How to Prepare for IIFT GK?

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) conducts a test for admissions to its various MBA programs in Nov-Dec every year. Traditionally, the GK section in IIFT has been of higher level of difficulty as compared to SNAP, CMAT, MAT, etc. Due to this, a large number of applicants fail to clear the sectional cut-off of the GK section.

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In this article, we will help you understand the type of questions from this section that can be expected in the IIFT test. Further, we will give you a methodical strategy to prepare for this section.

Even though the weightage for GK is less, however, each and every mark counts in this exam. Thus, it is advisable that you do not take this section lightly.

Why is GK Important?

Better accuracy: GK based questions give you the opportunity to increase your accuracy. This is because, if you know the answer to a GK question, there is no scope for confusion!

Time efficiency: Further, the GK section is highly helpful in time management as there is no calculation-work and analysis involved. You can use this to your advantage by allocating more time to other sections of the examination.

Good back up: The additional GK section in the IIFT exam can also act as a good back up for you, especially if you feel you are weak in any of the traditional sections like Quant, Verbal, DI, Reasoning, etc.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Static 16 13 12 11
Current 9 5 6 9
Total 25 18 18 20
IIFT GK – Past Year Paper Analysis

Table 1 gives you an analysis of the IIFT GK sections. As you can see, there is no discernible pattern that emerges from the table above. Thus, your best bet is to spend appropriate time and energy on both, static and current GK. As you can see, where the IIFT GK 2016 section was more balanced in terms of Static and Current GK questions, IIFT GK 2017 was dominated by Static GK questions. In 2018 IIFT GK, there were mixtures of topics checking general awareness of the candidate across the all areas. In 2019, Gk was again dominated by static but questions covered wide range of topics like business, geography, international economy etc.

Level of Difficulty and Sectional cutoffs

As mentioned earlier, the GK section of IIFT Test is relatively more difficult. This is reflected (Table 2) in the low sectional cutoffs for the GK section in the past few years.

Thus, you have to be careful in picking up questions and focus on clearing the cutoffs.

