In today’s interview, we have Abhinav Kumar from the MBA (IB) Batch of 2021-23. A snapshot of his profile: Educational Background: B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi || Work Experience: Nil|| IIFT: Overall- 99.94 QA- 90.08 LRDI- 97.64 VARC- 99.73 GK- 98.83. Read on!
The UPL’IIFT’ Series- spearheaded by the Media Committee, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, in collaboration with Inside IIM is an initiative to help aspirants understand and prepare for the IIFT Entrance Exam with strategies exercised by some of the top performers.
When did you start your preparation for the IIFT exam and how was the experience in shifting the preparation from UPSC to MBA entrance examinations?
My UPSC examination results were out in October and after the results, I had to take a very pragmatic call to appear for management entrance examinations on such short notice but I wanted to upskill myself and be at the same level as my peers from under graduation. So, Instead of taking the UPSC results as a setback, I decided to channelize that energy into appearing for the management entrance tests. I had a little over a month to prepare for CAT and other management entrance tests and I utilized my time in only taking full-length mocks.
Could you enlighten the aspirants a little with your preparation strategy and how you approached the IIFT entrance exam?
As I didn’t have time on my side, I decided to concentrate on mocks as that was the best way for me to gauge my performance. I remember scoring 60 percentile on my first mock and thinking if I had made the wrong call in appearing for the entrance exams with such a short amount of preparation. But I believed in myself and took around 2 mocks a day continuously for a month from IMS & CareerLauncher and started seeing results. I would analyse the mocks thoroughly by going back and reading up on concepts that I was not familiar with.
DILR was my weakest section and I improved my performance in this section solely by focusing on questions from previous year papers. I noticed that certain question types like Venn Diagrams and Pie-Charts were repetitive so I made it a point to attempt more questions of similar nature in mocks.
For Quantitative Aptitude, I relied on Arun Sharma and started exploring questions that were at a difficulty of Level 3 and above. Considering I had started my preparation late, I decided on focusing more on attempting a few questions under a particular concept as this enabled me to prepare for different areas.
For VARC, I practised sentence ordering and other variations of the same using practice material on IMS and CareerLauncher. I was experienced in reading a lot of varied articles because of UPSC preparation and so my only practice for RC was in full-length mocks.
What was your strategy for the Exam Day?
I approached exam day with a pre-determined strategy based on the analysis of my mock scores. As I was strong in General Knowledge, I allotted a time of around 3 mins for the section, and completing a section in 3 mins gave me momentum that I could carry forward throughout the paper. From my mock scores, I came to a conclusion that VARC was a section where I could get maximum marks in a limited amount of time therefore, I decided to allot around 45 mins to VARC. I allotted 35 mins for LRDI and targeted to solve 3 sets. The remaining time was set aside for QA as it was a section that I was comfortable with doing at the very end.
Any final tips that you would like to give to the aspirants out there?
- Brush up on basics and keep revising the formula
- Solve Mocks and focus more on analysis
- Go through compendiums for General Knowledge during free time
- Plan your strategy for Exam Day
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