About CAT

Managed by IIMs, Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based exam which is a prerequisite for an MBA and other management programmes. The scores are accepted by close to 170 colleges across India for various courses. Until 2009, CAT was a completely paper based test and after that, they have updated it to a computer based test. Every year, there are some minor changes in the pattern or the number of questions asked.

Important Dates for CAT

Registration Start Date

CAT Test Date 25th November 2018

Last Date of Registration 26th September 2018

CAT Result

CAT 2018 Paper Pattern

The CAT 2018 paper pattern was similar to the last year, with the difficulty level a notch higher. A total of 100 questions were asked from Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI LR), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Ability (QA) both had 32 questions each. The total duration for the exam was 180 minutes. The candidates were not able to switch from one section to another, but use of basic on-screen calculator for computation turned out to be beneficial for the students to save time.

There were 3 sections:

  1. Quantitative Aptitude (QA): 34 questions (60 minutes)
  2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): 32 questions (60 minutes)
  3. Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC): 34 questions (60 minutes)

To be eligible to appear for the exam a student must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. Candidates in their final year of the bachelors can also apply. The selection process will include Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI). IIMs may use previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs in short listing and ranking of the candidates at various stages of the admission process.

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CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis | First Slot

With the expectations of CAT 2018 built largely over the format and difficulty level of the last three years, the exam evoked mixed responses ranging from “it was as expected” to “it’s shock value makes it difficult”.

Experience maketh man better! The conduction of the exam was fairly glitch-free with no technical issues and seamless processes. A far better experience for the test-taker.

So, what evoked the mixed responses? The difficulty-level of DI/LR was a notch lower than expected while that of QA was about one notch higher. Going by the speculations of QA based on the last three years’ difficulty level, this took test-takers by surpriseVA evoked a slightly more confused response, thanks to the lengthier RCs and the slight difference in number of questions per RC.

The sectional, in depth analysis is as follows:

With 24 RC questions and 10 non-RC questions, the overall format was as expected. The surprise was in the 5 questions per RC in 4 RCs and 4 questions in 1 RC. This also meant that the length of each RC was 550 to 650 words. No single paragraph, 200-word RC like last year was observed. This would have taken test-takers aback slightly. But the RCs topics were contemporary with easy language making comprehension easy. The topics were evolutionary biology, history- the relevance of recognizing India’s role in and contribution to the Second World War, environment -plastic recycling evading the real problem, economics- quantifying and assessment of happiness for economic growth, and animal and human behavior. The questions were the usual main idea, except, inferences, direct and logical purpose questions with an odd contextual-vocabulary question and weaken the argument question thrown in.

The non-RC questions were indeed smooth sailing! The Para-jumbles were surprisingly easy involving only 4 sentences (last year all of them had 5 sentences), 2 of the 4 questions being really easy. The 3 Summary questions had topics of philosophy and art, but had really easy options. The 3 Out of Context questions made one think a little more, but not a tough ask for a student who has prepared well. The 7 key-in questions were Para-jumbles and Out of Context.

The section was moderate. For a 98 percentile, 29 attempts here with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

With the difficulty levels of DI/LR increasing year on year in the last three years, test-takers went inured to the challenges of this section. Interestingly, the section was easier than the previous years. The eight sets with four questions each had 1 traditional and 1 new-age DI, 3 traditional LR sets and 3 new-age LR sets. Two sets -the 4-category set theory DI question and the pipeline new-age LR question were difficult. All the others were moderate except the pie charts DI set and the arrangement LR set were the easiest. The 8 key-in questions were well distributed.

