CAT 2018 had officially kick-started the exam season in the last week of November, and December started off with a bang with IIFT 2018 Exam! Career Anna brings to you the comprehensive analysis of the IIFT 2018 exam immediately after the exam and promise you that it won’t be any less than the roller coaster ride that IIFT 2018 was!

The IIFT 2018 Exam Analysis will reflect the IIFT Exam Pattern, key changes and ideal attempts to improve your scores. IIFT has changed its’ exam pattern from last year by increasing the number of sections to 6 while the overall weightage to the said sections remains the same. The IIFT 2018 Exam Analysis will help in gaining an understanding about the exam difficulty level, expected section-wise and overall score, deviation in the cut-off percentile, expected cut off percentile level.

IIFT 2018 Exam Analysis in a nutshell




IIFT 2018
IIFT 2018
  1. There were in total 114 questions.
  2. Total marks were 100, which were divided into six sections.
  3. Cut-off did take a hit this year, with the entire paper of IIFT 2018 being considerably difficult than IIFT 2017!

IIFT 2018 Analysis by Career Launcher (CL)

IIFT 2018 threw no surprises our way in terms of sections this time around. In Career Launcher’s words, ‘The terror of the traumatic IIFT Exam continued for the second consecutive year.’ The exam, in its entirety, was difficult than IIFT 2017. The difficulty level of General Awareness (GA) was the same as last year. English Usage (EU) and Reading Comprehension (RC) was difficult, a very good performance in RC would be attempting 4 passages. Quantitative Ability (QA) and Logical Reasoning (LR) were more difficult compared to last year. Data Interpretation (DI) being the only easy section of them all.

Differential marking continued to be there and the penalty for every incorrect answer was 1/3rd of the total marks assigned to the question. The overall cut-off is expected to go down by 5-6 marks. Cut-offs for General 29-31 and 25 for OBC, SC and ST respectively.

There were six sections and each section carried a sectional cut-off. The details of the sections are as follow:

Section Total no. of questions Marks per question Total Marks Good Attempts Achievable Score Sectional Cutoff Ideal Time (in minutes)
Section 1 Data Interpretation 20 1.00 20 4 3 0.75 10 minutes
Section 2 Logical Reasoning 20 1.00 20 10 8 4-4.5 35 minutes
Section 3 General Knowledge 18 0.5 9 8 2.5-3 0.83-1 10 minutes
Section 4 Reading Comprehension 16 1.00 16 9-10 7-8 2.5-2.75 25
Section 5 Verbal Ability 20 0.75 15 11-12 7.5-8 3.25-3.5 12 minutes
Section 6 Quantitative Aptitude 20 1.00 20 10-11 7.5-8 3-3.25 30 minutes
  Overall 114   100  50-52 38-39  31-33 120 minutes 

Reading Comprehension (RC)

Reading Comprehension went back to being the ‘IIFT-kind-lengthy’ this year. There were 5 passages, out of which 4 of these had 3 questions each and one had 4 questions. The passages were interesting but taken primarily from academic sources. Therefore, the language became verbose and confusing, with the questions being not direct or fact-based. The ‘Fact-based’ questions were deceptively framed to look easier. The passages required delving deep into them in order to answer various questions. 

Questions from the topic Culture and GDP were of a moderately difficult level. Questions from Information Flow, Public Interest and Liberal Arts Education were difficult. There were 16 questions in total wherein 9-10 were doable. The section can overall be deemed difficult. 

Verbal Ability (VA)/ English Usage

IIFT went back to a predictable pattern this year and the VA section was overall tough. The ‘phrase-clause’ based questions were missing this year, and word jumble questions continued to be there for the second consecutive year. The vague etymological origin questions reappeared after a year’s gap. The Analogy questions and word-matching questions felt strange. It felt like they had charted unfamiliar territory by going beyond the real of English language and resembling GK questions. The Para-jumble, Fill in the blanks, and Grammar-based questions were easy. Accuracy in these questions would determine one’s performance in the paper. 

Quantitative Ability (QA) 

This section continued to be verbose, with students, in all likelihood, not ending up attempting more than 10-12 questions with about 85% accuracy in 30 mins. As always the weightage given to Geometry and Modern Math was higher compared to other entrance exams.

Topic Number of Questions Doable Questions Level of Difficulty
Arithmetic 5 3 Moderate
Algebra 7 4 Easy-Moderate
Geometry and Mensuration 5 2 Moderate
P&C, Probability and set theory 3 2 Easy-Moderate
Total 20 10 Moderate

An overall score of 31-33 should be enough for General category students to clear the cutoff.

