IIFT 2016 Detailed Analysis And Cutoffs

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(This article was updated at 4:45 pm, 27th November, 2016)

IIFT 2016 Paper Pattern

No of Questions : 123

No of Marks : 100

No of Sections : 4  (Cutoffs exist for each section)

Marking : Differential

Negative marking : 1/3 rd of the mark allotted for a question

Total No of Sets : 4 sets (A B C D)

While the paper the same for everyone, the order of the sections changed from person to person. Given below is the paper pattern of SET B. However, the order of the questions for a given section for all the sets was the same.

Section Part No. Of Questions Marks/Question Total
(A) (B) (C) (D) (E) = (C) * (D)
Section -1 Part – 1 (LR) 22 (Questions 01-22) 0.75 16.5
Part – 2 (DI) 20 (Questions 23-42) 1.00 20
Section – 2 Part – 1 (RC) 16 (Questions 43-58) 1.00 16
Part – 2 (VA) 20 (Questions 59-78) 0.75 15
Section – 3 GK 25 (Questions 79 -103) 0.5 12.5
Section – 4 QA 20 (Questions 104-123) 1.00 20
Total 123 100


IIFT 2016 Analysis

The IIFT 2016 was very similar to the IIFT 2015 and IIFT 2013 papers! However, though on first look it may appear easier than the last year’s paper, on careful analysis, it looks as if the paper is a wee bit difficult than the paper of 2015!

Unlike the previous years, the RC wasn’t as lengthy and the DI wasn’t as calculation intensive.

The Verbal areas, surprisingly, were not easy. Given the fact there that were 20 questions with quite a few vocab intensive ones, though they appear easy, there is a good chance that students would make a lot of mistakes in this area. The cutoff for this section may be lower than that of last year. The RC section, however, was easy though there were two longer passages.

The General Knowledge section, as usual, was the bête noire for many a student. The cutoffs are expected to be very low. It is a surprise as to why both IIFT and XLRI keep trying to measure the non-existent GK quotient in the Management aspirants. They would better do away with this area!


Analysis of Individual Sections

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (42 Qns / 36.5 Marks)

Difficulty :Moderate

Area # of Qns      Marks/Qns Total       Marks Negative Marks
Logical Reasoning 22 0.75 16.5 0.25
Data Interpretation 20 1 20 0.33


Set on Arrangements of Doctors, timings and their specialities, THERE is a mistake in the conditions given. Two conditions contradict each other and hence one of the questions cannot be answered correctly because of that. However, if we ignore the same, we may force fit the answer too! The key will be released with this caution!

Similarly, in the same set, the third question also has an error in the choices. The answer to that question would be U reaching at 4 pm. There is NO Answer choice given.

Set on 7 employees and working in 3 departments: The answer to the question.

  1. In which of the departments, does a group of 3 work?
  2. Only Finance  (There is no such choice given in the question)

Overall, the LR and DI section together commanded the highest marks in the paper. One expects that a good student would have spent the maximum time in this section and attempted close to 30 questions and probably 25 worth of marks.

The accuracy level in this section is usually higher and hence a potential score of 18 to 20 can be obtained if one uses the time judiciously and picks the right sets to solve.

Logical Reasoning

The logical reasoning section with 22 questions is definitely doable if one avoids getting stuck in one set or the other. The overall level of difficulty can be termed as moderate

Of these 22 questions, there were 5 sets of questions (3 or 4 questions each) and 5 individual questions.

Among the Individual (stand alone) question, there were 3 number or letter series questions, one Venn diagram question and one question on syllogism.

The questions in this area can be categorised under the following types of questions.

  • Relationship between Letters (given in a STAR form) and Analogies – 4 qns
  • Blood Relations & relationships among tribes – 3 qns
  • Circular (hexagon) Arrangement – 4 qns
  • Arrangement and Order sequencing – 3 qns
  • Distribution among Doctors, Specialty, Timings -3 qns

Of these, the sets on Relationships and Analogies among Alphabets, Blood Relations and relationship and Circular Arrangement were doable and  any student giving about 15 minutes to these sets would have been able to solve them easily.

