With IIFT Admission Test expected in December 2023 MBAUniverse.com in its series of IIFT and others exam topper interviews, brings before you success story of an IIFT exam topper who cracked IIFT not with 100 percentile, but was offered admission by IIFT Delhi.
Coming from a modest defense personnel family of Bihar, Avinash Kumar, a B.Tech from Army Institute of Technology Pune, was a working professional with Deloitte for 5 years as a consultant, when he cracked IIFT with 95%ile and got admission to IIFT Delhi MBA-IB 2023-25 batch. With his well devised Self-Preparation strategy with best preparation books and mock tests from best coaching institutes, Avinash Kumar Gupta not only cracked IIFT but also XAT with high percentile. Avinash loves Playing instrument, singing, playing badminton, and cooking as well
MBAUniverse.com invited Avinash to share his preparation and IIFT exam day strategy, how he cracked IIFT, why he preferred to join IIFT Delhi and more. Read below his Interview with preparation strategy
Q: How did you perform in IIFT Entrance Exam for MBA-IB 2023-25 batch?
A: I scored 95 overall percentile in IIFT 2022. I scored 90.8%ile in VARC, 91%ile in DILR, 65.9 %ile in QA and 94%ile in GK.
Q: Apart from IIFT Entrance exam, which other exams did you appear? How was the performance?
A: Apart from IIFT 2022 for admission 2023, I appeared in XAT 2023 and scored 93%ile.
Q: Please tell us a bit about your family.
A: My father is in Army and my mother is House Maker. I am married and my wife is an IT Professional
Q: What was your overall preparation strategy for IIFT?
A: Mocks and analysis played a major role in IIFT exam. As per the last year analysis of cutoffs, it was clear that I need to solve 5 questions minimum from each section to clear the sectional cutoffs, then I focused on my strong area to maximize my score in VARC & DILR. A good score of 110+ was sufficient for me to get an interview call as I was confident of my profile and converting the extempore & Interview round. Only solving questions will not help, we need to develop right mindset so that during exam right concept hits in right time.
Q: Please share your sectional preparation strategy? How did you prepare for VARC?
A: Divide & conquer was the strategy I followed for sectional preparation. As I was well aware about the trend in cutoffs so I focussed on solving minimum of 5 questions from each section with 100% accuracy then went on to score well in strong areas..
- For VARC, I built my habit to read and understand long RC within 10 minutes and then went on to solve the questions without coming back to RC for revision.
- I read AEON essays and made habit of reading long RC within specified time of ten mins
- As vocab and crossword were not my strength so I did not prepare anything for it but with basic language knowledge, I could solve verbal ability question
Q: How did you prepare for DILR?
A: I just believed in solving as many sets possible through full and sectional mocks. The preparation strategy was:
- Filtering the correct set & then solving it within 10 to 15 mins with 90% accuracy helped me a lot
- I solved many DILR mocks and analysed unique sets
- On the exam day, I just solved 3 sets within 25 mins with 100% accuracy & it fetched me good marks in my total.
Q: How did you prepare for QA?
A: IIFT QA is one notch above than CAT QA and this year QA was on moderate to difficult side. The main aspect I focused on, while QA preparation was:
- Developing of right mindset so that I know which concept to apply on the exam day
- Once the right mind set is developed then QA question becomes easy to solve as you already know the which concept to apply and which question to attempt
- I solved sectional mocks and analysed diverse kind of questions and focussed on building concepts.
Q: How did you prepare for General Awareness (GK) for IIFT?
A: As I knew that GK questions are mostly static and are asked only on major events which you do not need to research in deep, so I made following preparation strategy:
- Prepared through You tube & Arihant GK yearly current affair book which helped me a lot in GK prep
- On the you tube I focused on current affair videos and made my own GK notebook
- I revised the same notebook prior 1 hour to exam and went on to solve the GK section first
- I took lot of mocks and analysed them to build the mindset for concept asked in these exams.
Q: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A: I am weak at VA & DILR so I focussed on basic language knowledge for VA and for DILR my strategy was to selecting doable sets and solving it in 10 to 15 mins with 100% accuracy.
Q: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
A: Yes, mock played major role in my success as I took more than 100 sectional mocks exam & 30 full mocks.
Q: Did you self-prepare for the Exam or did you attend a Coaching Centre and why?
A: I self-prepared for the exam as I had family commitment & office work but I took Azucation PI prep sessions and Time & IMS mocks.
Q: Which books did you refer during your preparation and how effective were they?
A: I had Time books so I solved unique questions from those and it was effective in overall preparation, but CAT and other exam are getting more logical based so one must solve questions where you need to struggle little to arrive at an answer. Try solving QA from previous year papers & moderate to difficult level questions, for DILR solve puzzles and unique sets from mocks and various sources & for VARC build the habit of reading and try to understand the set in one go using story telling techniques.
Q: Please share your Exam Day Strategy. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your test taking?
A: For IIFT, I solved 6 mocks in 2 days prior to exam & consistently scored more than 100 marks which gave me ample boost and saw a 10-hour GK video on you tube which helped me to revise the GK.
Q: How did you prepare for GD/PI/WAT Rounds?
A: IIFT had Extempore + PI round which carries 40 marks weightage so it was a major area to focus on. I subscribed Azucation Amiya Sir CV 8.0 mentorship in which there were tips shared for effective extempore and sir personally took 3 mocks PI and provided relevant feedbacks which helped me to prepare my answers well. There was a telegram group of IIFT 1st round shortlisted students, on which we made a small group of 5 students and prepare daily for extempore and mocks PI which enhanced our preparation and gave confidence.
Q: What are your top three criteria for deciding which B-school to apply or take final admission?
A: My top 3 criteria to choose a B-school were: 1. Specialization 2. Rankings 3. Industry perception. I took final admission in IIFT Delhi as it is ranked Top 10 in India, has tier 1 status in industry and provides specialization in International Business.
Q: According to you, overall, how can B-schools make their MBA admission process less cumbersome for MBA applicants.
A: The current process is good and gives you the freedom to opt but there is always a scope of improvement as it can build more transparency in Interview & more digitization for faster processing of results.
Q: Finally, your message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT/IIFT 2023
A: I was a working professional with 5 years of work ex and married also, so managing time was a challenging task but somehow things fall in place & converted IIFT D. According to me, consistency, clear goals and long-term vision of how this degree will benefit you, will take your preparation forward as it helped me to stay focused and put daily 3 to 4 hours for exam preparation. So, Don’t stress, keep the distractions away & focus on long term benefit of studying from Tier-1 and Top 10 colleges of India.
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