How to prepare for the IIFT 2022 exam?

How to prepare for IIFT
How to prepare for IIFT

How to prepare for IIFT?

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up in 1963 by the Government of India as an autonomous organization. IIFT is considered as one of the top-notch B-Schools and Consistently ranked among the top 15 B-schools in India. The IIFT Entrance exam is conducted for admission into its flagship program, MBA (International Business) which is being offered at IIFT’s New Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada campuses. The IIFT 2022 exam has been scheduled for 5th December 2021. With around one month to go for the IIFT entrance exam, candidates have a lot of questions on how to prepare for it, and also have questions on how to leverage their CAT preparation to score well in the IIFT exam. In this article, let us have a look at how to prepare for the IIFT exam, and also the additional topics that one must prepare for apart from the topics that one have prepared for the CAT exam.

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IIFT Mock Test Series (in the latest pattern)

Taking the mocks that mimic the exam pattern, syllabus, interface, and difficulty level are very important for IIFT exam preparation. IIFT Exam is a 2-hours online test with questions asked from English Grammar, Vocabulary and Comprehension, General Knowledge and Current Affairs, Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Quantitative Analysis. Take an IIFT mock test to evaluate yourself. Solve Previous IIFT Papers to make yourself comfortable for the actual exam; this can also help you know how the exam has evolved over the years.
As we know, the overlap between the syllabus for CAT and IIFT is huge. The CAT online preparation will help you a great deal in improving the scores in the VARC, LRDI, and Quants sections.

IIFT Exam Pattern

First, let us take a look at the IIFT exam pattern:

Based on last year, the IIFT exam will have multiple-choice questions. Below is the exam pattern of the IIFT Exam.

Section name No. of questions Marks per Question Total marks Negative Marks
Quantitative Ability  (QA) 25 3 75 -1
Logical Reasoning (LR) & Data Interpretation (DI) 30 3 90 -1
Verbal Ability (VA) 19 3 57 -1
Reading Comprehension (RC) 16 3 48 -1
General Knowledge & Awareness 20 1.5 30 -0.5
Total 110 300


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IIFT 2022 Syllabus

IIFT exam consists of the questions from the following sections

  • Verbal Ability
  • English Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • English Vocabulary
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Logical reasoning
  • Data Interpretation
  • General Knowledge
  • Current Affairs

If we look at the Placements at IIFT, the Avg. Placement is 21+ LPA, and the Highest Package stands at 46.5 LPA. The IIFT college fee is around 18 Lakhs. Hence, a lot of candidates aspire to prepare for IIFT. Let us see how to prepare for the IIFT exam.

How to prepare for IIFT?

The sections that are tested in IIFT are Verbal Ability (English grammar, Vocabulary), Reading Comprehension, Logical reasoning and data interpretation, Quantitative analysis, and General Knowledge. The duration of the IIFT exam will be of 2 hours.

The basic concepts tested by the exam is the same as that of CAT. However, the style of the questions is entirely different in IIFT. Apart from the topics tested in CAT, one must prepare for grammar and general knowledge sections. Let us have a look at the differences between CAT and IIFT exams which will give you a better understanding of the topics to prepare well for IIFT exam.

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Difference between CAT and IIFT

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: Reading comprehension questions are often verbose and factual in nature. Though CAT has stopped asking questions on grammar, IIFT places a huge emphasis on the section. Therefore, aspirants must allocate at least 2 hours every week to revise questions on Verbal Ability. Vocabulary questions also formed a part of the section. So, under the Verbal section, you’ll also be asked about Vocab, Idioms, grammatical errors etc.

Since the RC passages are longer, aspirants should try to improve their reading speed. Skimming through the passage and looking at the questions first can be of some help in the IIFT exam.

The Data Interpretation section: The DI questions are often calculation intensive. Unlike CAT, most of the aspirants can easily crack the logic behind the sets. The speed of calculation will be the major differentiating factor in this section. Also, aspirants should be extremely careful while rounding off the digits as the options are generally close to each other.

