IIFT 2016-18 was along the expected lines, it appears that the paper setters went through my blogpost GP’s 10 foolproof fundas to Crack IIFT and implemented everything that was mentioned. So all the key ingredients of IIFT papers like “match the following” questions, the South Indian Thali, lengthy but factual RCs, difficult DI sets and, most importantly, incorrect questions (13 incorrect or ambiguous questions) were all available in the paper.
You may view the analysis of IIFT 2016-18 paper here.
If we have to compare IIFT 2016-18 analysis to old IIFT test papers, then the closest will be IIFT 2014-16. Not only do these two papers have the same structure (combined EU+RC and DI+LR) and marking scheme but also four out of six sub-sections of these two papers are similar in terms of the degree of difficulty, the question types and also the possible attempts. The two sub-sections that have deviated from the 2014-16 paper are GK and DI which are similar in terms of structure but have a higher level of difficulty.
Hopefully you would have calculated your IIFT score, if not then you can do using the CL IIFT Score Calculator.
Let us now look at each section in detail.
28 questions @ 0.5 marks per question = 14 marks
The GK section was along the expected lines and with questions from all topics. Unlike IIFT 2014-16 paper which was easy and candidates with decent GK could have comfortably attempted about 15 questions, this year the level of difficulty went up and candidates with decent GK would have attempted only around 10 questions in about 8 minutes. What would have given relief to the candidates were the 6 match the following questions as most of them could have been solved with a single match.
In IIFT 2014-16 the sectional cutoff for GK was 1.8 marks and with a higher level of difficulty I expect the cutoff to be in the region of 1.5-1.8 marks or 4 net correct answers were sufficient to clear this section. CL students who went through the GK section of Mock IIFTs and the GK compendium would have found at least 6 questions from there which was sufficient to clear the sectional cutoff.
English Usage and Reading Comprehension
EU 20 questions @ 0.75 marks per question = 15 marks
RC 16 questions @ 1 mark per question = 16 marks
English Usage: As usual vocabulary based questions comprised half the questions in this section. A couple of questions each of Parajumbles, Idioms, Phrasal verbs and figure of speech completed this section and one could have comfortably attempted 16-17 questions in about 15 minutes. A few questions had close choices and would have led to 3-4 errors but a score of around 10 marks was easily achievable.
Reading Comprehension: The four long RC passages with a majority of questions being factual in nature made this a regular IIFT RC section. Attempting 3 RC passages in about 20 minutes was possible. Some students even came back to do an extra passage after realising that DI was extremely difficult and attempted almost all 16 questions of RC.
While candidates strong in EURC would be scoring 18-20 marks and a score of over 15 marks was not difficult I expect the EURC cutoff to be around 6.50 marks.
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
LR 20 questions @ 0.75 marks per question = 15 marks
DI 18 questions @ 1 mark per question = 18 marks
Logical Reasoning: Students would have breezed through this section, except for a data set (exporters – USA, UAE, UK) in which 2 questions are incorrect and hence would have led to time wastage, all other data sets and single questions were easily do-able and the section could have been easily completed in a 25-30 minutes leading to a net score of 11-12 marks.
Data Interpretation: The low level of difficulty of LR was compensated by a very high level of difficulty of DI. The DI section in this paper reminded me of the old IIFT papers in which an attempt of a 3-4 questions in about 15 minutes was an achievement. It would have been painful for most candidates to move from set to set and hardly find a DI set or question worth attempting. Added to this is the fact that two of the four data sets had typographical errors and questions could not have been solved without making assumptions.
Most of the candidates would have settled for the data set with a “multiple bar chart on scores on Competitiveness Factors” leading to an output of 3-4 attempts in 10-15 minutes.
A cumulative score of around 15 in LRDI was possible but the sectional cutoff would be around 8.5 marks.
QA 22 questions @ 1 mark per question = 22 marks
This section too was along the expected lines, simple questions made to look difficult by converting 2 line questions to 8 line ones. Most of the arithmetic questions were straight forward and the algebra questions could be easily solved by substitution of choices. IIFT did not disappoint us wrt incorrect questions, there are 3 questions that are either incorrect or ambiguous or in which none of the choice is correct.
About 15-17 questions in 35 minutes was possible in QA and the cutoff should be in the region of 6.5 marks.
The Final Word
The fact that IIFT has a complex structure but simple questions means that it is a test of temperament and not knowledge. Hence the candidates who did not get flustered with the difficult DI and were able to reallocate their DI time to RC would have done well and should be expecting IIFT interview call. General Category candidates with an overall score of around 45 with the sectional scores in excess of the cutoff should be short listed by IIFT for the next stage. The overall cutoff for NCOBC candidates is expected to be around 40 and that for SC, ST, PH candidates around 35.
IIFT test results are typically declared by end December and the interviews are conducted one month later, hence the candidates expecting IIFT calls should start their PDP sessions immediately after CAT, waiting for results or XAT will not allow you sufficient preparation time.
All the best,