IIFT 2018 Analysis

IIFT 2018 was conducted on 2nd Dec 2018, for the admission to the MBA(IB) 2019-21 programme being offered by the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) located in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada (AP). The test was conducted across various centres in the country from 10 AM to 12 Noon. The duration of the exam was 2 hours with no sectional time limit. However, with there being 6 sections this time, VA and RC as separate sections along with LR and DI, students needed to manage their time across sections extremely deftly to ensure that they go past the sectional cutoffs. 

The detailed analysis, key, and the score calculator to estimate the possible scores have been made available on the T.I.M.E. website. The score calculator would especially be useful in knowing about the realistic chances of getting a call from IIFT. We, hence, encourage all the IIFT test-takers to make use of the same.


There were six sections this year. Each of the sections had sectional cut-offs applicable (as was mentioned in the test instructions). Below is the snapshot of various sections ( based on Set - A).

Type No of Questions Marks per question Total Negative marks per question
Section 1 (Reading Comprehension) 16 1 16 0.33
Section 2 (Verbal Ability) 20 0.75 15 0.25
Section 3 (Quantitative Ability) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 4 (Data Interpretation) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 5 (Logical Reasoning) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 6 (General Awareness) 18 0.5 9 0.17
Total 114 - 100 -

The total number of questions that appeared in IIFT this year was 114 - exactly similar to that of the last year.
A detailed analysis of the sections of the paper is given below (section ordering as per Set A)

Section 1 (Reading Comprehension)

The RC passages, though fairly lengthy, were definitely readable. A person with moderate to good reading skills should not have faced much of a problem in reading the passages. However, most of the questions that followed the passages were difficult in nature owing to the ambiguity of the options. The big change is that there were 5 passages, with four having three questions each and one having four questions. The passages were from similar areas. While one was on Culture, another one was on Sociology. There was one on economics. The remaining two were on Information(science) and Liberal Arts. The cut off in this section could be around 3-4 marks. Around 7-9 attempts can be considered very good in this section. The cut-off in this section is expected to be in the range 2.33 to 3.

Section 2 (Verbal Ability)

The questions in this section were predominantly on vocabulary – jumbled words, origin, Fill in the Blanks, and word-analogies. English Grammar did have a presence, but in the form of two different models of sentence-correction questions – both reasonably simple. The vocabulary part was reasonably challenging, with quite a few unfamiliar words making an appearance. The questions based on origin were challenging. The two parajumbles could be worked out more by elimination than by actual solving. Overall the section was challenging barring a couple of grammar questions, and only someone who understands words well would have been able to get a good score. 10-12 would be a good number of attempts in this section. The cut-off is expected to be around 3-3.5.

Section 3 (Quantitative Ability)

The difficulty level of this section was higher as compared to that from last year on account of legthier and tougher questions.
This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics. The distribution is given as below:

Area No of Questions
Algebra 6
Pure Maths 2
Arithmetic 5
Geometry 6
Venn Diagram 1
Total 20

There were only about five questions which could be classified as relatively easier ones – two from Logarithms, one from Simple Equations, one from Time & Work, one from Time & Distance. The remaining questions were either moderate or difficult to handle during the test. A good candidate would have been able to attempt around 7-9 questions in QA. The cut-off in this section is expected to be 3-4 marks.

Section 4 (Data Interpretation)

Another of the never-ending difficult sections in the test, DI was a definite tough nut to crack. With large quantum of data/graphs to work with, there was no relief to the students.

There were a total of five sets of four questions each. All the sets were based on Tables and/or Line Graph/Bar Graph. Almost all the questions were calculation intensive and were very lengthy. However, there was one set (related to LPI indicators) where the calculations were relatively easier.

Description of the Set Presentation Maximum Marks Good Marks
First table gave values related to Economic Indicators for Different Regions of the world while the second table gave values related to Economic indicators for select countries Two Tables 4  
The bar chart gave the data related to Region wise average hotel occupancy rates for four quarters. The line chart gave the data related to Revenue of select hotel chains world wide. 1 Bar Chart and 1 Line Chart 4
The tabular data gave the values related to IBM's global revenue from 2010 to 2017 1 Table 4
The table gave the values related to LPI indicators of select countries in 2018 1 Table and 1 Stacked Bar Chart 4
The table gave the data related to Industry indicators from 2008-09 to 2015-16. The Bar/Line gave key industry indicators from 2008-09 to 2015-16 Bar/Line & Table 4
Total Bar, Line and Tables 20 2-3

5-8 could be a good number of attempts in section, while the cutoff is expected to be around 2-3 marks.

Section 5 (Logical Reasoning)

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

Description of the Set Difficulty Level No of Questions
Distribution (Job Fair) Easy-Moderate 4
Missing number in the figure Easy-Moderate 1
Venn Diagrams (Sara and Dora) Moderate-Difficult 2
Input-Output Moderate-Difficult 2
Matrix arrangement Moderate-Difficult 4
Circular Arrangements Moderate 4
Selections (Blue and Purple Rooms) Moderate-Difficult 3
Total - 20

The questions on Input-output were time-consuming and would have needed a good amount of concentration. The questions based on ‘distribution’ - job fair, though little time consuming were relatively easier to solve. The missing number question might have seemed slightly trickier in the first glance; however, it was actually pretty simple. The case-let on Venn Diagrams, which had a minor error was on the tougher side ( if the mistake is not identified ). The selections based question needed a good grasp of basic concepts. Compared to last year, this year’s LR section was relatively much more difficult. The overall difficulty level of this section can be classified as moderate-difficult. A good number of attempts in this section can be considered to be 6- 8 questions while the cut-off is expected to be around 4 to 4.67 marks.

Section 6 (General Awareness)

GA though easier than last year still was on the tougher side. The questions were from diverse topics like Personalities, Sports, Corporate logos, Corporate entities, International trade organizations, Currencies, etc. This implies that the students needed to be extremely well prepared to clear the cut-off in this section. Unlike last year, the questions were not lengthy in nature. This would have enabled students to attempt the section in 5-10 minutes. Some very difficult questions like the one on ‘South Indian sea ports’ must have baffled the students. Historically, the sectional cutoff for this section has been very low, though this year there may be a tiny movement northward.

The cut-off in this section last year was 0.82 marks and is expected to be little higher this year - to around 1 to 2 marks. 6-8 questions could be considered to be a good number of attempts in this section!

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

3.35 2.69 5.67 0.25 3.01 0.82

This year, the sectional cut-offs are expected to be as below

3-3.5 2.33-3 4-4.67 2-3 3-4 1-2

The overall cut-offs too are bound to move south to be around 33±1 marks. Note: These cut-offs are for General category students All the best !!!