GP’s 9 fool-proof fundas for IIFT

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Among the Indian MBA entrance exams, IIFT entrance exam is possibly the most complicated; it has multiple sections (and sometimes subsections also), no sectional time limits, differential marking for questions of different sections, negative marking for incorrect answers, insufficient time and at times does not clearly specify if it has sectional cutoffs. In other words this paper checks out your ability to manage time, ability to take the right decisions (choose the easy questions) with insufficient information under a situation of constrains (insufficient time) with penalty for incorrect decisions and achieve the goals without being fully aware of the rules.

The changes in CAT’14, pattern of the paper and the dates of the test, have proved to be a mixed bag for the IIFT aspirants. While the changed pattern of CAT’14 (2 sections, 100 questions, no sectional time limits) brings it closer to IIFT and makes preparation easier but with CAT’14 scheduled for 16th & 22nd November and IIFT on 23rd November, 50% of the candidates have back to back papers, even the fortunate ones with CAT on 16th November get only a week to reorient themselves. With a little over 3 weeks to D-day, let us understand the paper structure, its peculiarities and work out the best way of tackling the paper. We will take into account the IIFT papers of 2009 – 13 for this purpose.

The IIFT Paper

Contrary to popular belief that the IIFT paper is unpredictable, the reality is that like any other paper it can be predicted. While most people prefer to look at the differences, I prefer to look at the commonalities or the constants of the paper to work out the strategies for cracking the paper. Hence let us first have a look at the constants in the IIFT paper structure:

1. Time limit: 2 hours or 120 minutes.

2. Number of questions: The number of questions in this paper varies from 120 to 135.

3. Total marks: All papers are of 100 marks.

4. Multiple sections: IIFT papers typically have 4 – 6 sections. DI could be combined with QA or LR and RC could be an independent section or combined with EU.

5. Areas tested: Irrespective of the number of sections or sub-sections IIFT papers test you on the following areas:

  1. English Usage
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Quantitative Aptitude
  4. Data Interpretation
  5. Analytical Reasoning
  6. General Knowledge

6. No sectional time limit: IIFT does not prescribe any sectional time limit and expects the students to not only allocate appropriate time to each section but also ensure that this time allocation is implemented.

7. Differential Marking: Questions of different sections have different marks but in almost all papers GK & EU questions have the minimum marks and QA & DI questions have the maximum marks.

8. Negative marking: Negative marking is a standard feature in IIFT. Usually it is 1/3rd of the marks allocated to the question for every incorrect answer.

9. Good Attempt: Till 2010 a good attempt was around 50 marks, but in the last two years, with the reduction in degree of difficulty of QA, DI and RC a good attempt is 60-65 marks.

10. Low Cut-off: The cut-off for general category candidates in IIFT 2012 paper was 50 marks which was the highest in the last few years. In 2013 the cut-off was around 47.5 marks and in 2009-10 the cutoff was less than 40 marks. The cutoffs for reserved category are typically lower by 5 marks for NCOBC and 10 marks for SC/ST/PH candidates.

However, it should be noted that a partial reason for the cut-off to go up substantially in the 2011 paper was that the number of candidates called for the second stage was reduced by around 10% in 2011 as compared to 2010. Also the level of difficulty of QA, DI and RC has reduced  since 2011.

IIFT did not declare its cutoffs for 2013 (IIFT 2014-16) and the cutoffs mentioned in this post for the test conducted in 2013 are estimates and could be off by 0.5 marks in total and 0.2 marks in sections.

11. Sectional cut-off: While in the past IIFT has been silent on this aspect but in the last couple of years it has declared sectional cut-offs for all sections. Even if the question paper does not specify this, it is safer to assume that there will be sectional cutoffs and attempt the paper accordingly.

12. Wrong questions: Every IIFT paper has 5-6 incorrect questions or questions in which none of the choices are correct. Possibly trying to see how you handle chaos.

Strategy Tip 1: The Marks per minute funda Given that the marks per question in IIFT is different for different testing areas, it is important for us to attempt questions in a manner such that the score is maximized. EU and GK usually have the lowest marks per question but they also take the least amount of time. Similarly, QA and DI typically have the highest marks per question but they take more time to solve. In other words, “marks per minute” is more important than “marks per question” and your target should be to maximize the marks in 120 minutes.

Strategy Tip 2:  The Target Attempt Mystery Since IIFT is usually silent on the aspect of sectional cutoffs, we cannot assume that it is not there. In 2012, for the first time, IIFT declared its sectional cut-offs. Given that the total score required to clear IIFT in 2012 was 50 marks (45 for NCOBC and 40 for SC/ST/PH) with very low sectional cutoffs, your target attempt should be:

  1. in the  region of 35-40% of the total marks in the section and
  2. at least 60-65 marks in aggregate.

Strategy Tip 3: Finding the Perfect Match The IIFT paper has around 15 “match the following” questions in GK, EU and RC. These have to be definitely attempted since most of them can be solved on the basis of 1 or 2 matches out of 4 by eliminating the choices.

Now on the basis of the last 3 years papers of IIFT, let us go deeper into all the areas that are tested to work out a plan for preparation and also the strategy to do well in the test.

English Usage (EU): The 20-25 questions in this section are primarily from vocabulary, sentence completion and sentence correction with a couple of questions from para-jumbles (short sentences) and spellings. Vocabulary is the least time-consuming sub-section in the test but many students are likely to find the words difficult. Grammar or sentence correction is easier than that in CAT and sentence completion questions (word, sentences and phrases) are also do-able.

A good starting point for preparation is to know the meaning of every word that has appeared in the question and the choices of the last 5 years IIFT papers. Vocabulary questions that have appeared in past XAT and FMS papers are also useful for IIFT. The vocabulary section in the Test Gym will be of help in this regard.

Strategy Tip 4: When in doubt – leave. Give this section (EU) about 10 minutes for 20-25 questions and attempt only those questions that you are sure of. When in doubt leave and do not bother to read the lengthy questions.

