Strategy to Crack IIFT 2021

IIFT exam is a blend of easy and difficult questions that demand time management skills, analytical abilities, and capability to perform under pressure. In this article, you will get detailed and comprehensive plan to devise a winning strategy to crack IIFT.

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The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade conducts the IIFT exam every year for admissions in its two-year MBA in International Business. This written test is followed by an Essay Writing task, a Group Discussion and a Personal Interview. Before starting IIFT 2021 preparation, you must be aware of the exam pattern of the past few years.

IIFT Exam Pattern - Analysis

The IIFT written test is historically conducted in the month of November/December of the preceding year of the commencement of the program. It is an objective-type test of two hours and the test areas over the last few years are Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning and General Awareness. IIFT 2021 is expected to be structured on the lines of the previous year paper. The test has been experimenting with the number of sections & the number of questions, as is reflected in the table below, which gives the pattern of the test for the last few years:-

iift-percentile
Year 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Time
(hour)
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total
Marks
300 300 100 100 100 100 100 100
Number of Questions 110 110 114 114 123 124 118 128
Number of Sections 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Marks per Question Differential Differential Differential Differential Differential Differential Differential Differential
Negative Marking 1/3 0.5-1 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3
In fact, it is one of the rare management entrance exams that have differential marking for different sections, as well as for different questions of the same section. In 2010 and 2014, differential marks were allotted even between the two sub-sections of the Verbal Ability section.
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The takeaway for the test-taker is to be cautious and not approach the test with pre-conceived notions. For example, if you go for the test with over-dependence on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, you may be disillusioned to find more weight given to Verbal Ability questions and vice versa. The attempt has to be judiciously planned while taking the test itself. However, this should not keep you at bay from practicing across different formats of the test. On the contrary, you will evolve as a strategic test taker only after going through a rigor of simulated tests.
Section-wise Strategy for IIFT

The paper can be split into three parts: concept-driven, practice-intensive and environment-sensitive.

  • Quantitative Analysis & selected areas of Verbal ability are concept driven, which means that the questions depend heavily on core concepts. For example, a question featuring a term like "cyclic quadrilateral" is virtually impossible to attempt unless the corresponding concept is known. It is therefore suggested that you prepare the key concepts of Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry & Modern Math in the Quantitative Ability sections in a thorough manner.
  • To tackle the Verbal Ability section, one has to focus on improving one's reading speed because the paper typically features 3-4 Reading comprehensions. Also, you should prepare the basics of grammar in order to solve sentence correction questions. Practice is required to solve usage-based questions like analogy, fill in the blanks etc. A good vocabulary proves to be an asset while solving different kinds of vocabulary questions that feature in the exam.
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning are practice-intensive, practice-intensive, which means that familiarity respect to similar questions is a key determinant here. It is advisable to practice different Data Interpretation question types like pie charts, bar graphs, data tables, line charts & combinations thereof, for the DI section. For Logical Reasoning, you need to practice questions on arrangements, family trees, complex data situations etc for the LR section.
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  • General Awareness is an environment-sensitive area and requires familiarity with both static and current components of the environment. For static GK one should focus on topics like history, geography, economics, political system etc. For current GK, you can refer to our GK junction section and use our various current affairs related sections.
iift-analysis
While familiarity with previous test patterns and cut-offs helps, too much scrutiny of trend analysis may be digressing at times. You need to evolve as a test taker on that day, approach it with an open mind and go with the flow!
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