IIFT Exam Analysis

IIFT MBA entrance exam keeps on introducing changes in number of questions and sections also. As per the IIFT 2016 exam pattern you may expect fewer questions to be solved in same time limit of 2 hours in IIFT 2017.


IIFT 2016 held on Sunday November 27, 2016 brought with it many changes especially in the sectional composition of questions, level of difficulty (LoD) and weightage awarded to each section. While weightage to LRDI section was increased, the weightage to GK and Quant was reduced.


After predicting the shape and composition of IIFT 2016 exam paper, MBAUniverse.com shared the quick detailed test analysis, key trends and expected cut-offs immediately after completion of the IIFT 2016 test at 12PM for the benefit of test takers.


IIFT 2016:  Appeared similar to last year but much different

The IIFT 2016 appeared very similar to the IIFT 2015 and IIFT 2013 papers. However, though on first look IIFT 2016 test paper appeared easier than the last year’s paper, on careful analysis, it looks as if the paper is bit difficult than the paper of 2015.


Unlike the previous years, the RC wasn't as lengthy and the DI wasn't as calculation intensive.


The Verbal areas, surprisingly was not easy. Given the fact there that were 20 questions with quite a few vocabulary intensive ones, though they appeared easy, there was good chance that students would make a lot of mistakes in this area. The cut-off for this section may be lower than that of last year. The RC section, however, was easy though there were two longer passages.


The General Knowledge section, as usual, was difficult for many students. The cut-offs are expected to be very low.


LRDI: Section with errors

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section with 42 Questions had highest weightage of  36.5 Marks out of maximum overall 100 marks for the IIFT 2016 exam. The difficulty level was considered moderate although Logical Reasoning was a bit more tough.


Area Total Qns Marks/Qns Total Marks Negative Marks
Logical Reasoning 22 0.75 16.5 0.25
Data Interpretation 20 1 20 0.33


Overall, the LR and DI section together commanded the highest marks in the paper. One expects that a good student would have spent the maximum time in this section and attempted close to 30 questions and probably 25 worth of marks.


The accuracy level in this section is usually higher and hence a potential score of 18 to 20 can be obtained if one uses the time judiciously and picks the right sets to solve.


Logical Reasoning

The logical reasoning section with 22 questions is definitely doable if one avoids getting stuck in one set or the other. The overall level of difficulty can be termed as moderate. Of these 22 questions, there were 5 sets of questions (3 or 4 questions each) and 5 individual questions.


Among the Individual (stand alone) question, there were 3 number or letter series questions, one Venn diagram question and one question on syllogism.


The questions in this area can be categorized under the following types of questions.

  • Relationship between Letters (given in a STAR form) and Analogies
-4 qns
  • Blood Relations & relationships among tribes
-3 qns
  • Circular (hexagon) Arrangement
-4 qns
  • Arrangement and Order sequencing
-3 qns
  • Distribution among Doctors, Specialty, Timings
-3 qns


Of these, the sets on Relationships and Analogies among Alphabets, Blood Relations and relationship and Circular Arrangement were doable and any student giving about 15 minutes to these sets would have been able to solve them easily.


Data Interpretation

The DI area had TWO sets on Bar charts (Normal and Stacked) and two sets of Tables. Surprisingly, the questions were straightforward and if one had given 20 to 25 odd minutes in this area, they could have cracked more than 15 questions in this.


The set on revenue and expenses is the easiest one. The Set on Foreign Investment (FI) and Domestic Investment (DI) also was easily doable. Incidentally, even the one on T-Shirt Manufacturing across 5 stores was also direct and easy. The only set, which had some calculations, though easy ones, was the table on Students in Five Kingdoms and their Pass Percentages across 5 years.


Overall as given above, the DI and LR section was slightly more easier than that of last year, However, since LR was more difficult and the tendency of students to attempt less of DI (at least most students!), the cutoff may not be higher than 8.5.