Reading Comprehension (RC): For the last few years RC, has contributed 15-16 questions in 4 lengthy passages. While the length of the passages has come down over the years but with 800 – 1000 words they are lengthier than the ones in all other MBA entrances. The passages are mostly factual and not difficult to understand or answer. In addition to the RC passages of past IIFT papers, RC passages of CAT 1990-98 should also be practised since most of these are lengthy and factual.

Strategy Tip 5: The 7-8 min rule Glance through the passages and attempt two passages, @ 7-8 minutes per passage, which you are comfortable with based on the subject of the passage. Do not target attempting all RC since this section gives minimum marks per minute.

IIFT 2012 and 2013 papers had 20 questions of EU and 16 questions of RC (@ 0.75 marks per question) in a single section of 27 marks. The cut off for this section was only 7 marks in 2012 and 5.75 marks in 2013.

Quantitative Aptitude: After CAT the IIFT-QA will be a relief for most of you. Arithmetic and Algebra are the mainstay of IIFT papers in QA. IIFT papers have questions primarily from Ratios, TSD, T&W and Percentages, Simple equations, Sequences & Series and Inequalities with a couple of questions each from Geometry, Mensuration and P&C and Probability. Till 2010, IIFT papers had questions from Functions,Trigonometry (mostly height and distance), Set Theory and Binomial Theorem also hence these areas should not be ignored. It will be useful to revise the important MCQs of these topics also.

IIFT 2012 and 2013 had 25 QA questions of 1 mark each and one could easily attempt 15 questions in 25 minutes but the sectional cutoff was only 6 marks in 2012 and 6.34 marks in 2013.

Strategy Tip 6: Find the Sitters Many IIFT QA questions are lengthy to read but easy and short questions are sprinkled across the paper and there are 4-5 questions that are not worth attempting. This section should be attempted in 2 Rounds – R1 for the short and easy questions and R2 for the lengthy to read questions.

Data Interpretation: DI in IIFT typically contributes about 15-20 questions in 4 sets. In terms of calculation intensity these are a couple of notches higher than CAT essentially because of very close choices. While most of the data sets are tables and graphs, caselets have also appeared in the past. Data Sufficiency questions have not appeared in IIFT for the last 5 years and hence can be ignored.

IIFT 2012 and 2013 DI was easier than its earlier editions due to lesser calculation intensity. Both papers had 4 data sets with a total of 19 questions and one could attempt 3 data sets with 14-15 questions.

Strategy Tip 7: The DI and RC connection Apply the RC strategy in DI, attempt only two DI sets – the easiest and least time consuming sets in about 15 minutes and ignore the rest.

Analytical Reasoning: In the 20 Reasoning questions in IIFT test, you should expect 2-3 questions each of arrangement, eligibility criteria, syllogism, coding-decoding, course of action, mathematical operators and alphabet & number series. Hence it is advisable that all these be practiced from your study material.

Questions of arrangement, eligibility criteria and mathematical operators are easier to solve if you work systematically and also take less time, attempt them first. For the rest go by your comfort level.

Strategy Tip 8: Maximize! This is the section to maximize your scores since the level of difficulty is low – medium and reasoning questions usually have the highest marks per question. Questions can be solved in about 1.5 minutes each. Plan to attempt all questions in this section.

IIFT 2012 and 2013 had 20 questions of AR (of 0.75 marks each) and 19 questions of DI (of 1 mark each) in a single section of 34 marks. This sectional cutoffs in 2012 and 2013 were 8.917 and 9.75 marks respectively.

General Knowledge: This is the area that most of the students are most worried about also The GK in IIFT is possibly the most unpredictable among all MBA entrances. It can have questions from country-capital-currency, authors-books, business, advertising, films, politics, geography, history etc. In short, anything under the sun can be asked. The saving grace is that the regular newspaper readers will not have a problem.

For preparation, download the IIFT GK Compendium and Question Bank. Also do go through the GK quizzes in Management Compass of the last 8 months and the static questions of last 6 years IIFT papers. The GK app (android) by CL will be out in a day or two and  should be of help in preparing for this section. The GK preparation will also be useful for XAT and SNAP.

IIFT 2012 and 2013 had 28 questions (of 0.5 marks each) and 5 correct answers were sufficient to clear the section since its cut-offs were 1.667 marks in 2012 and 1.8 marks in 2013.

Strategy Tip 9: The Last Word Plan for not more than 30 seconds per question in GK, leave the question if you are not sure of the answer. An attempt of around 7-8 questions is good for this section.When in doubt leave is the right strategy for this section also.

Practicing past IIFT papers will help you in CAT, if you can handle the complexity of IIFT then managing 2 sections of CAT will not be difficult. Also IIFT will push you to increase your speed and this could help increase your attempts in CAT. As suggested in 4 Weeks to CAT’14 – Ab billi door nahin, do attempt the last 4 IIFT papers, time permitting you can go back till 2008. For a detailed analysis of past IIFT papers please refer to the analysis of past IIFT papers in CL Exam Corner.

All the best.


321 thoughts on “GP’s 9 fool-proof fundas for IIFT

  1. Sir,

    Why was the cut off for IIFT so high during some past years? Has the paper been easier or what? Also, can you please elaborate the GK section preparation.

    • The cut-off went up substantially in 2011 paper because the number of candidates called for the second stage was reduced by around 10% in 2011 as compared to 2010.

  2. sir what is the difficulty level of the Quant section with respect to CAT? Should i practice questions which are the same level as CAT, or higher or lower?

  3. Sir,
    I have just started preparing for CAT and have realized that i am slow(speed) in solving the questions…so please help me out how can i improve my speed???

    • Akshay, speed increase with practice and effort. Stop using calculators, try to remember telephone numbers, mug up squares (1-30), cubes (1-20), square roots and cube roots (1-10). This will over a period of time improve your calculation speed. Similarly read a lot, try to read faster and it too will increase.

  4. Sir, what about sectional cut-off in IIFT, its there or not.
    How do we know in advance that sectional cut off is going to be there ?

    • IIFT is a more difficult paper than CAT primarily because of its structure. On a scale of 10 I would put CAT around 7 and IIFT 9.

  5. In the GK section,
    1) Are the questions more towards the current happenings or static awareness?
    2) Are the majority questions based on Indian general awareness or the world

    • Prabal, IIFT GK has questions from all over. The answer to both the questions is “Both”. Please go thru the GK section of past IIFT papers.

