Toppers Strategies to Crack IIFT

Rajat updated on : 08 Nov 2017

Check here the toppers strategies to crack IIFT so that you can secure your admission at one of the most reputed business management colleges of India. IIFT is famous for providing MBA in International Business.

Toppers Strategy to Crack IIFT

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) conducts one of the major MBA entrance examinations of the country. IIFT conducts this exam for admission to its MBA IB course. This entrance examination is scheduled to be conducted on 3rd December 2017. The institute is offering MBA in International Business at its Delhi and Kolkata campuses. The institute is all set to set its new campus at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. This is a pen and paper based examination and the candidates will have to mark the correct answers on the OMR sheet. The exam paper will have multiple choice questions. This is a very unique examination as it is exclusively conducted for MBA in International Business. The exam will be conducted at around 20 major cities of the country. The exam is conducted for 360 seats at Delhi and Kolkata campuses.  In this article we will talk about the toppers strategy to crack IIFT entrance exam.

With the exam just around corner, it’s high time that candidates should start preparing for it. This exam checks both your temperament as well as aptitude. There are multiple sections; it may have subsections. Considered to be highly complicated exam, IIFT checks out your ability to be multi – tasking, it also checks your time management strategy, decision making abilities etc. Looking at trends and exam patterns, CAT 2016 was much simpler than IIFT if talked about the difficulty level. But the preparation of CAT sections i.e. QA, LR, DI, VARC is more than enough for IIFT. All you need to is to work on your test strategies which can be worked upon by practicing old IIFT question papers. But this time, it is expected that candidates must have started their preparation for the exam. Some might have joined some coaching classes as well. Some might be focused on self – study too. Though everyone’s preparing with their own strategy, but there’s no harm in knowing what and how the toppers have cracked IIFT entrance examination.

Toppers Strategy to crack IIFT – Tips from IIFT Toppers

IIFT is a top college in India when it comes to MBA in International Business. In IIFT exam, there will be total time duration of 2 hours. The question paper will be divided into four sections and there will be total 123 questions. While answering the questions, the candidates are required to be very careful as there is a negative marking which is equivalent to 1/3rd of the total mark given to any specific question. The table below shows related details:



Name of Sections

No. of Questions

Marks per Question


Section 1


General Awareness




Section 2

Part 1

Reading Comprehension




Part 2

English Usage




Section 3


Quantitative Ability




Section 4

Part 1

Logical Reasoning




Part 2

Data Interpretation








Now, you must have got a general idea of the questions. IIFT doesn’t give much emphasis on past academic experience and work experience. IIFT follows a sectional cutoff pattern hence it is very mandatory to score qualifying marks in every section to get shortlisted.

Talking about the toppers strategies to ace IIFT, every topper has given their own personal preparation tips which are very helpful for the aspirants. However, there is one thing in common which everyone to say, mocks and contest practice is what almost everyone has put focus which is obliviously true in every situation.

Followings are preparation strategies of the toppers which helped them in topping the exam.

  • According to Roshan Tated who is IIFT topper, MBA IB 2014 – 16 batch at IIFT Delhi, IIFT is an exam which needs synchronization with speed as well as accuracy. He says one should focus on solving one question in a minute. Roshan has asked the aspiring candidates to prepare using flash cards for vocabulary preparation. For preparing comprehension skills, he has focused on reading Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and works of Charles Dickens’s. He suggests dividing the preparation of general knowledge into two parts i.e. dynamic GK and static GK. For dynamic GK, one should stay updated with the current affairs whereas for static GK, any good GK book should do such as Manorama Yearbook.
  • Satyaki Mascharak is IIFT topper and a student of IIFT Delhi MBA IB 2014 – 16 batch. According to him, focus on importance of concepts matters more than the quantity of questions practiced. He too has focused on time management. Persistency in preparation is very important to crack IIFT exam. He says even if you had a long tiring day, you don’t have to skip the study schedule. Practice IIFT mock tests every day. For improving English comprehension, he advised to read lots of paragraphs and newspapers daily. For GK, he has suggested Manorama year book and past question papers. For quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning, he asks to practice every day few problems. According to him, materials prepared by Arun Sharma are good and one should follow.
  • Abhishek Agrawal scored 99.85 percentile score in IIFT 2015. He advises to work hard and says there is no shortcut of success. He asks to focus on all the sections with equal attention as all the sections are equally important. He too focused on maintaining perfect balance between time and accuracy. He mainly focused on his weak areas which included verbal ability. With regular practice, it was improved. With strategic preparation planning, abhishek ensured that the preparation was good enough to make him score well in all the sections. He also talks about sectional time management strategy.
  • Mohit Sharma topped IIFT 2015 with 99.98 percentile. He says that students generally ignore general knowledge section and that’s where they lose marks. Mohit says he was weak at quantitative aptitude section hence he put extra focus and time on this section to polish up the fundamental concepts. Mohit also advises to be consistent with the preparation and maintain perfect balance with time and accuracy.
  • Nilkancha Badhiye is 2013 IIFT topper. She says that regular practice was her main focus. She also followed speed and accuracy pattern. According to her, it’s good to start preparation at least five months before the exam. She has focused on time management as well. She believes in consistent practice. Nilkancha has asked to read newspaper and online quizzes, puzzles which increases both vocabulary and language. For her, consistent effort is the best way to achieve success.

Many of the toppers have admitted they faced troubles in quantitative aptitude section. Nitesh Padhi, who scored 99.44 percentile in IIFT also said that quantitative aptitude was his weak section. Hence, it’s you should evaluate your preparation strategy. Apart from personalized tips from IIFT toppers, followings are some generalized tips which everyone should practice. These strategies will help the students to crack IIFT entrance exam with good grades. Sunny Pandey who topped IIFT 2014 suggested that one should start with the strongest section to maximize the scores.

