IIFT 2018 Topper Interview: Proper time management is the key to success in this exam, says 99.7 percentiler Harrshit M Kansal
Abhay Anand, 30 Jan 2018, #IIFT
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Harrshit M Kansal, an MBA aspirant from Delhi topped IIFT entrance exam for 2018 with 99.7 percentile. Not only did he manage to get shortlisted by this prestigious institute, he also appeared for CAT, XAT and NMAT by GMAC and secured high percentile. According to him, starting preparation early and devising proper time management techniques worked in his favour.

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A final year engineering student at BITS, Pilani, Harrshit already started preparing for the IIFT selection procedure including GD, PI and WAT rounds.  Sharing about his preparation strategy with Careers360 said it included reading business newspapers to solving sample papers of IIFT. In this interview with Careers360, Harrshit shares his preparation strategy for IIFT and his future plans.

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Excerpts from the interview.


Careers360: Congratulations on cracking IIFT 2018 entrance. Please share your overall and sectional scores and percentile.

Harrshit: Thank you so much for reaching out to me. My overall score in IIFT entrance exam is 45.24 marks and percentile is 99.6. My sectional scores are: VA-10/20, RC- 9.34/16, QA- 10/20, GK- 2.15/9, LR- 12/20 and DI- 1.75/15.

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Careers360: Which other MBA entrances have you taken? What are your percentiles for those?

Harrshit: Besides IIFT, I have appeared in CAT, XAT and NMAT exams. My CAT 2017 percentile is 98.87, NMAT percentile is 99 (Score: 224/360 in the first attempt) while XAT results are yet to be declared.


Careers360: Which B-schools have you received interview calls from?

Harrshit: Till now, I have received interview calls from IIFT, SPJIMR Mumbai (Profile based), IIMs and NMIMS Mumbai. I am now strongly expecting calls from XLRI (BM), FMS Delhi and MDI Gurgaon.


Careers360: Why do you want to join IIFT Delhi? What are your other dream B-schools apart from IIFT?

Harrshit: IIFT is the mecca of international business and is placed among the topmost business schools, having a legacy of more than half a century. International trade shall get more and more prominence in times to come due to rapidly increasing globalisation in today’s world.

Besides IIFT, I am also looking to do well in the further admission rounds of all other B-schools that I have received a call from.


Careers360: Please share your preparation journey. How did you strike a balance between your academic/professional life and preparation for an entrance exam?

Harrshit: I had started preparing for the MBA entrance exams from the second-half of my pre-final year of graduation. Initially, I used to take out some time for preparation along with my first target of achieving 9 CGPA at BITS, Pilani and later with my semester-long internship at PwC. I struck a good balance between the various activities by properly planning and prioritising them. I generally used to keep my weekends and other holidays for appearing in and analysing the mock tests.


Careers360: How did you maintain balance in preparation between IIFT and other entrances?

Harrshit: Most of the preparation that I had done was meant to be common and useful for all MBA entrances. It was only during the last two weeks or so before any particular exam that I specifically focussed on it. For IIFT exam, I developed a special strategy as it has four to six sections, including that of General knowledge.


Careers360: What was your section-wise strategy for the exam? Did you follow any specific preparation strategy for IIFT?

Harrshit: IIFT has six sections to be completed in 120 minutes. So, proper time management is the key to success in this exam. For the section on General Knowledge, I regularly stayed in touch with the current affairs and latest happenings. To develop my strategy, I took past papers of IIFT in a proctored environment. Through this, I was able to determine the optimal allocation of time to various sections of the exam. For the first 90 minutes of the exam, I had allocated a sectional time limit for each section. In the last 30 minutes, I worked on maximising my total score.


Careers360: Mention section-wise books and study materials you referred during your preparation.

Harrshit: I regularly read ‘The Economic Times’ in order to keep myself updated with the current affairs and general knowledge. I also worked on verbal ability and reading comprehension through eclectic reading. Besides this, I had bought a book containing mock tests and IIFT question papers of the last 10 years.


Careers360: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary for aspirants to bag the top rank?

Harrshit: Yes, I had enrolled in the test series of T.I.M.E. and CL. I think coaching provides one with a proper direction, guidance and motivation. Further, one gets to compete with others and discover one’s strengths and weaknesses. But I do not subscribe to the view that regular coaching is a prerequisite for achieving success in the exam. Many of the aspirants may not be able to take out time for separate coaching classes. In that case, I recommend that they should join at least one test series to be able to practise well for the exam.


Careers360: How was your IIFT exam day experience? How many questions did you attempt from each section?