  6. Sir,
    Will it be adviseabl (aftr attempting almost all d qstns of AR) 2 try attempting only 50% of d qstns of all the remaining sections..nd den proceed 2 d sections as per strengths for further attempts
    2)What wud be a decent attempt in QA section..!!

    • Pramod, I am okay with this strategy. It will need good time management.
      2. An attempt of 12-15 questions is a good attempt in QA. Between QA and Reasoning you can target 30 marks if you are good in this area.

  7. sir a lame question but require your advice . how should we go about marking the questions in iift omr sheets . should it be done simultaneously while attempting the questions or should we mark them on the question paper and then into the omr in one go .

    • Pramod, I prefer to mark the answer as soon as I solve for the single questions and forgrouped questions after completing the data set or the group.

  8. Hello sir,
    Thanks for posting.
    Can we strategise which section to attempt first and which one later?
    Specially if i am weak in DI

    • Ananya, it should be based on your comfort level. My preference is:
      Scanning the paper 5-8 min
      GK 10 min – no guesswork, focus on match the following
      EU 10 min – focuson vocab, leave lengthy questions
      RC 15 min – 1 to 2 passages depending upon the length
      Reasoning 30-35 min – Focus on single questions. LR in the end.
      QA 30-35 min – Focus on Arithmetic, 2R approach
      DI 15 min – 1 – 2 sets of data, leave lengthy questions unattempted.

  9. Hi Sir,

    Could you please provide us the link for IIFT GK Compendium and Question Bank, which will be useful for our preparation.
    Also, are IIFT papers of last 5-6 years available in SIS?
    If not, please provide us the link to download it.

  10. Hi Sir,

    cud u pls give me any tips as to how to solve lengthy and calculative DI..
    Any links or books where tips and tricks to solve calculative DI is given would suffice….
    I am really suffering in these types of questions in all speed based examinaton.

    PLS HELP..

  11. Sir, can you please post the overall cut-off marks (general category) for getting a GD-PI call from IIFT for the past few years ( 2005 to 2011) ?

  12. Sir.

    only 1 video has been uploaded on the CL youtube site, when can we expect the other 2 :( ?
    and any more sessions being planned??
    please help !!

  13. Hi GP sir,
    I wanna know should I see your SQC videos now, will they help me out in IIFT paper , as i was not able to attend your SQC webinar but have the videos with me as of now.
    Another thing is that please upload the ppt of iift gk webinar(by rajat sen) either on your blog or on class apart .

  14. Sir in the few days left for IIFT , apart from GK and mocks should we concentrate on specific areas that we are not very comfortable in or would it not be of much use ??
    Should we concentrate on higher maths as it is generally said to form a large portion of IIFT , though last yr is wasn’t so.

    What exactly should be our preparation schedule for the next 8-9 days for IIFT?
    Please reply sir :)

    • Apologise for missing out on your query. From IIFT perspective you should focus on GK, Past Papers and IIFT FLTS & Mock.
      For GK go thru the GK compendiums for IRMA, SNAP, IIFT, the IRMA and IIFT GK webinars and finally the quizzes in the last 6 issues of Management Compass.
      For Matha (QA) the past papers, mock and FLT are more than enough. Do not worry about higher Maths. It did not come last year but before that most of the time one would not attempt the questions of higher maths because they were difficult/time consuming. So your focus still has to be the rest of the QA – mainly Arithmetic and Algebra.
      Focus on Reasoning because this is the only area that can be completed in IIFT. Practice the question types from your study material.
      In the next 7 days take the FLTs and revise the important questions from past papers of IIFT.

  15. Sir I wanted to understand the commercial aspect of seminars conducted by CL Educate. I am a CL student but still I have to pay Rs 99 for each seminar conducted on IIFT. I appreciate the effort and I also appreciate the fact that these seminars are open for all students. But CL students have already paid some amount to be part of CL team and paying an amount at every step however small is an encumbrance.

    • Rachit, the primary reason for charging a nominal fee for these sessions is that in free sessions many students register and do not turn up and since we have limited capacity many students miss out. Typically in a free session the drop outs are to the extent of 60-70% while in a paid session it is less than 10%. Also since the recordings are available a couple of days after the session no one looses out.

  16. Sir,

    1.Are there any sectional cutoffs in IIFT,and were there sectional cutoffs last year??
    2.weightage of number systems and geometry in quant
    3.also please give some tips on di and rc sections

    • 1. As mentioned in this article:
      Sectional cutoff: IIFT is silent on this but data suggests that it does not have sectional cutoffs.
      2. Geometry typically does not have more than 2-3 questions. No system, Arithmetic and Algebra formed the bulk of questions in IIFT 2011
      3. DI and RC section: Please go thru the article again.

  17. Sir i am CL-Ludhiana student. IIFT mock was scheduled to be held tomorrow but the Ludhiana center is not conducting it. They say they haven’t got the papers from the head office. I have registered for tomorrow’s evening analysis and it would be a waste then. Please intervene and make sure that we are able to take the test tomorrow itself. Thanks!

  18. Sir i have just received a call from the Center Director. They will now conduct it tomorrow itself. Thanks a lot! Looking forward to the analysis tomorrow! Regards

  19. Sir
    I am slow and not very strong in QA /DI sections. But my strengths lie in VA RC and AR to some extent.But these areas specially VA/RC are time consuming and award less”Marks per minute spent” in comparison to QA and DI sections.Also after completing these sections i am pressed for time for the QA/DI ssections which are more rewarding in terms of marks.

    Please advise me how to attempt the paper better to capitalize on my strengths and maximize my marks.

    Do reply sir :)

    • Sim, VA does not take time in IIFT – focus on the vocab based questions. Even if you attempt the lengthy to read questions, like PJ, you should be able to finish it in 15 minutes. While for RC there is no solution unless the length of the passages is reduced but in Reasoning you can maximise your score.
      In QA do only the short questions and ignore the lengthy to read questions, an attempt of 12-13 questions in 25 minutes should be enough. In DI, like RC, choose the questions carefully and attempt around 4 questions in 10 minutes.

