Preparation: IIFT VA & RC Sections

Verbal Ability Section

Preparation for CAT and other MBA Entrance Exams will in any case prepare you for all the areas of verbal ability: vocabulary, verbal reasoning and grammar. For the IIFT Entrance Exam, you need to put in special efforts in building your vocabulary. Regular reading of the editorials in national newspapers would familiarize you with the kind of words that normally appear in the IIFT VA section. But you must make a habit of referring to a good dictionary to check the meaning of the words you encounter and fix the meanings in your memory with the help of sample sentences or the etymology of words given in the dictionary.

In addition, the following areas are unique to IIFT and need special attention:

 1:  Analysis of Sentences into Phrases and Clauses

  • Identify Phrases and Clauses (New—IIFT-2017)
  • Punctuation—Insert Commas (New—IIFT-2017)
  • Jumbled Sentences (IIFT-2016)

2:  Verbal Analogies

3:  Figures of Speech

4:  Etymology of Words: Word Origins, Prefixes and Suffixes (New—IIFT-2016 and 2017)


Reading Comprehension Section

The RC in IIFT poses a different challenge from the RC in CAT and other MBA Entrance Exams—lengthy passages in limited time. So 'skimming and scanning' is the approach that could work. This approach entails the following steps:


a)   Step-1: Glance over the passage and questions to get some idea of the subject matter and the nature of questions: direct or inference-based. If the subject matter is easy and familiar and the questions direct, you may choose to skim the passage rather than read it thoroughly. Look specifically for 'main idea/primary purpose' questions, because their answer choices could give you some inkling of what the author’s main idea is. Also look for 'meaning-in-context' questions and make a mental note of the specific words or phrases or sentences quoted from the passage.

b)    Step-2: Skim and scan the passage for the main or important ideas, underlining the relevant portions of the passage as you move with speed through the passage. Skimming is a speed technique in which the eye moves fast over the written matter, reading about one-third of the passage in order to register the important ideas. Since in the IIFT Admission Test, the passages are broken up into lengthy paragraphs, you should read the first two and the last two sentences of each paragraph carefully to get the flow of thought and understand the main idea/issue under discussion. Simultaneously, scan the passage looking for the specific words or phrases or sentences gleaned from the 'meaning-in-context' questions. 

c)    Step-3: Create a mind-map of the thought flow based on the important points underlined in the passage during skimming.

d)    Step-4: Start attempting the questions now that the main idea and thought flow of the passage is clear. Go back and forth between the questions and passage to look for and confirm information for answering the questions.

Favourite Subject Areas: But for this approach to work, it is essential that you have ready familiarity with the subject-matter. Our analysis reveals that these two broad subject areas are the favourite of the IIFT Examiner: (1) Industry,  Business, Trade and Management; and (2) Economics, Finance and Banking. The IIFT Examiner naturally expects you to be familiar and comfortable in these areas. So you should regularly read at least one 'pink' newspaper, such as The Economic Times, Business Standard, Mint and so on, in addition to a national newspaper, such as The Hindu or The Times of India.

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