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IIFT | Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Examination

IIFT | Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Examination

IIFT Exam Date
January, 2021 (Tentative)
Name of the Examination
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Admission Test
Common Name
Conducting Body
National Testing Agency (NTA)
Frequency of the Exam
Once a year
Mode of Examination
Computer-Based Test
Duration of the Exam
2 hours
Total Marks

IIFT exam is an entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade to select candidates for the management courses. The IIFT has three campuses which are located in Kakinada, Delhi, and Kolkata. Every year, around 50,000 candidates appear for the exam. Both Indians and foreign candidates compete in the exam to get admission to Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. 

The total number of seats in all the campuses altogether is 420. The IIFT exam is conducted once a year. The official dates of the exam are announced through an official notification. However, since the official dates of the exam have not been released yet, the candidates can follow tentative dates to create a preparation plan.

The table given below shows the tentative dates of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade exam:   

IIFT 2020 Events
Dates (Tentative)
IIFT Notification
October 2020
IIFT Registration Begins
November 2020
Last Date to Apply
November/December 2020
Last Date for Fee Payment
December 2020
IIFT 2020 Application Form Correction Begins
December 2020
IIFT 2020 Application Form Correction Ends
December 2020
Release of IIFT Admit Card
December 2020
IIFT Exam Date
January 2021
IIFT Result Announcement
January 2021

IIFT Exam Pattern:

Just like any other exam, the IIFT exam has its own exam pattern. However, the exam pattern changes frequently. Therefore, the students who are planning to appear for the entrance exam must check the latest exam pattern released by the conducting body. It would help the candidate to prepare in a better manner.

The details of the exam pattern and its particulars are as follows: 

2 hours/ 120 minutes
Total number of questions
Type of questions
Total marks
Total number of sections
Sectional time limit
Not allotted
Marking Scheme
1.5 to 3 marks for every right answer depending upon the section
Negative Marking
-1/3 for every wrong answer

The IIFT exam pattern is divided into four sections. Each section has a different number of questions and marking schemes, depending on their importance. The different sections in the IIFT exam are as follows:  

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • General Awareness
Number of questions
Marks per question
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Quantitative Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
General Awareness

The total number of marks and the negative marking scheme for each section also varies. It is  as follows: 

Total Marks
Negative marks per wrong answer
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Quantitative Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
General Awareness

 Even though the exam does not have any sectional time limit, the students should try to follow a time limit to complete the exam in time. The table below shows a recommended time limit that the students should allot to each section: 

Recommended Time Allocation (Minutes)
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Quantitative Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
General Awareness
IIFT Syllabus:

Anyone who wants to prepare for the exam thoroughly must be well aware of the syllabus of the exam. It would prove highly beneficial for them while creating an exam preparation strategy. It would also help them understand the exam pattern more thoroughly.  

Since every section of the exam tests different skills of the students, the students would need to create a different preparation strategy for each section. If the students are well aware of the exam syllabus, then it would be easier for them to create an effective examination strategy.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

A management student must have good fluency in the language in order to communicate effectively. Therefore, the verbal ability and reading comprehension section test the student's language skills. In order to test the candidate's entire knowledge of the English knowledge, the authorities ask questions from the following syllabus: 

  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Antonyms/Synonyms
  • Spelling Correction
  • Punctuation
  • Figures of Speech
  • Analogy
  • Correction of Grammatical Errors
  • Matching the prefix and suffix
  • Placement of words at appropriate places
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • One word substitution
  • Jumbled sentences
  • Active-passive

Quantitative Analysis:

Quantitative analysis is an essential skill that must be possessed by a candidate in a managerial position. Therefore, the IIFT exam tests the test taker's basic quantitative skills. The syllabus that is included in the quantitative analysis section is as follows: 

  • Arithmetic
  • Ratio
  • Simple Interest
  • Compound Interest
  • Percentage
  • Days and work
  • Cost
  • Geometry, Algebra, Log
  • Rectangular Plank
  • Circumference
  • Triangles
  • Diagonal  distance
  • Probability
  • Mensuration
  • Number
  • ERPV
  • Time, Distance, Work and Heights
  • Permutation and Combination
  • AMA
  • Logarithms
  • PPL
  • Geometry

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR):

