IIFT 2019 – Last minute tips

The CAT is done and dusted!! The next BIG test of the 2020-21 MBA Admissions season is here – the #IIFT2019 entrance test. This test is the gateway to IIFT Delhi and IIFT Kolkata, B-Schools that are counted amongst the top 30 B-schools in India. Both campuses have a integrated selection process with common cut-offs for the test. The test is going to be conducted ONLINE for the first time. So, if you have applied to take this test on 1st December, read on for some last minute tips and strategies and improve your chances of getting a call for the next round of the selection process, i.e. GD & PI.

  1. Be Positive – Whatever be your level of preparation you need to give it your best shot
  2. Reach the test centre on time – carry all documents as instructed in your admit card.
  3. Be prepared for any surprises. The IIFT test has always had a very peculiar structure may it be in terms of number of questions per section or the marking system or the areas that are generally clubbed together in a section. The test structure in the last 2 years was as follows:
Section IIFT 2018 IIFT 2017
# Qns Marks/ question Total # Qns Marks/ question Total
Data Interpretation 20 1 20 20 0.75 15
Logical Reasoning 20 1 20 20 1 20
General Awareness 18 0.5 9 18 0.5 9
Reading Comprehension 16 1 16 16 1 16
Verbal Ability (English) 20 0.75 15 20 1 20
Quantitative Ability 20 1 20 20 1 20
Total 114 100 114 100

With the test being online, you can expect some changes in the structure this year – but remember this should not affect your performance in the test.

  1. Know what score to target: While the usual mantra of “Maximise” holds true for this test too, you need to be extra careful about achieving sectional cut-offs – simply because there are no sectional time-limits. While the sectional cut-offs are not too high (most of them are sub-5 numbers), we have still had cases in the past where a student has missed out thanks to not clearing one of the sectional cut-offs. 

    The 2018 overall cut-offs for IIFT-Delhi and Kolkata campuses:

    Male candidates: General: 32.25, OBC: 27.25, SC: 22.25, ST: 22.25, PwD: 22.25.

    Female candidates: General: 30.25, OBC: 25.25, SC: 20.25, ST: 20.25, PwD: 20.25.

  2. Know what is being tested: If you have solved past IIFT papers (at least the last 3 years), you would have realised that the nature of questions asked in the test has more or less remained the same over the years.
    1. Quant questions are usually lengthy and quite often interlink math concepts with real-life situations. However, a bit of patient reading and application of basic concepts should help you solve a decent number of questions from this area.
    2. DI sets have generally been calculation intensive over the years –I am sure you would wish you were provided the calculator for this exam:(
    3. Vocabulary usually dominates the Verbal Ability section but you will also find a decent number of grammar questions here..
    4. RCs are characterised by a mix of short, long and very long passages – with a majority of questions being direct in nature. So, ensure that you attempt the short passages for sure and the longer passages if things don’t go too well in the other areas.
    5. The reasoning section usually has a mix of Logical reasoning and verbal reasoning questions. If you had prepared well for CAT, you should be able to handle the LR section pretty well.
    6. General Awareness questions were mostly based on current affairs. Most of the times students have no clue about how to prepare for this section as the ‘syllabus’ has no bounds. But for #IIFT2019, if you do a quick round-up of the various news and events over the last 1 year then you should not find it difficult to clear the cut-off for this section.
  3. Before you start the test – formulate your strategy based on the sectional breakup that is usually given as a part of the instruction page. This plan should comprise:
    • Time that you will allot to each of the sections/areas: Allot time to each area based on its weightage and expected time to solve the questions. Have some buffer time assigned to take care of any contingencies. There are no sectional time-limits – but ensure that you do not overspend time in one section at the cost of another. Be in control of the time – try and stick to the pre-decided time limits for each area/section. My time distribution for last year’s paper would be something like this: VA-10 min; GK – 10 min; Quant – 30 min; DI-  15 min; LR – 25 min; RC – 20 min; Buffer – 10 min.
    • Order in which you will solve the sections/areas: It would be a good idea to first solve the areas where you are stronger or where you are likely to take lesser time. My preferred sequence would be GK-VA-Quant-LR-DI-RC.
  1. While solving a section, do not think about other sections. While solving a question do not think about other questions. The key is to focusing on the job in hand.
  2. Do not overspend time on any question – and fall prey to the “I will conquer Russia” syndrome. Move on – you may find easier questions ahead.
  3. The test has negative marking – so do not indulge in wild guessing even if you believe you are not doing too well. At the same time, do not get over-cautious and under-attempt.
  4. Do not get stuck in a particular section. Do not get demotivated if you don’t do well in a particular section- maybe it has been difficult for everyone.
  5. It is OK to have a low attempt in some of the areas (enough to meet the corresponding cut-off) as long as you cover it up with a brilliant performance in your strong areas so that you meet the overall cut-off.

Watch out the IMS website for an in-depth analysis of the IIFT 2019 paper immediately after the test on the test day.

So, All the best for IIFT 2019!!



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