Errors spotted in question sets



Set on Arrangements of Doctors, timings and their specialties, THERE is a mistake in the conditions given. Two conditions contradict each other and hence one of the questions cannot be answered correctly because of that. However, if we ignore the same, we may force fit the answer too! The key will be released with this caution!


Similarly, in the same set, the third question also has an error in the choices. The answer to that question would be U reaching at 4 pm. There is NO Answer choice given.


Set on 7 employees and working in 3 departments: The answer to the question.


Q. In which of the departments, does a group of 3 work?


A. Only Finance  (There is no such choice given in the question)



Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

VARC was the next high weightage section with 36 questions carrying a weight of 31% score in the IIFT 2016 exam. The section had moderate difficulty level especially the 16 RC based questions were not as difficult as that of 20 questions in VA part which was more vocabulary based.


Area Total Qns Marks/Qns Total Marks Negative Marks
Reading Comprehension 16 1 16 0.33
Verbal Ability 20 0.75 15 0.25


In Reading Comprehension area, there were 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each. Of these, two were of lengthy variety whereas two were shorter passages. While the questions in all four passages were easy, not all are direct questions and it required some effort to get these right.


The Verbal area was full of vocabulary intensive questions. While through elimination, one can get most of these correct, it also depends on the individual’s comfort on vocabulary (which is suspect for a lot of students!)


Hence the cut-off may be shaded lower than what it was last year. According Prof Arks Srinivas, CEO VistaMind Education, “A good student could have attempted close to 30+ questions in 30 minutes and would have got about 15 marks. The cut-off however would be closer to 8 marks.”


Quantitative Techniques


Quantitative Techniques section had 20 questions as against 22 last year. Weightage of 1 mark for each correct answer in Quant remains the same as that of last year. The overall weightage to Quant section has been reduced to 20% in IIFT 2016 exam from 22% in IIFT 2015. Difficulty level of Quant section was moderate to difficult.


The break up of questions as per the areas in quant is as given below.

Area # of Questions
Arithmetic (Equations, PPL, T&W, T&D) 4
Algebra (Indices, Logs, Progressions, Inequalities) 5
Numbers 2
Permutations & Combinations/Probability 5
Geometry and Mensuration 2
Venn Diagrams 1
Coordinate Geometry 1


The number of arithmetic questions has reduced drastically from the last year’s paper. In IIFT2015, there were a total of 11 arithmetic questions, which were easy too. Given the composition of the paper, and given that there were a number of P&C/Probability questions, the students would have found this section a little tougher than last year.


There were some sitters in the paper and any good student giving about 25 to 30 minutes in this section could have scored about 10 to 12 marks. The fact that the number of questions also reduced from last year and the other sections weren’t particularly easy, the cut-off would be closer to 4 marks.


General Awareness

General Awareness or GK is one of the most difficult sections in IIFT exam. IIFT 2016 has reduced the weightage of GK section to 12.5% from 14% last year.  Although the weightage is reduced, the section remains equally difficult. It is expected that the cut off in GK section in IIFT 2016 exam may increase to 1 mark from 0.82 mark in last year.


There were 25 questions in GK section in IIFT 2016 exam as against 28 questions last year. The weightage to each correct answer remains the same with 0.50 mark.


Of the 25 questions given in the GK section, very few students would even know more than 10 questions in this section.


Overall Analysis

IIFT was slightly more difficult than the last year’s paper. The cut-offs may be very similar to that of last year and the overall score may be lower than what was last year.


Summary of the Expected Cutoffs

S No Section Cutoff
1 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 8
2 Logical Ability & Data Interpretation 8.33
3 Quantitative Ability 4
4 General Knowledge 1
  OVERALL 45.8-46.5


Expected Overall Cutoffs: Categorywise

General Candidates 45.8 – 46.5
OBC Candidates 40.8 – 41.5
SC/ST Candidates 35.8 – 36.5