IIFT Exam Analysis – Previous cut-offs, Paper Pattern, Strategy and ResourcesAnisha Mukhija
IIFT entrance exam is conducted for admission into the flagship two-year MBA program of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).
IIFT Exam Pattern
The number of questions in the IIFT exam varies every year, with 114 MCQs in 2019 and 110 MCQs in 2020. As per the latest pattern, the exam will have the same 4 sections. The number of questions is expected to be 110. Below is the detailed exam structure and marking scheme:
- Mode of exam: Online-Computer based
- Time: 120 minutes, with no sectional time
- Type of Ques: MCQ
|Section||No. of Ques||Marks / Ques||Penalty / Ques||Max marks|
|Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability||35||3||1||105|
|Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning||30||3||1||90|
IIFT Exam Cut-off
Unlike other MBA entrance exams, the IIFT exam focuses more on scores than percentiles. There is both an overall score cut-off and a sectional cut-off. So, it is important to have a good number of attempts with high accuracy. The below table depicts the cut-offs in the past few years.
|Year/Section||IIFT 2020||IIFT 2019||IIFT 2018||IIFT 2017||IIFT 2016||IIFT 2015|
*Includes profile score (See the section on ‘Selection Criteria’ below for details)
IIFT Exam Strategy | IIFT vs CAT Topics
IIFT exam is conducted usually a week after the CAT exam (except in 2020, when it was delayed due to the pandemic). While the preparation topics and strategy are roughly the same as CAT, there are a few things that the candidates can keep in mind specifically related to IIFT – after the CAT exam.
- There are no sectional timers for IIFT, but there is still a sectional cut-off. So, it is important to have a well-rounded attempt at the paper.
- Practice at least 5 IIFT mocks to be well equipped with the exam pattern.
- Two new topics are – Vocabulary and GK – which should be prepared intensely during the last one week. GK cut-offs have been known to make or break the admission criteria for students.
- Verbal (RCs) tends to be on a slightly easier side compared to the CAT exam.
- DI is calculation-intensive, while QA is lengthy and time-consuming.
- Clear sectional cut-off:
- Spend the first half of the exam (60 mins) to attempt only the questions (with accuracy) which will help in clearing the sectional cut-offs.
- GA should ideally be done first since it is straightforward and will take minimal time (Max 10 mins)
- The remaining time after attempting GA should be divided equally among the remaining 3 sections.
- Maximizing overall score:
- The second half of the exam (60 mins) should be spent on sections which is your strength – VARC, QA or LRDI
- Select two among the above 3 sections and divide time accordingly
- Attempts vs Accuracy:
- High accuracy with a medium-high number of attempts is ideal.
CATKing Resources | Overall | Mocks | Past Papers | Alumni meet-up
|Section||Topics||CATKing Dashboard resources|
|VARC||Reading Comprehension||· 1000 Reading Comprehension book
· Video lectures
· CATKing e-books
|Vocabulary||· Norman Lewis Word Power Made Easy video lectures by Sumit Sir|
|DILR||DI & LR||· Actual IIFT past paper video solutions by IIFT Toppers (2015-2020)
· Video lectures, Shortcuts, Topic tests
· CATKing e-books
|QA||QA||· Video lectures, Shortcuts, Topic tests
· CATKing e-books
|GA||GA||· IIFT Specific General Awareness mocks (5)
· GK Zone –
o Static GK compendiums
o Monthly GK compendiums
o Daily current affairs video lessons
o GK concept videos
o Static GK tests (5)
- IIFT full-length mocks (2)
- IIFT General Awareness mocks (5)
3. Past Papers & Revision test
- Download IIFT 2011-2020 exam paper to practice in an exam-fashion – online/offline
- Revise IIFT specific questions directly in the dashboard through the ‘Revise’ section
IIFT GK / IIFT General Awareness sources (2018-2020)
|Shell companies||ISRO mission||Index published|
|Trophies and sports||Ramon Magsaysay award||Qs related to science (Magnetic poles)|
|Autobiographies||Founders of Companies||Index and publisher|
|Geographical terms||Seaport and countries||Autobiographies (by businessman)|
|Telecom CA||Terms in sports||Brand name and derivation|
|WTO||UN Reports CA||Indian origin people CA|
|Trade CA||Brand and name derivation||Union like ASIAN|
|Tax||Co. and recent transactions||Terms in sports|
|Export general knowledge of India||Science breakthroughs CA||Organ discoveries CA|
|Seaports||Space research||Big Organisation founders|
|Union like BIMSTEC||CA Science||Country and leaders|
|Indexes of Industries in India||Festivals and states||Sports CA|
|Logo and Co. identification||Identifying founders, CEOs||Technology CA|
|India’s investments into ports CA||Protests||Company and person-related|
|Businessman info||Brand and name derivation||Sportsperson and sports|
|Currency and countries||Geography of countries||Defence exercises|
|Business deals CA||Olympics||Climate agreements|
|Technology CA||Biopics||Country and currencies|
|Company and products||Country and info(labour forces, etc)|
|Unions like BIMSTEC|
IIFT Admission / Selection Criteria
IIFT admission process takes place in two steps –
- Shortlisting for GD/WAT PI round
- Final shortlisting after GD/WAT PI
Shortlisting for GD/WAT PI round
The shortlisting for the GD/WAT PI round concentrates on both IIFT exam scores (73%) and profile scores (27%) of the candidate.
Overall score = Profile scores out of 27 + (IIFT score/Total marks) * 73
|IIFT marks||73||IIFT score / Total marks|
|Marks obtained in Class X||10||
|Marks obtained in Class XII||10|
|Academic diversity||5||Up to 5 marks awarded for non-engineers|
|Gender diversity||2||2 extra marks for female candidates|
In 2020, the cut-offs for second round based on the above table was:
|Parameters||2020 Cut-off (min. score)|
|General – EWS/OBC-NCL||36|
Final shortlisting after GD/WAT PI rounds
After the group discussion, written ability tests and personal interview rounds, the candidates are shortlisted for final admission, based on the below parameters:
|IIFT score||45||IIFT score / Total marks|
|Written Ability Test||10||–|
|Gender Diversity||2||Rating same as above|
|Academic Diversity||2||Rating same as above, proportionally scaled to 2|
Final Score of Work Experience = (Score based on above table) * (Score given by faculty in interview panel on 10 point Likert scale) / 10
|Academic consistency (10th)||4||Rating same as above, proportionally scaled to 4|
|Academic consistency (12th)||4|
All the best!
Also Read: Strategy for IIFT
To know more about IIFT placements, click here
Also Read: Tips to crack IIFT