Does coaching play important role in preparation?

All have their own thoughts. Some say that it’s good to go for coaching as it helps in understanding the exam in far better way. While others have prepared on their own and still managed to be ranked in the toppers’ list. Coaching provides a platform or a foundation which is required to strengthen the skills and concepts. And this will be a great help in the examination. Working professionals who aren’t able to join any regular coaching classes can also crack IIFT with good percentile depending on how well s/he prepares. If you aren’t able to join any regular coaching class due to any reason, you can still score 99 percentile in IIFT exam. There are several online forums, blogs which will act like virtual classes and you can prepare IIFT online. There are online YouTube videos for IIFT. Practicing from good study material and regular mock tests can strengthen your foundation and consistent efforts are all what you need to crack IIFT exam.

If you are already preparing for any other MBA entrance examination such as XAT or CAT, you already have benefit of that preparation and you just need to focus on your test – taking strategy. Practicing sample papers, question banks, previous years’ papers for IIFT is all you should be doing in such cases. So, even if you are not taking any coaching from any institute, you have equal chances of cracking this exam.

  • Strategy 1. Maximize in Logical Reasoning section. Considering the difficulty level of this section, which is low, one can maximize his / her scores in this section. Candidates can score maximum marks in this section. One can solve the questions in less than 2 minutes (generally 1 to 1.5 minutes). Moreover, one should always try to attempt all the questions in this section.
  • General knowledge section creates problem for the students. It is said that GK section in IIFT entrance examination is the most unpredictable if we talk about all MBA entrance examinations. One can solve this section completely on the basis of strong preparation which can be carried out by regular newspaper and good GK book reading. One can also download IIFT GK question banks online.  Looking at the previous year’s exam pattern of IIFT, there were 28 questions in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 26 questions in 2014.
  • Strategy 2. Data Interpretation and Reading Comprehension. You should focus on DI and RC section as there too students can score good marks considering less difficult level. While practicing, follow the same strategy you take in reading comprehension section. Finish two sets in less than 15 minutes. Try solving at least two to three questions from each of the data sets.  The section will be divided into 3 sets containing 20 questions.  It’s good to leave the questions where you find that the question is consuming too much time and calculation work. And you can easily solve at least 3 questions from every set.
  • Strategy 3. You will find many of the questions of Quantitative Aptitude, asked in the question papers too lengthy but they will be easy to be solved. Moreover, there will be at least three questions which aren’t worth spending time on them. Therefore, this section can be divided into two rounds. In first round, you should attempt the questions which are easy and short while in the second round you can solve the lengthy questions. The number questions keep on varying but the marks allotted remained 1 per question. In 2012 and 2013, there were 25 questions whereas in 2014 and 2015 there were 20 and 22 questions respectively. Once should at least attempt 15 questions in this section to be in the qualifying range for this section. Generally, the cutoff ranges between 4.43 to 6.34 marks.
  • Strategy 4. If you want to read the passage, don’t spend too much time on it. It’s better to pick the questions and start answering them along with the reading. One shouldn’t spend more than six minutes on the passage; 7 minutes should be the maximum time to be spent if you are keeps on reading the passages. One shouldn’t hit all the passages in reading comprehension section as this awards per minute minimum marks. English Usage and Reading Comprehension sections have been merged together since 2012 and made a single section. There’s variation in marks allotted per question.
  • If we look at question papers of last few years, there have been 10 to 15 questions asked in 4 big, lengthy reading passages. Later on, the length was decreased and still a passage with around 1000 words is lengthy enough to consume good amount of time.  Considering that the passages are bit lengthy, mostly the questions will be factual, thus you should focus on factual questions given in all of the passages. Reading the entire passage from top to bottom will no doubt consume too much of time hence, it is better to find the answers of factual questions.
  • Strategy 5. Always focus on marks per minute strategy. You should target at least 60 to 65 questions in the given time limit. If you are spending a minute on any question, it shouldn’t go waste. The marks allotted in IIFT question paper are different for different sections. Thus, our main focus should be on maximizing the score. GK is generally given the lowest weightage but still they consume almost the same amount of time. Therefore, marks per minute should be worked upon instead of marks per question.  IIFT released sectional cutoff in 2012 for the first time. As per the previous exam trends, it is said that highest total marks needed to clear this exam is 50 marks in last few years whereas for SC/ST/PH, it was 40 and for NCOBC it was 45. So, you should make efforts to at least score 35 – 45% of the total marks in sections and in aggregate, at least 65 marks.
  • Strategy 6. There will be at least 15 questions on ‘match the following’ in reading comprehension and general knowledge section. These questions shouldn’t be left as these can be solved easily by finding the correct match in the given segment.
  • Strategy 7. You may find some questions which will be new to you. It’s better to focus on the questions you feel comfortable enough. While you attempt any question, make sure that the answer is right plus you aren’t wasting too much time on it. You should also follow ‘leave if doubtful’ strategy to make sure you aren’t giving wrong answers. This section requires great amount of regular practice along with time management strategy.

These are some general preparation strategies to top IIFT exam to get selected. Candidates should focus on preparing the question papers of last 5 years at least. Usually candidates ignore general awareness section while this can be a major mistake. The section is equally important and it can help you maximizing your percentile in IIFT. The toppers strategies to crack IIFT exam are the personal tips and strategies of the toppers which they themselves have implemented and on the basis of these tips and tricks, they have been able to top the exam. Consistent work and proper preparation always counts will surely pay good results. Continue with your preparation and all the best for your exam!

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