Understanding the IIFT Exam Pattern

Among various MBA entrance exams in India, IIFT has the most challenging and interesting exam format. Some of the stand-out features of the exam are: a unique marking scheme accompanied with differential marking, multiple sections divided into sub-sections, and a variable number of total questions in the exam. The unique nature of the exam also means that it gives a lot of jitters to numerous students. Understanding the pattern of the exam is of paramount importance as it will help you in formulating a winning strategy to tackle the exam.

IIFT Exam Pattern
Section Sections No. of Questions Marks per Questions Total Marks Negative Marks/Questions
Section - 1 Quantitative Analysis 25 3 75 1
Section - 2 RC & Verbal Ability 35 3 105 1
Section - 3 DI & Logical Reasoning 30 3 90 1
Section - 4 General Awareness 20 1.5 30 0.5
  Total 110   300  
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This table clearly highlights the fact that differential marking plays an important role in IIFT and you should allocate time as per the weightage of each question.

Suggested Action :
Download IIFT Previous Year Papers

Following are some more details about IIFT;

Number of Sections 6 (Include Sub Sections)
Marks Per Question Differential
Negative Marking 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question
Duration 2 hours
Number of questions Variable (123 in 2016, 114 in 2017,114 in 2018 and 110 in 2019)
Total Marks 300
Sectional cut off Yes
Mode Computer Based Test
Further Reading :
Check in-depth expert analysis of IIFT 2019

While IIFT has not specified the syllabus for the exam, generally the areas tested in the exam are: English Usage/Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and General Knowledge.

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Tips for IIFT Exam Strategy
The major takeaways based on the above analysis are as follows:
  • Give equal importance to all the 4 sections, including sub-sections, as clearing sectional cut- off is the gateway to move ahead.
  • Keep a proper tab on the time management as there is differential marking scheme.
  • Overall, the IIFT test can be best managed if you follow a three-pronged approach - ensuring concept familiarity, developing application orientation and sharpening test-taking strategies.
  • For Quantitative Aptitude a decent attempt could be between 11-15. In Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning students should aim to attempt 12-16 questions and in general awareness section you should aim to achieve the target of attempting 4-8 questions. In reading comprehension and verbal ability section, one should try to attempt 23 to 28 questions.
  • The Verbal section is a mix of Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Grammar based questions. The IIFT aspirants have to focus on sharpening their reading skills along with other components on English language. The verbal ability checks the student's vocabulary and grammar. One should have knowledge of other elements like analogy and idioms also to score well in this section.
  • Generally, GK sections have very low cut-offs, so you need not attempt a large number of questions. Also, this section features 'Match the following questions' type of questions. Make sure you go through these as even if you know some of the correct matches it might help you solve the question.