Overall, a student who has prepared well should be able to attempt 5 to 6 sets properly in the allocated 60 minutes. This section could be termed moderate. For a 98 percentile, 22 – 23 attempts with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

This was indeed the surprise of the paper and unnerved test-takers. With a heavy dose of Geometry and Logarithm questions – 7 and 3, this altered the balance of this section though Geometry was easier than previous year. If the test taker had learnt not to judge the book by the cover, he would be fine in this section. Each question had to be read and understood before taking the call to skip the same. A lot of students ended up skipping questions which were below average in difficulty-level because of the look of the question! There was also a heavy dose of Arithmetic: 3 Time, Speed, Distance questions, 3 Time &Work questions. There were also 3-4 Numbers questions, 2 each of Set Theory, Functions, Average and Partnerships, and 1 each of SICI, Profit and Loss, Percentage, P&C, Alligations and Mixtures, Progressions.

Overall, it was a far more balanced section compared to previous years’ formats and students had to spend some time on questions rather than look for sitters as sitters were fewer in number. Another feature was that the 12 key-in questions were time consuming and required students to be clear about concepts and careful in calculations.

The section was moderate to difficult. For a 98 percentile, 25 attempts with 80% accuracy should be considered good.

Find below the percentile projections on the basis of raw scores:

Expected Percentile on basis of Raw Scores
Percentile Overall Verbal LRDI Quant
99 169 70 53 65
98 154 64 46 57
95 132 58 40 47
90 113 50 34 40
85 95 44 28 33
80 83 39 24 28


Overall, unlike Bollywood in 2018, where big stars have disappointed on the first day- first show, CAT 2018 is clearly a blockbuster, on the lines of what was expected and students have nothing to cry foul about. This paper was balanced across all sections and one needs to appreciate CAT authorities for creating a blockbuster of a paper which will only increase students’ faith in the system.

Wishing all the best to all the test takers for the results!

Click here for the second slot analysis.  

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CAT 2018 Video Analysis

About XAT

Xavier Aptitude Test is conducted by XLRI, generally in the 1st week of January. Scores of the exam are accepted by around a 100 institutes. The exam is conducted at around 44 centers in India and 2 centers abroad.

Important Dates for XAT

Registration Start Date

XAT Test Date 6th January, 2019

Last Date Of Registration 30th November, 2018Register

XAT Results To be announced

XAT 2019 Pattern

XAT 2019 lived up to the traditional XAT standards! There were 2 parts in the paper: Part A and Part B. Part A had 26 questions of Verbal ability and logical reasoning, 21 questions of Decision Making and 27 questions of Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. The time allotted for this part was 170 minutes (with no sectional time limit). Part B had 25 questions of General awareness and an essay topic. The time allotted for this part was 40 minutes. There was a 10 minutes break provided between both the parts.

XAT 2019 Analysis

XAT 2019 Analysis & Expected Cut-off

The second edition of the online XAT exam lived up to the traditional XAT standards! As was already announced by XAT authorities in advance, the major change in the XAT 2019 format was the absence of the essay writing section. The negative marking for questions not attempted went up to 0.10 from compared to 0.05 that was prevalent for the last 3 years.

Despite minor hiccups and unpleasantness at some centers, the check-in process seemed quite smooth. A quick frisking was followed by admit card check and biometric registration. Instructions about marking and paper pattern were also being announced through loudspeakers in the exam hall. (Some centers reported incorrect instructions being announced.) The instructions page carried the instruction about NAT (Numerical Answer Type) questions but there was not a single NAT question in the paper which took the test takers by surprise. The test conduction was otherwise smooth and unlike last year, no technical glitches were experienced.

XAT 2019 Detailed Analysis:

There were 2 parts in the XAT 2019 – Part I and Part II. Part A had 26 questions of Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, 21 questions of Decision Making and 27 questions of Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. This break up was exactly the same as that of last year. The time allotted for this part was 165 minutes (with no sectional time limit). Part B had 25 questions of General awareness to be answered in 15 minutes. There was no break provided between the two parts like last year.

A tougher than last year Quant + DI, a moderate Decision-Making section, a slightly easier than last year Verbal section and the absence of Analytical Reasoning were the highlights of XAT 2019.

