IIFT 2023: IIFT to Accept CAT 2023

What is IIFT?
IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade), started in 1963, counts among the top B-schools in India. The institute is renowned for its excellent research and training programmes. Its MBA programmes are designed to prepare budding managers in the field of international trade and business. IIFT has conducted several research studies in alliance with global organizations like WTO, UNCTAD, etc.
Till 2023, the institute admitted candidates into its Global MBA/ MBA (International Business), the flagship programme on the basis of an autonomous entrance test (IIFT) but from this year onwards the CAT 2023 scores will be considered valid and hence will be accepted for the admissions. IIFT has four campuses, including Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada campus in India and Dar-es-Salaam campus in Tanzania. It also takes part in international collaborations and student exchange programmes.
This article provides key insights and important dates to help you plan your IIFT MBA Admission journey. Keep reading till the end to make the most of this valuable information.
IIFT MBA (IB) 2023: To Accept CAT 2023 Score
Starting from the MBA (IB) Admission 2023, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) has made a significant alteration to its admission process. The traditional IIFT Entrance exam has been officially cancelled, paving the way for a new approach. Going forward, IIFT will exclusively consider CAT exam scores for admission, aligning itself with other esteemed business schools. As a result, the National Testing Agency (NTA) will no longer be responsible for conducting any IIFT entrance exam for MBA (IB) admission. This update represents a notable shift in IIFT's evaluation criteria, aimed at streamlining the admission process and ensuring the selection of candidates with a strong aptitude for business and management.
The IIFT admission process for 2023 marks a significant milestone, especially for CAT aspirants, as they no longer have to appear for a separate entrance exam. It is anticipated that approximately 35,000 candidates will apply for IIFT Admission 2023 through CAT 2023, surpassing the 30,622 applicants from the previous year. The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade boasts an intake of over 700 students across its Delhi, Kolkata, and newly launched Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) campuses. Students from various disciplines, including Engineering, Commerce, Humanities, Law, and others, eagerly seek admission to IIFT each year. 
Why CAT 2023 instead of IIFT 2023?
IIFT's decision to switch from its own entrance exam to the CAT exam has been driven by several factors. 
1. One of the main reasons is the delay in the IIFT admission process caused by the NTA-conducted exams in the past five years. Unlike the fixed date of the CAT exam, the IIFT entrance exam conducted by NTA had no definite schedule. This uncertainty caused a ripple effect, leading to delays in the selection process.
2. To provide some historical context, prior to 2019, IIFT used to administer its own entrance exam with multiple sections and varying scoring patterns right after the CAT exam, usually in the first week of December. However, from 2019 to 2022, the NTA took charge of conducting the IIFT entrance exam. It consisted of four sections and 110 questions, and the exam dates were pushed as late as December, with the results sometimes being announced in January, either in the third or last week.
3. Looking ahead to IIFT Admission 2023, it will be based on the CAT 2023 score. The CAT exam is scheduled for November 26, 2023, with the result expected to be declared either in the first week of January or the last week of December. Notably, last year's CAT 2022 result was announced as early as December 21, 2022. The timely release of CAT results will be paramount in enabling IIFT to promptly announce its shortlist and facilitate the completion of the final selection process much earlier compared to the present trend.
Overall, the shift to CAT as the basis for IIFT admissions is driven by the need for a more streamlined and predictable process. By aligning with the established CAT schedule, IIFT aims to enhance efficiency and ensure a smoother journey for prospective students.
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Difference between CAT 2023 and IIFT 2023
Exam Components
CAT 2023
IIFT conducted by NTA
Exam Date
Fixed, Last Sunday of November
Keeps on Changing from December's first week to the last week
2 hours
2 hours
Total Questions
No. of Sections
Name of Sections
Scoring Pattern
+3 for right answer
Varying, from 1.5 - 3 Marks for right answer
Negative Marking
-1 for incorrect answer
- 0.75  incorrect answer
Type of Questions
MCQs & Non-MCQs
Maximum Score
IIFT 2023: CAT 2023 Exam- Important Dates
Here are the important dates for the IIFT 2023 Admission and the timeline for the CAT 2023 exam:
IIFT 2023 Timeline
 Essential Dates
IIFT Switching to CAT 2023 
10th August 2023
Commencement of CAT 2023 Registration
02nd August 2023
Last date for registration
13th September 2023
Availability of Application forms for IIFT’s MBA (IB) and MBA (BA) 
End of September 2023
CAT 2023 Application Fee
Rs.2400/- for the General/OBC category
Rs.1200/- for SC/ST/PwD/Transgender
CAT 2023 Exam date
26th November 2023 (Sunday)
IIFT Shortlist release
January 2024 third week(tentatively)
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Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2023
  1. A candidate:
    • Holding a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste(SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Person With Disability (PWD) categories], awarded by any University or educational institution as incorporated by an Act of the Parliament or State legislature in India or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognised by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.
    • Possessing an equivalent qualification recognised by the Ministry of Education, Government of India (including the Associate Membership Examination (AMICE) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (India) as an equivalent qualification)
  2. Candidates appearing for the final year of the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. 
  3. Candidates must declare and maintain the following throughout the selection process:
    • Valid and unique Email ID and a mobile phone number
    • CAT User ID (provided to you via email after completion of your online registration)
Q. What is the IIFT Exam 2023 date?
A. The IIFT exam 2023 is cancelled. IIFT will now accept CAT 2023 scores for admission 2023.
Q: What are the names of the sections in CAT 2023?
A: The sections are VARC, DILR, and QA.
Q: What is the scoring pattern for the CAT exam?
A: The scoring pattern is +3 marks for a correct answer.
Q: Is there a negative marking in CAT 2023?
A: Yes, there is a penalty of -1 mark for an incorrect answer.
Q: What types of questions are included in the CAT exam?
A: The exam includes both Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs.
Q: What are the important dates for the IIFT 2023 Admission and CAT 2023 exam?
A: The important dates are as follows: 
- IIFT Switching to CAT 2023: 10th August 2023
- Commencement of CAT 2023 Registration: 02nd August 2023
- Last date for registration: 13th September 2023
- Availability of Application forms for IIFT’s MBA (IB) and MBA (BA): End of September 2023
- CAT 2023 Exam date: 26th November 2023 (Sunday)
- IIFT Shortlist release: January 2023 third week (tentatively)
Q: What are the eligibility criteria for CAT 2023?
A: The eligibility criteria for CAT 2023 are as follows: 
- Holding a Bachelor's Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% for SC/ST/PwD categories) from a recognized university.
- Possessing an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.
- Candidates in the final year of the Bachelor's degree or awaiting results are also eligible to apply.
Q: What should candidates declare and maintain throughout the selection process?
A: Candidates should declare and maintain a valid and unique Email ID, mobile phone number, and C
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