Your Guide for IIFT Exam 2024

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT Exam) is one of the premier business schools in India, renowned for its specialized MBA in International Business program. The IIFT exam is a gateway for aspiring management professionals aiming to secure a spot in this prestigious institute. 

This blog aims to provide an exhaustive overview of the IIFT Exam 2024, covering every aspect that potential candidates need to know to prepare effectively.

All About IIFT Exam 2024

Established in 1963 by the Government of India, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade is a top-ranked business school dedicated to developing global business leaders. It offers various programs, including the flagship MBA in International Business, Executive Programs, and PhD courses. With campuses in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada, IIFT has a strong reputation for academic excellence, industry connections, and high placement records.

The IIFT Exam is a crucial step for aspiring management professionals aiming for a career in international business. A thorough understanding of the exam pattern, syllabus, and preparation strategies is essential to excel in the test. With dedicated preparation and the right resources, candidates can secure their spot in this prestigious institute and provide them a successful career in the global business arena.

However, this year the IIFT entrance exam was not conducted for the 2024-25 academic year. In the previous year, the NTA administered the IIFT exam online across 160 centers in 63 cities nationwide. 

But for this year, IIFT had announced that admission for the academic year 2024-25 would be based on CAT 2023 scores. According to the official announcement, the application form for IIFT’s MBA program for the 2024-25 academic year was made available in September 2023.

Overview of IIFT Exam

The IIFT Exam is an entrance test conducted annually for admission into the MBA-IB program. It is known for its rigorous nature and comprehensive coverage of various topics that assess a candidate’s aptitude in multiple areas. The IIFT Exam 2024 was not conducted as notified by the official authority, for this academic session the admissions was provided as per the CAT 2023 scores.

The following table provides all the highlights of IIFT Exam.

Name of the Examination
Name of the Conducting Body
National Testing Agency (NTA)
Level of the Examination
Frequency of the Examination
Mode of the Examination
Computed Based Test (CBT)
Duration of the Examination
2 Hours
Syllabus of the Examination
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

General Knowledge

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

Quantitative Analysis
Exam Pattern
110 MCQs
Examination Fees
INR 2500
Purpose of the Examination
Attain admission into IIFT Delhi, IIFT Kolkata, and IIFT Kakinada
Language of the Examination
IIFT 2024 Exam Date
Through CAT on November 26, 2023
Name of the course offered
MBA courses
Number of Test Cities
Number of Candidates
30,622 (As of the records of 2023)
Number of Seats available
Approximately 400
Official Website
Exam Helpdesk Number

Eligibility Criteria

To appear for the IIFT Exam 2024, candidates must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates should have a recognized Bachelor’s degree of minimum 3 years’ duration in any discipline.
  • General category candidates must have at least 50% marks in graduation, while SC/ST/PwD candidates need 45%.
  • There is no age limit to appear for the IIFT exam.
  • Both Indian and foreign nationals can apply. Foreign nationals and NRIs can apply through GMAT scores.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Exam Pattern

The IIFT Exam typically comprises multiple sections designed to evaluate different skill sets of the candidates. Though the Exam was canceled for this academic session, the exam pattern followed by IIFT in the past years  was similar to other entrance examinations. 

The commonly followed pattern for IIFT Exam is as follows:

  • The exam is conducted in CBT (Computer-based test) Mode.
  • The total duration of the exam is 2 hours (i.e.120 minutes)
  • The total number of questions are 110.
  • The maximum no.of marks are 300. 
  • The Question paper broadly consists of four sections:
    1. Quantitative Ability
    2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
    3. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
    4. General Awareness (GK)
  • Each section has a varying number of questions and different marking schemes. 3 marks are awarded for each right question in section 1, 2 and 3. 
  • While 1.5 marks is given for each right answer in Section 4. There is a penalty for incorrect answers (negative marking).