Part A:

Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning: (26 Qs)

 This section had 26 questions with 4 RCs and 1 poem making for 15 questions and 11 questions of Verbal Ability. The RCs were from the subjects of Psychology, Women Empowerment, Art and poetry. One of the Psychology passages dealt with mood and elevation as an inspiring emotion and the second Psychology passage discussed the idea of the creative occupations being predominated by people with bipolar disorders. Both these passages were about 550+ words but were easier to comprehend. The RC on people’s flippant judgments about art being a reflection of their own inadequacies was also one that could be attempted. The difficult RC was the one on women empowerment and the sexism attached to public language. Both these RCs were about 600+ words. Something that was impossible to crack was the poem by Sylvia Plath ‘Crossing the River’.  For anyone aware of Sylvia Plath’s typical style, this poem that revolved around the theme of ‘blackness’ could only be avoided. Though the passages in XAT 2019 were slightly easier to read in comparison to XAT 2018, the questions were not straight-forward. The options were also quite tricky. Many questions asked to weaken/make irrelevant/ not agree with the author’s main point.

The 5 Vocabulary-based questions provided a respite to the test taker. Of the 3 cloze passages, 1 antonym question and 1 analogy, about 3 could be easily attempted. The 4 CR questions were easy to moderate and of the 2 Parajumbles, one was moderate.

Overall, the section could be called moderate to difficult. The good attempts can be said to be 18 questions in about 55 mins.

Decision Making: (21 Qs)

This section surprised test takers with 21 questions – all of Decision Making caselets. A test taker who hoped to clear this sectional with the 6 AR questions that have been seen in the past would have been very much disappointed. For the well-prepared student whose preparation would have involved solving DM questions of the past papers, the two familiar caselets- that of Limo cars and Rollover ice cream were a welcome respite. All the other caselets were situational decision making and had difficult questions – most likely, least likely – with really lengthy options in some cases, which had to be further put in decreasing order of relevance.

Overall, the surprise factor in this section made this a slightly challenging section than previous years’ papers. In about 50 mins, one could attempt about 18 questions.

Quantitative Ability + Data Interpretation: (27 Qs)

The section consisted of 6 questions of Data Interpretation, 2 questions of Data sufficiency and 19 questions on Quantitative Ability, which was exactly in line with last year’s break up.

Data Interpretation was split into two sets of 3 questions each. One was standard mix of a pie chart and a bar graph while other was a caselet based on time zones. The mixed graph was direct and the questions were easy, with some data missing in one sector. The caselet on time zone was time consuming.

The quant part of the section was dominated by Geometry with 2 questions from co-ordinate geometry, 2 from mensuration, 3 from triangles and 1 from circle. Algebra also had its share of 5 questions – 2 questions were based on functions and 2 on surds. There was 1 question on polynomial where the data seemed to be inconsistent. Arithmetic was on the lower side with 1 question each on ratio, percentage, profit and loss and installments. Modern maths was totally absent except for 1 simple question on progressions. There were 2 questions on data sufficiency which were doable.

A typical observation in this paper was that while a few selected questions could be solved very easily (within 1 minute), while a few of them were heavily calculative and could take around 5 minutes or even more. Overall this section can be called moderate considering the mixed bag of difficulty level.

Allocating 60 mins to this section, 18+ can be termed as Good Attempts and 12+ can be a good score.

Part B:

General Knowledge:

With 25 questions to be taken in 15 minutes, this section was a mix of current affairs and static GK. It covered subjects like business, economy, politics, geography, science and art. There were questions about the Kyoto Protocol, Article 356, Raja Ravi Verma, countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal, Horlicks acquisition, events of Indian history, the channels owned by Viacom 18, India’s biggest importer etc.

For a well-read student, good attempts could be said to be 10 to 12 questions.

