance for their excellent PhD programmes. To mention, if you join JNU for PhD, your placement is confirmed then and there as they have a great placement cells for students who join in there. The entrance exam is taken in May every year.


This is another opportunity to pursue your PhD studies. This is one of the popular tests for engineers. It is conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India. Every year in February, the test is being conducted.

NIPER PhD Entrance Exam

This exam is also for doctoral students specifically for pharmacy students. It is being conducted by National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER). Every year in June, it is being conducted.

University of Hyderabad PhD Entrance

This is another entrance being conducted by University of Hyderabad for doctoral students. In June every year it is being conducted all over India.

GTU PhD Entrance Exam

If you are from Gujarat or live nearby you can sit for this exam. It is being conducted in April every year. It is being conducted by Gujarat Technological University (GTU), Ahmedabad.

NBRC PhD Entrance

For students who have specialised in Brain Sciences for them National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) conducts entrance exam for PhD studies. In May every year it is being conducted.

BITS PhD Entrance

BITS Pilani conducts PhD entrance exam for students who have completed their masters and are interested in doctoral studies. June-July every year it is being conducted.

AIIMS PhD Entrance

For medical doctors All India Institutes of Medical Sciences conducts PhD entrance. It is conducted in January and July every year.

IISC PhD Entrance

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore conducts entrance exam for PhD students. It is one of the most reputed institutes in the world. The exam is being conducted in April every year.

Foreign PhD entrance

Compared to Indian PhD entrance, for pursuing a foreign PhD, there are few entrance tests you need to sit for. GRE and GMAT are popular tests for both MS and MBA, but when it comes down to doing PhD, GMAT is preferred.

GMAT is the only test which provides students the opportunity to enter into a foreign PhD institutes or universities in USA, Canada, Australia and also in India. For GMAT you need to prepare at least for 3 months. Because this is a test of international standard and once you clear it, it would be valid for at least 5 years. Moreover, you need to expend US $250 for taking the GMAT exam.

So, prepare well. And then sit for GMAT. If you can score above 700 you can get into a great foreign university to pursue your PhD and naturally, your future will be glorious.

In conclusion

Pursuing a PhD is not a matter of joke. And pursuing a foreign PhD is also not an easy task. Because in both cases you need to put in your heart and soul and with a minimum pay! Whereas your peers would be earning hundred and thousands of dollars, you would be pursuing your PhD just by living under your means. PhD is a job and with great benefits later. But not everyone is suitable for this job. Thus, be clear about what you want. Once you know in your heart and soul that you would like to pursue PhD, nothing can stop you from succeeding in the entrance exam. Good luck and tread along the extra mile.