Along with a good preparation strategy, having a proper exam day plan in place is always important to get a high score in a competitive test like IIFT entrance exam. Owing to the exam pattern, which does not have any sectional time limit or the number of questions is not announced beforehand, it is necessary that you do not leave out any section and take a balanced approach. Abhishek Agrawal, an IIFT 2015 topper who had secured 99.85 percentile shares how he maintained the sectional balance and time during the test.


Abhishek mentions that he initially focused on the weak areas, which was Verbal Ability with regular practice. Afterwards, he ensured that his preparation is good enough get a high score in all the sections. He also shares the section wise time management strategy. Apart from the preparation strategy, Abhishek also talks about his WAT-PI experience at IIFT.


Read the full interview below.


Careers360: When and how did you start preparing for IIFT entrance exam?

Abhishek: I started my preparations four months prior to the entrance exam. My preparation strategy was based on learning the concepts and then increasing my accuracy and speed in applying those concepts as these are of paramount importance to crack the exam. After clearing the written exam, I started preparing for GD and PI by keeping in touch with current affairs and honing my communication skills.


Careers360: Please share your IIFT sectional wise preparation strategy.

Abhishek: I prepared equally well for all the sections as there are sectional cut-offs. For Quant and DI & LR sections, I first understood the concepts and then practiced as much as I could and improved my accuracy and speed.


For Verbal Ability, RC and vocabulary hold much importance so I concentrated on those areas and practiced a lot.


For GK, I used to read newspapers and kept myself updated with the current affairs. Simultaneously  I worked on building my own opinions about things with a sound reasoning. Basically there is no shortcut to this exam. Only lots of practice was the key for me to crack it.


Careers360: Tell us about your strong and weak areas and how you tackled them.

Abhishek: My strong areas were Maths, DI and LR. My weak area was mainly English. For that I used to solve six RC passages daily for three months and learn 30 new words on a daily basis to build my vocabulary.


Careers360: What was your time management strategy for IIFT?

Abhishek: During preparations I used to devote more time to English section than all the other sections combined as English was my weak area. I used to study for at least 6 hours every day, out of which three hours were for English and the other three hours were for the remaining sections.


During the test, I devoted 10 minutes to the GK section, and divided the remaining time equally among the other sections.


Careers360: How did you prepare for the selection rounds after getting shortlisted by IIFT admission process?

Abhishek: I used to read newspapers, watch news and develop my opinions about everything I read or saw. Also, I gathered knowledge regarding the GD process and tried to incorporate that knowledge in my way to do a GD. I worked on my communication skills as well.


Careers360: What according to you are the key factors that influenced your selection at the GD-PI stage?

Abhishek: My knowledge about current affairs, my technical knowledge, my communication skills and the way I present myself acted in my favour towards the final selection at IIFT.


Careers360: What was your essay topic and how did you structure your write up?

Abhishek: My essay topic was Smart cities.

First I described about the smart city mission and what is a smart city. Then I described the various facilities in a smart city and the various advantages of a smart city for growth of an individual and the country followed by various problems in the implementation of the project and gave my views on how these problems could be solved.


Careers360: Do you think the pattern and structure of IIFT should undergo change similar to that of CAT?

Abhishek: No, I don’t think there should be any change in IIFT entrance exam. Its pattern is a perfect match of application of concepts with accuracy and speed.


Careers360: What is your advice for the IIFT 2016 takers?

Abhishek: Work hard. There is no shortcut to crack this exam. Focus on all the sections equally. Improve your accuracy and speed. Keep in touch with the current affairs and refine your communication skills. And best of luck!


Also Read:

IIFT Topper Interview


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Questions related to IIFT

Showing 180 out of 180 Questions

Hi mam i have 129 marks in iift i have got a call Sc Category Chances of final convert and composite score for Sc candidate as per previous trend?

Sampriti Student Expert 30th Jan, 2020
IIFT 2020 has released its shortlist and has a total of 420 seats in all the 3 campuses  combined. As per their reservation criteria 15 percent of the total seats are reserved for students falling in SC category. But your final conversion will depend on your performance in the written skill assessment, GD and PI rounds. Moreover you'll also be questioned on your CV from that the Institute requires you to fill once to get a call. If you perform well in those rounds you can easily get through.

Good Luck

I have been shortlisted for second round in iift. there is a mistake in my application .. for category general (bc creamy layer ) it is gen ews. i have sent queries regarding the issue and got no replies. can someone help me with this issue please?

Sampriti Student Expert 27th Jan, 2020
If you've got a call you must attend the selection process. Before they start the process they'll review all your documents as well as application form. So you can ask them there if you can attend the process. They usually let students appear for the process even if there's some mistake.
And in the interview you can try to convince them. If they find you as a desirable candidate there won't be any problem with that.

Good Luck

i got 39 and half marks in iift,so whats my percentile???

NAVNEET PANDEY 11th Jan, 2020

Hello Rinku

You need atleast more than 105+ marks to get a good percentile and almost 138 to secure a call from any good college taking part in IIFT entrance will have around 40 percentile according to previous year trends which is very low.

I hope it helps.


Which books can help for the CAT preparations and other management exams such as XAT, IIFT, SNAP, etc?

Khushi 5th Jan, 2020

Hi Pallav

These are some of the best books


  1. For Vocabulary: Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  2. For enhancing the reading speed, any novel and newspaper and anything you can read will be good enough.
  3. For Grammar: Normal Grammar Rules from Wren and Martin.


Books by Arun Sharma (TMH) and by Nishant Sinha (Pearson)


  1. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K Verma
  2. Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma

Hope this helps


Do we need mathematics subject in class 12. To do IIFT.

Saloni Singh 3rd Jan, 2020
Hello Himanshu,
Hope you are doing well.
No, there's nothing like you need to have mathematics in your 10+2 course as eligibility criteria for getting admission at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).
The only academic eligibility criteria for IIFT is a graduate degree with a minimum aggregate marks of 50%.
You can check more details about the institute at the link I am mentioning below.
Please check :
Hope it's helpful to you !
All the best.
Thankyou .
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