Harvard Business School (SPNM), MBA: SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech.
Strategy for GK in IIFT
In IIFT, most of the students can score in the 4 sections of Quant, DI, Logic & Verbal Ability. However, the GK section in IIFT is usually the deciding factor for the overall scores. The people who have cracked IIFT are the ones who were well-prepared for every section. Knowing how to score in this section will be essential for every student who plans to get into IIFT. Let's get on with the strategy to crack IIFT GK!
What is the IIFT pattern?
IIFT is a national management entrance exam that is conducted for admission into the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). The exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is conducted once a year in December. The exam is online mode and the duration is for 2 hours. It consists of 4 sections namely:
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
- General Knowledge
- Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
- Quantitative Analysis
The total number of questions asked in the exam is 110, all in MCQ format. There is a Negative marking for each incorrect answer (Even for GK). The sectional bifurcation of the questions and marks are as follows:
|Total No. of questions
|Marks per questions
What kind of questions are asked in IIFT's GK section?
Before knowing how to prepare for General Knowledge, you should have an idea about what to expect in the section. Following is the average break-up of questions in the General Knowledge Section of IIFT:
|Current Affairs in Business & Finance
|→ 5-6 questions
|Business Abbreviations & Terms
|→ 1-2 questions
|→ 2-3 questions
|Awards & Recognitions
|→ 1-2 questions
|→ 1-2 questions
|History & Geography
|→ 5-6 questions
|Brands & Companies
|→ 2-3 questions
Focus on the topics above. Most of the questions can be categorized into the topics given above. Apart from the above topics, questions may come from other random areas as well. So be well-prepared for any surprises. Let's also look at how many static and current gk have been covered in the previous paper:
As you can see from the table, over the years the proportion of questions from both static and current GK has become almost equal. This means you need to give equal focus to both of these types of questions. In general, try to go over significant events that have happened over the past year, major business events, CEOs, acquisitions, etc.
Now, knowing the different subject areas of the questions isn’t enough. You should also keep in mind the types of questions that may differ for each exam. Now, IIFT gives some questions on GK in the Match the Table format.
Knowing these small nuances is essential for a calm approach towards the questions.
Level of Difficulty of the question:
The level of difficulty of the GK section is usually higher. The cut-offs for most years in GK have been low because of this. Out of the 30 marks, usually, the sectional cut-offs lie in the range of 4.5 - 5 marks. So try to get an attempt rate of at least 8 -9 with at least 70% accuracy to clear the sectional cut-off mark. Don't spend more than 10 minutes on this section.
Tips to help with IIFT GK prep:
Following are some tips and guidelines to help you in your GK prep:
1) Reading Newspapers:
One of the most trusted sources of General Knowledge. There is no other substitute for reading papers. They are the only source of getting authentic current affairs news. While you can also watch news channels, they aren't as comprehensive as newspapers. Try to get into the habit of reading newspapers every day. take note of the major events, especially related to the topics mentioned above. Papers like The Times of India & The Economic Times can keep you updated about recent business news and can also help to familiarize you with the different financial terms involved. Try to keep a small book with the most important news written down, so that at the end moment you don't have to go searching about the internet for current affairs news.
If you don't find reading newspapers amusing, you can also try to read magazines like Forbes or Bloomberg to get your daily business news (although they are usually paid versions and way more expensive than newspapers).
2) Read Static Gk from the start:
You absolutely cannot mug up static GK at the last moment! Try to start preparing and learning static GK from the start, by going through various articles on the internet, and revisiting them so that you don't end up forgetting them. We have covered a lot of IIFt-specific GK articles in our GK blog as well. A few of these topics and their links are as below:
1. List of International Organizations: This is a comprehensive list of all important organizations in the world along with their headquarters and current heads/secretary-general and general information about the organization.
2. List of CEOs of Top companies: This article includes a list of top companies and their current CEOs (2020)
3. List of all the Superlatives: Know all about the biggest, largest, longest, highest and smallest with this article
4. Brand and their taglines: In this article, you can find all the famous brands and their taglines (updated as of 2020)
Don’t just randomly read articles as you like. Make a schedule. Take some days and finish Static GK topic-wise. Take 3 days and devote it to, let's say the superlatives list. Next 3 days, begin and finish Business Abbreviations & Terms, and so on. The number of days per topic depends on you. Just make sure that you implement it. Along with this, keep reading magazines/newspapers every day to stay updated on Current Affairs.
Sometimes, you may study a particular subject for GK and not remember it, say maybe 7-8 days later. Your mind tends to forget the facts that it doesn’t regularly come across. So keep revising every topic/subject that you finish. This will make sure that you don’t forget what you’ve already learned.
4) Answering what you know:
This is an important part of the strategy for IIFT Gk. Since there is negative marking involved, you have to be very sure of your answer before you mark it. Do not attempt any question that you are unsure of and lose out makes unnecessarily. So read all the questions carefully and decide on which ones you would target.
GK as a subject has infinite information and it is not possible to devour it all. These tips and guidelines are targeted more towards bringing you in the right direction while approaching GK questions. These would ensure that you won’t be unprepared for the GK section in IIFT.
I hope you liked this article on the strategy for IIFT GK. Try not to get demotivated if you are unable to answer all the questions. You are not even supposed to do that. IIFT's GK section is designed in such a way that the sectional cut-offs are low because of the difficulty. All you have to do is search for the right kind of questions and answer them. Try to attempt at least 8 - 10 on an average with higher accuracy, and do not spend too much time on this section. If you follow these simple steps, you will realize that you can answer more than most of the students (who don’t pay as much attention to Gk as they should). And that is what will make all the difference.