A candidate in the managerial position must be highly skilled in data interpretation and logical reasoning in order to make good decisions for the business. Therefore, the exam gives a high priority to test the test taker's interpretation and reasoning skills. Questions from the following syllabus are asked in the interpretation and reasoning section:

Data Interpretation:

  • Analysis and comparative study of Data Tables
  • Pie Charts and Tables
  • Charts and Graphs with Tables
  • Bar Diagrams and Comparative Tables
  • Caselets
  • Line Graph

Logical Reasoning:

  • Coding-Decoding
  • Series & Analysis
  • Comparisons
  • Directions
  • Seating
  • Directions
  • Deductions
  • Input & Output
  • Selections
  • Linear word formation

General Awareness:

A candidate must have a good general knowledge to excel in any field. The same rule applies to business management. If a candidate has a habit of being updated in current affairs and business fields, then they will be able to make better decisions for the business. The candidate must have updated knowledge in the following fields to get a good score in the General Awareness section:

  • Society
  • Business
  • Politics
  • Banking
  • History
  • Industry
  • Economics
  • Literature
  • International Affairs
  • Films
  • Awards and awardees
  • Sports
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Mythology

Recommended Books:

There are many different books in the market for IIFT preparation. However, the students must select good books in order to prepare effectively for the exam. For the preparation of some sections of the exam, the candidates can use the books of CAT preparation. The best-recommended books for each section are as follows: 

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is a common section for many entrance exams. Therefore, the following books are highly used by the students to prepare for the verbal ability section of many entrance exams:

  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin
  • The Person Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning by Nishant Sinha
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis

Quantitative Analysis:

The following books are the best and the most recommended ones for the preparation of quantitative analysis: 

  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal
  • The Person Guide To Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha

Data Interpretation:

The preparation of the data interpretation section can be done with the help of the following books:

  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT & other MBA exams by Nishit K Sinha
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT by Pearson
  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma

Logical Reasoning:

The following books are the best ones for the preparation of the logical reasoning section:

  • Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal

IIFT Registration:

Those who are planning to appear for the IIFT exam must complete the registration process. This process must be done carefully in order to avoid going through the correction process later, as it is a very long process. Before registering for the exam, the candidates must check their eligibility for the exam. 

The eligibility criteria for Indian and foreign/ NRI candidates are different. So, the candidates should check the eligibility criteria based on the group to which they belong. If the candidates fulfill the eligibility criteria, then they can initiate the registration process.   

The following documents must be kept ready before filling the application form:

  • Scanned image of the signature
  • Scanned image of your passport size black and white photograph
  • Scanned image of category certificate
  • Class 10th mark sheets
  • Class 12th mark sheets
  • Graduation mark sheet
  • A copy of CV
  • Copy of the latest GMAT score certificate
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of official entries on passport pages

Specifications of Photographs:

Photographs are very important to identify the candidate. Therefore, the candidates must use photographs with high definition. It must also follow the specifications given in the table below:

Coloured or Black and White with a clear contrast
4 KB to 30 KB
Specifications of Signature:

The specifications of the signature that must be followed by the candidate are as follows:

10 KB to 200 KB
Specifications of Reserved Category Certificate:

The candidates who are applying under the reserved category section must upload a scanned image of their Reserved Category Certificate. It must follow the specifications given below:

50 KB to 300 KB

IIFT Application Fee:

 In order to complete the entire registration and application process of the exam, the candidates must pay the application fee. If the candidate fails to do so, then their application will be rejected. The application fee is different for candidates belonging to different categories. It is as follows:

Rs. 2,000
Rs. 2,000
Foreign Nationals/NRIs
Rs. 9,500
Steps for IIFT Registration:

Before starting the registration process, the candidates should keep the documents handy, as mentioned above. It would help them to complete the registration process carefully and quickly. The candidates should follow the steps given below to successfully complete the registration process. 

