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.

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IIFT 2021 Exam Pattern Highlights
IIFT Conducting Body National Testing Agency (NTA)
IIFT Exam Mode Online-Computer Based
IIFT Exam Duration 2 hours (120 minutes)
Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Number of Sections Section 1: Quantitative Ability (QA)
Section 2: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Section 3: Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI)
Section 4: General Knowledge (G.K.)
Total Number of Questions Not Fixed (110 Questions in 2020, 114 Questions in 2019; 123
Questions in 2018)
Types of Questions Multiple Choice Questions
Negative Marking 1/3 Marks
Marks per Question 3 marks for each right question in Section 1, 2, and 3
1.5 marks for each right answer in Section 4
Total Marks 300
Official Website www.iift.edu
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  

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.

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.

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.
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