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IIFT 2017: Here’s the paper analysis

The total number of questions in IIFT this year was 114 as compared to 123 last year. But despite fewer questions there was an increase in the number of sections, from 4 to 6

education Updated: Dec 05, 2017 10:58 IST
IIFT,IIFT 2017,Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
There being six sections this time, with verbal ability (VA) and reading comprehension (RC) as separate sections along with logical reasoning (LR) and data interpretation, students needed to manage their time across sections extremely carefully to ensure they got past the sectional cutoffs.(Getty Images)

IIFT 2017 was conducted on Sunday, December 3 for admission to the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) located in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada (AP). The two-hour test was conducted across various centres in the country from 10 am to 12 noon.

There being six sections this time, with verbal ability (VA) and reading comprehension (RC) as separate sections along with logical reasoning (LR) and data interpretation, students needed to manage their time across sections extremely carefully to ensure they got past the sectional cutoffs.

Snapshot of the exam

There were six sections this year as against four last year. Each of the sections had sectional cut-offs applicable (as was mentioned in the test instructions). Below is the snapshot of various sections ( based on Set – A).

SNAPSHOT OF THE EXAM
There were six sections this year as against four last year. Each of the sections had sectional cut-offs applicable (as was mentioned in the test instructions). Below is the snapshot of various sections ( based on Set – A).
TypeNo of QuestionsMarks per questionTotalNegative marks per question
Section 1 (General Awareness)1816116
Section 2 (Verbal Ability)20200.7515
Section 3 (Reading Comprehension)16250.512.5
Section 4 (Logical Reasoning)2020120
Section 5 (Quantitative Ability)20220.7516.5
Section 6 (Data Interpretation)2020120
Total114-100-

The total number of questions in IIFT this year was 114 as compared to 123 last year. But despite fewer questions there was an increase in the number of sections, from four to six. As mentioned above, LR and DI were separate sections, and so were VA and RC.

A detailed analysis of the sections of the paper is given below (section ordering as per Set A)

Section 1 (General awareness)

GA lived up to its image of being one of the most difficult sections in IIFT yet again this year. The questions were from topics ranging from sports, corporate logos, corporate entities, government policies, stock exchanges, currencies, etc. Students had to be extremely well prepared to get a good score in this section to help their overall cutoffs.

The questions were very wordy and students going through these lost time. The 2 RC type questions could have been left out, considering the fact that each question had only 0.5 marks.

Some questions like the one on a not very well known music band left the students baffled.

As has been the case, historically the sectional cutoff for this section has really been very low.

Out of a total of 18 questions, four questions could be classified as easy ones and another four as moderate ones.

The cut-off in this section last year was 1.99 and is expected to go lower this year, to around 0.75 to 1.5 marks.

Eight to nine questions could be considered to be a good number of attempts in this section!

Section 2 (Verbal ability)

The questions in this section were mostly based on English grammar viz identifying various phrases/clauses in the given sentences, punctuation, and prefix/suffix. Apart from this, there were questions based on analogies, creating a word out of jumbled letters and identifying its meaning, and replacing a part of a given sentence by the correct one.

The questions on analogies had not-so-common words and needed detailed thought to identify the linkages and select the answers.

The entire section was difficult barring a couple of punctuation questions, the prefix/suffix question, and the ones which required replacement of a part of a given sentence by the correct one. The cut-off in this section is expected to be of around two to three marks.

Eight to ten would be a good number of attempts in this section.

Section 3 (reading comprehension)

The RC passages, though fairly lengthy, were definitely readable. A person with moderate to good reading skills should not have faced much of a problem in reading the passages. However, most of the questions that followed the passages were “difficult” for some candidates requiring involved reading, multiple times.

There were four passages, with four questions each. These were from diverse areas. While one was on entrepreneurship and business (Groupon), the other one was on literature, whereas the remaining two were on financial crisis, and business management.

The cut off in this section could be around three to four marks.

Eight to ten attempts are good in this section.

Section 4 (logical reasoning)

The distribution and level of difficulty of questions in logical reasoning is as follows:

Section 4 (Logical Reasoning)
The distribution and level of difficulty of questions in Logical Reasoning is as follows
Description of the SetDifficulty LevelNo of Questions
Distribution (Final placement of the MBA students)Moderate- Difficult5
Games & Tournaments (Football tournament) Easy- Moderate2
Direction sense (Cricket players)Easy2
Input-OutputDifficult4
Logical DeductionsEasy1
Data sufficiencyEasy- Moderate2
Arrangements (Seven persons travelling in a train)Moderate2
Distributions (Sports telecasted on TV channels)Easy2
Total20

The questions on Input-output were time-consuming and would have needed a good amount of concentration. One of the questions in this set required the students to pay attention to detail (input to be mentioned in reverse order). The questions based on ‘distribution’ in the first set, though not very difficult, were time-consuming, whereas the second set of ‘distribution’ was relatively easier. The games and tournament questions might have seemed slightly trickier at first glance, but were actually pretty easy. The question on logical deductions was pretty much straightforward for somebody who has gone through the basic concepts pertaining to this topic. The data sufficiency questions were based on coding-decoding and arrangement and were on the easier side.

This section can be said to be a relatively easier section in this paper. The overall difficulty level of this section was moderate. Eight to 10 questions would be a good number of attempts. The cut-off is expected to be 4 to 5 marks.

Section 4 (Quantitative ability)

The difficulty level of this section was higher as compared to that of last year. As has been the case, the questions were lengthier, though mostly moderate to difficult.

This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics. The distribution is given as below:

Section 4 (Quantitative Ability)
The difficulty level of this section was higher as compared to that from last year. As has been the case, the questions were lengthier, though mostly moderate to difficult. This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics. The distribution is given as below:
AreaNo of Questions
Algebra3
Numbers1
Pure Maths1
Arithmetic8
Geometry6
Venn Diagram1
Total20

There were only about three questions which could be classified as relatively easy ones – one from sequence and series, one from co-ordinate geometry, and another from functions. The remaining questions were either moderate or difficult to handle during the test. A good candidate would have been able to attempt around 10-12 questions in QA. The cut-off in this section is expected to be three to four marks.

Section 6 (Data interpretation)

Another of the never-ending difficult sections in the test, DI was a definite tough nut to crack. With large amounts of data/graphs to work with, there was no relief for the students. Add to this, the ambiguity in a couple of questions (growth to indicate absolute growth or percentage growth?) made things difficult. The calculations were huge in some sets (Merchandise imports/exports).

There were a total of three sets of five questions each, one set of three questions, and one with two. All the sets were based on tables and/or line Graph. Almost all the questions were calculation intensive and were very lengthy.

Five to eight could be a good number of attempts in section, while the cutoff is expected to be of around two to three marks.

Overall
The cut-offs last year for the general category were as below
OverallVA/RCLR & DIQTGA
48.59.6784.011.99
This year, the sectional cut-offs are expected to be as below
VA RCLRDIQAGA
2-33-44-52-33-40.75- 1.5
The overall cut-offs too are bound to move south to be around 40±2 marks.

Overall

The cut-offs last year for the general category were as below

The overall cut-offs too are bound to move south to be around 40±2 marks.

The author is CAT course director, T.I.M.E. (Triumphant Institute of Management Education). Views expressed are his own.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 19:46 IST