  20. Sir
    Could you tell me whether IIFT Delhi is better than IIFT Kolkata in terms of the faculty and the placement activities? I mean are the two centers very different educational quality-wise?

  21. Dear Sir,
    Tomorrow is the d-Day..! Kindly guide as to what should b the best utilisation of today….should we practice questions of various sections or should we just read read read thru?

  22. Hello Sir,
    In the article you have mentioned that we shoudl select 2/4 in RC and DI.
    Can you tell us how to choose the 2?
    RC : Should it go with length of passage or topic?
    DI : How to determine which 2 to select?
    Pls reply as deciding 2 of 4 has always resulted in time waste for me (bcoz i am not sure which way to decide)

    Thanks a lot for your help!!

    I am hoping reply will be sent to my mail also sir.

    • Akarsh, for RC go by the length and the subject of the passage and for DI go for the data which is easy to understand. Difficult to understand will be time consuming.

  23. Wrote the test today. Paper explicitly mentioned it has sectional cut-offs. I felt the paper was easy, though I was guarded in my approach. Consider 2 wrong answers (at max) in each section. Attempts
    QA – 11/25, GK – 18/28, LR – 9/19, DI – 11/20, VA – 17/20, RC – 12/16 :) Overall – 78/128 :)

  24. Hello GP Sir

    I made a major blunder in the IIFT exam. I forgot to write the Question Booklet Serial Code on the answer sheet (havent filled in the circles even for this) and the invigilator also dint check this :( . Do i hope to get my scores or consider it as a lost cause. Can you also suggest what I can do to probably get this corrected now. I have written the question booklet code in the attendance sheet.

      • Thanks for your reply sir. The last line seemed reassuring. No one responded on that number given (probably becaue of the holiday today) so I have written to the admissions office. Waiting for their reply. Really hoping for this thing to get rectified as I am expecting an IIFT call.

  25. sir i hav taken iift this year …sir, as per the CL solutions my score is 39.5 …wat should be the cutoff as per u and is there any outside chance of my clearing it ?

    • Udit, If IIFT gives the same number of interview calls as last year then you do not have a chance but if the number of interview calls are increased by 10% then you might get a call.

  26. Sir,

    I have given a good IIFT paper and as per the answer key my score is 60.5. I have high scores in all the other sections but in the GK section I scored 5.5. I am slightly apprehensive about the sectional cut-off for the GK section. Could you please suggest if I may expect a call for the next round.

      • Thank you sir.
        Its a lot of relief, especially because I was very disappointed with my performance in CAT. Sir, I would like to know if the GDPI rounds for IIFT is any different from other management institutions and if so, how?

        • Subarna, Hope you are attending your PDP classes, IIFT results could be out by end Dec/beg Jan and the interviews are normally scheduled around end Jan. It has a GD and an interview.

    • Praneet, the GK webinars are held twice a month. Please check the schedule with your CL center. IIFT GK webinars will be scheduled closer to the test.

  27. Sir,

    I took IIFT 2012 today in complete test enviornment and I ended up scoring the following marks:

    1. Section 1 Part-1 (LR) = 6
    2. Section 1 Part 2 (DI) = 3.33
    3. Section 2 (QA) = 15.67
    4. Section 3 Part-1 (VA) = 3.75
    5. Section 3 Part- 2 (RC) = 6
    6. Section 4 (GK) = 1.33

    Some of the questions of GK were last year’s so i guess last year would have attempted 2-3 more questions in GK.

    Sir can u throw some light on my performance & where I need to improve in last 2 weeks and how? Coz my overall score is 36.08 which is way lower than 50 despite clearing 3 out of 4 sections’ cut-off.

    • Akriti, continue with what you were doing for CAT and attempt the last 6 IIFT papers. Additionally go through the GK videos/webinars, the GK compendiums and Gyandhara on SIS.

  28. sir can I take cat exam two times in a year…

    how many examination are there for doing M.B.A.


    in 10 my percentage is 51.06 in intermediate 70.04 and in graduation 53 so which examination is good fir me….

    • Ajeet, As off now work on the assumption that CAT is only once a year.
      With your low marks in school/college the top IIMs are ruled out but all other institutes are possible. Also the other exams are very important since they do not have high focus on past acads. In addition to CAT you should take CMAT, SNAP, NMAT, IIFT and XAT also.

  29. Sir,
    IIFT-2012 scorecard is available and I did not know it. recently checked it and got to know that I had the following marks distribution:

    The cut-off in LR/DI is mentioned as 8.917 and probably this was the only reason I missed a call last year. Can you tell me whether the overall cut-off was also higher than what I scored? Also, what really should I improve on this year?

  30. Sir, thanks again for such a wonderful article but I want to bring to your notice that IIFT 2012 had 28 questions of GK and IIFT 2011 paper had the cut-off of 35.5 marks for GEN category.

    • Deepak, thanks for pointing out the error – it was 28 questions of 0.5 marks each adding to 14 marks. I mixed up the number of questions and marks. This has been corrected.
      Regarding thr IIFT 2011 cutoff, I remember it as 45 but will check it again.

  31. Sir,

    As far as I have seen while practising the RC passages of past papers, the CAT passages were shorter when compared to other exams, specially IIFT.
    Till CAT, my approach would be to simply read the whole passage and then attempt the questions, but for exams like IIFT, with every second important (plus longer passages), that approach seems wrong; yet by reading the questions and then skimming the passage for answers, I’m generally getting stuck on two options for a question.
    So, what would be your suggestion to handle these longer passages sir?

    (I consider the RC section as one of my strengths, hence the question sir.)

    • Aabir, practice RC from CAT 1990-98 papers.
      My suggestion is to skim the passage and then answer the questions. IIFT has more factual (or specific detail) questions and hence skimming (with or without reading the questions) will work. YOu will obviously need to practice the technique in the next few days.
      Since RC is your strength area target 3 RC passages in 20 minutes.

  32. Sir, where can I get the latest issues of the Management Compass Magazine? I am a test-series student of CL, so, will I not get the magazine at some price?

  33. sir, I have nmat on 16th nov.. what should I do in last week ??
    what is the difficulty level as compared to CAT ?? Are there durect formula based question ??

