IIFT managed to surprise everyone this time around by keeping the format almost similar to that of last year. The number of sections remained the same, the number of questions increased slightly and the negative marking was also same as that of last year. The only major change was the absence of a mention of if there would be any sectional cut-offs(it was explicitly mentioned last year).
A review of the paper vis-a-vis last years paper:
General Awareness: 30 questions* 0.4 marks per question=12 marks
Last year, this section was one of the easier ones to have appeared in recent times. This time around, the section was neither overtly easy nor was it undoable. Few intelligent guesses and a basic knowledge of certain hot topics was enough to take care of this section. One of the questions had an option Samaranth Jung which was a typing error. Last year, they had taken care of similar wrong questions in the Data Interpretation section by awarding marks to everyone(including those who hadnt attempted the set). Rest of the GA section focused on Business GA topics as has been the trend with many match the following questions(16 out of the 30 questions in this section). The marking scheme was similar to that of last year with an increase in the number of questions. Someone who had done his homework properly could have attempted around 10 questions confidently. A good score in this section would be around 2 marks and a score of over 3 should be very good.
Quantitative Aptitude: 30 questions*1 mark per question=30 marks
Eerily similar to last year, this section had a similar set of questions(binomial expansion, cutting corners off a square, partnerships, a question on derivatives, a series question, etc.). Someone who had practised the last few year papers would have a better chance of not panicking in this section and doing only what was short and sweet. Few questions were outright undoable and a vigilant aspirant would not have touched them thus saving valuable time. Last year, the cut-off for this section was 3 marks. This time, for a serious aspirant, the benchmark would be raised slightly. A good aspirant could have attempted around 8-10 questions and a good score in this section would hover around 6-7 marks. Any score of above 9 would be a great score.
Logical Reasoning/Data Interpretation: 35 questions*1 mark per question=35 marks
Again, very much similar to last year. The section had a healthy percentage of LR caselets (15 questions) and the remaining were DI questions. The tables and charts were very much like yesteryears IIFT papers with involving intense calculations. There were a few sitters embedded between the difficult DI questions which if picked and nailed would have led to a few bonus marks. The LR caselets were straightforward and should have been right at the top of an aspirant’s to-do list. A good aspirant could have easily done around 13-15 questions in this section. A score of around 10 in this section should be good and any score above 14-15 should be a great score.
Reading Comprehension: 15 questions*0.7 marks per question=10.5 marks*
Very much similar to last few years RC sections. Questions requiring choosing a correct/incorrect statement, match the following questions, arranging events in a chronological order questions, this section had all the qualities of an IIFT RC section. The first passage about Kodak was the easiest of the four passages and the questions were pretty easy to do. The passages on Law of small numbers and predictions of individual responses werent that straightforward and required some searching. The last passage about Warren Buffett was again doable and could have been done. The major change here was the fall in the number of marks per question to 0.7 from last years 1 mark per question. This, coupled with no mention of sectional cut-offs would have attracted fewer eyeballs. One could have done around 7-8 questions in around 15 minutes in this sub-section and then gone for greener pastures. A score of around 3 marks would be a good score in this section and any score above 5 marks will be very good.
Verbal Ability: 25 questions*0.5 marks per question=12.5 marks*
And as the trend has been till now, again very similar to last year’s VA section. The vocabulary questions ate up most of the space in this sub-section(14 out of 25 questions) the rest being occupied by parajumbles and sentence correction questions. The level of difficulty was on the lower side but then, the rewards were less too. A good strategy would have been to rush through this section finishing it in around 15-20 minutes. A score of around 5 would be good in this section and any score of above 8 would be excellent.
*RC and VA were the subsections under a common section.
Overall, as compared to last year, no mention of sectional cut-offs would mean that aspirants would have gone for the kill in the easier sections while getting a bare minimum in the others. If sectional cut-offs are considered, they wont be significantly higher than what they were last time around. The overall cut-off was 37.40 last year (inclusive of the marks awarded for the wrong answers). So, this time around, taking into consideration a serious aspirants familiarity with the paper, a score of above 35 would be a safe score, good enough to fetch a call.
There has, traditionally, been only a single list for the GDPI-Essay call getters and the process after that is also common. The allotment to different campuses(Delhi and Kolkata) is done at the end of the process. So, going by past trends, there shouldn’t be different cut-offs for the two campuses.