Logical Reasoning: LR section is easier as compared to CAT. Therefore, aspirants must try to maximize their scores in this section, by solving more questions accurately.

Quants section: The level of difficulty of the quants section is almost similar to that of CAT. Preparing for the quants section of CAT will be sufficient to do well in this section. Be thorough with the fundamentals of the key concepts (such as Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Modern math etc).

Now, let us talk about the GK Section in detail.

How to prepare for IIFT GK section:

  • Preparing for the General Awareness section can be an uphill task if you do not know where to begin with. As the questions can be from any topic under the Sun, aspirants must be extremely selective while preparing. Avoid preparing topics that do not promise good returns.
  • In one of the previous papers, the sectional cut off of this section was less than a mark. The low cut-offs explain the difficulty level of the section. Just answering 6 or 7 questions right can help one to clear the cut-off. Though the total weightage this section carries is less, one must bear in mind that they must clear the cut off to be considered for further processes.
  • Doing well in the GK section can help aspirants balance time in the exam. Also, the scope for error in this section is abysmal. Therefore, a well-prepared aspirant can score as high as 5 or 6 marks within 10 minutes. Also, the time saved can be put to better use by attempting questions from other sections. Take the IIFT past year papers and check out the GK section. Check how comfortable you are with the type of questions that appear. Also, take free GK tests to check your preparation level from time to time.
  • Major topics tested are Current affairs, Business affairs related, and Static GK questions. IIFT has a proclivity for asking questions related to business. Reading a business newspaper daily will easily help the aspirants to keep their heads above water.
  • There were some questions in which a passage was given and the candidates were asked to find out the statements that were factually incorrect. Such questions require extensive knowledge not just of facts, but also the why’s and how’s of the happenings. Keeping abreast of the latest happenings will help not only in the exam but also in the GD and PI process that follows.
  • We can broadly classify the GK section into 2 portions: The Static GK and the Dynamic GK. The weightage of both the parts in the section is almost similar. Therefore, aspirants must prepare for both the sections to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
  • One can expect some questions from Countries, Capitals and Currencies. Headquarters of International organizations is another important topic from which questions appear. Learn the venues that have been selected to host the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, FIFA world cup and ICC world cup, etc.
  • Anything relating to India’s recent position in rankings is very important. Try to know the ranking of India in various surveys (like the ease of doing business, etc). Revise the recent happenings (in the past one year). Read about the persons in news recently. Also, read about the events that India hosted in the past 6 months.

Download Static GK PDF

The candidates should have a specific approach for each section. In the verbal section, for instance, there are different types of questions as mentioned above. As these are not present in the CAT, candidates must spend around 2 hours to practise such topics every day.

An important source of practice is the Previous Year Papers. Practising from previous papers will give you a good idea of the type of questions that are asked in the exam. You can also start your preparation by taking a previous year paper to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and make a preparation plan accordingly. It is also imperative to take more Mock Tests and perfect the test-taking strategy.  Hence, taking more mocks should be an important part of the IIFT Preparation Plan.

IIFT Cut-offs:

The candidates should also remember to clear the Sectional cut-off and the Overall cut-off also. Make sure you do not fall short of the Sectional cutoffs. Ensure to solve a few questions in each section to reach that sectional cut-off, and once that is done maximise your scores in your stronger section, to reach the overall cutoff. As there is also No Sectional Time limit in IIFT, the candidates can finish their strong areas quickly and allot more time to weaker areas.

The following are the cut-offs based on the previous year:


In short, improve your reading speed, revise the basics of grammar, keep yourself aware of the latest happenings, and solve questions without a calculator to score well in the IIFT exam. Also, remember that your score in the Entrance exam matters more. Last year, over 70% weightage was given to IIFT Score to shortlist the candidates for the interview. So, though your acads are poor you can get a call from IIFT if you perform well in the entrance exam. All the best!

Take IIFT mock tests (in the latest exam pattern) here.

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