What is IIFT exam and how to prepare for it?

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) administers the IIFT exam for admission to MBA-IB programs at IIFT Delhi, IIFT Kolkata, and IIFT Kakinada. Every year, immediately following the CAT test, the IIFT is held. Between the two exams, there is usually a one-week hiatus. The IIFT test is held in about 220 places across India. Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and General Awareness are the primary areas of the exam. The exam will take a total of two hours (120 minutes) to complete.

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) exam is a national-level entrance exam for MBA admission to the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade’s three campuses in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada. The IIFT previously administered this exam, but it is currently administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It was also once an offline exam; however, it has recently been transformed into an online exam.


The candidate must check each requirement to verify if they are qualified to take the exam.

  1. This exam is open to both Indian and international students.

  2. There is no age restriction for taking this exam.

  3. The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with an overall grade point average of at least 50% (45% for SC/ST/PwD candidates).

  4. Candidates in their last year of a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply.

  5. Indian nationals living, working, or studying abroad must include a certificate from the Indian Embassy/High Commission in the country where they are currently based with their application.

  6. Foreign nationals must possess a current passport or travel document.

Exam Pattern

As more sections were added, the IIFT’s mode was changed from offline to online. The IIFT test is divided into six components.

  1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: Total questions 35, correct marks gives +3 but also holds a negative of -1. The maximum marks this section can have is 105.

  2. Quantitative Analysis: Total questions 25, correct marks gives +3 but also holds a negetive of -1. The maximum marks this section can have is 75.

3.Logical Reasoning &Data Interpretation: Total questions 30, correct marks gives +3 but also holds a negetive of -1. The maximum marks this section can have is 90.

4.General Awareness (GK): Total questions 20, correct marks gives +1.5 but also holds a negative of -0.5. The maximum marks this section can have is 30.

The exam contains 110 questions with maximum marks of up to 300.

Generally, students who prepare for entrance exam for IIFT, have been preparing for other major entrance exams like CAT, XAT and others too. So, in order to prepare for IIFT, you have to get through the same course of getting your basic concepts of mathematics, English, Logical Reasoning and DI straight, followed up by rigorous practice and learning of skills and techniques to manage time in hand well, along with maintaining accuracy levels.

In addition to the usual sections, a serious candidate for IIFT must have his or her Current Affairs and static general knowledge areas strong to score well. This will be covered via keeping a check on news daily, keeping mobile apps like Inshorts which provide you with updates on current affairs. The static part will be sorted out by reading basic GK books and magazines and practicing past year questions.

Following points may be helpful if you are looking ahead for IIFT entrance exam:

• Have a knowledge about the pattern to plan your weaker and stronger sections and assign time for preparation accordingly.
• Have a thorough idea about the syllabus and types of questions asked from different topics and sections.
• Spend on the best available material for the exam, whether books to sharpen your abilities in quantitative, DI, LR and Verbal sections or GK.
• Spend on the best available test series and reading materials in the market for quick revision.
• It is generally understood that the DI section needs more practice for being time consuming.

If the date of the entrance exams are 4-5 moths away, the main idea is to keep a hold on your confidence and remind yourself that still there is enough time to prepare you in the best possible way for the day that counts.

You need to test if your concepts are clear about the most recurrent topics of arithmetic, geometry, algebra and other questions. If yes, then the main idea lies behind managing time well and increase your speed and accuracy. Make sure that all types of difficulty levels are checked.

Meanwhile, practice your Logical Reasoning and DI questions well, with learning some quick calculation skills that can cut short the required time for answering.

Try to solve the GK parts through previous papers and online quiz portals that prepare for the appropriate level of questions for both current affairs and static section.

Try to give more and more time to practice mock tests from reliable sources on days when you don’t feel like studying much. This will make you aware of your weaker sections , which you will be focusing on to improve in the runup to the main exam day.

Opting for the self-study route is best suited for people who have a proper understanding of their strong and weak areas have a plan in place to overcome their shortcomings either through practice in a strategic and planned manner or via clearing out the conceptual problems they have been facing and learning effective short cut techniques.
Self-Study can also be an option for students who are saving up money for future uses and can give an honest attempt and dedication towards the available materials and books to practice for the entrance exam.
However, there are a few sections in the entrance exams like that of IIFT which are considered lengthy , complex and tricky. In the absence of a tutor who can guide you through such questions, the candidates can follow up study materials and guide books that can simplify the problem for them.
It might be a good strategy to give your stronger areas rigorous practice instead of wasting time on learning concepts you find complex. But make sure you cover the deficit by getting quicker and accurate in rest of the topics.
GK more or less stays the same sector for both coaching center approach as well as self-study ones. You can always get affordable books and materials to brush up your current affairs and static general knowledge. Make sure they are covered and attempted well to get the maximum out of the section on the day of the actual exam.

Experts who have observed the pattern of the exams being conducted for entrance into IIFT and their results, are of the opinion that the right way of preparation, without exhausting oneself, smartly working on the right sections, parts and abilities can get a well above the required cutoff of percentile to get one through.
It is widely considered that getting around 50% of the questions right will place a candidate in a very comfortable range of 97+ percentile. Now, the candidates must devote regular practice sessions to breach the required number of correct attempts.
A lot of them can be easily scored by getting a good hold in the strong areas and preparing for the General Knowledge sections well. Practicing well on basic concepts will get one through many questions.
So, overall, it can be said that if prepared well and executed smartly, getting through the entrance exam for IIFT isn’t a tough job, but the one that requires proper planning.