Sectional Synopsis of XAT 2019:

Section Difficulty Ideal Time Good Attempts Good Score
QA + DI Moderate to Tough 60 Minutes 18+ 12+
VA + LR Moderate to Tough 55 Minutes 18+ 11+
DM Moderate 50 Minutes 18+ 11+
Overall Moderate to Tough 165 Minutes 54+ 34+

Predicted Scores for different Percentiles:

Section Score @ 97%ile (Appx.) Score @ 90%ile (Appx.) Score @ 80%ile (Appx.) Score @ 70%ile (Appx.)
Quant 11.3+ 9.5+ 8+ 7.2+
VA+LR 10.7+ 9.1+ 7.6+ 6.9+
DM 11+ 9.3+ 7.8+ 7+
Overall 30.4+ 25.8+ 21.7+ 19.5+

Predicted Cut-offs for XAT 2019:

Quant 70%ile (7.2+) 90%ile (9.5+) 70%ile (7.2+)
VA+LR 80%ile (7.6+) 80%ile (7.6+) 70%ile (6.9+)
DM 75%ile (7.5+) 80%ile (7.8+) 70%ile (7+)
Overall 92%ile (27+) 94%ile (28+) 90%ile (25.7+)

Wishing all XAT 2019 aspirants all the best!

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XAT 2019 Video Analysis

About SNAP

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test is generally conducted in December. It is mandatory for all PG courses at the colleges of Symbiosis International University. There are 14 institutes of Symbiosis National University present in Pune, Nashik, Bangalore and Hyderabad which accept SNAP scores.

Important Dates for SNAP

Registration Start Date

SNAP Test Dates 16th December, 2018

Last Date Of Registration 18th January, 2019

SNAP Results 28th February,

SNAP 2018 Pattern

Total Questions: 150, 3 sections with 40 questions each and 1 section with 30 questions. Duration: 2 hours

Sections Total Marks
General English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability 40
Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency 40
General Awareness: General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Business Scenario 30
Analytical & Logical Reasoning 40

Total Marks: 150

Marking: 1/4th negative marks.

Sectional Cut-offs: No

SNAP 2018 Analysis

Major highlight of SNAP 2018 was the introduction of “Special” questions, each carrying double weight than normal questions. Most out of these 20 two-markers lived up to the expectation of being more challenging than the normal questions. Unlike the example of special question having alphanumeric virtual keyboard in their formal communication, the actual paper added a relief to test takers by having a numeric virtual keyboard. This year’s SNAP was easier than the last edition with just the reasoning section trying to stop the test takers with time consuming questions. Section wise analysis is as follows:

The sectional, in depth analysis is as follows:

Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency (35 Qs, 40 Marks)

This should, arguably, be the longest ever title for this section which generated an expectation of having Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency in this section. Three Data Sufficiency questions indeed made the section easier for test takers but surprisingly there wasn’t a single question from Data Interpretation area.

There were four questions on basic percentage application which provided the test takers comfortable pace while attempting. Four questions on basic Algebra applications were also manageable, if not very easy. The Permutation and Combination part of Quant continued having an abnormal share in SNAP with four questions in the section. Apart from these, Geometry and Mensuration saw an improvement in the share of section with eight questions being asked from various chapters of Geometry.

Overall, this section was Easy as far as difficulty level is concerned.

Considering that the Reasoning section was not a smooth ride, this section deserved a time allocation of 45 minutes. Good Score for this section should be around 27 marks.

Analytical & Logical Reasoning (35 Qs, 40 marks)

SNAP has a history of producing some weird variety of questions in this section which are not seen in other major entrance examinations. This year, again, they have continued with the legacy. A couple of questions on unfolding 3D shapes were interesting and tricky. The questions with Pendulum and Candles also surprised the test takers.

The section was still dominated by conventional AR/LR questions. A set of seven questions of arrangement was time consuming and reasonably risky for most of test takers. Four independent questions based on arrangements, three questions on coding-decoding, one question each on calendar, blood relation, set theory, analogy were also there. There were five questions of the variety of missing numbers and series. 2-3 of these questions were tricky and may have wasted time of test takers.

