The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi (IIFT) conducts the IIFT exam for admission to its MBA-Program in International Business. The IIFT entrance exam if compared to other entrance exams is tough. In this article, we have explained in detail regarding preparation for the IIFT exam, and have covered topics including syllabus, pattern, question papers, best books for IIFT and strategy section-wise.

IIFT Exam Highlights

  • IIFT is a pen-and-paper mode exam. Mark the OMR sheet carefully.
  • As a strategy to score high marks, make sure you cover the minimum number of questions in each section to pass the sectional cut off.
  • The IIFT exam is for 120 minute long exam paper with over 120 questions. The time limit for the IIFT exam is less than other entrance exams. It is important to strategize in order to answer as many questions as possible eventhough there is no sectional time limit in the exam.
  • It is important to strategize time management, since you will have only get almost a minute to solve each question.
  • Remember to attempt the questions you are sure about since the IIFT exam has a negative marking scheme.
  • In the IIFT exam, it is not Quant but DI which is the most challenging unit, as opposed to CAT.
  • The GK section has questions mostly from current affairs rather than static GK, and the VARC section is mostly simple.

There are three main points to that you need to cover for preparation for the IIFT 2020 exam which are explained below:

Know the IIFT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

(We have written earlier that it is in online mode). The is a 2 hour long exam, conducted in pen and paper mode. The questions will be MCQ and each question will carry one mark. The IIFT exam pattern is explained herein below:

Exam StructureDetails
Number of sections6 (English Grammar, Vocabulary and Comprehension, General Knowledge & Current Affairs, Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Analysis, Data Interpretation)
Duration of exam2 hours (10 am to 12 noon)
Number of questionsVaries between 120 to 150 MCQs
Number of choices4
Language of paperEnglish
Mode of examinationPen and Paper
IIFT Exam Total Marks100
IIFT Marking scheme1 mark for right answer

-0.75 for wrong answer

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How to Select the right Book for your IIFT Exam Preparation

The books mentioned below are ideal for preparing for the IIFT 2020 exam. Additionally, students must also refer to secondary study material which is readily available online. Students can refer online platforms like Telegram, Whatsapp, facebook, Quora etc.

Quantitative Analysis

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT


Arun Sharma

Quantum CATSarvesh K Verma
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive ExaminationsAbhijit Guha
The Pearson Guide To Quantitative Aptitude And Data InterpretationNishit Sinha
Quantitative AptitudeR.S. Aggarwal

Logical Reasoning

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
How to Prepare For Logical Reasoning For CATArun Sharma
Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CATNishit K. Sinha
Verbal & Non-Verbal ReasoningR. S. Aggarwal

 Data Interpretation

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
Data Interpretation for The CATArun Sharma
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT & other MBA examsNishit K Sinha
Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CATPearson

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical ReasoningNishant Sinha
Word Power Made EasyNorman Lewis
High School English Grammar & CompositionWren & Martin
30 Days to a More Powerful VocabularyWilfred Funk and Norman Lewis
Verbal & Non-Verbal ReasoningR. S. Aggarwal

General Knowledge & Awareness – Best Study Material

  • Nationwide circulated Newspapers: Indian Express, The Hindu, Economic Times Financial Express.
  • Magazines: Outlook, Business World, Forbes Business Today, Business India.
  • Manorama Year Book
  • India Year Book

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Solve IIFT Question Papers

Candidates must give mock tests to prepare for the exam by solving previous years’ IIFT question papers. While taking there mock tests, students ought to remember the following points:

  • The previous years question papers and sample papers will give students an idea on the type of questions and the number of questions that are asked in the IIFT exam paper.
  • First complete the full syllabus and only then start solving the previous years questions papers.
  • Analyze your strengths and weaknesses after attempting the mock tests.
  • Attempt and solve minimum 25-35 sample papers and mock tests as the same will give you a variety of questions – tough, easy, lengthy and tricky.

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Section-wise IIFT Preparation Tips

It is important to prepare for the questions in the exam section wise. Students need to give equal attention and importance to all the sections. The aim of each student should be to meet the sectional cut off.

  • Quantitative Analysis

In this section you will get both easy and complicated questions. Your calculation skills on topics like on Algebra, Arithmetic and Geometry  are tested in this section and you need to manage time to the best of your abilities. Strategy should be spot and attempt the easy questions to meet the sectional cut off and do not waste time on questions which you are not a 100 per cent sure about. During IIFT exam preparation focus

  • Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

While the Logical Reasoning section is relatively easy, the Data Interpretation is tough and time consuming as the same involves intensive calculation.  To prepare for a this section work on sample question on topics likeline charts & combinations, arrangements, family trees, complex data situation pie charts, bar graphs, data tables.

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

While the Reading Comprehension section is direct and factual, the para-jumbles can be difficult, tricky and time consuming. The questions in the vocabulary section are also simple. Reading and studying Norman Lewis will be helpful to students to answer this section.

  • General Knowledge & Awareness

It is important to remember that the cut off of this section remains low. As such, do not risk in attempting the questions if you are not sure about the answers. The questions on this section are mostly from International current affairs and business affairs, therefore you need to be up to date with latest current affairs and important news of the past 6 months most specifically in the area of business. Given below is the suggested time to spend on each section:

Quantitative Analysis25 minutes
Logical Reasoning25 minutes
Data Interpretation20 minutes
Verbal Ability20 minutes
Reading Comprehension20 minutes
General Knowledge & Awareness10 minutes

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