    • Vanshraj, Please contact your center for IIFT, SNAP and XAT Mocks and FLTs.
      NMAT has sectional cutoffs, you should ensure a minimum score of 55 in LS, 65 in LR, 75 in QS and an overall score of 210.

  34. SIR , thanks a lot for your prompt reply to my queries . YOU are really a saviour to mba aspirant students like us :) who don’t get correct guidance inspite of spending thousands of rupees to other coaching insitutes . sir, if you don’t mind i have mailed you some additional doubts on the same topic . please find some time to reply to those queries sir . thanks a lot =D

  35. Hi,
    Thanks for the guidance…
    1) From where to prepare for AR?
    2) As per your description summation of sectional cutoffs came to around 25 marks whereas overall cutoff was around 50 and our target should be another +10. So what would be the policy to bag this extra 35-40 marks??


    • Amartya, Do attempt the last 6 years IIFT papers, these will give you sufficient practice for AR.
      The IIFT cut off has gone up due to reduction in the level of difficulty. The sectional cutoffs are very low because most of the students mess up the time management aspect. Assuming the level of difficulty to be the same as IIFT 2012, one should have maximised in AR and QA. For more details please refer to the IIFT 2012 analysis available in CL Exam Corner.

  36. Hi Sir,
    As we all know that the cutoff of the IIFT has considerably increased over the last three years.Keeping that thing in mind ,what according to you should be an ideal score one can aim for irrespective of the difficulty of the question paper ?
    Also mention the sectional scores one can aim to achieve .

    • Udit, the degree of difficulty cannot be ignored while deciding the target score. Given that the sectional cutoffs are very low even in the easiest paper (last year) I would not be worried on this aspect. Keeping in mind last years paper your target score should be 60 marks.

  37. Hello Sir,

    My slot was 5th nov morng slot (Had one of the toughest VA/LR section among all other slots.can be confirmed even on other MBA forums and websites)

    QA/DI : 25A (24-25C) : 71-75 (for sure)
    VA/LR : 21A (15-17C) : 39-47

    Sir my querry was what percentile to expect ?
    And secondly i got a tough slot in VA/LR but the percentile predictor doesnt know of that fact neither it considers it..
    So obviously a tough slot will not be graded equally with a medium slot in what is a good score in tough slot of VA/LR ?

    Also RCs where not simple at-all (i had seen last year CAT RCs and they where no-where close to this years RCs level)

    I had 4 hypothetical questions and 4 inference questions (just 2 main theme)

    And one LR set was nearly impossible to crack.

    • Saurabh, I have responded to this query of yours in another post. Repeating it for your reference.

      Rohini, normalisation is a black box that has not been explained by CAT/Prometric and hence you should ignore it. In case it comes into play then your percentile will go up.
      With a raw score in the range of 114-122 you are definitely around 99%ile and should start PDP early so that you are well prepared for the next stage of selection.

      • Thank you for your prompt reply Sir :)
        Actually i posted it on different threads of yours because i was unsure in which of those you currently active in.
        Thanks again.

        Also how precise is percentile predictor ?
        What is the cut-off set in that to cross 99.8 mark ?

        • Rohini, how precise can only be answered on 14th Jan but I am confident that it gives a reasonably good estimate. Now that CAT is over and we have more data in place we are re-looking at the predictor and may make some changes.

          • Thanks a lot sir :)
            A very thoughtful initiative..Also i think most of the people are confident about their attempts and high accuracy (but mostly their accuracy isn’t as good as they think it to be) As in mocks too i have seen people say with cofidence that they have attempted most correctly but end up with low accuracy (This is not the case for the serious CAT candidates)
            I feel in Percentile predictor many put their best case scenario case

            I feel you must release 2 percentiles (one most likely) and other best case scenario percentile prediction.

  38. Hi Sir,
    As we all know that the cutoff of the IIFT has considerably increased over the last three years.Keeping that thing in mind ,what according to you should be an ideal score one can aim for irrespective of the difficulty of the question paper ?
    Also mention the sectional scores one can aim to achieve ….

  39. Hi
    GK is one of my biggest weaknesses. As per to the stats mentioned above its cut-off last time was 1.66. Would it be a good approach if I attempt only 5-6 questions that i know and start working on QI and LR-DI that are comparatively stronger areas for me.
    Pls advise

    • Mayank, yes this is the right approach. FOr GK preparation focus only on the topics that you are comfortable with and ignore the rest. A surs shot attempt of 2.5-3 marks is good enough.

  40. Sir please find some time to reply the queries i mailed you in addition to the enlightment you already gave me with your terrific insights on CET. thank a lot sir

  41. respected sir
    wanted to knw dat in last year iift’s paper there was a question on the arrangements of heights. none of the answers matched but in the solution provided it was mentioned that since none of the answers were matching( arrangement in ascending order) therefore we will choose the one given in the descending order. wanted to knw if it is the correct way to answer any question

  42. sir I want to take cmat exam again and my english and gk section is so weak sir I want to strong my these section so sir give me some tips for English section and how can I improve my gk section.

    which field is most important for gk….

    thank you

  43. Sir,
    IIFT presents a kind of unprecedented dilemma. I have decent quant and english usage skills. The problem here is the Reasoning section. After having given CAT, in which reasoning made much more sense, IIFT reasoning is borderline irritating. So is RC. Now if such were the case, what would be the order in which YOU would attempt the paper, I mean, which section first and so on, to maximize your score?
    Looking forward to your reply.. :)

    • themellifluousbitsian, I would start with GK giving it 10 minutes and attempt only those questions whose answers I am sure of, next I would give 15 minutes each to EU and RC attempting 2 RC passages. In RC the questions are usually factual hence I would glance through the questions, skim the passage and then answer the questions. If required I would not hesitate in going back to the passage. The remaining 80 minutes would be divided into 30 minutes LR, 15 minutes DI and 35 minutes to QA. In LR I would target all questions except the input-output type, in DI I will target 8-10 questions and in QA target 22-23 questions @ 1.5 minutes/question.

