IIFT done – What Next for CAT 2016?

With IIFT out of the way most of you would have immediately shifted your focus to CAT 2016. However, before you get down to practicing section tests from Test Gym and taking Mock CATs it will be useful to relive your IIFT experience and analyze why you did/did not do well in IIFT and what learning from this paper can you take forward to CAT. Let us first look at the IIFT paper and then discuss what you should do in the 6 days leading up to CAT 2016.

Let me share with you how I would have attempted the IIFT 2017-19 paper:

Step 1: Scan the paper in the first 3-4 minutes

You would have observed the following:

  1. LR: 22 questions, 5 data sets (including star figure) very few single questions. Normal time should be fine but could lead to lower attempts as it has sets. Give 30 minutes for this section.
  2. DI: 20 questions, easy to understand data sets and short questions. Looks easier than older IIFT papers. Should spend at least 10 minutes as DI appears do-able, can look at an extra 5 minutes if LR is time consuming.
  3. RC: 4 passages, length of passages has come down and hence can give 5 minutes extra and attempt an extra passage. Target all passages in 20 minutes.
  4. EU: Almost all vocabulary based but could take a higher amount of time because the structure of the vocab questions eg. crossword. 15 minutes should be fine.
  5. GK: 25 questions, nothing unusual – stick to normal time of 10 minutes.
  6. QA: 20 questions, nothing unusual – stick to normal time of 30 minutes.

Highlights of scanning: Easier DI and RC, time consuming LR and EU.

Step 2: Attempt the paper in my desired sequence – GK, EU, RC, LR, DI, QA.

  1. GK: as per plan, no guesswork mark only when sure of the answer.
  2. EU: as per plan, would not have attempted 3-4 questions eg. Spelling, origin of the word etc.
  3. RC: as per plan, would have attempted all passages. May have left 2-3 questions if finding the answer was difficult.
  4. LR: would have started with the single questions (Venn diagram, number series etc), then to “Star Figure” and then picked up the data sets. While attempting the sets I would have realized that the section is a bit difficult and hence with easier DI might be worth while to look at DI (due to easy to understand data and short questions) and then come back to LR.
  5. DI: would have spent an extra 5 minutes and attempted about 10-12 questions. From each data set would have picked up low calculation questions and left the high calculation ones. Would have left the DI with 30 minutes to go.
  6. QA: Attempt the short and easy to solve questions as per the plan.

Questions for you:

Q1. Did you scan the paper?

  1. If yes, were you able to pick out that this paper has easier DI and RC, time consuming LR and EU?
  2. If no, then see how you could have identified this.
  3. You will need to do the same in CAT – decide on the relative time between EU & RC and LR & DI.

Q2: While attempting the LR section did you get a feeling that it is difficult?

  1. If no, why could you not identify that LR appears to be difficult?
  2. If yes then after attempting the easier sets did you move on to DI before completing the LR section?
    1. If you did move on, you are fine.
    2. If you continued with LR despite identifying it as difficult, why?
  3. You will need to do this in DILR section of CAT.

Q3: Did you waste your time in any section/question?

  1. In GK and Vocab questions, of EU, did you brood over questions despite not knowing the answer or the meaning of the word?
  2. In LR and DI, were you able to identify:
    1. The DI and LR sets to be attempted?
    2. Questions from DI sets that should/should not be attempted.
  3. In QA were you able to pick up the easy and less time consuming questions?
    1. If no, why not?
    2. Did you waste your time in any difficult/time consuming question?
  4. This will tell you how good your question selection is and will be needed in all sections in CAT.

The above, to my mind should be done immediately so that you are able to fine-tune your test taking. This might mean that you will have to spend a couple of hours on the IIFT paper but it will significantly improve your performance in CAT. Remember that in the 6 days to CAT 2017 you cannot improve your knowledge base but you can take your test taking ability up a couple of levels which can significantly improve your scores.

Once you have taken stock of the above, the question that needs to be answered is what to do over the next 6 days leading up to CAT. The key is to focus on strengths and positives while not overworking yourself. Ensure you write 2-3 mocks and keep yourself away from any studies in the 36 odd hours leading to CAT. Do go through the new pattern mocks that are a part of each CL Test series product now and join my ‘Last minute tips to Crack CAT 2016’ webinar on 30th Nov. Follow the schedule “6 din CAT in” schedule to make the most of the upcoming six days.

All the best



  1. Sir what is the contribution of written score and GDPI in the final selection? Somewhere it is mentioned that written score has 65% weightage. And how to go about in the interview with no work experience? I graduated in June 2015.

  2. Sir, I got a score of 43.5 according to CL answers,
    lrdi – 14
    qa – 4.68
    vrc – 22
    gk – 2.82

    Xth – 93%
    XIIth – 87%
    Undergrad- 82%

    • TS, the cutoff was higher this year for general. Pardon the delay. I hope you got some good calls this year.

  3. sir,
    I have a expected score of 22.67 in LR & DI; 12.17 in RC & EU; 4.99 in GK and 10.67 in QA with an overall expected score of 50.5.
    Will it be enough?
    Std. X 85%
    Std.XII 90%
    B.Com 71%.
    Qualifeid Chartered Accountant with 16 months of experience.

  4. Hi Sir
    I calculated my score and found it to be 45.10(gen category)
    I’ve cleared the sectional cut-offs easily.But do I have a chance of getting a call?
    What is your take on this year’s paper,is the cut off going to come down or is it going to increase compared to last year?

  5. Hi GP,
    My score as per calculator of IMS and TIME
    Category: General
    LI – DR: 15.50
    VA-RC – 21.59
    QA – 7.01
    GA – 4.48
    Total: 48.58

    Graduation: 66%
    12th: 76.7
    10th: 75.2

    What do you think?

  6. sir, my scores in iift as per cl answer keys are gk:3.64, lrdi:9.6, varc:19.6, qa:4.01(st cat), what are my chances for calls?

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