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7 Silly Mistakes in IIFT Exam and Tips to Avoid them

7 Silly Mistakes in IIFT Exam and tips to avoid them

IIFT Exam:

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is one of the top-ranked B-schools in India. It is ranked as 25th best management institute in India as per NIRF Ranking 2021. IIFT exam is conducted by National Testing Agency for its 2 years full-time MBA course.IIFT for 2023-25 batch will be tentatively held in January 2023.

The IIFT exam is a computer-based online exam consisting of written test is a multiple-choice objective test of 2 hours. It consists of the following sections: Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning, and General Awareness. Below is the table showing the variations of IIFT paper pattern over the last few years:


Time (hours)22222
Total Marks100300100100100
Number of Questions123110114114123
Marks per QuestionDifferentialDifferentialDifferentialDifferentialDifferential
Negative Marking1/21/31/31/31/3

IIFT exam has the concept of differential marking system for different sections and different questions in the same section. The IIFT cut off for the year 2021 was 43.5 out of 100. Generally, the GK section of the exam is considered to be the most difficult section despite a low sectional cut off.

7 Common mistakes students do in IIFT Exam:

Waste time on a single question -

Aspirants often tend to lose time on a single question and hence lose control over time, which overall affects the performance.

Take uncalculated risks -

Students often try to attempt all the questions which leads them to a good amount of negative marking, thereby lowering down their marks.

Panic in IIFT Exam-

When they come across with any question they don’t know or is time-consuming they tend to get panic and nervous which affects their capability to perform.

IIFT Negative marking -

IIFT Exam has the pattern of negative marking. For each wrong answer, 1/3 marks is deducted. Aspirants mark answers randomly forgetting about the negative marking. It’s better to leave the question rather than going for a negative marking.

Sectional Cutoffs -

No clear information is revealed about the sectional cut-offs. Aspirants sometimes take the risk of attempting more questions in one section while attending less in another. They fail to see the sectional cut offs mentioned in the beginning of the exam and in order to score neglect the difficult section and do not clear the sectional cut off even after scoring good.

Spending much time on one topic -

While preparing for the exam, aspirants spend a lot of time on subjects in which they are already good. There is a sectional cut-off and they should plan their strategy accordingly.

Procrastination and Demotivated for GK Prep -

Aspirants usually get demotivated during their journey of IIFT GK Preparation. Though this preparation is vast, but it is quite interesting at the same time. Don’t delay it as it affects the energy and overall state of mind.

Preparation Strategy for IIFT Exam:

VARC section of IIFT

VARC is an important section for cracking the IIFT exam as it has maximum weightage and usually is from moderate to difficult level. To tackle this section, students have to focus on improving their reading speed because the paper typically consists of 3-4 Reading comprehensions of around 700-900 words. Reading newspapers, blogs, novels will help in developing a good speed in reading. Aspirants need to strengthen their grammar as well for solving sentence correction questions. One should practice RC passages as many as they can especially tricky ones. The practice is also required to solve analogy questions, fill in the blanks, etc.

LRDI section of IIFT

This section requires intensive practice. It is usually advisable to practice different types of questions like pie charts, bar graphs, data tables, line charts & combinations. For Logical Reasoning, aspirants need to practice questions on topics: arrangements, family trees, complex data situations, etc. LRDI section generally consists of logic-based questions, but there could be some calculation-based questions too. So, it requires extra time to understand the concepts. Practice from previous years’ IIFT question papers and mock test series. This will help the aspirants in exploring a variety of LRDI questions.

QA section of IIFT

Quantitative Ability is a concept-driven section, core concepts should be learned by heart. For example, a question on “quadrilateral” is then impossible to attempt unless the corresponding concept is known. Aspirants need to be thorough with the theorems and the formulas. Practice the sample questions as much as possible. It is therefore suggested that one should prepare the key concepts of Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. There is negative marking in the IIFT exam, so develop the skill of choosing only those QA questions you can solve with 100 per cent accuracy.

GK section of IIFT

This section requires familiarity with both static and current components of the environment. For static GK aspirants should focus on history, geography, economics, political system, etc. For current GK, refer to current affairs related sections. To prepare for this section, read newspapers, current affairs magazines, and read business news. This section is the easiest to solve and has the least number of questions, therefore prepare it well.

Tips for IIFT exam strategy:

Last Week Revision:

In the last week, focus on revising the core concepts of the IIFT syllabus. Devote extra time to covering the weak areas. While revising, don’t rush through the topics and do not start with any new topic in the final hours. It can lead to more confusion and you can end up losing crucial time.

IIFT Mock Test:

Preparing for any MBA entrance exam without practicing mock tests is not recommended. Mock tests help in analyzing the strengths and weak areas and how to improve exams strategy. In the last week, aspirants should attempt about 4-5 IIFT mock tests and concentrate on analyzing their performance in each test.

Keep a check on time:

Time management is the most important skill for any exam. Since one is required to struggle between multiple sections it is easy to lose track of time. It is advisable to allow some time to each section during the test and adhere to the time limit. This ensures that the aspirants do not end up wasting too much time on a single section.

Solve the question paper in rounds:

Focus should be on attempting questions from all the sections so that aspirants clear individual cut-offs of each section. Once the required number of questions from each section has been answered, the focus should be on the overall score maximization via attacking those sections in which the candidate is most comfortable.


IIFT is one of the important exams for admissions in management courses. Aspirants should try avoiding all the mistakes while attempting IIFT. Revise the core concepts and cover up as much current affairs and general knowledge content as you can. Work on the calculation speeds and solve mock papers. Keep yourself calm and compose and give your best. As IIFT provides one of the best opportunities in the country in terms of placements and overall development, do not miss out on a huge opportunity because of a small mistake. All the Best!

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