Considering presence of a seven question set which was difficult to break and 4 to 5 more questions of unfolding 3D shapes and missing number/series, the overall difficulty level of this section can be termed moderate to difficult. 35 minutes was ideal time allocation for this section in which a good score should be around 20 marks.

General English (Verbal Ability, Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension) (35 Qs, 40 marks)

In General English section of SNAP 2018, the level of difficulty went down prominently from last year. The questions were mostly straightforward and pretty much doable. The section consisted of a total of 35 questions out of which 25 questions were from Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning and there were 10 questions based on Reading Comprehension.

Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning: – The questions primarily tested vocabulary and grammar. 10-11 Vocabulary based questions from a wide variety of topics like synonyms, antonyms, spellings and odd man out would comfortably fall under the category of easy to moderate. There were about 12-13 questions based on grammar. Replicating the trend of last year, SNAP this year again tested the aspirants on topics like active-passive voice, word usage and parts of speech. With three filling the blanks questions based on conjunction, preposition and conditional tense, there were two match the following questions on word usages according to parts of speech. The conventional question type of sentence correction and error detection had a fair presence in this section with 3-4 questions. The Verbal reasoning questions were limited to one rearrangement of jumbled sentence and two analogies.

Reading Comprehension: The RC questions were distributed evenly between two passages. The passage on Google’s location tracking system was moderate in length and easy enough to understand. Most of the questions from this passage were direct ones, except for one question on title. However, the second passage on Trade Liberalization was quite lengthy (850-1000 words), so reading that would have taken a long time. Students with an average understanding of verbal as a section would have skipped the passage as it was lengthy and had 2 inference based questions.

With no real expectations of which question type will be categorized as TITA (Type in the answer), aspirants were given a mixed question bank for special questions ranging from unscrambling the scrambled sentence, to past participle form of a word, from identifying the correct spelling to plural form of a word.

Overall, Verbal section was fairly manageable with a mix of Easy to Moderate questions. It could certainly be a morale booster for a well prepared student.

Allocating 30 mins to this section, around 26 can be termed as Good Attempts and 22 can be considered a good score.

Current Affairs (25 Qs, 30 marks)

SNAP creators by living up to their promise of testing the aspirants on current affairs based on last two year weren’t able to surprise the test takers much. However, asking questions as latest as the 2018 assembly elections they surely raised the happiness index of test takers. There was a good spread of questions from the different types like Sports, Politics, Business, Who’s who (Business as well as Government), Awards and Technology related news.

With a total of six questions from business, five on politics and government, four on Who’s who, three on awards and recognition and a question on sports, aspirants were given a comfort zone to perform.

TITA (Special Questions) in this section were based on India’s rank in Happiness Index, No. of total seats in Chhattisgarh assembly Elections 2018, No. of people winning noble prize in Economics in 2018 and No. of cities in Indonesia where Asian Games are held.

A test taker who has been following news regularly should surely have an edge over others.

An ideal allocation can be 10 mins for this particular section and 16-17 attempts with 13 marks can be considered as a good score.

Section Title Questions Difficulty Level Suggested Time Allocation Good Score
General English 35 Easy to Moderate 30 minutes 22
Quant + DI + DS 35 Easy 45 minutes 27
Reasoning 35 Moderate to Difficult 35 minutes 20
Current Affair 25 Easy to Moderate 10 minutes 13

Expected Cut off:

SIBM-P: 72+



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SNAP 2018 Video Analysis


About NMAT

NMAT by GMAC, which was previously known as Narsee Monjee Admission Test, will be conducted by GMAC, is valid for entry into all PG programs of Narsee Monjee Colleges, and universities such as Alliance University (Bangalore), Amity University (Delhi), Thapar University (Chandigarh) and several others. A candidate could take NMAT-2015 up to a maximum of 3 times (first attempt plus 2 retake attempts) including no shows, if he/she wishes to. There has to be a gap of at least 15 days between two successive attempts. For candidates having multiple attempts, the best score (total and sectional) is considered for short listing purposes. The result for each attempt is declared separately, approximately 15 days after the test attempt. It is generally conducted from October-December.

