The IIFT has greater number of questions and less time to solve them in than CAT has. The level of difficulty is accordingly moderate in IIFT, but the challenge is to achieve high accuracy with faster speed. Hence, you need to evolve an entirely different strategy for IIFT. We have also seen during the last three years that the overall cut-offs in IIFT were around 50%, whereas sectional cut-offs were around 20%. You therefore need to distribute the total duration of 120 minutes judiciously across the different sections and sub-sections—naturally allotting more time to your strong areas to maximise on the overall score, while ensuring that you maintain sectional cut-offs in your relatively weaker areas as well.
In case of the VA and RC sections, the exam strategy is fairly obvious if your preparation has been adequate on the lines suggested above.
- Verbal Ability: You should first attempt the direct vocabulary-based questions as they consume the least time. If you are not sure of a word meaning, try to eliminate options to home on to the right answer. But don't waste too much time in 'intelligent guess-work'—either you know it or you don't. You should of course know most of them because this is one area where you can widen the gap between yourself and the other candidates. And in the rush don't miss out the specific directions for each set of questions as there could be unexpected variations. Don't be unsettled by new question-types that may be introduced, as in IIFT-2017. Attempt them with confidence in your knowledge and abilities and you may find that they may be easy, just requiring you to eliminate wrong options, as it so happened in IIFT-2017. Maximum time limit: 10 to 15 minutes.
- Reading Comprehension: You should scan through the section and quickly select at least two passages mainly based on your comfort level with the subject-matter. All the four passages are generally lengthy, but sometimes you may find some shorter passages, which you can select first. Most of the RC questions are direct in nature, so it is possible to skim and scan the passages to answer the direct questions accurately. There is generally one 'main idea' question per passage which you should be able to answer if you have prepared as per guidelines given earlier. Don't get stuck on the difficult inference-based questions; leave them unanswered if need be. Don't lose track of time by getting stuck on any one passage—move on. Your aim should be to attempt at least three passages and answer at least the direct RC questions accurately. Maximum time limit: 20 to 25 minutes.