IIFT 2021 Analysis

IIFT 2021 was conducted today, 5th December, in the online mode across the country. The exam, has been postponed for the centers on most of the east-coast states (West Bengal, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh) due to cyclone Jawad.

The test was conducted from 10 AM to 12 noon in the CBT (computer-based test) format. The duration of the exam was two hours with no sectional time limit. Students reported that at a few centers, the experience was far from desired. Students had to wait in serpentine queues to get entry into the center. Many were allowed into the test well after 10 am as checking the documents took a lot of time. No social distancing measures were followed in some test centers. Troubles did not end there for some. The systems provided were not working properly and students had to be allocated other systems. The test timer, however, kept running for some, during this change, causing undue pressure and frustration for the students.

However, on the pattern front, there were no surprises. The paper was of the same pattern as that of the last year. The snapshot of the pattern is as below.


There were four sections this year.

Area No of Questions Marks per question Total Negative marks per question
Quantitative Aptitude 25 3 75 1
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability 16 – RC
19 - VA
3 105 1
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 16 – DI
14 - LR
3 90 1
General Awareness 20 1.5 30 0.5
Total 110 -- 300 --

A detailed analysis of the sections of the paper is given below:

Quantitative Aptitude

The section was almost on par with the last year's paper, tending slightly on the tougher side this year. The section had a total of 25 questions from across topics. Topics like numbers continued to be under represented, with only one question this year too. Some questions had a lot of data and a couple of questions were a little ambiguous. However, no question was uncrackable. The distribution is as given below:

Area No. of Questions
Algebra 5
Pure Maths 5
Arithmetic 10
Geometry 4
Numbers 1
Total 25

The topic-wise split is as below

Topic No. of questions Dificulty Level
T&D 1 Moderate
T&W 1 Moderate
ERPV 4 Moderate-Difficult
PPL 2 Moderate
AMA 1 Easy
ILS 3 Easy-Moderate
Quadratic Equations 1 Moderate
Sequences 1 Difficult
Geometry & Mensuration 4 Moderate
Probability 3 Moderate
Coordinate Geometry 1 Moderate
P&C 1 Moderate
Trigonometry 1 Moderate
Numbers 1 Easy-Moderate

Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability

This section was very similar to the last year's pattern. So, students who have prepared with us and took our mock IIFT exams would have been prepared well for this year's exam!

This section consisted of 16 questions on RCs and 19 on Verbal Ability with a total of 35 questions.

There were four RC passages- 2 passages with five questions each, and the other two with three questions each. Most of the questions were Inference based or Specific Detail based.

Following is a brief description of the RC part:

Passage No. Passage Context Approximate Word Count
Passage 1 The Role of Theory in Management 850
Passage 2 Low Context and High Context Words 500
Passage 3 Morality and Religion 600
Passage 4 Interconnectedness and sustainability 650

Passage 1 was clearly the lengthiest and the toughest. It would have taken students close reading of at least 50% of the passage to understand the ideas that were put forth in the passage! Such a long passage with 5 questions to it would surely discourage students from attempting it, and it should not have been attempted. The passage also contained multiple ideas (around four to five) making it tedious even for a good reader to comprehend the passage in its entirety, quickly.

Passages 2, 3, and 4 were relatively shorter and much easier to comprehend. Some of the questions associated with these passages were also straightforward. While the questions were inference based, they should not have troubled the students much, especially those who understood the passage well.

The questions in the Verbal Ability segment were predominantly on Vocabulary. A couple of questions from Grammar also were present.

Here is a snapshot of the Verbal Ability part:

Area Question Type No. of Questions
Grammar Idioms 1
Identify correct sentences 2
Vocabulary Inappropriate/Appropriate word usage 3
Meanings of root words 3
Spelling 1
Match words with meanings 2
Select the correct combinations 3
One word substitution (Meaning) 2
Foreign terms 2

Para-formation questions were visibly absent this year. As a consequence, vocabulary took a much larger share this year. Answering the Grammar questions and a few Vocab based questions should have been easy for T.I.M.E. students who have been regularly attending classes, as they would have been familiar with several terms/words/grammar rules.

The questions on foreign terms were different this year, as only the origin of the words was asked, and not their meaning.

Overall, the VA part of the paper was a relief to the students, at an easy-moderate level.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

This section had a total of 30 questions with 16 questions on DI and 14 on LR. The distribution of the questions is as below:

Data Interpretation

Type of Set Difficulty Level No of Questions
Bar Graph (TV & Fridge) Difficult 4
Bar Graph (Crimes & Countries) Difficult 4
Line Chart (Rice) Moderate 4
Pie charts (Food Crops) Moderate-Difficult 4

DI sets this year needed both reasoning and calculation abilities, unlike the last year where there were more calculation-based questions.

Both the sets on bar graphs had partial data with more information being provided at a question level. This pushed the difficulty level of these sets up. The set on pie charts required moderate level of calculations.

The set on line charts was the must-attempt in this section as all the questions in it were straight forward, needing no additional reasoning from the students to crack them.

Logical Reasoning

The LR part of this section had four set-based questions and two standalone questions. Three of the four sets were not so easy to solve. They were difficult because adequate data has not been to completely crack the set and while the individual questions give additional info, solving them is tedious and time consuming – Student of the year puzzle. The set on B-school competition had ambiguous data, increasing the difficulty level. The set on hackathon could become a moderate level set if students could interpret the data correctly.

The set on blood relations and the two standalone LR questions, however, provided some relief to the students as they were standard types of questions.

The overall difficulty level of this section can be classified as moderate-difficult.

Type of Set Difficulty Level No of Questions
Hackathon Puzzle Moderate 3
Student of the year puzzle Difficult 3
B-school competition puzzle Difficult 4
Blood relations Easy 2
Coding & Decoding Easy 1
Assumptions Easy 1

General Awareness

This year the GK section was of moderate level. This section, apart from the regular MCQ's, also had two match the following type of questions.

Students who followed the news regularly and had a good reading habit should have been able to handle this section with some ease. Questions on 'match the following' were lower this year at only two. The questions were from diverse topics. The breakup of questions is as below.

Geography – 2

Brands & Logos – 2

National Bodies – 2

International Bodies – 2

Ministries/schemes/Bills – 4

Movies – 1

Awards – 1

Sports – 1

Miscellaneous - 5

A good number of questions were from current affairs, and only a few were from static GK.


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

8-9 22-24 11-13 6-7

Note: These cut-offs are for General category students. The shortlisting criteria gives weightage to the profile of the candidates also. So, the cut-off mentioned is only indicative. Overall cutoff is expected to be generated out of the weightages given and is hence not being mentioned.

All the best!

Disclaimer: All information on cut-offs, analysis, and scores are based on independent analysis and evaluation made by T.I.M.E. based on student inputs about the exam. We do not take responsibility for any decision that might be taken, based on this information.