IIFT 2016 Analysis


Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) conducted the Admission Test 2017-2019 on Sunday, November 27, 2016. The test was conducted across the nation between 10 am and 12 noon. The duration of the exam was two hours with no sectional time limit. Each of the sections had sectional cut-offs.

Section 1 – Part 1 Reading Comprehension (RC) 16 1 16
Section 1 – Part 2 Verbal Ability (VA) 20 0.75 15
Section 2 General Awareness (GA) 25 0.5 12.5
Section - 3 Quantitative Ability (QA) 20 1 20
Section 4 - Part 1 Logical Reasoning (LR) 22 0.75 16.5
Section 4 – Part 2 Data Interpretation (DI) 20 1 20

123 100

Negative Marking: One third of the allotted marks. Distribution of negative marks across sections is as below.

Section 1 – Part 1 Reading Comprehension (RC) 0.33
Section 1 – Part 2 Verbal Ability (VA) 0.25
Section 2 General Awareness (GA) 0.17
Section - 3 Quantitative Ability (QA) 0.33
Section 4 - Part 1 Logical Reasoning (LR) 0.25
Section 4 – Part 2 Data Interpretation (DI) 0.33

The total number of questions that appeared in IIFT this year was 123 as compared to 124 last year. The Quantitative Ability (QA) and General Awareness sections were stand-alone sections this year, similar to last year. Logical Reasoning (LR) & Data Interpretation (DI) were clubbed together as one section as were Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (RC).

A detailed analysis of the sections of the paper is given below (section ordering as per Set A):

Section 1: Quantitative Ability (QA)

Difficulty level of this section was similar to that of last year’s paper with the only difference that relatively more number of questions were from Algebra and pure maths as compared to Arithmetic.

This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics.. The distribution is given as below:

Area Sub-area No of Questions
Algebra Inequalities 1

Logarithm 1

Progressions (AP & GP) 3
Pure Maths P&C 5

Probability 1

Sets 1
Arithmetic Time, Speed, Distance 1

Time & Work 2

Profit, Loss, Discount 1

Surds & Indices 1
Geometry Triangles/Polygon 1

Mensuration 1

Co-ordinate Geometry 1
Total 20

There were only about a couple of questions which could be classified as relatively difficult/lengthier ones – the one from the topic Time-Speed-Distance and the other one from Probability. The remaining questions were not too difficult to solve. If the candidate did not spend too much time in trying to solve the lengthier questions, he/she could have attempted the remaining questions in around thirty-thirty five minutes. A positive for the students here is that the lengthier questions were not that many. A good candidate would have been able to attempt around 13-15 questions in QA.

The cutoff in this section last year was a very low 4.34, Given the relatively lower difficulty of the paper this year, the cutoff can be expected to go up to 6-7.

Section 2 (Part 1 & 2): Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

The distribution and level of difficulty of questions in Logical Reasoning is as follows

Area Difficulty Level No of Questions
Analogies Easy 4
Tribe Puzzle Moderate 3
Circular Arrangement Moderate 4
Distribution – Two sets One Easy – One Moderate 3 + 3
Venn Diagram Easy 1
Missing No/Letter Moderate-Difficult 2
Number Series Easy 1
Deductions Easy 1
Total 22

There were 22 LR questions, most of them falling under Easy – Moderate category. About 13-15 would have been a good attempt with time spent about 22-25 minutes on this section. One of the missing letters question was a bit confusing. Those who did not spend much time on this question (the question which had a table filled with ABCD,abcd and 1234 in three rows) would have done themselves a favour.

The Data Interpretation part had four sets - two were based on 'Tables' and the remaining two were on 'Bar Graph'. Out of the four sets, one was relatively more calculation intensive (the one based on Garments), but the remaining three sets had simple calculations and were straight forward ones.

Overall, for LRDI, a good student could have attempted 10-12 questions in about 22-25 minutes with about 80% accuracy.

The cutoff in this section last year was 4.3 and is expected to be in the same range this year too.

Section 3 (Part 1 & 2): Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability

The VARC section was tougher than that in IIFT papers seen n the recent years. This is not only due to the slightly longish passages but also due to the different question types that were present in VA. The crossword question and the vocab questions which involved matching 2 sets of 10 words each were not only new but were also time-consuming as one had to painstakingly match the words using the options.

The three questions on etymology were challenging as one needed to know the origin of the words.

The questions on spelling errors were moderate in difficulty level and needed the student to have heard/known the word to be able to spot the error.

The RC passages, while lengthy, were definitely readable. The questions were mostly direct, but for the "Main Idea" question in the 4th passage. A person with moderate to good reading skills should not have faced much of a problem in attempting the RC questions. The passages were from different areas. One was on "the criticality of manufacturing sector in an emerging economy", one was "how a multinational can reap rewards through glocalization" while the other two were on the "Positive impact of women's participation in the workforce" and "Advances in robotics".

The cut off could see a dip from 8.75 of last year and could be around 6-7.

Section 4: General Awareness (GA)

GA, as it did last year, could prove to be the waterloo for many a student. The questions were from topics ranging from Hollywood movies to DOB of Bollywood heroines to India's military exercises to Panama Canal expansion. That would mean that he students needed to have been extremely well prepared to get a good score in this paper to help their overall cutoff.

We are mentioning overall cutoff here as the sectional cutoff for this section has historically been very, very low.

Known question types too were present - currencies (Bulgaria), Headquarters based questions (NATO, OECD, Amnesty International, Worldbank, European Central Bank, Food and Agricultural Organisation). These two questions along with two easy questions on Bitcoin and elected posts in the country could have been solved by those who prepared for IIFT seriously.

Point to be noted here is that these two easy questions were towards the end of the section and could have been missed those who were put off by the difficulty of the section early on.

The cut-off in this section last year was a very low 0.82 and is not expected to change much.


The cut-offs last year for the general category were as below

Overall VA/RC LR & DI QT General Awareness
48.5 8.75 4.3 4.34 0.82

This year, the cut-offs are predicted to be

Overall VA/RC LR & DI QT General Awareness
44-46 6-7 3.5-4.5 6-7 0.75-1

All the best !