Data Interpretation (DI)

IIFT continued to show its favouritism to calculation intensive DI. 

Topic Number of questions Doable questions Level of difficulty
Mixed Graphs 12 3 Difficult
Tables 8 2 Difficult
Total 20 4-5 Difficult

Logical Reasoning

A time-consuming section again. While the circular arrangement and Matrix sets (friends and hotels) were easy, the other sets were time-consuming. There were 4 questions each from Distribution, Arrangement and Matrix, 2 each from Venn Diagram and Input-output, 1 from Missing Number and 3 from Selection. The total number of questions amounted to 20, and doable were 11-12. The difficulty level was Moderate.

General Awareness 

The GK section was slightly easier than last year with about 6-8 questions considered doable through elimination alone. Students attempting 8 questions with 50% accuracy would easily sail through the cutoff.

There were 10 questions from Business and Economy, 2 each from Geography and Current Affairs, 1 each from Miscellaneous, Science, Sports and Books. There were 10 questions in total and 9-10 doable questions. The paper was Moderately difficult. 

Expected Cutoffs by CL

For DI, An attempt of 4-5 would be very good and students who had attempted just about 2-3 questions with 100% accuracy should sail through the cutoff. For LR, Anyone who has attempted around 10-11 questions in half an hour with 85% accuracy would have done very well. For GK, students attempting 8 questions with 50% accuracy would easily sail through the cutoff. For QA, an overall score of 31-33 should be enough for General category students to clear the cutoff. 

Overall, the cut-off for General category students is most likely to be in the range of 31-33 marks. The corresponding figures for NC/OBC and SC/ST/PWD should be around 26-28 and 23-24 marks respectively. The cutoff for ST might go lower if the number of applicants are lesser. 

IIFT 2018 Analysis by T.I.M.E.

Type No of Questions Marks per question Total Negative marks per question
Section 1 (Reading Comprehension) 16 1 16 0.33
Section 2 (Verbal Ability) 20 0.75 15 0.25
Section 3 (Quantitative Ability) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 4 (Data Interpretation) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 5 (Logical Reasoning) 20 1 20 0.33
Section 6 (General Awareness) 18 0.5 9 0.17
Total 114 100

Reading Comprehension (RC)

The RC passages were fairly lengthy and readable. Most of the questions that followed the passages were difficult in nature because the options contained ambiguity. The big change is that there were 5 passages, with four having three questions each and one having four questions, though from similar areas. While one was on Culture, another one was on Sociology. There was one on Economics. The remaining two were on Information(science) and Liberal Arts. The cut-off in this section could be around 3-4 marks. Around 7-9 attempts can be considered very good in this section. The cut-off in this section is expected to be in the range 2.33 to 3. 

Verbal Ability (VA) 

This section was predominated by questions on vocabulary: jumbled words, origin, Fill in the Blanks, and word-analogies. English Grammar emphasised its presence in the form of 2 different and reasonably simple models of sentence-correction questions. The vocabulary part and the overall section, in fact, was slightly challenging.  10-12 would be a good number of attempts in this section. The cut-off is expected to be around 3-3.5. 

Quantitative Ability (QA) 

QA in IIFT 2018 was lengthier and tougher than IIFT 2017. This section had a good mix of questions from diverse topics. Algebra, Pure Maths, Arithmetic, Geometry, Venn Diagram. The total number of questions were 20. There were only about five questions which were relatively easier–2 from Logarithms, 1 from Simple Equations, 1 from Time & Work, one from Time & Distance. The remaining questions were either moderate or difficult to handle during the test. A good candidate would have been able to attempt around 7-9 questions in QA. The cut-off in this section is expected to be 3-4 marks. 

Data Interpretation (DI)

It proved to be yet another blow beside the other sections: DI was definitely a tough nut to crack. With large quantum of data/graphs to work with, there was no relief to the students.

There were a total of five sets of four questions each. All the sets were based on Tables and/or Line Graph/Bar Graph. Almost all the questions were calculation intensive and were very lengthy. However, there was one set (related to LPI indicators) where the calculations were relatively easier.

In all, there were 4 sets of 2 tables,  4 sets of 1 Bar Chart and 1 Line Chart, 4 sets of 1 Table, 4 sets of 1 Table and 1 Stacked Bar Chart. In total, 20 sets of Bar, Line and Tables. 5-8 could be a good number of attempts in section, while the cutoff is expected to be around 2-3 marks.

