Is IISc harder than IIT?

Is IISc harder than IIT?

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are the two most important and popular institutions in India regarding academics, job opportunities and research. These institutes have great popularity among almost every Indian, and it is very unlikely for any student not to know these institutes. In particular, the IITs have massive popularity among students and parents as well. Students passing out from these institutes have excellent career opportunities in industries, finance and research and get high priority in various places as compared to other students from other institutes. But many students wonder which of these two institutes is better and which is difficult to get. If you are also confused about whether Indian Institute of Science is harder than IITs, this blog is for you. 

In this blog, we will discuss two important topics:

  • IIT vs IISc
  • Is it difficult to get IISc?

IITs vs IISc:


After independence, there was a great need for technological advancements and engineers for the development of our country. Hence, the IITs were founded to provide quality education and training in engineering and prepare youth for industries and financial jobs. IITs have done a fantastic job serving their purpose and have produced many world-known personalities like Sundar Pichai, Raghuram Rajan, etc., and startups like Flipkart, Zomato and Ola. IIT is for students interested in engineering and getting a job after graduation.

In contrast, IISc Bangalore was established by private bodies to conduct core research with a focus on advancing the scientific capabilities of the country. Since its foundation more than a hundred years ago, Indian Institute of Science has always been on top among all institutes in India. The only Nobel laureate in physics, Sir CV Raman, was also associated with this institute. It has produced groundbreaking research papers and famous personalities like H.J. Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Sudha Murthy, etc. Indian Institute of Science is for students interested in doing science and taking it as their career.


IITs focus on B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) and M.Tech (Master of Technology) courses, whereas IISc emphasises MS or M.Tech (Master of Technology). IITs have a lot of courses for post students who want to pursue master’s from there, and similar for Indian Institute of Science, which has two undergraduate programs, BS ( Bachelor in Science) Research and B.Tech. (Mathematics and Computing). IITs have several thousand students studying different engineering streams to equip themselves to set in industries. In contrast, Indian Institute of Science has few students working towards high-end research and getting into research fields in the nation and abroad. Thus, the course structure of IISc is more rigorous and hectic as compared to those of IITs. 

Currently, IITs also provide BS and integrated BS and MS programs in various research fields. IITs have also expanded their focus toward research.


IISc is a clear winner among all the institutes in India, with an NIRF ranking of one for an extended period of time consistently. IIT-Bombay and other IITs come second and other positions. Indian Institute of Science is also one of the few institutes in India to be within the top 200 institutes in the world, according to the QS World ranking. 

Entrance Exams-

JEE Main and Advanced are the common entrance modes to these institutes at the undergraduate level. JEE is also considered one of the toughest exams in India. However, the cutoff for admission to Indian Institute of Science is usually relatively high, with around the top 100-200 candidates in JEE-Advanced getting into it. At the same time, candidates can get good IITs with JEE-Advanced ranks around 6000-8000. 

IISc also accepts other exams like IISER Aptitude Test (IAT) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). With the introduction of these modes, getting into Indian Institute of Science became more dynamic, providing students with flexible opportunities to get into Indian Institute of Science. Check out this blog to learn how to get into IISc through IAT.

How is life in IITs different from IISc?

Students at IISc are more focused on academics than extracurricular activities because of the stress of the course structure. Students at IITs have enough opportunities to develop extracurricular talents to benefit them in the workplace. Life at Indian Institute of Science, on the other hand, is peaceful and oriented around nature. IITs have a lot of energy and competition. Everywhere you go, there’s always an event taking place. Indian Institute of Science is all about serenity; you may always discover guest lectures from academics worldwide. IISc is a patient, mature system because research takes a lot of patience, and most students here are PhD.s. 


Both IISc and IITs have active placement cells, and top companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, TCS, Deloitte, etc recruit students annually. However, the majority of students in Indian Institute of Science opt for further education abroad. Though they have a lot of enthusiasm for placements in their first year, as they spend more time in IISc, they mostly tend to move to research. 

If you want to know how IISERs and NISER differ in placements, check out this blog.

Is it difficult to get IISc?

Yes, getting into IISc is more challenging than getting admission to IITs. IISc’s excellent standing, production of research, global reputation, and nobility all serve to justify this intense competition. Only the so-called ‘creamy layer’ of students in India get the opportunity to study and do research in Indian Institute of Science. If you ever are in a dilemma of choosing between IISc or any IIT, we suggest you go for Indian Institute of Science. If you want to start your preparation for IISc, SciAstra can prove to be an excellent partner in your preparation. We provide excellent and relevant study materials, mock tests and personalised mentorship to all students. Check out our courses for more information.

Even after getting into IISc, the coursework and lifestyle are hectic compared to that of IITs. But that is important considering the fact that research requires discipline and patience, and all these hardships eventually pay off when students achieve greatness in their field.

Check out this blog to know which institute, IIT or IISER, is better for you.


This comparison between IISc and IIT should not mean that if you didn’t get admission to Indian Institute of Science, you can’t achieve anything in your life. IISc only provides better opportunities in Science and Research than any other Indian institute, what and how you utilise those opportunities depends entirely on you. Many IITians are doing parellely great as those from IISc.

If you want to know more about IISc, IISERs and NISER, check out this blog.

About us:

SciAstra is a team of scientists and research scholars from the top research institutes around the world like Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, and so on. Our vision is to promote critical thinking and scientific temperament by helping students in their careers in science. 

We offer many free and paid courses where our mentors from the top research institutes like IISER, NISER, IACS, CMI,ISI IISC Bangalore, etc teach students in live classes, with study materials,  mock tests, books, and everything needed. We have taught more than 10,000 students already since 2021 and achieved over 1000 selections with AIR 1, 7,10, 12, and 13 in  IISc Bengaluru, IISERs, NISER, IACS, and so on.  If you are looking to prepare for IAT / NEST 2024, you can check out our courses and get access to live classes, recorded lectures, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and much more!

To know more about us, click here OR download the SciAstra App from the Play Store!

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