IIFT- The changing times

To study finance in masters, one must select the right institute. The specialization is offered by a wide range of MBA institutes but only a handful of them are able to deliver quality education.

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is one of the premier management schools that has been imparting superior quality of education in the stream of Finance.

The Indian institute of Foreign Trade conducts its examination, IIFT, for admission to its post-graduate MBA program. It is a written test and students take a traditional paper-pencil examination to take admission into IIFT Delhi, or IIFT Kolkata.

The MBA is a basic course which lays the foundation for developing competent business executives to meet the country’s growing requirements for training personnel in the field of management.

To get admission to IIFT, students have to pass through a 3-stage process:
• Firstly, it is the IIFT written test, to test the knowledge of students
• Secondly, if the student secures the minimum marks required, they participate in the Group Discussion
• Lastly, the Personal interview rounds to get to know the students better

The different sections in the exams as well as the syllabus concerned have remained the same over the years. The board varies the number of questions to be answered and the marks to be rewarded for correct and incorrect answers. Consequently, even the minimum marks required for getting shortlisted for further admission rounds also vary. The following table shows the trends of the past 6 years, with regards the number of question in the paper, and also what the experts feel is the difficulty level of these questions:

YEAR NUMBER OF QUESTIONS DIFFICULTY LEVEL
2008 150 Difficult
2009 122 Moderate
2010 135 Difficult
2011 120 Moderate
2012 128 Moderate
2013 128 Moderate

The IIFT 2015 test comprises the following sections in the paper:

• Quantitative Ability
• Logical Ability
• Data Interpretation
• Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
• General Awareness

The following table shows the different sections from 2008 to 2013, with their respective number of questions and positive marks for a correct question. All through, uniformity was maintained in the negative marks for incorrect questions, i.e. one-third of the positive marks awarded would be the penalty for incorrect answers.

The students must realize the unpredictability of the IIFT examination. The board, however, tries to maintain the syllabus or the type of questions asked during the exams.

The number of questions, over the last five years, has been within the range of 120 to 150. However, they are hardly giving more than 135 questions of late. As the difficulty level has always been moderate to difficult, it is better that the students do not expect an easy paper and prepare for the worst. The most effective way to prepare is to be thorough with the syllabus, and to be mentally prepared for any surprises in the exam on the d-day.

To prepare well for the IIFT exam is similar to the preparation for any other MBA entrance examination, like CAT, XAT, NMAT, etc. even for the sections here- Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical reasoning, verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, the syllabus and the type of questions are very similar to other exams for MBA entrance in India.

The factor which differentiates the cream from the crowd is the General Awareness Section. A student cannot actually sit and prepare the previous day for his General Awareness as it is a continual and ongoing preparation, which a person studies every day and every time. The best way is to aware of what si going on in the world by following the news regularly, and to cover social, political, economic and even cultural developments in the country in particular, and the world in general.

Thus, IIFT is a highly comprehensive test, taking into account the general knowledge of the student as well. General awareness is highly critical for a student who is about to enter the corporate world and he needs to stay abreast of the activities going on in the environment affecting him and the organization he will be working for. Knowing just the internal factors is not sufficient. The candidate must also be aware of what goes on in the outer world.

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