GK Preparation For IIFT, CMAT, XAT, TISS

General Knowledge section is really important for every competitive examination as it plays a huge role in shortlisting as well in the personal interview round for the final admission.


  1. Better accuracy: GK based questions offer the chance to extend one’s accuracy. This is mainly because if a candidate knows the correct answer, there is no scope of losing marks
  2. Time efficiency: One can manage time well as there is no such calculation or analysis involved in the GK section. The candidate can use this to their advantage by allocating longer time to other sections of the examination
  3. Easy to score: If a candidate has prepared well, it can be a very scoring section

 MBAP brings to you a detailed analysis of the Topic – “GK Preparation For IIFT, CMAT, XAT, TISS”

We bring to you the similarities as well as the differences that a student has to keep in his mind whilst making preparations for the GK section (for the mentioned 4 examinations). Let’s have a closer look

STATIC GK and CURRENT GK TOPICS for all these 4 exams are similar : 

Static GK covers areas of discussion that do not generally change over time. One may expect questions from the following subtopics in XAT Static GK: Indian Political System and Constitution, Organizations, Science and technology, geography, Economy, Companies and brands, sports and miscellaneous.

In Current GK, a candidate can expect questions from broad areas like Economy, Business and company news, Indian Polity, Organizations, people in News, Sports, and Miscellaneous.

Questions from Current GK will specialize in the important national and international events within the past 12 months within the areas mentioned above.

We strongly recommend one to read the newspaper, preferably ‘The Hindu’ daily.


IIFT General Knowledge specializes in International Trade, so the special emphasis lies on the International Trade deals which have happened in the past or are the topics of preparation. This particular examination covers two particular areas, Static GK and Current GK. 

The GK section in the IIFT exam is an additional section. A candidate should give importance to this section as it can help get some extra score especially if other sections like Quant, Verbal, DI, Reasoning have difficult questions in the exam.

One of the details which differentiate the IIFT exam from other exams is the GK section because this section has an individual cut off. IIFT GK Section carries a weightage of 8%, a candidate needs to clear the sectional cut off apart from overall cut-offs to get shortlisted for IIFT.   There are around 18 questions in total that the IIFT GK section offers, out of which there are around 9-10 questions coming from the Current Affairs portion and the rest from Static GK


GK in Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)

The GK section in CMAT has 25 questions. A distinguishing feature about the CMAT GK section is that it has equal weightage i.e. 25%as that of the other sections , unlike papers like IIFT and XAT, which give relatively less weightage to the present section. Thus the GK Section proves to be very important if one aims to score well overall.

In CMAT, there are no sectional time limits and thus a candidate can allocate more time for more time-consuming questions.

The CMAT examination focuses on both Current and Static GK.


GK in Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

XAT functions as the gateway to a lot of reputed MBA colleges in India, including XLRI and XIMB. A unique feature about XAT is that it has a separate section for General Knowledge.

Since the GK section here constitutes around 20-25% of the total marks, a candidate must not take this section lightly. There are no sectional time limits in the XAT, so a candidate can spend as much as the time they feel is appropriate for every section. This section also has 0.25 negative marking for wrong questions.

XAT General Knowledge section focuses on questions based on Static GK and also current affairs based on Economics, Organisations Science, Technology, and Business among others.


Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test (TISSNET)

TISSNET is an exam which is conducted for admission to programs offered by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The GK section is considered to be the toughest of the three as General Knowledge is never a favourite of students. The GK for this particular examination focuses on the current affairs, polity, history, and current social issues. 

TISSNET also covers all the broad discussion areas like Economy, Science and Technology, History, Geography Sports, and Awards. However, as always their main focus had been on Static GK but students are advised to thoroughly study the current affairs of 9-12 months previously from the date of the exam.


As far as Preparations and Tips for the GK Section are considered, they remain more or less for all these 4 exams


  1. Year Book is one of the best recommended General Knowledge Book for competitive exams
  2. Business General Knowledge and also for the Current Affairs one can read ‘The Hindu’, ‘Financial Express’, ‘Business Standard’, ‘The Economist’, ‘Economic Times’. Along with these readings, one must study the changes that have taken place in RBI policy guidelines, Economic Survey of India, and other important trending news
  3. In order to remember all the points, it is recommended for the students to write down each and every bit of news or information they gather from everyday news or articles. Not only will that help in listing down the important points, but helps in quick grasping of the topics. One should go through the listed points daily
  4. Since the time a candidate decides to appear for any of the competitive exams, it is then that they should start focussing on the GK Section. There is no particular time set for the preparation of this section. The earlier a candidate starts

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Tips on how to solve the GK section ( Common for IIFT, CMAT, XAT & TISS)

Ideally, one shall never spend more than 12-14 minutes on the GK section. This will allow the candidate to allocate more time to other time-consuming sections. Further, a 2-cycle method is advised to follow for the solving of these questions

Cycle 1

  1. Identify the easiest questions and attempt them
  2. Identify those questions which are answerable if some more time is spent on them
  3. Questions which cannot be attempted are best left untouched if carries a negative marking

Cycle 2

In the second cycle, mark the answers of maximum possible questions that you simply have identified in Step (2) of Cycle 1 through intelligent guessing or by using option elimination


Key Areas for GK Preparation

  1. Business & Economics – Fiscal and Monetary policy changes
  2. Current Affairs & Social Issues
  3. International Current Affairs & Events
  4. UNO – Wings, agencies, HQs, Abbreviations
  5. Countries-Capital, Currency, prominent development
  6. Global Summits
  7. Latest Who’s is Who
  8. Constitution of India and recent amendments
  9. Sports – National & International
  10. Awards, Honours, National, International days
  11. Books, Authors
  12. Company Logo identification
  13. Questions related to History, Geography, General Science
Some of the key statistics where the GK Section of  these respective exams differ are the number of questions, marking scheme and number of good attempts, and the Difficulty level 
With respect to the analysis drawn from the last 5 years (2015-2020) papers for these examinations, the key differences stand as : 
IIFT188% (0.5 marks for each correct answer)– 0.33 for every wrong answer8-9 attempts with 70% accuracyDifficult
CMAT2525% (4 marks for each correct answer)– 1or every wrong answer13-15 with 80% accuracyDifficult
XAT2525% (1 mark for each correct answer)– 0.25 or every wrong answer14-15 attempts with 70% accuracyModerate
TISS4040% (1 mark for each correct answer)NA25 attempts with accuracy of 60% accuracyDifficult – Moderate