Logical Reasoning (LR)

Questions based on input-output were time-consuming and required great concentration on the candidates’ part. he questions based on ‘distribution’ – job fair were relatively easier to solve. The Missing Number questions looked tricky, but were actually the easiest. Venn Diagrams were tough. The exam demanded great grasp on the concepts and was a notch higher in difficulty level than IIFT 2017. The overall difficulty level of this section can be classified as moderate-difficult. A good number of attempts in this section can be considered to be 6- 8 questions while the cut-off is expected to be around 4 to 4.67 marks. 

Description of the Set Difficulty Level No of Questions
Distribution (Job Fair) Easy-Moderate 4
Missing number in the figure Easy-Moderate 1
Venn Diagrams (Sara and Dora) Moderate-Difficult 2
Input-Output Moderate-Difficult 2
Matrix arrangement Moderate-Difficult 4
Circular Arrangements Moderate 4
Selections (Blue and Purple Rooms) Moderate-Difficult 3
Total 20

General Awareness

It was easier than IIFT 2017, yet tough. Questions came from diverse topics like Personalities, Sports, Corporate logos, Corporate entities, International trade organizations, Currencies, etc. Questions were not lengthy but required from students intense preparation so as to clear cut-off for this section. Going by previous year trends, the sectional cutoff is very low but there might be a tiny movement south this time around.

 The cut-off in this section last year was 0.82 marks and is expected to be little higher this year – to around 1 to 2 marks. 6-8 questions could be considered to be a good number of attempts in this section.

IIFT 2018 Analysis by BullsEye

IIFT 2018 paper was almost similar to IIFT 2017 exam paper. As you already know, there were six sections and total number of questions were the same as that of last year’s i.e. 114. This year the only change was in marking scheme of VA and DI which was interchanged i.e. VA from 1 to 0.75 and DI from 0.75 to 1 per question. In terms of difficulty level, students found AR very tough as compared to last year’s. To maintain the cutoff, in all 6 sections, was really a difficult task and a lot of students will end up in not clearing cutoff in one or two sections. This year also the different sets had different sequence of sections. 

Data Interpretation (DI)

DI varied from moderate-difficult and was calculation intensive. 2 sets were based upon tables, rest were mixed graphs;3 Sets based upon 7 regions. IBM and LPI were calculation intensive but easy-moderate and could have been attempted. Set based upon Hotel occupancy was moderate. Set based upon industry analysis was difficult and should have been avoided. The attempts by good students can range anywhere from 6-8 attempts.

Logical Reasoning (LR)

This section was Moderate-difficult. There were 5 AR sets comprising of 18 questions, 3 sets;  Matrix, Albert and Betty and Sara Dora sets were difficult.  Sets based on 8 officers and Sunny, Pinki were moderate. 2 input/output questions were easy-moderate; 1 miscellaneous question based upon numbers was easy and should have been attempted. Good students would have attempted 6-8 questions.

General Awareness (GK)

Students found GK than expected and a bit tougher than IIFT 2017 Gk section. Overall, in the paper, there were mixtures of topics checking general awareness of the candidate across the all areas. Good students would have attempted 6-8 questions.

Reading Comprehension (RC)

The RC section was medium to difficult and relatively. There were five passages with 3 – 4 questions each. The level of RCs varied from easy to moderate. Overall, a student could have easily solved at least three passages in the given time. The RC section was dominated by factual questions. Good students could have attempted 7-8 questions.

Verbal Ability (VA)

There were 4 Grammar and Sentence-correction questions, 6- Vocabulary-based questions, 3 questions each for Sentence-correction and Jumbled words and 2 questions each for Para jumbling and Analogies. 

Clearly, the VA section was dominated by questions on Vocabulary and grammar based questions. Anyone with strong grammar fundamentals could have scored well in it. The Vocabulary was also a very dominant part of this section.  Sentence Completion and Para jumbling were easy. Good students could easily have attempted 8-10 questions.

Quantitative Analysis (QA)

There were 7 questions from Geometry and Mensuration, 4 from Function, Algebra & Equations. 2 each from P&C Probability, Time and Work, Logs, Percentage and 1 from Sets. There were 20 questions in total for 20 marks. This section was clearly dominated by Geometry and Mensuration. Overall, this section was calculation intensive and most of the students found it moderately difficult. Good students could easily have attempted 10-12 questions.

