IIFT 2015, surprisingly, turned out to be one of the easiest IIFT papers in the last few years, except for the DI section. The paper reverted to the 2013 pattern, whereby DI and LR were part of the same section while QA was a separate section by itself. Like before, VA was a common section comprising two sub-sections - VA and RC – both of which could be considered easy to moderate. DI this year was again along the lines of the typical calculation-intensive and tedious sets common to IIFT while LR was the simplest of all sections. Surprisingly, GK was simple compared to IIFT standards. The QA section was of moderate difficulty level with more or less standard but wordy questions. Overall, section selection and the order in which sections were attempted would be the crucial factor in this paper. The cut-offs are expected to be slightly higher this year when compared to last year.
The tradition of having different number of questions in each section and different marks for questions in different sections continued.
Since the last year, the paper has stopped being sealed. Hence, students opportunistically glanced at the paper before the actual start of the exam.
Number of Sections
4 (with sub-sections)
Options per Question
1/3rd of marks for the question
Marks per Question
Expected Overall Cut-offs
The RC section continued the legacy of long passages typical to IIFT. There were four passages with 4 questions per passage this year. The passage were on topics as diverse as Steel industry- Arcelor/Mittal, Internet-Otlet, Finance-lenders & borrowers and Mass media-politics. Almost all the questions were direct and data driven. However, it would have been important to skim the passage well for the first time to help search for the data after reading the questions. All the passages could have been attempted in 18 to 20 minutes. Even attempting 13-14 questions in this time would be considered good.
The VA section had 20 questions with 50% weightage on direct vocabulary based questions and 30% weightage on simpler fill in the blanks. The 2 grammar questions on figures of speech were also straightforward. Along with LR, this was probably the easiest section. Since each question had 0.75 marks, getting 13+ would not have been very difficult for a student with a decent reading habit and good vocabulary. 18+ questions could easily have been attempted in 12 to 15 minutes.
Overall cut-off expected for VA + RC = 7 to 9
This was, by far, the most difficult section of the entire paper. Since it was part of the larger DILR section, a good attempt strategy would have been to maximize the marks through LR and attempt 1 (or at most 2 sets) here for the sectional cut-offs. Most sets had substantial data or multiple graphs followed by 2-3 additional parameters defined in the common data. This increased the work involved in each set. The set on window ACs, though conceptually not very difficult, was extremely calculation intensive. One or two questions could be answered directly but identifying them in an exam-scenario was very tough. The set on average sales of five products was the toughest of the entire test and should not have been attempted at all. It was more of a reasoning based set, which would have fit well in a XAT test. The set on competitive factors was the easiest set and should definitely have been attempted as most questions could have been solved by observation. The set on ads and clicks was also easy but was disguised under lot of information. Another challenge of this set was that the layout of the graphs was very clumsy from a reading point of view and this could have led to errors. Plus, one of the y-axes of this set had typo errors. On the whole, attempting 1-2 sets i.e. 8 to 9 questions in approximately 25-30 minutes would have been a very good performance.
This was, by far, the easiest section. This was also because there were no critical reasoning questions, unlike last year. Apart from one set on countries, which had ambiguously framed questions, every single question should have been attempted. The set on engineers and their location was a very high Return on Investment set as it had five questions and was extremely simple. The set on six sisters was slightly trickier but should also have been attempted. The set on countries (USA, UAE, UK) should have had its questions framed as “How many combinations of countries” rather than “How many countries”. On the whole, the entire section could have been attempted in 18-20 minutes.
Overall cut-off expected for DI + LR = 8 to 10
General Knowledge and Current Affairs:
The G.K section covered a wide range of questions including sports, banking, history, politics, society and industry, but the focus was clearly on current affairs and events of the last 4-6 months. In fact, this section was easier compared to the typical IIFT GK section. For the ‘match the column’ type of questions, some of the options could be eliminated rather easily. One could have attempted 12-13 questions in around 10 minutes, irrespective of background.
Cut-off expected for GK = 3 to 4
On the whole, the section was of moderate difficulty level. There was a change in the chapter-level distribution as the emphasis on Arithmetic and Algebra increased while that on Geometry and Modern Maths went down considerably. The questions on Arithmetic were slightly more calculation intensive while those on Modern Maths were easier compared to last year. The questions on Geometry and Algebra were of moderate difficulty level. There were 2-3 questions that could only be solved by assuming some data. Like, each year, the questions were verbose but not extremely complicated. Question selection would have critical in this section. 8-9 questions could have been attempted in 25-30 minutes.
Cut-off expected for QA = 6 to 7