Thursday, October 9th, 2014
General Knowledge (GK) is an important part of the IIFT exam. The first thing that I will like to tell you is that you need to clear the sectional cut-off the get a call from IIFT. But there is some good news as well – the cutoff for the GK section in IIFT is typically in low single digits. If you look at the sample of the last 4-5 years, it has remained in the range of 2 marks to 4 marks. There will be around 25 questions on GK with each question for 0.5 marks. And now the bad news – a lot of people don’t even manage that. Over the years, I have seen a bunch of students who cleared the overall cutoff of around 40 to 50 but fail in the GK section.
What did they do wrong?
The biggest mistake that they made was they neglected the GK section. They started thinking about it / preparing for it in the last couple of weeks before the exam. This is not something that you can neglect. This is not something that you can leave for the last minute. Do keep in mind that in 2014, IIFT exam is scheduled on 23rd November. Most students who write the IIFT exam, also write the CAT exam. The CAT exam is scheduled on 16th and 22nd November. If you think that your CAT is on the 16th and you will use the period from 16th to 23rd to boost up your GK – you are just diminishing your chances of getting a call from IIFT. While I love procrastination probably more than most people, it is not something that I recommend to my students. Leaving the GK prep for the last minute is a really bad idea.
What should you do now?
First and foremost, see where you stand. You can download the past GK papers for 2012 and 2013 from the link given below. Take 10-15 minutes for each year and calculate what you would have got in 2012 and 2013. Give 0.5 marks to yourself for every correct answer and deduct 0.17 for every incorrect answer.
If you score more 4 or more in both the papers, then you don’t have much to worry about. You are in the clear and can actually relax. If you are in the 2.5 to 4 range, then you need to start preparing for GK. You need to give at least 3 hours a week from now on to brush up on important stuff. If you are below 2.5 in both the papers, well – I don’t want to scare you but you really need to pull your socks up.
How should you prepare?
As you would have seen from the two past year papers, there is a healthy mix of static General Knowledge and current affairs in the IIFT exam. The questions are quite reasonable in nature and are something which a reasonably well-informed person (not just an MBA-aspirant) should be aware of. The questions which are slightly off-beat are typically to do with International Trade and similar stuff. Well – it is called the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. You can’t really blame them now, can you! And trust me – IIFT’s GK section is very well designed. There are MBA entrance exams that ask questions like – “How many hearts does an Octupus have?” In case you are thinking that I am joking – I am not. This was a question in SNAP 2012. While clearing the cutoff is the first goal, scoring well in GK can also do wonders for your overall chances of getting a call from IIFT. It is a section which will barely take 10 minutes and can really make a difference to your overall score. There are plenty of resources that are available on the web to improve your GK. You can also look at some books like the Manorama Yearbook and magazines like Competition Success Review.
I have an online course that helps students prepare for General Knowledge for IIFT and other management entrance exams. You can check more details about the GK preparation course on the link. 3000+ students have enrolled for the GK course over the last two years. You can enroll for the GK course from the button given below.
Let me add, it doesn’t matter what source you are using to prepare for GK. The so called syllabus for General Knowledge is infinite in nature. What matters is that you use the resources and put in time and effort in preparing for it. It is not the bat but the batsman that scores the runs.
In case you have any further questions, feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment here. Also, if you liked this, do share the post on Facebook / Twitter – it works as a wonderful motivating tool for me to continue doing what I am doing.