The MBA entrance exam season officially
kick-starts with the IIFT 2015 examination on the 22nd
of November. With the exam just around the corner, it makes sense to go through
the important strategy points for the exam.
Unique nature of the exam:
The first thing that you need to keep
in mind is that IIFT has a unique exam structure. It not only consists of
sections but also has sub-sections. This means you need to be careful and pick
your battles wisely in the exam.
I sincerely hope you have gone through
the past year papers for IIFT (at least for the last three years) but in case
you haven’t, make sure this is the first thing you do. This would enable you to
understand the nature and structure of the exam.
Cut-offs for IIFT:
In order to crack the exam, you need to
know the cut-offs for it. The table below highlights the cut-offs for the last
The above table contains indicative
figures or the last two years. You can see from the tables above that the
cut-offs are not too high for the exam. An attempt of about 60 questions out of
100 can help you clear the exam, keeping in mind that you have a fairly decent
Time-utilization is the key
The IIFT exam is not only about conceptual
knowledge but is driven primarily by how you manage time in the exam. The key
point is that you need to attempt the maximum possible marks in the given time
limit. Why do I say so? Because of the differential marking scheme in the exam.
Have a look at the following piece of
Gk questions carry 0.5 mark each.
English Usage questions carry 0.75 mark
RC questions carry 1 mark each.
QA, DI and LR questions carry 1 mark
On the surface, it seems that RC
questions are a better bet than GK or EU questions but the problem is that RCs
in IIFT are exceptionally long. Even though the questions are factual, the long
passages make it tough for you to attempt all the questions. So it makes sense
that you only solve 2 passages in the exam and leave the rest or you scan the
questions and search for the factual data in the passages. This way, you will
be able to maximize your attempt in the paper.
The second area where you will struggle
to maximize the marks is to time ratio is DI. IIFT DI generally contains
cumbersome calculations and you need to be again wise with your selections in
As a ground rule, make sure you try to
attempt the maximum possible marks and select your questions accordingly. Remember,
the exam has sectional cut-offs and by simply focusing on one area of the exam,
you might end up in trouble.
Important points related to exam
There are some important things that
you should know about the content of the IIFT exam.
One, it generally contains 15 or so
match the following questions. In comparison to other questions, these are
easier as partial matching allows you to solve the questions. So make sure you
are on the lookout for these questions.
Second, the QA portion of the exam has
undergone some changes in the last couple of years. The focus has shifted to
Arithmetic and Algebra and questions from areas such as Functions,
Trigonometry, Set Theory and Binomial theorem have disappeared from the exam.
Third, the English Usage section
generally features some easy sentence completion, grammar and para-jumble
questions. Some vocabulary based questions might feature some tough words but
overall, the level of questions is comparatively easier than CAT. So be on the
lookout to maximize your scores in this area.
Fourth, as you can see from the table
above, the GK section has very low cut-offs. IIFT GK is unique in the sense
that it literally features questions from any possible area and does not have a
consistent pattern. You should be prepared with the current affairs for the
last few months and this should help you clear the cut-off for this section.
Make sure you do not make random guesses in this section as the cut-off is
really low and you can clear it with the help of a few questions.
The above completes the strategy points
that you should keep in mind for the exam. Make sure you do not take undue
stress while appearing for the exam and achieve the best possible score by
using a combination of clever question selection and knowledge.