How to Prepare IIFT Verbal Section?

Does thinking about topics like Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Sentence Correction, and Vocabulary gives you jitters? Are you looking for tips and strategies to improve your performance in the verbal section of IIFT? Don't worry; you are at the right place. This article will give you a comprehensive roadmap to boost your verbal score in IIFT.
Basics of IIFT Verbal Ability
Last year’s exam pattern will help you in getting a clear understanding of the important topics for IIFT Verbal Ability. Following is a list of topics along with the number of questions from each topic:
Reading Comprehension16 (4 RCs, 4 Questions Each)16x1
Sentence Completion66x0.75
Sentence Rearrangement22x0.75
Sentence Correction & Grammar33x0.75
Figures of speech22x0.75
Vocabulary Base66x0.75
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IIFT Verbal Ability has two sub- sections. The first one is Reading Comprehension; and the second one is English Usage. In IIFT 2016, Reading Comprehension section had 4 short and comparatively easy RCs.
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The pattern above highlights the following:
  • Verbal section is a mix of Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Grammar based questions
  • Reading Comprehension questions have more weightage than the English usage questions.
  • The English Usage section consists heavily of vocabulary based questions.
IIFT Verbal Ability Question Types and Examples:
To understand the exam better, let’s look at a few questions which were asked in IIFT 2015:
Question: The first line (S1) of each question is fixed. Arrange the other four lines P, Q, R and S in a logical sequence.
S1: The beginning of the universe had, of course, been discussed for a long time.
P: One argument of such a beginning was the feeling that it was necessary to have a first cause to explain the existence of the universe.
Q: He pointed out that civilization is progressing, and we remember who performed this deed or developed that technique;
R: According to a number of early cosmologies in the Jewish/Christian/Muslim tradition, the universe started at a finite and not very distant time in the past.
S: Another argument was put forward by St. Augustine in his book, The City of God
Solution for the Question:
The opening line of the passage has already been given. This will be followed by statement P because the words "beginning of the universe" in S1 are closely related to "such a beginning" in statement P.
Statement S forms a mandatory pair with statement P because "One argument" P will be followed by "Another argument "in S.
Using the noun: pronoun rule for mandatory pairs we get S and Q as a Mandatory pair. “He” mentioned in Q refers to St. Augustine. Thus the correct order will be option C : PSQR.
This is a moderate level Para jumble question, by making a link with the first sentence and looking for hints for mandatory pairs the question could be solved easily.
Question: In the following question the same word has been used in different sentences in different ways. Choose the option where the word has been used incorrectly.
A. He got carried away with the unruly mob and indulged in stone pelting.
B. She carried on with life in spite of her personal difficulties.
C. It will be difficult to carry out the plan now.
D. If they get carried on with their overspending, they will soon be bankrupt.
Solution for the Question:
In sentence A, to get carried away is defined as to become overly excited or involved and to take things too far
In sentence B, Carry on means to continue despite difficulties;
In sentence C, Carry out means to bring to a successful issue or complete
Carried on has been incorrectly used in sentence D, it should be carried away. Hence, answer is Option D.
This question is based on the use of phrasal verbs. There were two such questions in the exam.
Question: Choose the pair that best completes the sentence.
The conspirators met _________in order to plot a(n)______________against the oppressive governance of Julius Caesar.
A. aggressively………referendum
B. clandestinely………..revolt
C. wittily…………..upheaval
D. wickedly……….invocation
Solution for the Question:
Conspiracy has to be planned secretly, "Clandestine" means secretly. The words "against" and "oppressive government" also give the hint that a revolt has to be plotted.
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Tips for IIFT Reading Comprehension
IIFT 2016 had 4 passages and if there are close to four passages in IIFT 2017, then it will be impractical to attempt all the passages, as it is highly likely that the passages will be lengthy. In general, the length of passages in the exam varies between 1000 to 1200 words. This makes it extremely tough for you to solve all the passages. In 2016, the RC section was the surprise as it featured shorter RCs which were fairly easy. Keep in mind that two out of four reading comprehensions are of easy to moderate level. You would require a good reading speed to maximize score in the reading comprehension section. Also, majority of the questions in the RC section are factual in nature and this means that by going through the questions first, you can easily spot the relevant facts in the passage and answer the given questions.
Tips for IIFT English Usage
The English Usage section is likely to be dominated by questions such as vocabulary based ones spellings, sentence completion, analogies etc. followed by sentence rearrangement and grammar based questions.
To score well, you should try your level best to increase your reading speed, maintain an accuracy of 70 to 80 percent in the section and practise English usage based questions like sentence completion, analogy, error identification, etc. Make sure that grammar fundamentals are also taken care of, as it is highly likely that at least 3-4 questions will be based on grammar part error/sentence correction.
Key Learning:
If you score 12-15 marks in the verbal section (combined), then it is probable that you will clear the cutoff. The question is: in order to achieve this target, how many questions from the two VA and RC sub-sections do you need to attempt? Keeping in mind the time-constraint scenario, for the Reading Comprehension sub-section, you can comfortably attempt 9-10 questions, and for the English Usage section you can attempt 11-13 questions.
Start with vocabulary, Para-jumbles and other non-RC questions. Maximize your attempt in these questions. In the first go, do not attempt question types that are unique or you have not solved before. Maximize your attempt in other areas first. Normally, the passages in IIFT are lengthy but not difficult as they have direct or fact based questions. Time management will be a key in RC questions.
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