  44. Sir, My profile is
    X- 82.3%
    XII- 86%
    Btech- 7.6 CGPA(5th sem )
    I am fresher and I am planning to give CAT 2014 is there chances for IIM ABCor for IIM I and K if i got good percentile in cat ?

    • Shubhank, If possible try to pull up your CGPA to 8.xx and you will be able to get a call from the top IIMs with a good CAT percentile.

  45. Sir,
    1. Are there any sub sectional cut offs as well. I took IIFT 2012 in proper test environment and ended up increasing my score considerably when i attempted only LR Questions(Part 1) and leaving out DI Questions(Part 2) than when i had to attempt both.
    2. Also, when the paper is categorized into 6 sections with no sub sections as in IIFT 2011, it is getting very difficult to give time to DI and RC passages.
    I have mailed my query regarding the same. Please help, whenever it is possible for you to reply.

  46. Respected sir,

    Can you tell me whether kolkata and delhi iift have same cutoff..
    Please reply.

    Thanks in advance,

  47. Hi,
    Somewhere above in comments you mentioned that you think attempting GK (10 mins) EU-RC (30 mins) and rest 80 mins in QA, and LRDI in this order is a good choice.
    Although I feel that if I start with Quant and LR (my comparative stronger areas) and then go to EU-RC and GK, it should be of help as attempting QA and LR first might help me gain confidence and thus perform better in other sections too and avoid those silly/unforced mistakes.
    What do you suggest?

    • Mayank, the right way of handling any paper is different for each one of us and it has to be based on ones strengths & weaknesses and on our comfort level. What I have given is based on what I have found works for most of the students but if you are more comfortable QA, LR+DI followed by EU+RC and finally GK then go ahead with this pattern. Do check it out in a couple of papers to ensure that it is working for you.

  48. Sir,
    You said “Abhirup, the overall cutoff was 50. Also final selection would have been difficult at a score below 55-56.”
    However here”” the topper of IIFT is shown to have scored 48 marks.

    Kindly clarify, as the target score could make or break an attempt for an aspirant.


    • Raj, this is not possible. The general category cut off for interview calls was 50 marks in IIFT 2012 paper. It is possible that the said student belonged to SC/ST/OBC category and hence got a call at 48 marks, this however was not the highest score.
      Incidentally the IIFT sectional cut offs are also incorrect in the said website.

  49. Hello Sir,
    I would like to know if IIFT is a better option or JBIMS because checking the records both have similar rankings and placements and the fees for JBIMS is low as compaired to IIFT.. whats your view on the same?

  50. Sir,
    I noticed you may have skipped my query, and it’s still awaiting moderation. Kindly response.
    You said:
    “Abhirup, the overall cutoff was 50. Also final selection would have been difficult at a score below 55-56.”
    However here the topper of IIFT is shown to have scored 48 marks.

    Should we target 40-45 or 50-55? Kindly clarify, as the target score could make or break an attempt for an aspirant.


  51. Sir, How is IIFT Kolkata? Is it at par with IIFT Delhi(esp. in terms of placements)? Like IIFT Delhi, which is one of the topmost college, at what level should IIFT kolkata be considered(analogy with any other college would help).

    Thanks in advance.

    • Asim, IIFT Kolkata is in popular perception considered inferior to IIFT Delhi due to its age but the quality of students is almost the same (same cut off for written test and for final call difference is 1-2 marks) and placements are at par. IIFT Kolkata can be compared to the new IIMs.

    • Rahul, videos have been uploaded in place of a few of the webinars.
      Webinar for Mock IIFT analysis is scheduled for this evening, Current affairs for thursday and lat minute tips for Friday.

  52. sir, what is the cut off for gk in iift in 2012.. many websites have mentioned it as 7 marks// and sir, you mentioned it as 1.667.
    Sir, please clear the vague on that!!
    which one is correct??

      • Sir,
        Please through some light on your preference for New IIMs over SPJAIN, and as NMIMS was in controversy last year,should that be considered as a factor while considering the college for admission.

        • Mayank, This is difficult because SP Jain is a very good institute with good placement record. The location is also a big advantage. The new IIMs will be over 5 years old in 2016 when you will pass out and the IIM tag will be there with you for life. At present I will be inclined towards SP Jain but this will have to be on a case to case basis.

  53. SIR..
    Mere SIS me MOCK IIFT kab available hoga?
    sirf 5 days hai IIFT k liye..?
    maine 09999444948 is number pe call kia ,but this sir neglected my query very rudely and cut the call….
    please help…sir…

  54. Hi Sir,
    Could you please let me know what is a good attempt for the iift practice papers given in CL’s material Take-off for quant as well as verbal


  55. Aabir, the purpose of scanning the IIFT paper in the first 5 minutes is to get a hang of the paper. The instruction page on the top of the paper gives you the structure of the exam and you should do a preliminary time allocation for the sections. When you are allowed to ope the paper then:
    In GK check out how many match the following questions are there.
    In QA check out the length of the questions.
    In DI check out if the data/graph are easy or difficult to understand.
    In LR check out if the section confirms to the normal pattern.
    In EU check out if the section confirms to the normal pattern.
    In RC check out the length of the passages.
    Based on the above firm up your sectional time allocation and start the paper.

    On the second point, faculty in CL do not mark answers to ensure that we do not eat into your seats. Most of the faculty outside CL are section specialists are usually unable to get the required score for a call.

  56. I gave iift mock and flt 1 for practice…What I have observed is that I lack speed. How should I divide my time…The section I attempted with time was GK- I gave it max 10 min (perhaps I should reduce this)…Could not keep track of rest of the sections…Can you suggest, how many ques I should target section wise to score more than 50 marks?

    • Chetan, the key to success in IIFT is maximise in LR and QA and not waste time in RC and DI.
      You can consider giving 15 minutes to RC for two passages and similarly target 10 questions of DI in 15 minutes. With 10 minutes to GK you will be left with 80 minutes which can be split as 15 minutes for EU, 25-30 minutes to QA and 30-35 minutes to LR.

    • AM, while attempting the paper you can only leave it or mark the closest or most appropriate choice as the answer. My suggestion will be to leave them since most of the time you would not know if you have made a mistake or if the question is wrong.