Data Interpretation

The DI area had TWO sets of Bar charts (Normal and Stacked) and Two sets of Tables. Surprisingly, the questions were straightforward and if one had given 20 to 25 odd minutes in this area, they could have cracked more than 15 questions in this.

The set on revenue and expenses is the easiest one. The Set on Foreign Investment (FI) and Domestic Investment (DI) also was easily doable. Incidentally, even the one on T-Shirt Manufacturing across 5 stores was also direct and easy. The only set, which had some calculations, though easy ones, was the table of Students in Five Kingdoms and their Pass Percentages across 5 years.

Overall as given above, the DI and LR section was slightly easier than that of last year, However, since LR was more difficult and the tendency of students to attempt less of DI (at least most students!), the cutoff may not be higher than 8.5.


Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (36 Qns / 31 Marks)

Difficulty: Moderate

Area # of Qns Marks/Qns Total Marks Negative Marks
Reading Comprehension 16 1 16 0.33
Verbal Ability 20 0.75 15 0.25


In Reading Comprehension area, there were 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each. Of these, two were of lengthy variety whereas two were shorter passages. While the questions in all four passages were easy, not all are direct questions and it required some effort to get these right.

The Verbal area was full of vocab intensive questions. While through elimination, one can get most of these correct, it also depends on the individual’s comfort with vocabulary. (which is suspect for a lot of students!)

Hence the cutoff may be a shade lower than what it was last year.

A good student could have attempted close to 30+ questions in 30 minutes and would have got about 15 marks. The cutoff, however, would be closer to 8 marks.


Quantitative Ability (20 Qns / 20 Marks)

Difficulty : Moderate to Difficulty

The break up of questions as per the areas in quant is as given below.

Area # of Questions
Arithmetic (Equations, PPL, T&W, T&D) 4
Algebra (Indices, Logs, Progressions, Inequalities) 5
Numbers 2
Permutations & Combinations/Probability 5
Geometry and Mensuration 2
Venn Diagrams 1
Coordinate Geometry 1


The number of arithmetic questions has reduced drastically from the last year’s paper. In IIFT2015, there was a total of 11 arithmetic questions, which were easy too.

Given the composition of the paper, and given that there were a number of P&C/Probability questions, the students would have found this section a little tougher than last year.

There were some sitters in the paper and any good student giving about 25 to 30 minutes in this section could have scored about 10 to 12 marks.

The fact that the number of questions also reduced from last year and the other sections weren’t particularly easy, the cutoff would closer to 4 !


General Knowledge (25 Qns, 12.5 Marks)

Difficulty : Difficult!

As written above, there is really no point in having a cutoff for this section. Of the 25 questions given in the GK section, very few students would even know more than 10 questions in this section.

The IIFT authorities would do well to give an Essay (as they anyway do at the time of GDPI) and scrap the GK section which has been traditionally been given. It is extremely sad that the cutoffs are less than 2 marks (less than 20% of the total marks) in every year (last year it was only 0.82 marks). Someone getting 1 mark is never going to be any better than a student getting 0.5 marks in this paper.

For the sake of analysis, however, we believe that the cutoff should be about 1 (or less!)


Overall Analysis

IIFT 2016 was slightly more difficult than the last year’s paper. The cutoffs may be very similar to that of last year and the overall score may be a shade lower than what was last year!

Summary of the Expected Cutoffs!

S No Section Cutoff
1 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 8
2 Logical Ability & Data Interpretation 8.33
3 Quantitative Ability 4
4 General Knowledge 1
OVERALL 45.8-46.5


Expected Overall Cutoffs

General Candidates 45.8 – 46.5

OBC Candidates 40.8 – 41.5

SC/ST Candidates 35.8 – 36.5




About the Author:

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the CEO of VistaMind Education. VistaMind is the only National Level Training institute, which prepares students for CAT through LIVE ONLINE CLASSES. For more information, write to info@vistamind.com OR Visit cat.vistamind.com

ARKS Srinivas

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the National Head for MBA Prep at Career Launcher.