With an intent of succeeding, Ishita Agarwal planned her IIFT preparation in a way that she was able to cover the entire syllabus weeks before the test day; saving time for revision. She used basic tricks to strengthen her weak areas, which ultimately led her to become an IIFT Topper with 99.69 percentile.  In this interview with Careers360, Ishita shares her strategy and basic methods that made her accomplish her goal.


Ishita followed a strict weekly plan for her preparation. She focused on completing her weekly goals, thus finishing her entire syllabus before schedule. Since her weakness lied in the Vocabulary area, she followed a simple ‘10 word a day’ trick to learn most of the words. Further, Ishita shares, how she cleared her concepts while taking mock tests for Quant and DI sections.


Read excerpts from Ishita’s interview to know how simple tricks can give you big success.


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

Ishita: I started preparing for IIFT in July which coincided with the placement time. So my agenda was to prepare for both. The preparation strategy was to simultaneously prepare for Quant, Data

Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability with required proportion of time. For July, I only focussed on practicing chapters in Quant, developed a habit of reading newspapers etc. From August, I also started taking mock tests to check my progress. I solved a variety of questions for every section and worked on my weak areas.


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

Ishita: Some changes can be brought about like the mode of conduct can be changed to online. But I don’t see any issues with offline conduct as it is a demarcation. Also, calculators must not be allowed as Data Interpretation thrives on the understanding of numbers by candidates. Solving calculations within a short span of time is a great challenge which separates the toppers from others.


Careers360: Please share your IIFT section wise preparation strategy?

Ishita: For Verbal Ability, I read newspapers, articles and hence developed vocabulary. I picked 10 words a day from the newspapers which I didn’t understand and wrote the words, their synonyms to develop a word network. I also practiced reading comprehensions, parajumbles, grammar etc. For DI and LR, it all depends on how many questions and the varieties you practice so that you develop a logical strategy. Also, there is a need to be comfortable with long calculations and rounding off strategy. For Quant, I focussed on all levels of questions and developed speed. It is of utmost importance.


Careers360: What was your time management plan for IIFT; both during preparation and during the test?

Ishita:: During preparation, it is very important to give time to practice every section, so that your scores are not disproportionate. The time is also to be taken care of. I worked on weekly goals for the topics from every section that I must complete. Also, I dedicated at least one hour for reading, be it articles or books and kept abreast with the latest  happening. During the examination, as it is a written paper, time is used for marking answers too. I never left the questions to be answered at the end. The paper has four sections: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Quantitative Ability and General Knowledge. I divided equal time for each section and didn’t dwell too much on a question consuming more time.


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

Ishita: My strong areas were Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. Also, topics like percentage, ratio and proportion, time and work were some at which I was good at. My weak areas were Probability and Functions. So, from the very start, I focussed on them and extensively practiced  these. I learnt the concepts with the help of mock tests. In exam, I avoided the questions which I was not sure of or which consumed more of time. I optimised my performance through maximum accuracy for attempted questions.


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

Ishita: The greatest tip is to have a clear purpose of why you want to come to IIFT. It will make the rest of the journey very easy. Also, figure out the agenda as to how you will go about preparing for it. It varies from person to person. For me, weekly goals worked. So, prepare for IIFT holistically, building every aspect, not leaving any weak blind spots.


Also Read:

IIFT Topper Interviews

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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