Important Dates for NMAT By GMAC

Registration Start Date

NMAT Test Dates 4th October to 17th December, 2018

Last Date Of Registration 3rd October, 2018

NMAT Results 3rd week of January,

NMAT By GMAC 2017 Pattern

There are generally 3 sections in the test:

  • Section 1: Language Skills which consists of 32 Questions
  • Section 2: Quantitative Skills which consists of 48 Questions
  • Section 3: Logical Reasoning which consists of 40 Questions

Candidates can choose the order of sections in NMAT. Each of the three sections have individual section timings and candidates are supposed to answer and review the questions of a particular section within the allotted section time.

NMAT 2017 Analysis

As standardized as it could be!!

Question type and difficulty level both were same as that of last year’s exam.

It was, once again, a speed based test inviting all aspirants to target a typical 208-210 score to earn an NMIMS-Mumbai process call. 

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (48 Questions, 60 minutes):

The section comprised of 20 questions of Data Interpretation and 28 questions of Quantitative Ability.

DI part of the section was, once again, time-consuming and mostly calculative. Five sets of four questions each were there to test an aspirant’s ability to interpret data. The set with the pie chart was the easiest of all. A good test taker should have given priority to one caselet based set and the set with a bar chart over the other two sets considering the moderate level of difficulty of the former ones.

Remaining 28 questions were from Quant area of aptitude with 22 independent questions and 6 questions of Data Sufficiency. Numbers dominated the section with 6 questions. A good representation of 4 questions was also there from each of Algebra, Percentage Application, Ratio Application, and Geometry. All the 6 questions of Data Sufficiency were the easiest to solve whereas the Ratio based problems (Time Distance, Partnership, Time Work etc) demanded time to get solved.

Overall, the section can be termed as easy to moderate and 36-38 genuine attempts with 90+ % accuracy should lead to a Good Score.

Reasoning (40 Questions, 38 Minutes):

12 Questions from Verbal Reasoning and 28 Questions from Logical Reasoning constituted the reasoning section.

Verbal Reasoning portion had a good variety of questions in form of Syllogism, Course of Action, Sentence Assumption, Strengthen-weaken and inference based question. All of the 12 Questions were easy to moderate. An aspirant with a reasonably good practice of such variety of questions should get 8-9 Questions correct.

Logical and Analytical Reasoning part was dominated by two sets of tabular arrangements based questions. All the 8 questions were easy to moderate. Just one manageable set of Input-output was a small surprise, however, the previous slot of the day tested the takers with a set of good difficulty level.  4-5 questions from Coding, 2 questions of Blood Relations, 3 questions of Series and patterns, 2 questions on set theory formed a major part of the remaining section.

Approximately 28-30 genuine attempts with a 90+% accuracy should be sufficient for a Good Score.

Verbal Ability (32 Questions, 22 minutes):

The section was dominated by Vocabulary based questions. There were 5 Questions of Synonyms/Antonyms, 6 Fill-in-the-blanks and 1 Analogy question, all of which demanded a decent command over vocabulary.

The rest of the section had 4 Questions of Para jumbles, 5 Questions of Spotting the errors, 3 Preposition based Fill-in-the-blanks and 2 Reading Comprehension of 4 Questions each. Both the RCs were of medium size with a possible turn-around time of 6 to 7 minutes and most of these questions were manageable.

As far as the conduction is concerned, Pearson has done a brilliant job. The verification process before the Test is very smooth, provided you carry the right documents. The interface is quite good and responsive, however, one has to take note that there is no question pallet in the test and one has to use “next” and “previous” buttons in order to navigate through a section.


