10 Static GK topics to prepare for IIFT General Knowledge Section

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

10 Static GK topics to prepare for IIFT General Knowledge Section

As is well known, General Knowledge (GK) forms an important component in the entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade to be held on 1st December this year. GK can broadly be divided into 2 components- static and current. In this blog, we look at some important static GK topics which students will be well-advised to study further on. The list is based on the kind of topics that have been posed in questions in past years’ papers. Following are some of those topics:

1. Country Currencies and Capitals

This is a common theme in the IIFT paper, often in the form of match-the-following format. This format actually makes it easier as students may answer using the method of elimination. But for staring MCQs, test takers need to be vigilant about few aspects. It is highly unlikely that any paper will pose a question on the currency of Guatemala, the capital of Burkina Faso or the President of the Solomon Islands (do they even have one?). Instead, one needs to know such crucial data on the countries that have important ties with India, are global leaders, or have been in the news lately due to some important reason.

2. Brands and Companies

This is another kind of question style which can be posed through the match-the-following format. IIFT aspirants need to make a list of brand names that belong to the major conglomerates. One must go through about 10 brands each under- Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, ITC, Tata & Sons, Reliance Industries and Nestle. In addition, another 5 brands each would suffice from- Nestle, Kraft, Pepsico, Godrej and the Aditya Birla Group. This of course is no exhaustive list.

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  • 3. International Organizations’ Headquarters and Year of Formation

    The knowledge of major international organizations is a key component not just for the entrance exam, but for also the eventual study of international business, as is the specialization offered at IIFT. Data on headquarters and year of formation must be tracked for major UN bodies such as UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, UNHCR, IAEA, ILO, FAO and IMO. In addition, one needs to do similar for non-UN bodies such as IMF, World Bank, WTO, Amnesty International, EU, NATO, WWF, SAARC, BIMSTEC, GCC and ASEAN. In addition, the basic purpose and some names of members will always be handy.

    4. Scientific Terms and Common Names

    There are occasionally questions on scientific terms and what they are commonly termed as. Examples could include Baking Soda being Sodium hydrogen carbonate or common salt being Sodium chloride.

    5. Stock Exchange Names and Locations

    This is yet another set of questions where match-the-following questions could do. One must go through the names of major global stock exchanges such as those in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney and of course the few in New York City.

    6. India’s National Insignia

    National insignia may on paper appear easy prep, but it is not the “national anthem” or “national animal” kind of questions. One might instead be asked about the origin of the national symbol or the identity of the lesser known “national marine animal”.

    7. Indian History and Global Literature

    There have been questions asked in the past on certain basic historical tenets such as Akbar’s philosophy or Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj. From literature there can be match-the-following type questions. Or even MCQs could be posed to test knowledge on books and authors.

    8. Global and Indian Physical Geography

    More than IIFT, this is a popular set of questions in XAT. But nonetheless some preparation will always help. There isn’t much time now to prepare for deep geography or history. So, a glance through any common GK book like Pearson Concise or Manorama Yearbook will suffice. For Indian geography specifically, a very useful website for quick grasping of concepts would be mapsofindia.com. Geography could also be linked to the overall economy with questions on ports of India, or cities with steel plants being located, the terminal points of national highways or stats on the top producing states for various commodities in India.

    9. Constitution of India

    Constitution and Indian polity is a fairly common theme, with one or two questions always expected. One must go through the top position holders in the country at present. The aspirant must also understand the methods of election or selection to top posts such as Chief Justice of India (CJI), Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Attorney General, Cabinet Secretary, CBI chief, RBI Governor, NITI Aayog Deputy Chairperson, and heads of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The first holders of these positions must also be tracked.

    10. Economic Terms

    Economic terms forms one of the key components of the entrance test pattern for IIFT. The institute anyway has quite a focus on economy even in its main curriculum. Investopedia’s website can be a good resource for basic information besides the usual books mentioned under the geography section. The test takers must thoroughly understand technical terms such as inflation, deflation, recession, monetary policy, fiscal policy, opportunity cost, marginal cost, capitalism, socialism, welfare state, communism, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Product (GNP), Per Capita Income, GINI Index, Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Foreign Institutional Investors (FII), fully convertible currency, giffen goods and windfall gains. Questions around these topics could be posed in a variety of ways, so through knowledge is a necessity.

    The proportion of static GK to the overall pool of GK questions in the IIFT is slightly on the lower side, but still a substantial part. In XAT, it goes the other way around as good number of questions originate from this portion. So, even if a student is starting late, one need not feel disheartened. This study will go a long way in the other upcoming exams as well. Beyond these papers, it will be of great value during the soft skills round as more informed students will be able to carve better articles during a WAT or present the appropriate arguments in a GD. One must thus start right away.

    This article was contributed by Aritro.
    Aritro is an accomplished teacher and trainer with more than 8 years of experience in this field. He has worked with colleges, corporates and coaching institutes. He is also an established blogger having written extensively in the fields of education, environment, business, football, cinema, travel and food. In 2018 he was the Mentor to All India Rank 1 in the DUJAT exam.

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