A lot of aspirants had queries regarding the IIFT test and what all things need to be prepared. Having been a 100%iler in IIFT 2015 and IIFT 2016 (along with an IIFT Delhi final convert when I was an aspirant) and having seen quite a few students get through IIFT, I thought I would shed some light on the test taking strategies.
To start with, I would advise you to go through these articles and check out the trends/analysis/reviews as I would be borrowing heavily from these themes. Also, I haven’t covered the number of questions, sections-subsections, and marks per question extensively as it is easily available in the public domain.
Coming to IIFT 2017 Strategies at a section-level as well as an overall level, we can have a look at these aspects:
1. Verbal ability: Generally the focus has been on vocabulary and grammar in this particular sub-section. At IIFT 2016 however, the candidates were kind of rattled because of the format of the section which had a crossword puzzle and a ‘larger than normal’ match the following set. So, if you are good with basic word roots and stay calm during the section, you should be able to do well. To prepare for this section, keep a note of the different words and try finding out the origin and history behind these words and not just answering the question that you have or trying to remember the dictionary meaning of the said word. That would help you build a good level of vocabulary. This might be a good starting point: Vocabulary questions and concepts – Learningroots. Ideally, one should be able to wrap up this sub-section within 20 minutes at maximum.
2. Reading Comprehension: A word of caution. A lot of experts (including yours truly) predicted the RC subsection to be lengthy and difficult last year. However, those who attempted it at the end were in for a surprise simply because the questions were pretty easy and straightforward. A good way to identify the level of difficulty in this subsection is by looking at the questions. If the question says: Which of the following is NOT… then it will be time consuming most of the time. If it says: Which of the following is… then it should be easy. Generally, searching through the passage after reading the questions works and should ideally be your go to strategy. Ideally, you will get 4 passages out of which, you can go for a couple of passages in around 20 minutes in case the subsection looks easier than normal.
3. General Awareness: I go for this section right at the start (primarily because I am not great with GA/GK and need to get the knowledge out of my system as soon as is possible) and finish it off in 10 odd minutes never to return to it. The cutoff would be low and it would not really create a huge difference to your overall score so, it would be a good idea to rush through this section and get the customary 3-4 marks. You can refer to the resources here: Business current affairs and GK course by Learningroots
4. Quantitative Ability: Your selection will play a huge role in this section. If you are extremely aware of your strengths and weaknesses with regard to question types, you should be able to pick the easiest questions in this section (somewhere around 50 percent of the total number of questions should be the bare minimum target). Popular topics would be Algebra (equations, functions, progressions, logs), Arithmetic (percentages, alligations, interest rates and growth, time-speed-distance), Modern Math (probability and permutations-combinations) and Geometry (especially coordinate geometry formulas and mensuration). Ideal time to spend is some 25-30 minutes for around 10-12 questions.
5. Logical Reasoning: Last year was again an aberration when it came to the LR subsection. The general tendency is to do LR sets and ignore DI completely because the latter is supposed to be calculation intensive. However, IIFT 2016 had a tough LR subsection and those who would have gone with a rigid strategy would have suffered big time. The questions are generally on arrangements, and logical puzzles and some special question types such as syllogisms, input-output and series. Ideally, you can spend somewhere around 25-30 minutes on this section if the questions look easy-moderate. The best way to identify the level of questions will be to look at the characters and the nature of the caselet. Last year, there were 16, 6, 7 and 8 characters in the sets with accompanying conditions and qualifications. That made the subsection difficult.
6. Data Interpretation: Traditionally, the DI section had been one which was supposed to be left blindly without even looking at it. Last year was a surprise simply because the sets were easier and could have been solved more quickly compared to the LR caselets. So, it would be better to have a look at the subsection and identify the easiest set/s which you would solve. These will be the ones with the least data or comfortable data points (multiples of 5, 10 or each other). You can use the options judiciously and limit your calculations big time. Ideally, solving a couple of sets in 15-20 minutes should be possible.
As said above, GK-VA-RC-QA-LR-DI should ideally be split as 10-20-20-25-25-20. However, IIFT is one such test in which having a rigid strategy almost always leads to failure. Tackling a question at a time is the best thing to do. Also, make sure that you are good at identifying easier questions and leaving out the ones that are tough without any prejudice. Out of 120 odd questions, if you are solving 70 odd questions with good accuracy, you should be fine and so, it is okay to leave questions. At the end of the day, your performance in the test is not so much a function of how many questions you solve but how quickly you are able to solve a particular question. The cut-offs have gone up significantly over the last few years now which is more because the paper is getting easier than anything else.
How to prepare?
Unlike CAT/CET, mock taking is not an important part of IIFT prep. If you can lay your hands on past year IIFT papers (from here) and solve them, you should be fine. Once you know how much time is ideal to solve a question, you can judge the paper in a better manner. The order of solving the sections and the art of leaving questions that look difficult are the more important aspects of the test. If you go through the links that I have mentioned above and are active on our Facebook group you should do well at the test.
You may go through our popular courses here (at discounted prices): Full LRDI course for CAT 2017 (Rs. 1750 only) | Full VARC course for CAT 2017 (Rs. 1750 only) | Full Quant course for CAT 2017 (Rs. 3500 only) | CAT 2017 full course (Rs. 6000 only) | Current affairs and GK (Rs. 299 only)