IIFT 2021 Exam Pattern: Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme, Exam Duration, Syllabus, Mode of Exam, Exam Day Tips And More

    Suruchi Gupta Suruchi Gupta
    Study Abroad Expert

    National Testing Agency (NTA) will be conducting the IIFT Entrance Exam for the 2021 year. The exam pattern for IIFT has been changed for MBA admissions for the 2021 academic year. The IIFT entrance exam will be a computer-based test as against the earlier paper-based test. The National Testing Agency (NTA) has also made some changes in its number of sections, the number of questions, the scoring pattern among other changes.

    Changes in the IIFT Exam

    NTA has brought about the following key changes in the IIFT 2021 MBA entrance test:

    • The exam will have objective type multiple-choice questions. 
    • The language of the paper is English only. 
    • It will be for 2 hours
    • IIFT 2021 Syllabus is based on 6 sections – General Knowledge & Current Awareness, Quantitative Analysis, English Grammar, Vocabulary & Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Data Interpretation.
    • Each section contains a different number of questions
    • 4-5 Reading Comprehension Passages will be there followed by 14-16 questions that will appear in the exam. Passages are of moderate difficulty level
    • No admission is available to IIFT Dar-es-Salaam campus through IIFT 2021 exam
    • The total duration of the IIFT exam is two hours and the maximum marks are 100.
    • There is no sectional timing, however, candidates have to clear sectional cutoff.
    • There is a negative marking applicable in the IIFT exam. 1/3rd of the allotted marks will be deducted for each wrong answer.

    IIFT 2021 Exam Pattern Highlights

    The key details about IIFT 2021 exam pattern are highlighted below:

    IIFT Conducting bodyNational Testing Agency (NTA)
    IIFT Exam ModeOnline – Computer Based Test
    IIFT Exam Duration2 hours (120 minutes)
    Number of Sections6
    Sectional TimingNo
    Sectional CutoffYes
    Number of QuestionsNot fixed (114 Questions in IIFT 2019; 123 Questions in 2018)
    Type of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions
    Total Marks100
    Negative MarkingYes (-33%)

    Download IIFT Sample Papers

    Exam Pattern

    IIFT 2021 Exam Pattern

    IIFT 2021 Exam Pattern has a special question distribution for each section as shown below:

    S.NoIIFT Exam SectionsNo. of Questions (approx.)
    1English Usage/ Verbal Ability20
    2Reading Comprehension16
    3Logical Reasoning20
    Data Interpretation20
    5Quantitative Ability20
    6General Awareness18
    -Total Questions114

    Exam Structure

    IIFT 2021 Exam Structure

    The table tabulated below shows the exam structure of the IIFT 2021

    IIFT Paper StructureDetails
    Total Number of Questions114
    Number of Choices per question4
    Marks for Correct ChoiceVaried
    Deduction for Incorrect Choice1/3rd of marks allotted
    Test duration120 minutes (2 hours)

    Now that you are familiar with the exam pattern of the IIFT 2021 exam, it is important to know the IIFT marking scheme as well.

    JEE Advanced 2020 Time Schedule

    IIFT Section-wise Marking Scheme 2021

    The marking scheme for IIFT 2021 is different for each section. However, there is a constant negative marking of 33% for each wrong answer. IIFT 2021 Marking Scheme is tabulated below: 

    Name of the SectionNumber of QuestionsMarks per questionTotal MarksNegative Marks
    Data Interpretation201200.33
    Logical Reasoning201200.33
    General Knowledge and Current Affairs180.590.17
    Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension161160.33
    English Grammar200.75150.25
    Quantitative Analysis201200.33

    IIFT Section-wise Duration 2021

    There is no restricted sectional timing for each section. Candidates can devote any amount of time or move to any section or question in the paper. However, there is a provision of sectional cutoff which means to qualify the exam candidates must obtain a minimum score in each section. Hence, candidates must devote the necessary time to the respective section. Here is the approximate time needed to attempt each section: 

    Name of the SectionApproximate time
    Data Interpretation20 minutes
    Logical Reasoning20 minutes
    General Knowledge and Current Affairs10 minutes
    Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension25 minutes
    English Grammar15 minutes
    Quantitative Analysis30 minutes
    Total120 minutes

    Now, after knowing the IIFT exam pattern 2021, it’s vital to have a look at the syllabus. Candidates can prepare section-wise for the exam with the help of the Syllabus of IIFT 2021.


