The overall structure of the IIFT 2017 was markedly different from that of 2016. The difficulty level also went much further.
IIFT 2017 had SIX sections instead of the four Sections that we found in 2016 and 2015. The total number of questions in the test was 114 which was down from 123 in 2016. Another surprise was the weightage given to each DI question (0.75 marks) was lower than that for each question in the LR Section (1 mark). IIFT-2017 was, in short, fewer questions, more difficult and a greater number of cut offs to cover!
Like in the previous years, each question had 4 options and carried negative marks of 1/3rd of the allotted marks for each question.
|Section||Questions||Marks per question||Total||Section||Questions||Marks per question||Total|
IIFT- 2017 was a difficult test. In fact, it was one of the toughest IIFT tests in recent years.
The different sections did not vary too much in the difficulty level from each other. However, the Reading Comprehension Section, the only easy section in IIFT 2017 made up for the difficulty level in the length of the passages.
In IIFT exam, the overall cut-off is significantly more than the sum of the individual sectional cut-offs. Therefore ideally, a student should have attempted a few questions in each section and devoted more time and attempted maximum questions from the sections from his/her strength. In the following paragraphs, the analysis of the individual sections is given. The time allotment and ideal attempt in each section have been mentioned from the point of view of a student who wants to maximize his/her score in that section.
IIFT 2017 Reading Comprehension kept to the general IIFT norm with 4 passages and 4 questions on each passage. Not only the format, but also the length and the difficulty level were as one expected in IIFT. The passages were lengthy but readable and the questions were direct and easy. However, since time constraint is severe in IIFT, attempts in RC are often moderate.
|Passage Topic||No. of Questions||Type of Questions||Level of Difficulty|
|Minimum Viable Product and its importance
(Approx. 1100 words)
|Close reading (Approx. 1500 words)||4||2 Direct
|Easy to Medium|
|Role of regulators and the govt. in a financial crisis (Approx. 1300 words)||4||4 Direct||Easy|
|Traditional Companies and their ‘Analytics competitors (Approx. 1300 words)||4||4 Direct||Easy to Medium|
A serious candidate should be able to attempt about 10 questions with 80 per cent accuracy in about 20 minutes.
The Verbal Ability Section of IIFT 2017 was difficult and technical.
All the questions in this section were based on the English Language as a subject rather than on reasoning or analysis. We could even call it the English Section. The questions tested the principles of grammar like “adverbial phrase” etc. as options, and Vocabulary. The vocabulary questions asked about prefixes, suffixes, anagrams etc. They were also technical.
All the question types in this section were unlike what are generally found in competitive examinations. None of the anticipated question types like synonym, antonyms, etc., were present. If last year the test carried questions based on crossword, this year there were anagrams questions. Error spotting was also in an unfamiliar format of a paragraph with several sentences underlined.
|Type||No. of Questions||Level of Difficulty|
|Nature of phrase/clause in a sentence||05||Difficult|
|Meaning of suffix/prefix||01||Difficult|
|Anagram and synonym||03||Difficult|
|Errors in passage||05||Easy-Medium|
A serious candidate with fairly good awareness of grammatical principles and vocabulary will be able attempt about 12 to 14 questions with 80 per cent accuracy in about 15 minutes.
The GA section this year was difficult.
With 18 questions in all with 0.5 marks for each and 1/3rd (0.17) negative, the questions were long with a lot to read. Many questions tested knowledge of several things in one question itself using the match the columns format. Only 5 out of the 18 questions were of the simple MCQ types that we generally anticipate in a test. The short and long questions were a mix of general awareness in the true sense covering all the areas. The GA Section was thus a good leveller, giving no special advantage to people well-aware in a particular area. Questions on business awareness dominated. However, there were questions on Music, Sports, Government Policy, International relations. Media etc.A serious candidate with who are well prepared for general awareness ought to be able to attempt about 10 questions in about 10 minutes.
This section was dominated by Geometry and Arithmetic. Some questions in this section were rather difficult. In fact, one question on infinite series involving logarithms was way too difficult and it required understanding of Taylor series, which is usually not expected in MBA entrance exams. Several questions had options with unfriendly appearance (numbers such as , 7.69 minutes, 9.12 km etc). As a result, selection of the right questions to attempt was very important.
Students who worked with options and eliminated options that were incorrect would have been able to save significant time.
The following table shows the break-up of the Quantitative Ability section.
|Simple & Compound Interest||1||1|
|Time & Work||1||1|
|Work, Pipe & Cisterns||1||1|
|Circles & Polygons||1||1|
A total attempt of about 14-15 questions with 80-85% accuracy in about 35-40 minutes would be considered a good attempt in this section.
Usually DI sets in IIFT are fairly calculation intensive. However the DI sets in IIFT-2017 were one (or rather two) notch above the DI sets in recent IIFT exams. There were 5 sets with 3 sets with 5 questions, one set with 2 questions and one set with 3 questions. Many questions were of the form “which of the following had third highest or third lowest….” and one of the four options was ‘None of the above’. Most of the sets were data heavy. As a result, interpretation of the data and understanding the question were time-consuming.
The selection of sets to attempt was very important. The set with two questions was the easiest of the lot and must not have been missed.
The following table shows the break-up of the sets:
|Type of the set||Description||Level of difficulty||Number of questions|
|Bar graph & Line||Import & Export of certain commodities India between 2012 and 2016||Difficult||5|
|Table||Monthly prices of four types of grains||Easy||2|
|Table||Traffic handled by major ports in India over 5 years||Difficult||3|
|Table||Wholesale Price Index (WPI) over the years||Medium to difficult||5|
|Table||Quarterly output and moving average of output of a company over 4 years||Medium||5|
An attempt of about 7-9 questions in 25-30 minutes would be considered a good attempt in this section.
This section was dominated by sets on arrangements. The first set in the section (in all the question sets) was on five students getting placed in five different companies. That set had five questions was rather difficult and students should not have wasted time on that set. There was one set on Sequential Output (4 questions). Students who figured out the logic of the steps quickly would have found this set doable. Otherwise this set was also on difficult side. Other than these 9 questions, other 11 questions in the section were very much doable.
The following table shows the break-up of the sets in the section:
|Type of the set||Description||Level of difficulty||Number of questions|
|Matrix arrangement||5 students getting placed in 5 different companies in 5 different cities with reading preference to 5 different genres||Difficult||5|
|Tournaments||Tournament involving 8 teams||Easy||2|
|Directions||5 players standing on a cricket ground||Easy||2|
|Sequential output||Medium to difficult||4|
|Data sufficiency||One question on linear arrangement, other on coding||Easy||2|
|Matrix arrangement||7 friends travelling in a train||Easy||2|
|Matrix arrangement||Four sports on four different channels on four different days||Easy||2|
An attempt of about 11-13 questions in 30-35 minutes at about 80-85% accuracy would be considered a good attempt.
We expect the following cut-offs for IIFT-2017:
We expect the overall cut-off for the next round of admissions for IIFT-Delhi , IIFT-Kolkatta and IIFT-Kakikada to be around 37.5-39.5 marks for General Category of students. For SC/ST/PH category of students, it is expected to be around 30 marks while for OBC (NCL) category of students, it is expected to be around 35.5 marks.