With just 4 days to IIFT, I would like to give my 2 cents on how to make use of these 4 days and crack the IIFT entrance exam. But before that, let's understand the difference between CAT and IIFT in terms of the pattern. This will give you an idea to mould your CAT strategy for IIFT.
How are CAT and IIFT different?
Having given both CAT and IIFT exams (and scoring decent enough percentiles in both), I believe that I can answer this question.
There are 6 sections and you need to clear the cut-off of all. GK is a section unique to IIFT. IIFT focuses more on current affairs as against static GK in XAT. Verbal Ability is unique to IIFT and throws a bunch of foreign words and idioms at one, something which is not taken care of by CAT.
Along with that IIFT gives more calculation-intensive DI sets as compared to logical DI in CAT. One needs to make use of approximations a lot as there is no calculator.
Quantitative aptitude and Logical Reasoning are at par or a tad easier than CAT. Reading Comprehensions are pretty straightforward and answers can be found easily. Reading speed can create a difference here as a critical analysis of the passage is not required much. Editorials from the Guardian or the Hindu can help one grasp the type of passages that may come.
How I attempted the IIFT paper
My strategy was to attempt enough questions of each section first to ensure clearing the cut off and then focus on section I can score the most. I decided to first go to GK and Verbal as in these sections you either know the answer or not. So, it won't take much time.
For Verbal, I found Norman Lewis very helpful. For GK, I had IMS GK portal and I focused on all the GK sessions happening in various groups like Iquanta, Elites Grid, Target100 etc. Any GK portal of IMS, TIME, CL etc. can be used.
In the one week that I had after CAT, I focused on Vocab and GK as CAT prepares you for everything else. For RCs, my advice would be to read the questions first and then go to RC to look for answers as RCs in IIFT don’t require much of critical analysis. I spent around first around 45-50 minutes to attempt 3-4 questions of each section to ensure that I clear cutoff. I spent rest of the time on RC and Logical Reasoning as those were my strongest sections. It ensured that I maximized my score.
You should definitely go through the Essential Reading List for IIFT!
How can one go about the exam if you are not from maths background/not so comfortable with QA LRDI?
Being from a non-maths background, QA was something I struggled with. Hence, all I focused on was how to clear the cutoff.
IIFT throws a mix of difficult and easy questions at you. Basics till class 10 like arithmetic and geometry are important. The questions are primarily concept based and not to be solved via fancy shortcuts. My advice would be to read the questions first and look for the easy ones. Questions on logarithm, time speed and distance, geometry are quite doable and one can make use of options easily.
In my opinion, LR takes less time to do once you crack the logic as compared to DI. 2 sets are almost doable. Sets on blood relations, transportation, arrangements are quite common. If systematically approached, one can easily do them.
If you are not able to attempt all the questions in a set, do not take it on your ego. Attempting 2-3 questions in each set (of 2 sets) is good enough to score decent in this section.
For DI, chart based sets are easier to form than table-based as they can be solved visually with the help of options. Approximations are must. There is a high possibility of solving 1-2 questions easily from each set rather than solving the whole set.
IIFT exam tests you more on your strategy and time management rather than just quantitative aptitude. Do not spend more than 1 minute on a question if you are not able to get the hang of it, keep it for the 2nd round.
Start with GK and verbal. Then you can go to your weak section to give it more time as strong section can be attempted even in less time.
Sources to study from
- Use Norman Lewis for foreign words. Go through a few popular idioms as well. Sometimes idioms are given In a context and that can be manipulated easily to score in this section.
- Articles from Newspapers like the Hindu, the Guardian etc.
- Any coaching institute’s GK portal along with various online quizzes to gauge the types of question
- For QA, focus more on arithmetic algebra and geometry to score decent enough.
- Calculation intensive DI can be found in Career Launcher material.
- Give preference to IIFT past year papers over mocks of coaching institutes to get a hang of the paper.
All the best!
About the Author
Nikita Tayal is currently in her first year, pursuing MBA (IB) at IIFT Delhi. She has scored 99.437 percentile in IIFT 2018 and is currently a part of the InsideIIM Student Team.