    IIFT 2021 Syllabus

    After understanding the marking scheme and exam structure for the IIFT 2021 exam let us take a look at the syllabus that is expected in IIFT 2021:

    English Usage/ Verbal Ability/ Reading Comprehension

    • Grammar
    • Phrases
    • Synonyms

    Logical Reasoning

    • Series & Analysis
    • Comparisons
    • Deductions

    Data Interpretation

    • Pie Chart
    • Caselets

    Quantitative Ability

    • Mensuration
    • Probability

    General Awareness

    • Banking
    • Business
    • Politics

    IIFT 2021 Books

    It is believed that it is quite hard to predict the section-wise difficulty level of IIFT. Below mentioned are some of the best books which the candidates must follow to prepare for IIFT 2021

    SubjectBooksAuthorISBN NO.
    Data Interpretation Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT/XAT/IIFT/CMAT/MATGajendra Kumar Abhishek Banerjee Chayan Mukhopadhyay978-9385576942
    Logical ReasoningKoncepts of LR- Logical Reasoning for CAT, XAT, IIFT, MAT, CMAT, NMAT & other MBA ExamsGajendra Kumar978-9386146137
    English Grammar and Reading ComprehensionHow to prepare for Verbal Ability and RCArun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhaya-
    Quantitative AnalysisQuantitative AptitudeR.S Aggarwal-
    OtherIIFT (5 mock tests & solved papers)Arihant Experts978-93111253350

    Preparation Tips

    IIFT 2021: Preparation Tips

    To score well in the exam, candidates need to be fast and accurate while answering questions. Therefore, candidates need to be clear about concepts and should have enough practice to excel in the exam. 

    • Allot time to each section and try to follow this as it will help you to attempt maximum questions accurately.
    • Extra time should be kept aside to review questions that candidates are not sure about.
    • The reading comprehension section is an area where candidates can score well. However, candidates should not attempt questions that they are unsure about.
    • Candidates often assume that data interpretation is tough. For this reason, it is best to attempt 2 out of the 4 questions if candidates are not confident about getting the correct answers.
    • Candidates should take mock tests at least once a week. It will help boost confidence, gain speed, and accuracy while answering the exam.

    Exam Day Tips For IIFT 2021

    A few of the tips for the exam day are given below.

    • Once you get the questions, quickly make a strategy and allot time for each section and try to follow it. This will help the candidate in answering the maximum number of questions. However, make sure that the focus should not be only on attempting maximum number but along with the accuracy
    • Taking a risk for negative marking should be avoided. Do not attempt questions that you are not confident about
    • Extra time should be utilized in reviewing answers that the candidate is not confident about
    • Do not get decelerated by tricky questions. Leave it and move on to the next question

    IIFT Exam Timing, Reporting Time

    For the IIFT 2021, the reporting time will be 8 AM. No candidate will be allowed to enter the IIFT test center after 9.30 AM. The pre-exam activities at IIFT exam center, like Entry in the Examination Centre/Hall/Room, physical frisking, document verification, Invigilators recording manual attendance and Biometric registration at the registration desk, Cross-checking of admit card, signature and photo match will be completed by the invigilator latest by 9:30 A.M. After this, the invigilators in the IIFT testing hall will start giving the instructions to the candidates.

    • Date Examination: Sunday 06.12.2020
    • Mode of Exam: Computer Based Test (CBT) only
    • IIFT 2021 Exam Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
    • Reporting time at IIFT Exam Centre: 8 A.M.
    • Security Check Time: 8 AM to 9.30 AM
    • Entry to the Exam Centre officially allowed: 9 A.M.
    • IIFT Exam Centre Gate Closing time: 9.30 AM
    • Instructions by the Invigilators: 9:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
    • Candidates Login Starts (only to read instructions): 9.50 A.M.
    • IIFT Entrance Test Commences: 10:00 A.M.
    • IIFT 2021 Entrance test Over: 12.00 Noon

    How to improve your concentration? 