  • Visit the NTA IIFT official website
  • Click on the link of Admission Registration
  • Fill in all the details
  • Upload the required documents asked by the website
  • Select the preferred exam centres
  • Pay the application fee based on your category
  • After the entire registration process is completed, you will receive a mail on your registered email ID
  • Take a print out of the confirmation mail for future reference

The following details must be filled in the application form during the registration process:

  • Candidate's name
  • Gender
  • Father's/ Guardian name
  • Mother's name
  • Date of birth (DOB)
  • Category- SC/ ST/ OBC/ PH
  • Mobile number
  • Valid Email address
  • Residential address

 The following modes of payment are accepted for IIFT fees payment:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Net banking

Points to Remember:

  • Submit a valid email ID and mobile number during the registration process
  • Fill in all the mandatory fields
  • Fill in all the details carefully without making any errors or else your application form will be rejected
  • Upload clearly visible scanned documents
  • Crosscheck all the details filled in the application
  • To complete the application process, you must pay the fees
  • If you want to reset the password, you can do so through the security questions 

IIFT Application Form - Query Redressal System:

The IIFT website has a query redressal system for the candidates who have submitted their application form. Candidates who have any queries regarding the application form can use this system to register their queries. This step must be followed to be eligible for application form correction. The candidates should follow the steps given below for query redressal:

  • Visit the official website of IIFT
  • Login to your account using credentials
  • Click on the button of 'Register Query'
  • The screen will display the following list:
    • Mistakes in personal details
    • Request changes in exam city preferences after the release of the Admit card
    • Change in course, paper, and subject
    • Unable to upload photograph/ signature
    • Uploaded wrong photograph/ signature
    • Double payment issue
    • Issues related to correspondence/ distance education
    • No confirmation page downloaded after paying the application fee
    • Verifying procedure of mobile number and email ID  
    • Clash of IIFT exam dates with other central and state examinations
    • Unable to find a particular subject/ paper/ course in the list
    • Issue of submitting multiple application forms
    • Rejection of photograph/ signature by admin
    • Server error issues
    • Other queries
  • Choose the type of query from the above list
  • Upload an image of the error (optional)
  • Click on the submit button
  • After some time, click on the query status to check if the request for updating information has been accepted
  • If the request has been accepted, then you can correct the error

IIFT Correction Window:

Sometimes, mistakes are inevitable, and therefore, the IIFT exam authorities provide a correction window period for the candidates to correct their errors.

The following information can be corrected during the correction window period:

  • Mistakes in the identification information
  • Educational information
  • Double IIFT fees payment
  • Wrong photograph and signature

The following steps must be followed to complete the correction process

  • Visit the NTA IIFT official website
  • Enter your credentials to log in 
  • Complete the process of registering query
  • Click on the link of 'Correction in Application Form'
  • Check the box of the 'I Agree' tab and click on the button of 'Proceed for Corrections'
  • Check your application form and find the errors and make corrections accordingly
  • After making corrections, click on the 'Submit' button

Application Form Rejection:

The conducting body of the exam has the authority to reject the application if it does not follow all the instructions given by them. The candidate's application can be rejected for any of the following reasons:

  • The application form was submitted after the last date of registration
  • The payment of the application fee was not completed
  • The application was not submitted successfully due to poor connection
  • The submitted form was incompletely filled
  • The candidate has submitted multiple application forms

In order to avoid application form rejection, a candidate should be careful and must avoid making the mistakes mentioned above.

IIFT Admit Card:

The IIFT admit card is an important document that a candidate must carry to the IIFT exam centre. Without a hard copy of the IIFT admit card, the candidate won't be allowed to the examination centre. Along with the admit card, the candidates must also carry valid ID proof. 

The following steps must be followed to download the IIFT Admit Card:  

  • Visit the IIFT official website
  • Click on the link of 'Admit Card Download'
  • Enter your name and application number
  • Click on the 'Submit' button
  • The website will display IIFT Admit Card on the screen
  • Download the Admit Card and take a print out of it 

Information displayed on the Admit Card:

Every candidate's Admit Card will have certain information mentioned on it. If any of the information mentioned on it is incorrect or not mentioned, then the candidates should call the IIFT helpline. The information displayed on the Admit Card are as follows:

  • Candidate's Name
  • Candidate's Application Number
  • Date of the exam
  • Time of the exam
  • Name of the allotted Test Centre
  • Address of the Test Centre
  • Reporting time, venue, and date
  • Signature and photograph of the candidate
  • Examination guidelines to be followed

Valid ID Proof Documents:

The candidate should carry a valid ID proof document along with the Admit Card to the examination centre or else they won't be allowed inside the exam hall. They can carry any of the Valid ID Proof documents given below to the IIFT exam centre:

  • Pan Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • Voter ID Card
  • College ID Card
  • Passport
  • Driving License

IIFT Answer Key:

The NTA releases the IIFT Answer Key after a few days of the completion of the exam. The answer key displays all the correct options of all questions. It would help the candidates to analyze their performance and calculate their scores. Students who want to download the IIFT answer key must follow the steps given below.