  2016 2017 2018 2019
GK Sectional Cutoff* 1.5 (out of 12.5 marks) 0.75-1 (out of 9 marks) 0.83-1 (out of 9 marks) 3.5-4.5 (out of 30 marks)
*figures are indicative as IIFT does not release official cutoff marks
2019 IIFT GK Analysis
Gk section had 20 questions with 1.5 marks per question and -0.5 marks for each wrong answer thus, totaling 30 marks in overall score. Although the Gk section was easier than IIFT 2018 but it was still on the tougher side. The questions were from a number of topics like Personalities, Corporate logos, Corporate entities, sports, International trade organizations, Currencies, etc. Students need to be extremely well prepared to clear the section. Unlike last year, the questions were not lengthy in nature. This allowed students to finish attempt the section only five to ten minutes. There were some baffling questions as well. Going by the previous years’ trends, the sectional cutoff for this section has been very low so far, though this year there may be a tiny movement northward. An attempt of about 8 questions with about 60-70% accuracy in about 7-8 minutes would be considered a good attempt.
2018 IIFT GK Analysis
The Questions were from a variety of topics like Personalities, Corporate logos, Corporate entities, sports, International trade organizations, Currencies, etc. This required students to be extremely well prepared to clear the section. The questions asked were comparatively easier than last year but still on the tougher side. It had remained moderate as compared to IIFT 2017. Each correct answer carried the weightage of 0.5 Mark with 0.17 negative marking for wrong answer. Sectional weightage is 9% in overall exam.
Sample Questions
Let us take a look at a few easy level questions from the IIFT 2018 test, to check your current level of preparation:
1. Which of the following is NOT an activity generally carried out by using a shell company?
A)   Production and Manufacturing
B)   Transfer Pricing
C)   Tax Evasion
D)   Raising funds for starting business
2. Match the Biographies/Autobiographies of India's sport players:
1. The World Beneath His Feat      :         a. Milkha Singh
2. Imperfect                                      :         b. Mary Kom
3. The Race of My Life    ;               :         c. Sanjay Manjrekar
4. Unbreakable                                 :         d. Pullela Gopichand
A)  1-d, 2-c, 3-a, 4-b
B)  1-a, 2-b, 3-d, 4-c
C)  l-c,2-a,3-d,4-b
D)  1-b, 2-a, 3-d, 4-c
3. Correctly match the following terms?
1. Isobront                   :     a. Joins points with the same light intensity
2. Isocheim                  :     b. Joins points with the same wind direction
3. Isogon                      :    c. Joins points with the same mean temperature in winter
4. Isophote                   :    d. Joins points of a given phase of a thunderstorm activity
A)   l-d,2-c,3-b,4-a
B)  l-a,2-b,3-c,4-d
C)  1-d, 2-a, 3-b, 4-c
D)  1-a, 2-c, 3-d, 4-b
4. Which of the following is a correct sequence of Sea Ports of India from 'South to North'?
A)  Cochin → Vizhinjam → Kozhikode → Mangalore
B)  Kozhikode → Vizhinjam → Cochin → Mangalore
C)  Vizhinjam → Cochin → Kozhikode → Mangalore
D)  Vizhinjam → Kozhikode → Mangalore → Cochin
5. Which of the following industry is the not covered in the 'Index of Eight Core Industries' in India?
A)  Electricity
B)  Crude Oil
C)  Natural Gas
D)  Pharmaceutical
6. Which of the following statement about American Businessman Elon Musk is not correct?
A) His full name is Elon Reeve Musk
B) He is Argentina-born American entrepreneur and businessman
C) He founded in 1999 (which later became PayPal), Space X in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003
D) He is instrumental in leading the design and manufacture of electric Sedan and SUV cars
7. Which of the following company has designed the humanoid 'Sophia'?
A) Hasnenn Robotics Ltd.
B) Hanson Robotics Ltd.
C) Hansnow Robotics Ltd. 
D) Hemsen Robotics Ltd.
Question No.
Answer Key
Static GK

As the name suggests, Static GK consists of areas that do not change over time. You may expect questions from the following sub-topics in Static GK:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economy
  • Companies and Brands
  • Indian Political System & Constitution
  • Organizations
  • Science & Technology
  • Sports
  • Miscellaneous – This section includes questions on various awards and honors, important international dates, books and authors etc.
How to Prepare Static GK

While the syllabus for the Static GK section seems to be very vast, it can be completed effectively if you choose authentic and reliable sources to study from. Refer to these books for further understanding of GK topics - Bulls Eye Static GK Pack and NCERTs.

Current GK

In Current GK, you may expect questions from these broad areas:

  • Economy
  • Business & Corporate News
  • Indian Polity
  • Organizations
  • New Developments in Science & Technology
  • People in News
  • Sports
  • Miscellaneous

Questions from Current GK will focus on the important national and international events in the past 12 months in the areas mentioned above.

How to Prepare Current GK

Current affairs are the most dynamic part of the syllabus and you can prepare them from our Hitbullseye Gk Web portal which we is constantly updated. Along with the question bank and for articles, check our 'Special Report' and 'Topic of the week' column. We strongly recommend you to read newspaper, preferably 'The Hindu' on a daily basis.

Attempting the IIFT GK section

Ideally, you should not spend more than 10 minutes on the IIFT GK section. This will allow you to allocate more time to other time-consuming sections. Further, we advise you to follow a 2-cycle method of attempting this section:

Cycle 1
  • Identify the very easy questions and mark their answers
  • Identify the questions, which you think you can attempt i.e. you feel that if you spend more time on such questions, you may be able to guess the correct answer.
  • Identify the questions, which you think you CANNOT attempt i.e. questions about which you have no idea. These questions are best left untouched.
Cycle 2
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In the second cycle, mark the answers of maximum possible questions that you have identified in Step (2) of Cycle 1 through intelligent guessing using option elimination. For instance, if you are confidently able to eliminate 2 options out of 4, we suggest that you go ahead and attempt the question.

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