    We all would love to augment our engagement in the class of course. A few tried and tested exercises might surely make the difference between losing 90% of the lecture to retaining at least 50%.


    • The first step is discipline. Unless you are willing to work on enhancing your concentration, anything you try will make little difference. 
    • Easier said than done? Visualize what you will gain every time you are tempted to withdraw. Work on keeping your resolve strong. 
    • Set your goal and tell your family and friends about it. Let them remind you of your goal in case you stray.

    Take it slowly

    • You will have to work your way up gradually. Nothing changes overnight. 
    • Start by reading a 500-word article without letting your mind wander. Summarize what you just read and compare with the article to see how much you have captured and what you missed. 
    • After a week, try this by reading a 600-word writeup. Repeat the process, and keep increasing the length of the article.

    Detox from distractions

    • We now have several reasons for distractions. Social media would top the list. If a text or a tweet distracts you, keep it muted when you have a task in hand.
    • Some people get benefitted immensely by switching off the Wi-Fi and data on their phones on a particular day. You could turn them all off on alternate days, or during the day, or whatever works for you. 

    Learn by heart

    • Memorizing is an exercise that will keep you absorbed. Awareness of the lesson is automatic when you engage in memorizing it. 


    • Physical exercises like improved muscle strength, fitness, endurance, well-toned body, great appearance, enhanced blood circulation, and general well-being are some of the exercises which can be practiced. Another crucial boost is the mental makeup of a well-exercised person.
    • Some studies have concluded that the students who are engaged in moderate physical exercises before taking a test that measured attention spans performed better than students who had not done any physical exercise.


    Several studies point to improved physical, mental, and emotional health benefits from meditation. 

    • Increases attention span
    • Reduced stress
    • Controls anxiety
    • Enhances emotional health
    • Improves self-awareness
    • Promotes sound sleep
    • Aids in pain management

    There are many more claims, but the above points are proven facts as perks of meditation.


    • Finally, you say, this is what is an enjoyable activity. Now you can’t wait to tell your mom you are working on your memory when you are playing your Nintendo.
    • Do video games improve concentration and increase the attention span? A recent study showed a certain type of brain training game called n-back can improve working memory – an important aspect of attention – and that improvement can crossover to other cognitive challenges. A German study says that playing video games directly affects and impacts regions of the brain responsible for memory, spatial orientation, information organizations, and fine motor skills.
    • But there is another study that says that while certain brain training games can boost attention levels, those gains do not crossover to other areas of life. These games can help people pay better attention and do better at brain training games, but they won’t help people pay better attention in class or while studying.

    IIFT 2021 aspirants must register for the examination within the time period. Since the exam date is out, therefore aspirants are advised to start their IIFT 2021 preparation as per the exam pattern of IIFT. The IIFT 2021 is expected to be held across 20 test cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, and Coimbatore among others.

    Based on IIFT 2021 entrance exam merit, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade will shortlist the candidates for 420 seats in MBA (IB) 2021-23 batch at its Delhi, Kolkata, and the Kakinada campuses.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Ques. Do the questions in the IIFT exam need to be answered in any specific order?

    Ans. No. There is no sectional time limit or chronology in which candidates need to attempt the questions.

    Ques. Can I take the IIFT exam from any computer?

    Ans. No. IIFT exam cannot be taken from any computer. The candidate will have to take the exam at the test center mentioned on their IIFT admit card.

    Ques. Bringing my calculator to the IIFT exam hall is allowed?

    Ans. No. Carrying any electronic device to the exam hall is not allowed.

    Ques. Is the IIFT syllabus similar to the CAT syllabus?

    Ans. Yes, the syllabus of the IIFT exam is similar to the CAT exam. To know more similarities between IIFT and CAT, click here.

    Ques. Is there any sectional time limit in the IIFT exam?

    Ans. No, there is no sectional time-limit in the IIFT exam, but the candidates are advised to allot time to each section so that they can complete all the sections by the end.

    Ques. How many questions will be there in IIFT 2021?

    Ans. In IIFT 2021 exam the number of questions are likely to be around 110.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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