Test takers should reach the test center with all documents asked for.

Test takers should be mentally ready for a Speed Test which has no Negative Marking.

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NMAT 2017 Video Analysis

About IIFT

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade – is generally conducted in the month of November by IIFT. The exam is valid for PG courses at its Delhi and Kolkata campus.

Important Dates for IIFT

Registration Start Date

IIFT Test Dates 2nd December, 2018

Last Date Of Registration

IIFT Results

IIFT 2018 Pattern

The exam is a multiple choice objective type written test, which consists of questions covering English Comprehension, General Knowledge & Awareness, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis. The exam is of 2 hours duration. The marking scheme of IIFT may vary from year to year. Based on the marks obtained in the Written Test, candidates would be called for Essay Writing, Group Discussion and Interview.

There are a total of 6 sections in the test.

Sections Part Section Name No. of Questions Marks per Question Total Marks
Section I Part A Data Interpretation 19 1 19
Section I Part B Analytical and Logical Reasoning 20 0.75 15
Section II General Awareness 28 0.5 14
Section III Part A Verbal Ability 20 0.75 15
Section III Part B Reading Comprehension 16 0.75 12
Section IV Quantitative Aptitude 25 1 25

There is 1/3rd negative marking for a wrong answer and the total marks are 100. There’s a differential marking system for each section.

As expected, the paper contained a differential marking system but was relatively easier than the last few years’ IIFT papers. The exam was divided into 4 sections, further sub-divided into 6 sections viz. General Awareness, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation and Analytical & Logical Reasoning. In all, there were 128 questions amounting to a total of 100 marks. Each section had questions with the ideal blend of level of difficulty and variety.

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IIFT 2018 Analysis


If IIFT 2017 shocked the test taker by producing the most difficult test of recent past, then one can surely say that IIFT 2018 went one step ahead in challenging thousands of IIFT aspirants.

Test takers were well aware that they had to reach the sectional cut off of each section before targeting the overall cut off. But, the test designer ensured that no section ended up giving marks easily. In absence of any Easy section, the overall cut off should come down by few marks in comparison to last year.

It was little disappointing to see approximately half a dozen questions with ambiguous data which involved a set of Logical Reasoning as well. The ambiguous nature of these many questions may have confused many test takers and would further cost a mark or two in overall cut off.

The sectional, in depth analysis is as follows:

Reading Comprehension (16 Qs of 1 mark each)

The RC Sectional made a stark departure from the last few years’ standard 4×4 RCs. This time with 5 RCs of  800 to 1000 words, the RCs not only challenged students with their length but also with their number and distribution of questions. 4 RCs had 3 questions each and  1 RC had 4 questions.

The questions were fairly direct and could be answered by skimming and scanning. The RCs on GDP and Utility of liberal arts graduates in the Second Machine age were easy as they had all direct questions. Two RCs-  one, on the Importance of Information and two, on Public Intellectuals had semi-inference question and could be answered easily by understanding the main idea from the first paragraphs. The last RC was on metamorphosis of culture, the questions were tricky because the options were close, but clear understanding of the first paragraph could make things easier. However, with return on investment on time (the realization is not more than 1 question per min) not being great, this  RC was not worth spending time on.

With 22 mins, making a comfortable 10 attempts with a net realization of 7 marks can be considered a good score.

Verbal Ability (20 Qs of 0.75 mark each)

The Verbal Ability sectional was on the same lines as last year, but with more question variety. The emphasis on language technicality continued. Both Grammar and Vocab questions offered diversity and the conventional Para-jumble made a return, much to the relief of the test takers! Of the 3 questions on arranging the jumbled letters to form a meaningful word that matched with one of the options, two were easy and moderate, one was really difficult. ‘Pernickety’ is certainly not a much used word. One of the two analogy questions was difficult. There were 3 questions of Sentence Completion, one of which was tricky. Grammar was back to its good old days of error detection and sentence correction. Of the 4 Grammar questions, only 1 was difficult. The two Para-jumble questions could be easily tackled by a trained student. Etymology-based questions continued their run for the third year, sending home the message loud and clear of IIFT’s interest in language origins and expectations from test takers. A very difficult set of words, the only easy one being ‘voracious’. The 2 match the following questions, one of which was Vocab-based and the other, Grammar-based, also used some difficult words.