 Steps to challenge the Answer Key:

  • Visit the official IIFT NTA website
  • Click on the link of 'Challenge answer key - IIFT MBA only Indian candidates'
  • Enter your application number and password on the page that opens
  • Click on the Login button
  • Click on the tab of View Answer Key, which will be displayed on the screen after logging in 
  • After clicking on the View Answer Key tab, the IIFT answer key will be displayed on the screen
  • Click on the download button to download the answer key
  • Check and compare your answers and calculate the score according to the marking scheme

How to challenge the IIFT Answer Key?

If any candidate thinks that a particular answer mentioned in the answer key is wrong, then they have the option to challenge the answer key.  If the authorities find that the objection is valid and correct, then they will update the official answer key. They will also release the final results based on the answer in the revised answer key.

A candidate must follow the steps given below to challenge the IIFT answer key:

  • Visit the official website of NTA
  • Click on the link of 'Challenge Answer Key'
  • Login to the website by entering your credentials and the captcha shown on the screen
  • After logging in, all the 110 questions will be displayed on the screen in a sequential order
  • The 'Correct Options' will also be displayed on the screen along with the questions
  • If a candidate wants to challenge any option, then they can select one or more Option IDs by ticking on the checkboxes beside them  
  • After selecting your desired options, you can click on the 'Save your Claim' button and then click on the Next tab
  • The screen will now display the IDs of all the challenging questions
  • You can upload a supporting document by clicking on the 'Choose File' option
  • After uploading the document, click on the option of 'Save your claim and pay the fee'
  • The screen will display all the challenges made by the candidate
  • Crosscheck your challenges and click on the 'Pay Fee' button to proceed
  • A candidate needs to pay Rs. 1000 for every question challenged
  • In order to complete the payment, select your preferred mode of payment and proceed
  • The following modes of payment are accepted on the website:
    • Credit cards
    • Debit cards 
    • Net banking
  • If the challenge is found to be correct, then the processing fee for that challenge will be refunded to the candidate

IIFT Cutoff:

The IIFT cutoff is decided by the authorities to shortlist the candidates for admission. It helps the authorities to shortlist the candidates for the further selection procedure.

The following factors determine the IIFT cutoff:

  • Total number of seats available
  • Total number of candidates who appeared for the examination
  • The overall difficulty level of the question paper

The authorities release three types of cutoff marks. They are:

  • Category cutoffs
  • Section-wise cutoffs
  • Campus-wise cutoffs

 IIFT Result:

Every IIFT test taker patiently waits for the result after the exam. Based on the results, the candidates can plan their next steps. The IIFT result will be released by the NTA after a few days of the exam. 

Candidates can check their results by following the steps given below:

  • Visit the IIFT official website
  • Click on the link of 'IIFT 2021: MBA Scorecard'  
  • Enter the application number and password of IIFT
  • Click on Login
  • IIFT Scorecard of the candidate will be displayed on the screen
  • Download the scorecard and take a printout of it for future reference

Details mentioned on the scorecard:

Every scorecard will have certain details mentioned in it. After downloading the scorecard, the candidates must check if the information mentioned on it is correct. The following details will be mentioned on the scorecard:

  • Name of the candidate
  • Application Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Section-wise maximum marks
  • Sectional cut-off 
  • Marks secured in each section
  • The total score of the candidate 
  • Overall percentile of the candidate

IIFT Counselling:

If you have been selected according to the IIFT cutoffs, then you must follow the steps given below:

  • Visit the IIFT official website
  • Login to the website using your credentials
  • Pay the requisite amount to register for the counselling process
  • After the completion of the payment process, students can proceed further
  • Based on the campus-wise cutoffs, the candidates can lock their preferred campus choice
  • After locking the choices, it won't be possible to change them
  • The authorities will do seat allotment based on the rank obtained by the candidates
  • After allotting the seats to the candidates, the candidates will announce the final Seat Allotment Results
  • Then the candidates can download and take a printout of their IIFT Seat Allotment letter from the IIFT official website

List of documents required for IIFT counselling:

The candidates must carry certain necessary documents to the counselling in order to confirm their identity and complete the admission process after the completion of the selection process. Without these documents, the candidates won't be allowed to indulge in the selection process.