The syllabus for the IIFT exam is extensive, covering a wide range of topics across different sections. Here is a brief overview:

Quantitative Ability (QA)
Number System, Trigonometry, Compound Interest, HCF & LCM, Median, Coordinate Geometry, Set Theory, Mensuration, Probability, Time-Speed-Distance, Logarithm, Venn Diagrams, Geometric Mean, Ratio & Proportion, Linear Equations, Algebra, Clocks, and Averages
Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR)
Decision Making, Series, Data Structures, Blood Relations, Verbal Logic, Coding-Decoding, Syllogisms, Visual & Critical Reasoning, Family Tree Problem, Cause & Effect, Puzzles, Linear & Matrix Arrangements, Statement & Conclusion, and representation through Line Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, and Bar Charts
Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC)
Vocabulary, Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, Idioms and Phrases, English Proficiency, Sentence Reconstruction, Sentence Formation, One Word Substitution, Fill in the Blanks, Preposition, Phrases, Parajumble, Odd Word Out, and Reading Comprehension
General Awareness (GK)
Politics, Business, Science, Technology, Industry, Geography, International Affairs, Economy, Advertising, Awards & Awardees, Sports, Books, History, and notable Books & Authors

As the Exams were canceled for this session, the above provided syllabus is as per the syllabus followed in previous years.

Preparation Strategies

Though the IIFT Exam 2024 was canceled, due to its resemblance with other MBA Entrance Exams, one can refer to the below given tips to attain good scores

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Start with understanding the basic concepts of each topic. Ensure clarity in fundamental principles before moving on to complex problems.
  • Solve a variety of problems daily to build speed and accuracy.
  • Take timed mock tests to simulate exam conditions. Analyze performance to identify weak areas.
  • Learn and practice shortcut methods for quick calculations to save time during the exam.

Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR)

  • Solve different types of DI sets including tables, graphs, and charts. Practice LR puzzles regularly.
  • Focus on solving problems accurately within a limited time frame. Time management is crucial.
  • Take sectional tests to build confidence and improve performance in each type of question.

Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC)

  • Develop a habit of reading newspapers, magazines, and books to enhance reading speed and comprehension skills.
  • Regularly learn new words and their usage. Use flashcards or apps for practice.
  • Brush up on basic grammar rules. Practice sentence correction and error detection exercises.
  • Regularly practice reading passages and answering questions. Focus on understanding the main idea, tone, and inference.

General Awareness (GK)

  • Read newspapers daily and follow news portals for current affairs. Use monthly GK magazines for revision.
  • Maintain notes of important events, dates, and facts for quick revision.
  • Take regular quizzes to test your knowledge and improve recall.

Best Books and Resources

Here is a list of recommended books and resources for IIFT Exam or CAT Exam preparation:

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • “Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations” by R.S. Aggarwal
  • “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT” by Arun Sharma
  • “Quantum CAT” by Sarvesh K. Verma

Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR)

  • “Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT” by Nishit K. Sinha
  • “How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT” by Arun Sharma
  • “A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning” by R.S. Aggarwal

Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC)

  • “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis
  • “High School English Grammar and Composition” by Wren & Martin
  • “How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT” by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

General Awareness (GK)

  • “Manorama Yearbook”
  • “General Knowledge” by Lucent’s
  • Newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express
  • Magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan

Application Process

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Visit the official IIFT website and register with a valid email ID and mobile number.
  2. Fill out the detailed application form with personal, academic, and other required information.
  3. Upload scanned copies of your photograph and signature as per the specifications.
  4. Pay the application fee online through credit/debit card or net banking. Keep a copy of the payment receipt. (IIFT MBA application fee 2024 is INR 3,000 for General category candidates and INR 1,500 for Reserved category candidates. Foreign nationals/NRIs have to pay USD 200 as registration fee)
  5. Review the filled application form for any errors and submit it. Take a printout for future reference.

Important Dates

IIFT 2024 Events IIFT 2024 Application Dates
Registrations begin
October 27, 2023
Registrations close
December 16, 2023
CAT result 2023
December 21, 2023
PI shortlisting and interviews
February 28, 2024
IIFT online CV form submission last date
March 20, 2024, 11.59 pm
Final selection list
July 2024

Admit Card Details

The admit card is a crucial document required to appear for the IIFT Exam. Therefore it is advised that candidates pay special attention to it as it includes important details like exam date, time, venue, and candidate information. Candidates are strongly advised to secure their admit cards well in advance of the exam date and take the print outs of it.

Here are the steps to download the admit card:

  1. Go to the IIFT official website.
  2. Use your registered email ID and password to login.
  3. Click on the ‘Download Admit Card’ link.
  4. Take a printout of the admit card. Ensure that all details are correct.

Exam Day Guidelines

  • Arrive at the exam center at least an hour before the scheduled time.
  • Admit card, a valid photo ID proof (Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport, etc.).
  • Electronic devices, calculators, study materials, and bags are not allowed inside the exam hall.
  • Listen to the invigilator’s instructions carefully and follow them.

