IIFT 2017 Detailed Analysis By Career Launcher

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) conducted the Admission Test 2018-2020 for admission into its two-year program in International Business, on Sunday, December 03, 2017. The test was conducted across various centres in the country between 10 am and 12 pm. Differential marking continued to be there and the penalty for an incorrect answer was 1/3rd of the total mark assigned.

One word to describe the IIFT paper this year is “traumatic”. Unlike last year, IIFT did not prove to be easy or moderate. The paper was excruciatingly lengthy and some of the questions were agonizingly tricky. Questions in English came from unfamiliar areas. Hence, the overall difficulty level of the paper went a few notches higher. The total number of questions went down to 114.

There were six sections and each section carried a sectional cut-off. The details of the sections are as follow:

Section Total no. of questions Marks per question Total Marks Good Attempts Achievable Score Sectional Cutoff Ideal Time (in minutes)
Section 1 General Awareness 18 0.50 09 5 2 0.83-1 8-10
Section 2 English Usage 20 1.00 20 12 8.5 3 15
Section 3 Reading Comprehension 16 1.00 16 12 9.33 4.5 22-25
Section 4 Quantitative Ability 20 1.00 20 12 9.33 3.5 30
Section 5 Logical Reasoning 20 1.00 20 13 9 4 23-25
Section 6 Data Interpretation 18 0.75 15 5 3 1.5 10
Overall 114 100 38 – 40


*Cutoff for General category students is most likely to be in the range of 38-40 marks. The corresponding figures for NC/OBC and SC/ST/PWD should be around 33-35 and 28-30 marks respectively. The cutoff for ST might go lower if number of applicants are lesser


General Awareness

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Business and Economy 6 Difficult
Miscellaneous 1 Difficult
Brands 6 Moderate
Geography 1 Easy
Personalities 1 Moderate
Sports 3 Difficult
TOTAL 18 Difficult


English Usage

The Verbal Ability section of IIFT threw in some major surprises. For starters, the obsolete grammatical rule-based questions crawled out of some linguistic cave. There were questions that asked students to identify whether the underlined part was a clause or a phrase. Then there were excruciatingly lengthy questions on punctuations and passage improvement. These questions required some technical knowledge of semantics and sentence structure. Out of 20, 14 questions belonged to this area and no guesswork was logically possible. The verbal analogy questions were confusing. The three jumbled word questions were tough. Hence, out of 20, a good student could have attempted 12 questions.  The cut-off is expected to be around 3. However, if a student had some basic knowledge of the functions of parts of speech, these questions were sitters.


A detailed breakup of the section is given below:

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Phrase/Clause identification 5 Difficult
Punctuation 3 Difficult
Prefix/Suffix 1 Easy
Verbal Analogy 3 Difficult
Jumbled Words 3 Moderate – Difficult
Passage Improvement 5 Easy – Moderate
Total 20 Difficult



Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension section threw in just one surprise. It went back to its usual lengthy self. The last year’s RC pattern turned out to be an anomaly. Three out of the four passages belonged to the area of Business and Economics. Ironically, one passage in RC was about how to read. Hence, it can be safely inferred that someone at IIFT is in possession of a wry sense of humour. The questions were not difficult. Out of 16 questions, around 12 were fact-based. The options in a majority of the questions were not close. Hence, a student, who has a good reading speed, could have easily attempted 12-14 questions. Given the nature of the VA section and the overall length of the paper, RC can turn out to be the saving grace for a majority of the test takers.

A detailed breakup of the section is given below:

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Passage 1: Groupon 4 Easy
Passage 2: Close Reading 4 Moderate
Passage 3: Currency crisis 4 Easy-Moderate
Passage 4: Analytics Competitors 4 Moderate
Total 16 Easy – Moderate


Logical Reasoning

Apart from the 5 questions on matrix (MBA students), which was lengthy, and one of the sets between input-output and football the rest of the questions were easy to moderate. All other sets were easy in nature and could have been attempted. All singlets were very easy and must have been attempted all in order to maximize. A good candidate could have attempted 12-13 questions in 25-30 min.

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Distribution 7 Difficult
Directions 2 Easy
Sport (Football) 2 Moderate
Input Output 4 Moderate
Syllogism 1 Easy
                Data Sufficiency 2 Easy
Selection 2                        Easy
Total 20 Moderate


Quantitative Ability

The difficulty level of this section increased significantly compared to last year. The section was evenly distributed between Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. Few questions required knowledge of Trigonometry. A well-prepared candidate could have attempted 11-12 questions in 28-30 mins.

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Arithmetic 7 Easy
Algebra 5 Easy-Moderate
Geometry, Mensuration and Trigonometry 5 Moderate
P&C and Probability 2 Moderate
Number System 1 Moderate
20 Moderate


Data Interpretation

After a year’s hiatus IIFT showed its true colours wrt DI. An attempt of 5-6 would be very good and students who had attempted just about 2-3 questions with 100% accuracy should sail through the cutoff

Topic Number of Questions Level of Difficulty
Mixed Graphs 5 Difficult
Tables 15 1.5 doable sets (Difficult)
Total 20 Difficult


All the best! Keep working hard for the forthcoming examinations.

Team CL

Disclaimer: The analysis given above has been prepared by Career Launcher experts. The information given here has no bearing on your actual score. Career Launcher does not take responsibility for any discrepancy between the information in this document and the actual result.