The documents that must be carried to the examination are as follows:

  • IIFT scorecard
  • Category Certificate
  • Counselling Letter
  • IIFT Admit Card
  • 8 Passport size photographs
  • The class 10th mark sheet and certificate issued by the Board in which the candidate studied
  • Class 12th or any other equivalent certificate and mark sheet
  • Transfer or Migration Certificate
  • A hard copy of the Seat Allotment letter
  • Income Certificate
  • Medical Documents 
  • Photo ID Proof
  • Candidates Domicile Certificate
  • Bank draft as per IIFT prospect

IIFT Selection Procedure:

The candidates who have been shortlisted need to fill an online CV. The information that must be filled in is as follows: 

  • Personal Details
  • Details related to educational qualifications
  • Details related to professional experience
  • Number of languages known
  • Awards, achievements, and extracurricular activities of the candidates
  • A description of the candidate's career focus
  • A brief description of the managerial traits possessed by the candidates

The selection procedure is a long process that involves different rounds. The purpose of each round is to test the different skills of the candidate. The authorities conduct the selection procedure because they cannot depend on exam scores alone to evaluate a candidate. Therefore, the authorities of IIFT conduct the selection procedure to select the best candidates to offer admissions to their management courses.

During the IIFT selection process, the following rounds will be conducted:

  • Written Ability Test
  • Group Discussion
  • Personal Interview

Written Ability Test:

  • The candidate needs to write an essay on the given topic
  • The total time given to the candidate is 20 minutes
  • The candidate's written communication skills will be analyzed based on the essay written by the candidate in this test

 Group Discussion:

  • The candidates will be divided into groups
  • Each group will be assigned with a topic
  • The total time allotted for the round is 20 minutes
  • This round tests the oral communication skills of the candidates
  • It also tests the candidate's knowledge of current affairs and the business world

Personal Interview:

  • After the completion of the above two rounds, candidates will be called for a personal interview
  • During the PI round, the panel of interviewers test the candidate's communication skills and his knowledge of current affairs


  1. Are calculators allowed in the examination hall?

    - No, calculators are not allowed inside the examination hall.
  2. Do candidates need to have work experience in order to apply for IIFT?

    - No, work experience is not a prerequisite to apply for IIFT exam.
  3. Is there any limit on the maximum number of attempts for IIFT examination?

    - No, there is no maximum number of attempts for IIFT examination.
  4. How many exam centers can be selected during the application process?

    - Candidates must select an exam city or centre for both the stages of the exam separately:
        a) IIFT Admission Test
        b) WAT, GD, PI
  5. For how long will the IIFT score be valid?

    - The IIFT exam score will be valid for one year.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria are different for Indian and NRI/ Foreign candidates. Therefore, the candidates should check their eligibility criteria based on the category to which they belong. It is very important for the candidates to check the eligibility criteria to find out if they are eligible. It would prevent the candidates from being rejected because they don't fit into the criteria. It would also prevent the wastage of time.

IIFT Eligibility Criteria for Indian candidates:

  • The candidates should have completed their graduation from a recognized university or institution
  • The candidates who are pursuing their final year of graduation can also apply for the examination
  • There is no maximum age limit for the candidates to apply for the exam
  • The minimum marks scored by the candidates in order to be eligible for the exam is as follows:
Minimum Marks
IIFT Eligibility Criteria for NRI/ Foreign Candidates:
  • The NRI candidate must have been a resident of the outside of India for more than 18 months
  • The candidate must possess a certificate from the Indian Embassy stating the place of the candidate and their time period of staying in that place
  • The candidate must possess a valid passport or travel document from a country other than India
  • Candidate must have a scorecard of GMAT, which hasn't completed their validity period
  • The candidate must not have appeared for any other entrance examination

Age limit
  • No age limit

ID proof details
  • A printed copy of admit card
  • Aadhaar Card/ PAN card/ Driving License/ Passport/ Voter ID

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