Expected Cut-off by BullsEye

Section Good Attempts
Data Interpretation 06-07
Analytical Reasoning 06-07
General Awareness 06 – 08
Reading Comprehension 07 – 08
Verbal Ability 8 – 10
Quantitative Ability 10-11

IIFT 2018 Analysis by IMS

IIFT 2018 way a way difficult test in terms of IIFT 2017. The QA and the LR sections, which is usually the most scoring sections created history this time by being the most toughest out of all.

Reading Comprehension (RC)

IIFT 2018 Reading Comprehension was aligned to the general IIFT norm, with 16 questions based on 5 passages. There were 4 passages with 3 questions each and 1 passage with 4 questions. The format, length and difficulty level of the paper screamed typical IIFT! Majority of the questions needed more than average comprehension and could be termed as medium to difficult. Since there is a huge time constraint in IIFT, attempts in RC are generally moderate in nature. An attempt of 6-8 questions with 80 percent accuracy in 20 minutes would be considered good.

Passage Topic No. of Questions Type of Questions Level of Difficulty
Meaning of culture
(Approx. 900 words) 
3 3 Inferential Medium to Difficult
Public Intellectual (Approx. 1000 words)  3 1 Direct
2 Inferential
Medium to Difficult
Information (Approx. 1000 words)  4 3 Direct 
1 Inferential
Medium to Difficult
Computer Science & Liberal arts (Approx. 1000 words)  3 1 Direct 
2 Inferential
Medium to Difficult
GDP (Approx. 900 words) 3 1 Direct 
2 Inferential

Verbal Ability (VA) 

The Verbal Ability Section of IIFT 2018 was difficult. the questions were based on the English language as a subject, besides focussing on reasoning or analysis, barring the 2 paragraph Jumbles questions. Unlike the technical questions in IIFT 2017, this time questions were more application-based viz; Sentence correction and Spot the error questions. Vocabulary dominated the questions section with 13 questions. There were, in general, no new question types.

An attempt of about 8 to 10 questions with 80-85% accuracy in about 15 minutes would be considered a good attempt.

General Awareness (GK)

The GA section this year was of Medium difficulty level, compared to the tough GA of last year.  In GK section, 14 questions were normal MCQs and 4 questions were ‘Match the column questions’ testing awareness of multiple things. The section was, overall, not very tough.  There were 8 static GK questions and 10 dynamic questions.  Questions covered a wide range of areas and gave no special advantage to people who may be experts in a particular area. An attempt of about 8 to 10 questions with about 60-70% accuracy in about 7-8 minutes would be considered a good attempt.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

This section was at a notch higher level of difficulty than in IIFT 2017. Traditionally, there have been at least a few sitters in the Quantitative Ability section in IIFT exam. However, this year, there were no sitters as such and most of the questions were at medium to high level of difficulty. As a result, selection of the right questions to attempt was very important. A total attempt of about 9-10 questions with 80-85% accuracy in about 35-40 minutes would be considered a good attempt in this section.

Logical Reasoning (LR)

Sets on Arrangements dominated this section. Unlike previous years, there was only one standalone question, while the remaining 19 questions were spread across total 6 sets. The set on Six friends who worked for different companies and stayed at different hotels was relatively easier and could not be missed. The sets on Circular arrangement and 4×3 matrix on code-words were the toughest of the lot, and should have been attempted only at the end, if time permitted. The set on Venn Diagram (types of goods) was ambiguously framed. The set on sequential output and the standalone question were good possible candidates for attempting in order to boost the score. Unlike previous years, there were no questions on verbal reasoning, directions, coding-decoding or data sufficiency. An attempt of about 4-5 questions in about 30 minutes at about 80-85% accuracy would be considered a good attempt.

Expected cut-offs by IMS

The following are approximated cut-offs for IIFT-2018:

Sr. No Section Expected sectional cut-off
1. Reading Comprehension 2.33
2 Verbal Ability 2.33
3 General Awareness 1.00
4 Logical Reasoning 1.66
5 Quantitative Ability 2.33
6 Data Interpretation 0.50

The overall cut-off for the next round of admissions for IIFT-Delhi and IIFT-Kolkata should be around 29-31 marks for General Category of students.


Candidates can check IIFT 2018 Results in an online mode in the first week of January on the official website of

Now that we are done with two major exams of this scintillating exam season, CAT 2018 and IIFT 2018, it is time to look towards XAT 2019, which is on January 6, 2019, almost a month away to our relief. You can find XAT 2019 Mocks and Decision Making Course here. An effective guide for students who could not prepare for XAT properly can go through XAT Preparation in 1 month and XAT Last-Minute Preparation Strategies.