IIFT 2017 Analysis

IIFT 2017 was conducted today (3rd Dec 2017) for admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) located in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada (AP). The test was conducted across various centers 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 website. The score calculator would especially be useful in knowing 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 as against four last 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).

TypeNo of QuestionsMarks per questionTotalNegative marks per question
Section 1 (General Awareness)180.590.17
Section 2 (Verbal Ability)201200.33
Section 3 (Reading Comprehension)161160.33
Section 4 (Logical Reasoning)201200.33
Section 5 (Quantitative Ability)201200.33
Section 6 (Data Interpretation)200.75150.25

The total number of questions that appeared in IIFT this year was 114 as compared to 123 last year. The reduced number of questions, however, was offset by the increase in the number of sections, from 4 to 6. -As mentioned above, LR and DI were separate sections, and so were VA & RC.

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

Section 1 (General Awareness)

GA lived up to its image of being one of the most difficult sections in IIFT yet again this year. The questions were from topics ranging from Sports, Corporate logos, Corporate entities, Govt policies, Stock exchanges, Currencies, etc. This implies that the students needed to be extremely well prepared to get a good score in this section to help their overall cutoff.

The questions were very wordy and going through this text ate away into the test time. The 2 RC type questions were to be left out straight away, especially considering the fact that the mark per question is only 0.5.

Some very remote questions like the one on a not very well known music band bamboozled the students.

As has been the case, historically the sectional cutoff for this section has really been on a very, very low side.

Out of a total of 18 questions, four questions could be classified as easy ones and another four as moderate ones.

The cut-off in this section last year was 1.99 and is expected to go lower than this for this year, to around 0.75 to 1.5 marks.

8-9 questions could be considered to be a good number of attempts in this section!

Section 2 (Verbal Ability)

The questions in this section were mostly based on English Grammar viz., identifying various phrases/clauses in the given sentences, Punctuation, and Prefix/Suffix. Apart from this, there were questions based on Analogies, creating a word out of jumbled letters and identifying its meaning, and replacing a part of a given sentence by the correct one.

The questions on adverb/adjective/noun phrases/clauses made this section appear like a test for the English language rather than an aptitude test.

The questions on analogies had not-so-common words and needed detailed thought to identify the linkages and select the answers.

The entire section was difficult barring a couple of punctuation questions, the prefix/suffix question, and the ones which required replacing a part of a given sentence by the correct one. The cut-off in this section is expected to be around 2-3 marks.

8-10 would be a good number of attempts in this section.

Section 3 (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 requiring involved reading, multiple times.

There were 4 passages, with 4 questions each. The passages were from diverse areas. While one was on ‘Entrepreneurship, & Business (Groupon)’, another one was on ‘Literature’, whereas the remaining two were on ‘Financial crisis’, and ‘Business Management’.
The cut off in this section could be around 3-4 marks.

8-10 attempts can be considered to be good in this section.

Section 4 (Logical Reasoning)

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

Description of the SetDifficulty LevelNo of Questions
Distribution (Final placement of the MBA students)Moderate-Difficult5
Games & Tournaments (Football tournament)Easy-Moderate2
Direction sense (Cricket players)Easy2
Logical DeductionsEasy1
Data sufficiencyEasy-Moderate2
Arrangements (Seven persons travelling in a train)Moderate2
Distributions (Sports telecasted on TV channels)Easy2
Total 20

The questions on Input-output were time-consuming and would have needed a good amount of concentration. One of the questions in this set required the students to pay attention to detail (input to be mentioned in reverse order). The questions based on ‘distribution’  in the first set, though not very difficult, were time-consuming, whereas the second set of ‘distribution’ was relatively easier. The games and tournament questions might have seemed slightly trickier in the first glance, however, they were actually pretty easy. The question on logical deductions was pretty much straightforward for somebody who has gone through the basic concepts pertaining to this topic. The data sufficiency questions were based on coding-decoding and arrangement and were on the easier side.

This section can be said to the sole easier section, relatively, in this paper, supplying much-needed relief to the students. The overall difficulty level of this section was moderate. A good number of attempts in this section can be considered to be 8-10 questions while the cut-off is expected to be 4-5 marks.

Section 4 (Quantitative Ability)

The difficulty level of this section was higher as compared to that from last year. As has been the case, the questions were lengthier, though mostly moderate to difficult.
This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics. The distribution is given as below:

AreaNo of Questions
Pure Maths1
Venn Diagram1

There were only about three questions which could be classified as relatively easy ones - one from Sequence & Series, one from Co-ordinate Geometry, and another from Functions. The remaining questions were either moderate or difficult to handle during the test. A good candidate would have been able to attempt around 10-12 questions in QA. The cut-off in this section is expected to be 3-4 marks.

Section 6 (Data Interpretation)

Another of the never-ending difficult sections in the test, DI was a definite tough nut to crack. WIth large amounts, if data/graphs to work with, there was no relief to the students. Add to this, the ambiguity in a couple of questions (growth to indicate absolute growth or percentage growth??), we sure have a recipe to brew trouble. The calculations were huge in some sets (Merchandise imports/exports).

There were a total of three sets of five questions each, one set of three questions, and one with two. All the sets were based on Tables and/or Line Graph. Almost all the questions were calculation intensive and were very lengthy.

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


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


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


The overall cut-offs too are bound to move south to be around 40±2 marks.

Note: These cut-offs are for General category students

All the best !!!