Students with formal training in Vocabulary and strong Grammar training will have found a good number of questions for themselves. With 12-15 mins spent on this sectional and attempts of 12-13 questions, a student can hope to score about 7 marks.

Quantitative Ability (20 Qs of 1 mark each)

The section was more or less similar to last year with an exception of having 7 Qs of Geometry and Mensuration. Most of the problems were time consuming and demanded a test taker to demonstrate own Qs selection ability to find relatively easier Qs. Two questions of Logarithm and Time and Work were also part of this section with 3 to 4 Qs coming from Algebra.

We can classify this sections as Moderate to Tough. Ideal attempts in 25-27 minutes can be 12 and good score can be 8.

Data Interpretation (20 Qs of 1 mark each)

Once again the Data Interpretation section was the most challenging. IIFT has continued with its tradition of producing highly calculative Data Interpretation sets which tested calculation skills of all the test takers. Almost no set can be called an easy one. Test taker were forced to spend time in at least two sets to get the sectional cut off of this section.

Overall, we can classify this sections as difficult. Ideal attempts in 22 minutes can be 8 and good score can be 5.

Logical Reasoning (20 Qs of 1 mark each)

The section was divided into 3 sets of 4 questions, 2 sets of 2 questions, 1 set of 3 questions and a single question set. The paper evaluated areas like arrangements of 6 X 3 format, Data structure, Venn diagram and number puzzle. There was a clear emphasis visible on arrangement based puzzles ranging from circular arrangement, tabular arrangement to a grid-based matrix arrangement. Except for 1 set of 4 questions on friends and hotels and a single question on number puzzle, all the other sets were either time consuming or moderate to difficult. The set on Venn diagram was lengthy and just 2 question following it made it a time-consuming proposition, while the sets based on matrix and circular arrangement can be considered moderate to difficult. One set that was based on friends staying in rooms of different colour, required some assumptions to be made in order to solve the set. This certainly wasn’t a scoring section in the paper. Overall, 10-11 can be called good attempts and approximately 7 marks can be considered a good score in this section within 25 minutes.

General Knowledge (18 Qs of 0.5 mark each)

Continuing the last year’s trend, GK section this year too had 18 questions with 9 marks. Two of the three conceptual questions (i.e. Shell Company & Regressive taxation) were relatively easy. The rest 15 questions were factual, from areas viz. Sports, International Organizations, International Affairs, Business Trivia, Currency etc. True to the IIFT trend, there were 3 match-the-column questions and one pictorial question on Logo identification. In all, the GK section this year was easier compared to last few years. A well-prepared student should be able to attempt around 10 questions and 3 marks can be considered a good score in GK section.

Overall Analysis

Section Qs Marks/Q Marks Difficulty Level Ideal Time (min) Good Score Probable Cut off
Reading Comprehension 16 1 16 Moderate 22 7 2.66
Verbal Ability 20 0.75 15 Moderate 15 7 2.50
Quantitative Ability 20 1 20 Moderate 26 8 3.00
Data Interpretation 20 1 20 Difficult 22 5 1.66
Logical Reasoning 20 1 20 Difficult 25 7 3.33
General Knowledge 18 0.5 9 Moderate 10 3 1.00
Total 114   100   120   30

Probable Cut off for IIFT Delhi and Kolkata: 30 Marks

Answer key for IIFT-18 can be found here.


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IIFT 2018 Video Analysis


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