Harrshit: I reached the centre well in time for the exam. The exam had a surprise in store for the candidates. The number of sections in the exam was increased from 4 in the previous years to 6 this time. So, my foremost target was to ensure that I do sufficiently well in each section to clear the sectional cut-offs and then go for maximising the total score. Among the various sections, I found DI to be the toughest as it involved lengthy and time-consuming calculations. The GK section was also tougher than that of the previous years. VA, RC & QA were easy to moderately tough while LR was easy. The numbers of questions that I attempted in different sections were: VA-14/20, RC- 12/16, QA- 14/20, GK- 11/18, LR- 16/20 and DI- 5/20.


Careers360: How did you manage time during exam day? Was the duration sufficient for you?

Harrshit: IIFT tests one on all the fronts- speed, accuracy and equitable distribution of time. I had largely followed my previously developed strategy for attempting the exam while incorporating some changes as per the new exam format. I think I was able to manage my time well. But, this is one exam where there’s always scope for higher score provided one maintains a higher speed along with accuracy.


Careers360: Have you started preparing for the next round of selection procedure?

Harrshit: Yes, after taking a break of a few days, I have started preparing for the further rounds.


Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for Group Discussion, Writing Ability Test and Personal Interview? Any other element in the selection process you want to share?

Harrshit: My preparation strategy for GD, WAT and PI will revolve around introspection and discovery of my true personality. Further, I’ll peruse and develop insights into the current affairs and important developments in India and around the world. If possible, I’ll also try to take part in some mock interviews and further hone my writing skills.

There is also a CV to be filled by the shortlisted candidates before they appear for the further rounds of selection. It is an important document and must be filled carefully.


Careers360: Apart from the preparation schedule, what activities did you involve yourself for recreation purpose? What are your hobbies?

Harrshit: I regularly try to take out some time from my schedule to rejuvenate myself. I have a keen interest in travelling. So, I go on some jaunts with my family whenever I can take out some time. Besides this, I love outdoor cycling, playing badminton and spending quality time with family or friends.


Careers360: What is your suggestion for IIFT aspirants who will write the test next year?

Harrshit: The IIFT exam usually takes place at a time close to that of CAT. So, my advice to the future aspirants is that they should not let the CAT exam affect their preparation for IIFT. It is a totally independent exam. Regardless of how CAT exam goes, one must keep oneself very much determined, get accustomed to the format and give it one’s best shot.

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Questions related to IIFT

Showing 111 out of 111 Questions

I have work ex but I am not presently employed. What should I enter in the Employment details section of the form?

Ruchika Chauhan Expert 17th Oct, 2019


The last date to fill the IIFT 2020 registration form is October 25, 2019. In the employment details section, you should mention the details of the organisation you last worked with.

Firstly, select employed then a new row will appear and you will have to fill the following details:

Name of Last/Current Organization and Address : fill here the name of the organization you last worked with

Post Held: your designation
Nature of Duties: fill here your job roles and responsibilities
Work Experience From: date you joined the organization
Work Experience To: date you left the organization

Do let us know if you have any other doubts

Good Luck!


does iift considers category cutoff? if yes, what is the cutoff for obc and expected score to get a call?

Vemireddy Rushitha Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Hello Aspirant,

As IIFT is one of the most preferred college by many of the candidates, the cut off is set very high for this particular college to give seats to the most deserving candidates. The cut off varies for different categories. For more details kindly go through this link, https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/iift-cutoff

Good luck!


I want list of names of colleges in India accepting the scores of CAT NMAT SNAP CMAT IIFT.

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019


Colleges that accept SNAP scores-

  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management [SIBM] - Pune
  • Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune
  • Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune
  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Hyderabad
  • Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance, Pune (SSBF)
  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management [SIBM] Bengaluru

IIFT Scores are accepted by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) with their campus in New Delhi, Kolkata, Kakinada.

Go through the following to know about colleges that accept scores of different entrance test-

For CAT-







someone plz tell me the form date oh iift

_Abhishek_Vatsya Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019


NTA which will conduct INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE2020 released registration form on 9 September 2019.And last date of registration is 25 October 2019.You can fill registration form in online mode..

For more details visit below mention link:




Sweta Student Expert 11th Oct, 2019


You can read the article for more clarity:


However, I will try to solve your issue. You donot need to fill the iift programmes individually.

Here are the steps:-


  2. Click on the icon ADMISSION 2020

  3. Fill in the personal details asked in the form

  4. Upload the necessary documents (mentioned above) in the IIFT application form 2020

  5. Fill the preferred exam centre

  6. Proceed for the payment of fees via card or online wallet.

  7. Once the details are filled and submitted, students will receive the confirmation mail.

  8. Download and take a print out of the confirmation mail.

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