  57. Hi Sir,
    Just wanted to ask if there has been any year so far when IIFT had both sectional as well as sub-sectional cut-offs. Also, is it true that in SNAP, there will be no sectional cut-offs this year?

    • Manik, to the best of my knowledge it has not happened so far in IIFT. It has had only a sectional cut off and overall cutoff. Sub sectional cut off has not been there.
      As per the SNAP bulletin there will not be any sectional cut off this year.

  58. sir,
    does iift flt can be available in pdf form….??? i am lucknow cl student but my hometown is far away form there….so it is not possible to go there and any cl centre is not available nearby……i called my centre but they told me i have to collect it from centre….pls help

  59. Sir,
    I am a bit slow when it comes to QA ,especially towards the start. Hence, always end up disturbing my strategy in lieu of clearing the cut off in QA. If only I can tackle this section appropriately, I think I can manage remaining. Can you suggest any alternative? Should I rather stick to my plan of time per section? Which section should I begin with?
    Thank you.

    • Varun, my suggestion is to stick to time per section, since you have starting trouble in QA you can consider attempting it immediately after DI or LR. This will hopefully get you in the groove for QA.

  60. sir,
    due to some reason i was not able to attend the session of current affairs for iift on 21 nov… there any way to get ppt. of that…
    please reply
    thank you

  61. I got 52 marks in CL IIFT Mock but then again, I couldn’t clear the cut off for the ’07 paper of IIFT (150 questions). How much is the difference between IIFT papers of today and that of yesteryears and any comment on whether I’m over the bridge or buried under it, wrt cut of?
    Thanks a lot.!

    • themellifluousbitsian, forget the 2007 paper. Only the last two year papers are important. The QA of these papers is different from that of the earlier versions and the DI/RC is also significantly easier.
      The Mock IIFT cut off is 45 so you are clear.

  62. Sir,
    I realized that in IIFT 2008 paper multiple answers for single question were present. what is the probability that it would be this year too?

  63. Sir, I am from general category. My IIFT score according to CL key is 51.47 with sectionals (DI=3.67,LR=9.5,QA=15.67,GK=4.13,EU=12,RC=6.5). How much chance do I have to get a call from either campus sir? Is my score “good enough”?

      • Thanks for the reply sir.Sir I am worried about my marks in the DI+LR section. Some centers are mentioning that cut-off in this section will be 15-16+ and I have got just around 13. Will this be a problem? How much confident should I be about getting a call? because I also need to start preparing for interviews.

  64. Scored 46.42 overall in iift 2013 according to various answer keys…di&lr- 19.58, gk-5.17, va & rc-9, qa-12.67….any chances of getting a call from iift

        • Vishal, based on your IIFT score, GD-Interview preparation is not required. You should give preference to your SNAP and XAT preparation. However if your expected CAT score is over 95%ile then you should start your GD-Interview preparation.

  65. Sir, my score according to the key is 51.58 with following sectionals: Quant-16.67, DI- 3.33, LR- 15, GK- 4.33, EU- 8.25, RC-4.
    What are my realistic chances?
    Also, does academic profile play any role in shortlisting of candidates?

    • Raja Kapoor, with an overall score of 51.58 and decent sectional scores are likely to get a call IIFT. Academic profile does not play any role in shortlisting in IIFT, obny the IIFT score is considered.

  66. Sir, my score according to the key is 51.58 with following sectionals: Quant-16.67, DI- 3.33, LR- 15, GK- 4.33, EU- 8.25, RC-4.
    What are my realistic chances?
    Also, does academic profile play any role in shortlisting of candidates?

    • Rohan, you are most likely to get a call from IIFT. Al sectional scores are above the estimated cut off. Academic profile does not play any role in shortlisting for the interview.

      • Sir, thanks for your prompt reply.
        Currently am not a CL student. Can you tell me whether there are courses provided for guidance to clear essay and gd-pi rounds of various colleges?

        • Rohan, Personality Development Program (PDP) prepares student for the post written stage of MBA institutes and takes care of all selections tools – GD, GE, Interview, Extempore, etc. Which city are you from?

  67. Sir, what has been the highest score in this exam in past, for instance last year??
    Can we see this exam just as a qualifying exam or does higher score here signifies smooth pass through the 2nd round?

    • l k, IIFT has not disclosed the weightage for various components in the selection process but a high score in the written test does help in final selection.

    • Kapil, your QA score is low but should not be a problem. The GK cut off last year was 1.667. You should make it to the interview shortlist. Start preparing for the interviews.

    • Lovina, 6.34 is likely to be on the border, last year the cut off for this section was 6 marks. Hopefully you will clear. What is your score in other sections.

  68. Sir, my score according to the key is 47.67 with following sectionals: Quant-16, DI- 9.67, LR- 10.5, GK- 4.5, EU- 3, RC-4.
    Any realistic chances for Interview call?

  69. i have scored gk.6.75 eng-5.75 lR and DI =15.25 quants 6.75 total 34.5( few of question i attempt but not know the option i marked so i treated as wrong and evaluated and manage to score 34.5 marks according to ur key i am really worried in eng i scored 5.75 will i get a chance for interview i have 3 yrs work exp in core.
    i belong to sc category pls reply

    • Arun, the last year IIFT cut off for SC category was 40 marks and this year too I expect it to remain the same. You are unlikely to get a call from IIFT. The sectional cutoff for English last year was 6 so you are on the edge. In case a few questions that you have assumed incorrect turn out to be right then you could make it to the shortlist.

  70. Greetings Sir,
    I thing i messed up my iift paper. As per CL keys, my scores are :
    QA : 11.68
    DI :8.02
    LR: 9

    OA :47.03
    NC OBC … What are my chances for interview call and also will that be sufficient for conversion?Kindly suggest

    • Vaibhav, you should make it to the interview shortlist, your scores are above the last years cutoff both sectional and overall (45 for NC-OBC).

  71. Hello Sir,

    I am an NC-OBC candidate I think I messed up with QA section of IIFT. My scores are

    What are my chances?

    • Akshat, you should make it to the interview shortlist, the QA cut off in IIFT last year was 6 marks and the overall cut off for NC-OBC was 45 marks.

