The UPL’IIFT’ Series- spearheaded by the Media Committee, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, in collaboration with InsideIIM is an initiative to help aspirants understand and prepare for the IIFT Entrance Exam with strategies exercised by some of the top performers.
In today’s interview, we have Niharika Gaur from the Batch of 2020-22. A snapshot of her profile and scores: Educational Background: B.A- Media Studies, Economics and Political Science || Work Experience: 23 Months || IIFT: Overall- 96.78%ile
When did you start preparing for the IIFT exam?
I started preparing for the exam in October 2018, a little over an year before the exam.
Could you walk us through your plan of preparation?
I mostly devoted time to subjects I was lagging in - Quants and Logical Reasoning. The key to both is consistency, understanding, and then working on speed. I did Quants more than Logical Reasoning in the beginning and I realised I was losing on Logical Reasoning.
I decided to devote time to both the sections equally, especially during the last months, and started practicing more rigorously before the exam because I believe that if you lose out on speed right before the exam then it becomes extremely difficult to score well. I think it is imperative to figure out where you need the most effort and maximize your practice in those areas.
How many mocks did you take and what was your method of analysing your results?
I started giving mocks religiously for all of my MBA entrances pretty regularly once I decided to prepare. I consistently performed a little above average, with the initial results being around 80 percentile which stayed the same, gives or take 5 percent. That took a toll on me as I was working hard but did not see the results that I was expecting. That is where IIFT's exam pattern helped me. This exam helped me gauge the entire paper and my preferred sections at my own pace. I didn't let the scores affect me too much because I believed that with hard work and a little bit of luck, anyone could succeed.
How was your online test-taking experience?
2019 was the first time that the IIFT exam was taking place online. However, having given most of my exams online the year before, it wasn’t hard to transition to the online format.
I changed my strategy based on the kind of exam and I ensured that I was prioritising my strengths as well as trying to make sure that I used the time judiciously on questions that I could easily solve. I think in terms of the online experience, it is imperative to focus on what you know rather than what you don’t.
What other calls did you have, and why did you choose IIFT?
I had calls from new IIMs and SCMHRD but IIFT had been my preferred college since 2018. This was mostly because of the specialisation in Trade that is offered which I believe complements my Political Science and Economics background well. Additionally, International Relations being my area of interest, I thought I could continue studying the same in the few courses that IIFT offers and excel in them as well.
Do you have any final tips for aspirants?
I think everyone has an ace up their sleeves. However, I would like to reiterate that for competitive exams, you should have two. That helps in getting a consistent edge over others. I think tenacity and a little bit of luck together are what helps you to your destiny.
For the time being, you can control one, which is how hard you prepare, and that should be your focus. According to me, the key to success is identifying your weaknesses and improving them as much as you can, and maintaining command over your strengths.
Recommended For You: