Expert Tips to obtain Sectional IIFT Cut off Score

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Test, commonly known as IIFT is amongst the top MBA entrance examinations in the country. The popularity of the exam can be known by the fact that around 50,000 candidates apply for this test, whereas the number of colleges under this test is just two.

This informs how prestigious IIFT Delhi and Kolkata are. The candidates need to clear the cutoff score of the written examination in order to stand a chance of getting admission.

Apart from overall cutoff, there is sectional cutoff for each section of the paper. Though these are very low, some candidates still miss the chance of getting a call despite getting a good score because they are not able to clear the sectional cutoff. Therefore, we bring you some expert tips to make sure that you achieve the sectional score required and get your dream college.

Understanding the sectional division in IIFT

IIFT entrance test is conducted for 100 marks every year. However, the number of questions keeps ranging from 120 to 130. IIFT tests the knowledge of candidates mainly on 6 areas – Quantitative Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, English Usage, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and General Awareness. However, the number of sections keep varying.

Many a times, some of the subjects are clubbed and turned into a single section, like RC+EU, LR+DI, QA+DI and other such combinations. Candidates need to clear the cutoff of all combinations created thereof.

For better understanding, take a look at the sectional cutoffs of IIFT for past two years–

Section 2016 Cutoff 2015 Cutoff
General Awareness 1.99 (out of 12.5) 0.82 (out of 14)
Reading Comprehension 9.67 (out of 31) 8.75 (out of 31)
English Usage
Quantitative Aptitude 4.01 (out of 20) 4.34 (out of 22)
Data Interpretation 8 (out of 36.5) 8.68 (out of 33)
Logical Reasoning

Overall cut offs have been around 48 marks in both the years.

Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude section of IIFT has been of easy to moderate level of difficulty, and has not been the cause of trouble for many candidates. But since the competition is huge, one needs to obtain a good score in this section to achieve a nice overall score.

The strategy to clear the cutoff for this section is very simple. When you begin with this section, go through the questions quickly. Mark the ones which are easy and can be done without consuming a lot of your time.

This way, you can attempt the questions you are sure of in less time. Also, remember that it is as important to keep in mind the accuracy with which you solve these questions.


Every year, at least three questions in the paper are from geometry. Also, considerable amount of questions are asked from Arithmetic. Candidates who are good at these topics can easily achieve a good overall score.

Notably, the questions of arithmetic in IIFT have been of easier level, so candidates must target this topic to score a good sectional cutoff.


There are a number of sources to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude section of IIFT. Since the questions in this section are not too tough, candidates must cover the relevant topics only.

The preferred book for this section is ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT and other management entrance exams’ by Arun Sharma. Candidates are advised to practice only with the questions from level of difficulty (LOD) 1 and 2. Also, solving past year IIFT papers is a must. For this, ‘IIFT 10 mock test and past year solved papers’ by Arihant Publications is a good source.

Reading Comprehension and English Usage

Reading Comprehension and English Usage has been clubbed as a single section most of the times, therefore, you can plan for it together.

For this section, RCs is a topic of huge importance as you can easily expect four RCs with at least 16 questions in the paper. On the other hand, EU has questions in various topics such as Sentence Correction, Sentence Rearrangement, Grammar and Vocabulary.


A most probable strategy is that you first go through any two RCs on those topics which you are familiar with, as you will be able to answer them quickly.

Next step should be to look for vocabulary questions that you know you can solve quickly. Then continue with the sentence rearrangement questions as one can easily deduce the answer through the options given.


There are number of resources available for this section making it important for the candidates to pick the relevant material for preparation.

For Vocabulary, books by Normal Lewis – ‘Word Power Made Easy’ and ‘30 days to a powerful vocabulary’ are good. Also, using and making lists of targeted words there would be useful.

For grammar, ‘Wren and Martin High School Grammar book’ is good for the basics.

For practicing different topics, you may resort to ‘How to prepare for Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability’ by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay.

Websites like are also good to practice for this section.


Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

LR and DI are the two subjects that are mostly clubbed together to form one section. However, sometimes DI is also clubbed with QA.

In IIFT, LR is easy and DI is calculation intensive. With reasonable observation, you can spot a good number of easy questions in LR. On the other hand, for DI one must be careful in picking up sets, as some can be really lengthy.

For DI, sets from Tables, Pie Charts, Line Charts and Bar graphs dominate. On the other hand, LR does include topics like Syllogism, Blood Relations and other common topics, but the section is mostly dominated by Analytical Reasoning.


Although LRDI section does not have a huge syllabus, but it still tends to become the most tedious section. Success in this section depends vastly on the candidate’s selection of sets.

With 12-13 questions attempted in a maximum of 15 minutes in LRDI, sectional cutoff can be cleared easily.


The key to LRDI section is practice. Practice as much as you can, as fast as you can. Books by Arun Sharma – ‘How to prepare for and Logical Reasoning’ and ‘How to prepare for Data Interpretation’ are probably the best for preparation. Also, it is important to practice with past year papers.


General Awareness

General Awareness is one section for which you will get the most fluctuating opinions by different people. Some candidates are really confident about this section, while some are scared of this section.

GK Section has around 20-25 questions, with each question carrying 0.5 marks. However, the cut off for this section goes very low, sometimes even as low as 1 mark out of 10. This is because IIFT’s GK section shows a lot of variety and questions are asked from topics ranging from global economy tobollywood.


Since the type of questions asked in this section vary each year, to target any single topic is not feasible. But one thing that is surely asked are questions from the most recent happenings.

Therefore, being acquainted with current affairs is important. It includes topics from every field, whether it is sports, economy, bollywood, politics and world. It is quite probable that 7-8 questions will be asked from current affairs.


The best source for preparation of GK section of any examination is newspaper. We recommend that you read any national level newspaper daily, for at least 6 months regularly before the exam.

Also, you can refer to websites such as India Business Quiz and GKtoday for daily updates. Websites like provide free tests that you can refer to.

Youtube channels like Unacademy and Hitbullseye also keep uploading monthly current affairs which can be very helpful.

Overall Strategy to clear sectional cutoff

The overall strategy to clear the sectional cutoff is very simple. The basic rules remain the same, but one important thing to remember is to start with the section which you are comfortable with.

Starting with your strengths is important as you take the least time in it. After solving the sections of your choice, move to other sections in descending order of comfort level.

Staying consistent and focused during the preparation period is very important. Enjoy your preparation, and if you are truly chasing your goal with full commitment, then IIFT is not too far. Good Luck!

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