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'IIFT exam tends to be tougher than CAT'

Last updated on: November 22, 2011 16:45 IST

'IIFT exam tends to be tougher than CAT'

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In an online chat with readers on November 21, expert Naveenan Ramachandran of 2IIM, Mumbai addressed reader queries related to cracking the IIFT exam.

Performance in the IIFT exam will help qualify admission to an MBA programme in Foreign Trade at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi.

The exam is scheduled on November 27, 2011, Sunday.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript.

mindovermatters asked,
hello sir, could you pls tell me how is IIFT different from CAT and how to prepare differently for the exam?

Naveenan answers, at 2011-11-21 14:58:22
Hi, the pecularity which stands out is the GK section. It consists mostly of business GK and one has to be on top of current events - business & political. Names of heads of states, organizations also helps. Otherwise, as far as quant, di, verbal is concerned - the time per question is lot lesser than that available in CAT. The judgement of which question to answer and which one not to becomes of paramount importance. All the best !
mindovermatters asked, sir, what books should one read to prepare for the exam?

Naveenan answers,
Hi, I presume you are asking for the GK section - since there is only one week left for the examination. My pick would be the newspaper articles over the past month and this week's too ... (I am sure they have an empty slot which will be a questions based on today or tomorrow's paper) ... Any detailed GK book like the most recent "year books" would be helpful. All the best.
ERROR asked, any tips, as to which section will demand a lot of time(returning very less marks) and it would be better to not to spend time on that .

Naveenan answers,
Hi, Very tough to put a finger on this as all the sections are important. The section wise cut - offs are not widely published and one cannot take a risk with ignoring a section. Having said that, di is going to be time consuming, quant next in that line and GK the least time intensive (one either knows an answer or does not know)
ERROR asked, from where can i get sample tests for IIFT?

Naveenan answers,
No official sources ... Most test prep institutes sell it for a small fee.
ERROR asked, I dont know what to ask, any general tips which might prove helpful?

Naveenan answers,
LR: Practice a lot of these - These are the low hanging fruits and not to be lost out on. Quant & di: speed is the premium. Try to do a lot of speed tests at home as each di set also tends to be time consuming Verbal: RCs are known to be long but fact based. Just put down your head and keep practicing the last 5 days. All the best !
bigboob asked, Is IIFT test tougher than CAT?

Naveenan answers,
Yes - More so because the number of seats is lot lesser and so the percentile requirements go up. Waiting lists also tends to move up with the 100 percentilers moving to other schools of their choice. Since GK is one are that not many people consciously prepare over the past several months, IIFT exam tends to be tougher than CAT. All the best.
suneet asked, is there any sectional cut-off for IIFT 2011

Naveenan answers,
IIFT has only been indicated that there will be a sectional cut - off ... The exact details are not known. An year old article on a popular CAT / IIFT forum website provides indicative cut-offs.
chooran asked, Amongst CAT, IIFT, XAT adn GMAT - which one is the most tough test?

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Such a kind of comparison is not possible as different people have their strengths in different sections.

Image: Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi

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'An MBA should be seen as a life long investment'

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chooran asked,
Navneenan....Does reading economic times helps better or watching business news channels helps more in cracking IIFT?

Naveenan answers,
Economic Times might just be better as it also offers analysis apart from the basic "reporting" of news. All the best !
AshokMeatwala asked, Is there any more branch of IIFT other than in Delhi

Naveenan answers,
Kolkata ... I think there are 120 seats in delhi & 60 in Kolkata.
mindovermatters asked, what are the career prospects for MBA in foreign trade?

Naveenan answers,
In a globalized environment & thanks to internet technologies, almost all businesses nowadays have global ambitions. The scope has only been increasing ever since liberalization of our economy.
AshokMeatwala asked, Considering the turmoil in FOREX these days; is it advisable to pursue a career in international currency trading? I know this ques is a bit off-lane but your kind answer will be highly appreciated

Naveenan answers,
An MBA should be seen as a life long investment. A career in international currency trading might be the hottest thing today - but what about tomorrow. Moreover, an MBA could be the ticket for a novice to make a career in international currency trading. An MBA tries to inculcate knowledge about marketing, organization behavior, operations and a plethora of other areas. All the best !
ade asked, hello sir...i have done some iift papers & i feel that the di section of some papers like of 2006 & 2007 is too calculation intensive even after using the speed maths tactics..what should be the ideal strategy for clearing the cut-off in LR/DI section for IIFT delhi campus?

Naveenan answers,
Hi, The challenge is to identify the calculation intensive questions at the earliest and stay away from them. There are merely time traps in a 120 minute exam which contains 135 questions - stay away from them !
suneet asked, Whether there was a sectional cut off last year in IIFT 2010 ?? I got to know from somewhere that it wasn't . Is it a rumour or true ??

Naveenan answers,
Hi, I do think that there were indeed sectional cut offs in 2010 ... Google for "The week before IIFT". A dated article provides details on how the cutoffs have moved. All the best !
PeeliTatti asked, Sir, is it just an objective type test or they also to give us any sort of essay-writing as in GMAT?

Naveenan answers,
It is an objective type test.
mindovermatters asked, btw, does IIFT have negative marking?

Naveenan answers,
Yes - there IS negative marking. Be very choosy about the questions that you want to answer.
ade asked, and sir what are the key areas in quant specifically for quant,which i should focus upon?Where can i get some gud questions in trigo of iift standard in the net(if u can name some gud website)?

Naveenan answers,
The non - CAT areas like trigonometry, maxima, minima, complex number arithmetic will require additional attention as you might not have practiced them during CAT prep.
footslave asked, A course from IIM - International Business is better or IIFT - International Business? Pls give your honest opinion?

Naveenan answers,
IIMs do not offer a degree specifically on "International Business" - they offer only generic Post Graduate Diplomas. There will be specific electives that somebody interested in international business can take up.
ade asked, are there questions of statistics also in iift?

Naveenan answers,
Yes - mean, median, standard deviation, mode, variance based concepts will be tested.
bhenkelund asked, Can we crack IIFT test without any coaching? Have you seen any real-life examples like that?

Naveenan answers,
Sure - please just be sure about basic concepts and practice a lot of questions and test papers. All the best !
ade asked, sir will solving the JMET papers help for IIFT this week or i should skip it?is the a similarity between the quant or DI level of IIFT & JMET?

Naveenan answers,
JMET questions are probably higher in level than IIFT's ... You might want to practice question papers which are tailored to IIFT so that you have a better idea of what to expect. All the best !
PussynDick asked, Naveen, any idea about avg starting salary for an IIFT passout of 2010?

Naveenan answers,
http://cc.iift.ac.in/docs/iift/PlacementReport2011.pdf
ade asked, sir the quant of iift is a bit different from that of CAT..i can't figure out what type of questions i shud practice for IIFT now...plz advice??

Naveenan answers,
Yes - true ... Practice more of the algebra & geometry questions from CAT and additional areas like statistics, maxima, minima, trigonomotry etc. If you are not able to get stuff based on derivatives etc., it might be OK to skip them. Just be completely thorough in the fundamentals of geometry, algebra, number properties etc.
ade asked, thank u sir for your time & effort....:-)

Naveenan answers,
Anytime Ade ... Appreciate your feedback !
Illustration: Dominic Xavier


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