Result Declaration

The results for the IIFT Exam usually get declared on the official website. Candidates can check their results by logging in with their credentials. The result will include section-wise scores, overall score, and percentile.

Though this year, as the exam has not been conducted, the final result will be based on CAT scores and Essay Writing, Personal Interview (PI), Group Discussion (GD).

Cancellation of IIFT EXAM 2024

The IIFT 2024 exam has been canceled, and admissions will now be based on CAT 2023 scores. This decision, announced on August 10, 2023, marks a shift in the admission process where, starting in 2024, only CAT scores will be considered for entry into IIFT. Previously, the IIFT Exam featured four sections with 110 questions, with results typically announced in January, either in the third or last week.

For IIFT 2024 admissions, CAT 2023 scores will be crucial. The CAT exam is scheduled for November 26, 2023, with results expected in either the last week of December or the first week of January. This earlier release of CAT results will enable IIFT to expedite the shortlisting of candidates and complete the final selection process much sooner than usual, which traditionally extended into May or June.

Selection Process

Candidates will be selected for IIFT admission based on their CAT 2023 exam scores. The IIFT admission process includes Essay Writing, a Personal Interview (PI), and a Group Discussion (GD). Since 2021, the institute has conducted extempore and PI online. Those who qualify based on their entrance exam scores are invited to participate in Essay Writing, PI, and GD, which takes place in February. The final selection for admission will be announced in July 2024.

The selection process for admission to IIFT includes the following stages:

Writing Skill Assessment

In the Written Ability Test (WAT) round, candidates are given a topic and asked to express their thoughts in about 200 words. They are grouped into sets of eight, with each group receiving a topic related to business, economics, politics, or society. This round lasts for 20 minutes, comprising 5 minutes to think and 15 minutes to write. The focus is on articulating opinions clearly and directly. It’s important to be concise and address the topic straightforwardly. Note that the WAT was not conducted during the COVID-19 years.

Group Discussion/Extempore

In the Group Discussion (GD) round, a group of 8-10 candidates is given a topic to discuss. The session begins with each candidate introducing themselves and sharing their opinions on the topic. After everyone has spoken, the discussion is opened up for all candidates to participate. This round has a total time limit of 30 minutes.

If the institute opts for an extempore instead of a GD, candidates will need to speak on a given topic spontaneously. They will be expected to present a logical and convincing argument, addressing various aspects such as pros and cons.

Personal Interview

The Personal Interview (PI) is a personality assessment round where candidates interact with the admission panel. They may be asked questions related to their work experience, education, and other relevant areas. However, the primary focus is on evaluating the candidate’s communication skills, presence of mind, and problem-solving abilities.

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IIFT 2024 Final Selection

The final selection list for IIFT MBA admission 2024-2026 will be compiled following the Extempore-PI round. Academic performance and work experience are important in the IIFT admission process. Candidates with a strong and consistent academic history are more likely to be shortlisted. Likewise, those with substantial work experience tend to have an advantage in the merit list. 

The parameters considered for creating the final merit list, along with their respective scores, are outlined below

IIFT Selection Parameters MBA IB MBA BA
CAT score/ GMAT score (for MBA-IB only)
Extempore Score
PI Score
Gender Diversity (M=0, F=2)
Academic Diversity (Engg=0, Non Engg=2)
Work Experience
Academic Consistency (10th – 4, 12th -4)

Stay tuned with our website – College Dunias to stay updated about the latest happenings of the educational world. Good luck with your preparation!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I apply for the IIFT exam if I am in the final year of my graduation?

Yes, candidates in the final year of graduation can apply, provided they submit proof of graduation by the specified date.

Is there any sectional cut-off in the IIFT exam?

Yes, there are sectional cut-offs. Candidates must clear each section’s cut-off to be eligible for further rounds.

Can I choose the exam center for the IIFT exam?

Yes, candidates can choose their preferred exam center while filling out the application form. However, the final allocation is subject to availability.

What is the application fee for the IIFT exam?

The application fee varies each year. For the latest fee structure, refer to the official notification.

Are there any reservations in IIFT admissions?

Yes, IIFT follows the reservation policy of the Government of India for SC, ST, OBC, EWS, and PwD candidates.

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