      • Thanks for the response sir.
        One more question Does the job experience carry any weightage in the GDPI round?
        I have a work ex of 30 months.

        • Akshat, most institutes have some weightage for work experience and while IIFt has not shared its selection criteria it is expected that those will work experience will have some advantage. Also most of the aspirants are able to handle the group discussion and interview better.

    • Falguni, it is difficult to say if the GK cut off will increase over last year. Your overall score is fine and hopefully you will get a call.

        • Falguni, NM Mumbai FTMBA is ranked below IIFT but it too has a good reputation in the industry and should be considered favourably. 225 is a very good NMAT score and you will get a interview call from all NM programs.

  72. Sir i have an overall score of 53.25, gut a GK score of only 3 according to the analysis. Will the GK score be enough to pull me through? Various websites are mentioning GK cutoff as 6-7 marks..

  73. Sir, I am a general category student. As per answer key my score in various sections of iift 2013 is :
    qa : 17.67
    di+lr : 21.33
    ga : 5.83
    va+rc: 12
    Total : 56.83
    Can I expect a call from IIFT. On various other sites the last year sectional cut off for verbal is said to be around 14. :(

  74. Sir, I am getting an overall of 64.25 in IIFT 2013 …but my QA score is only 10.33 from CL keys….Will I be able to clear QA cut off?

  75. GK : 2.5
    VA+RC= 6
    QA =7.33
    LR+DI =11
    OA = 26.83

    SC category candidate. what are my chances ? (The scores are according to TF key)

  76. sir …, i have calculated my iift 2013 scores 50+ but i messed up with quant section.., in quant section, i have just 5 marks.. is there any chance of being shortlisted??

    • sir …, i have calculated my iift 2013 scores 50+ but i messed up with quant section.., in quant section, i have just 5 marks.. is there any chance of being shortlisted??

      • Niharika, QA cutoff is likely to be around 6 marks and hence a call is difficult despite a 50+ in the overall score. Let us hop for the best.

  77. Hi sir,
    CL key I am getting qa=15.33, va=12, di and lr, 8.66+9.5, ga= 5.75 OA 51.33
    I belongs to Ncobc what are my chances to getting the a call.

    • Anuj, start your PDP classes immediately, call from IIFT is confirmed for you. Your sectional and overall scores are above the estimated cutoffs. Last year the NCOBC cutoff was 45 marks.

      • Sir, I joined only test series courses from CL(Pune Center). am i eligible for attending the PDP classes?? also cl CAT percentile predictor show my percentile 95.95 which college i should apply.

        • Anuj, Test Series does not include PDP, however as a TS student you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Please contact Pune center for details. Start PDP early as at 95%ile you are likely to receive calls from MBA institutes.

    • Shradha, QS cutoff is likely to be above 70 and a call from NM Mumbai may not be possible. Suggest you go for a retake with a minimum target score of 75.

  78. Hello sir,

    My score is as below:

    Quant = 12.67
    DI = 10.67
    LR = 10.5
    GA = 4.33
    Verbal = 5.5
    RC = 4.5
    Total = 48.17

    Do I stand any chance of getting a call from IIFT?

    • Manjeet, a general category candidate is unlikely to get a call from IIFT at a score below 49 but it is a borderline case and things could move your way. YOur VA+RC score of 10 is also on the edge. Focus on XAT and SNAP and keep your fingers crossed.

  79. IIFT 2013 Score according to your answer key:
    QA – 10
    VA – 9
    RC – 4
    DI – 9
    LR – 2.25
    GA – 5.83
    Overall – 40.08
    What are my chances?

  80. Hi sir,

    I have got GD/PI call from IIFT.This is my first call.What am I supposed to do next for its prep?I am a resident of Bangalore and an ex-CL student as well as present Smart Test Cracker & Test Gym affiliator.

    • Abhinav, start your interview preparation immediately. You will have to divide your time between XAT and PDP. Please contact CL Bangalore as they would be starting a IIFT focused PDP batch.

  81. Sir,
    Are their other institutes in india which offer a dual specialisation degree apart from IIFT..??
    Also do they have an option of information system management in specialisation like IIFT ??

  82. sir but the following is from iift website..

    3. What are the specializations offered in the MBA (IB) Programme at IIFT?

    The first year, consisting of three trimesters, is a core course which encompasses all the basic functional areas of management. In the third trimester students are taught the nuances of international aspects of these functional areas. The second year is when students get to choose their preferred area of specialization viz. marketing, finance, trading or systems and IT.

  83. sir but i am not interested in foreign trade. but still everybody gives its exam..should i also give it if i am interested in marketing and want to work in an fmcg.. and not in foreign trade??

    • Avni, if it is marketing that you are looking at then IIFT should also be considered. FMCG companies do pick up IIFT graduates for marketing and also for international business. Please refer to the IIFT Placement report for details.

  84. Sir,

    I have converted IIFT-D. I am not much aware about foreign trade and would like your views on the college, course and ROI. I am interested in Marketing as I have 2.5 Work Exp in Product marketing. I also have my IIM-Indore Interview scheduled soon. I would like to know which among the two would be a better option considering placements, ROI, Course ware and recognition.

    Thanks in Advance

    • Aakash, IIFT is an excellent institute and while it offers MBA in International Business its course is similar to that of a general MBA and you can get into marketing even after IIFT. IIM Indore is a bettter option but you should join IIFT if you do not make it to IIM Indore.

  85. Sir, The CMAT results are out and I wanted to ask you if the Colleges shortlist students on the basis of raw score or percentile? My percentile is 87.22 and score is 176. Any decent college within the grasp?

  86. sir,
    i am doing previous year cat papers. i planned to do all papers of 2000-2008 (except DI) and DI 1990-1998. my exam is on 16th. so i cannot do more than this as i had to do revision and also practice some more mocks. is it sufficient to do only above mentioned papers?

  87. hello gp sir
    we are waiting for your view on mock CAT reveal by CAT 2014. there are some new ques like IIFJ. question from some topic like PARA COMPLETION, ODD MAN OUT are missing so can we expect that actual CAT will be same as that of mock cat reveal by cat 2014 in term of question type.


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