Akanksha Sharma, 99.67 percentiler in IIFT 2015 utilised her conceptual clarity while preparing for the test. She started preparing a year in advance and believes that the early start acted in her favour. Since she aimed to join IIFT owing to its academic legacy, she paid special attention to the GK, which is the differentiating section from CAT by reading business newspapers. In this interview with Careers360, IIFT topper shares her test experience, strategies, and advice to support the future aspirants to secure a high percentile and an admission in IIFT.


According to Akanksha, to be able to crack IIFT, one must have judgment skills to evaluate the level of questions and then answering them accordingly. One must be able to judge which questions should be attended and which has to be left to avoid negative marking. She also suggests having basic conceptual clarity for each of the section of the test. 


Read Akanksha’s interview to know how speed and judgement can support you to crack IIFT.




Careers360: What made you pursue MBA in International Business from IIFT?

Akanksha: Not only is IIFT a premier institute, it has a strong history of being a catalyst for new ideas and business concepts and has played a pivotal role in the globalisation of the Indian economy. The knowledge base that the school carries through its academia and the huge alumni base made it a natural choice for me to pursue my MBA from IIFT.


Careers360: Since when did you start preparing for IIFT and what as your preparation strategy?

Akanksha: I sat for the test in November 2015 and had started preparing for it a year in advance. I found the basic format and the difficulty level of the entrance to be the same as that of CAT and hence apart from the GK section, I did not prepare any differently for the entrance. However all through my preparation year, I ensured that I stay in touch with the pencil-paper way of solving questions and I kept a very keen eye on national and international current affairs. I also made sure to attempt all the mock tests and the previous year papers in a time bound manner around the final test date.


Careers360: Do you think IIFT should also bring some changes in its pattern in terms of sections, mode of conduct, along with defining a definitive set of questions and marks?

Akanksha: I do not think that the pattern requires a change. The way IIFT structures its written test ensures that only people with a holistic bent of mind get to score. The test is dynamic in its format since the number of questions per section and in total change every year. Also, each section has a different marking scheme. Such minor changes ensure that the candidates keep a strong presence of mind and judiciously manage the time at hand. Not allowing the usage of calculators helps in judging an aspirant’s mental mathematics abilities. However, the testing format can try and move away from a single test date to providing a window for candidates to take the test in a proctored environment as per their convenience.

Careers360: Please share your IIFT sectional preparation strategy?

Akanksha: For the LR & DI section, my strategy was to practice solving difficult sets in the shortest possible time. For Quant, I regularly revised the fundamentals and brushed upon the vedic mathematics concepts at hand. Since verbal is my strong point, I ensured that I left no question unattempted in this section. For GK, I regularly read a business daily. Overall I always followed a time bound approach during the preparation. Since it is difficult to attempt all the questions, I also honed my judgment skills of evaluating the difficulty level of a particular question and moving to the next in order to optimise time.


Careers360: What was your Time Management strategy for IIFT; both during preparations and during the test?

Akanksha: I made it a point to set aside 40 minutes each for the QA and the LRDI sections. VA&RC is my strong point and I have always managed to attempt it in less than 30 minutes. GK generally took 5-7 minutes in total. More often than not, I was left with some extra time at hand during the end in which I tried to solve a DI set in order to answer the allied questions and maximise my score in the minimum possible time.


Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you tackle your weak area in the test?

Akanksha: My strong area is Verbal and I find DI a bit challenging as compared to the other sections. Since the LR and DI sections are clubbed in one, I always attempted the LR questions first and kept the DI sets for the last. This ensured that I cleared the cutoff of the section and used the DI sets to only browse through in order to maximise my overall score


Careers360: Your tip for this year’s IIFT aspirants?

Akanksha: For the written round, work on your speed and judgment. Practice hard to ace the entrance. For the second round, try and read as much as you can on all the current happenings and work on structuring your thought process for any opinion that you carry.

Also Read:

IIFT Topper Interview

IIFT 2016

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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 test.you 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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