Ace the General Awareness Section in XAT

XAT is the gateway to a number of reputed MBA colleges in India, including XLRI and XIBM. It is one of the popular exams amongst MBA aspirants. XAT is unique in the sense that it has a separate section on General Awareness or General Knowledge. In this article, we will make an in-depth analysis of the past year XAT papers, with a special focus on XAT 2017 GK section. Further, we will give you a methodical strategy to prepare for this key section in an effective and efficient manner.
cat 19 online Courses
The number of questions in the GK section of XAT is not fixed. It had 30 and 25 questions in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and each question was of 1 mark. The GK section constituted around 20-25% of the total marks and as such, it is not advisable for you to take this section lightly. Also, there are no sectional time limits in the XAT, so you are free to allocate as much, or as little time to each section as you please.
XAT GK – Past Year Paper Analysis
Table 1 gives you an analysis of the XAT GK sections from the past 3 years on the basis of weightage given to questions from static and current GK. As you can see, there is no discernible pattern that emerges from this analysis. Hence, we recommend that you prepare in a balanced way, spending adequate time and energy on both current and static GK.
cat 19 online Courses
  2014 2015 2016
Static 18 (90%) 18 (60%) 15 (60%)
Current 2 (10%) 12 (40%) 10 (40%)
Total 20 30 25
Table 2 gives an area-wise analysis of the GK sections of XAT from 2014, 2015 and 2016. A cursory glance at this table reveals that there is no single favorite area of XAT exam setters as far as the GK section is concerned. Hence, it is imperative for you to prepare each section thoroughly.
Area 2014 2015 2016 2017
Miscellaneous 4 4 3 4
Economy 3 6 3 1
International 4 8 7 3
Corporate GK 2 0 3 4
Geography 1 3 5 8
Polity 2 2 0 0
Sports 1 4 2 0
Science and Technology 0 2 2 2
Level of Difficulty
Historically, compared to the GK section of papers like SNAP, CMAT and MAT, the GK section in XAT has been difficult. However, XAT examiners have taken cognizance of this fact and announced that the difficulty level of this section will be reduced from XAT 2016 onwards.
XAT 2017 Analysis
GK section of XAT 2017 comprised 25 questions. Difficulty level of the GK section was moderate. Majority of the questions were from Geography, History, Science & Tech., International organizations, Economy, Miscellaneous GK & Current affairs. An attempt of 14-15 Questions will be considered good and a candidate with average level of preparation can score 9-10 marks in GK.
XAT 2016 GK: Analysis
The XAT 2016 GK section was relatively easier as compared to the previous years. However, it contained some tricky questions interspersed with easy level problems. Thus, the challenge was to identify the easy ones. Any serious candidate, with a good grasp on current affairs could comfortably score 8-10 marks in XAT 2016 GK section.
Let us take a look at a few easy level questions from XAT 2016 GK, to check your current level of preparations:-
Q. Angus Deaton is a famous:
  1. Economist
  2. Physicist
  3. Writer
  4. Historian
  5. Painter
Q. Which of the following is not a conglomerate?
  1. Reliance
  2. ITC
  3. TCS
  4. Adani
  5. Murugappa
Now, try to solve the following difficult level questions from XAT 2016
Q. In percentage terms, which Indian state has the highest forest cover?
  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Harit Pradesh
  3. Nagaland
  4. Arunachal Pradesh
  5. Jammu and Kashmir
Q. The Inuit Paradox:
  1. is a place in the article circle near Greenland.
  2. is that the Inuits eat a lot of fat and hardly any fruits and are still very healthy.
  3. is that the Inuits eat anything that moves but spare the reindeer.
  4. is that the inuits have very little exposure to the Sun but suffer no deficiency from Vitamin D.
  5. is a Glacier that looks like a circle from a distance but is actually a rectangle.
There were a few questions in the XAT 2016 GK that could not be classified clearly under Static or Current GK easily.
Q. Perumal Murugan is a(n):
  1. Writer
  2. Painter
  3. Jounralist
  4. Actor
  5. Director
Q. RuPay is related to:
  1. Rural Payment of Wages office of India
  2. National association for facilitation of Rural Payments
  3. National Payments Corporation of India
  4. Russia Pay, a Russian competitor of Paypal
  5. Rustic Poetry, an Annual Festival held in Jaipur, India
However, if a candidate had followed current affairs closely, these questions could have been easily solved. Perumal Murugan was in news in Jan 2015 as he gave up writing after he came under stack of Hindutva groups for his novel, Madhurobhagan. Also, the National Payments Corporation of India has launched RuPay recently as a competitor to MasterCard and Visa, as an Indian debit card service provider.
Static GK
Static GK broadly consists of areas that do not change over time. You may expect questions from the following sub-topics in XAT Static GK:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Economy
  • Companies and Brands
  • Indian Political System & Constitution
  • Organizations
  • Science & Technology
  • Sports
  • Miscellaneous
Current GK
In Current GK, you may expect questions from these broad areas:
  • Economy
  • Business & Corporate News
  • Indian Polity
  • Organizations
  • New Developments in Science & Technology
  • People in News
  • Sports
  • Miscellaneous
Attempting the XAT GK section
Ideally, you should not devote more than 10 minutes on the XAT GK section. This will allow you to allocate more time for essay writing. Further, we advice you to follow a 2-cycle method of attempting this section to maximize you accuracy in XAT GK:
Cycle 1
  1. Identify the very easy questions and mark their answers
  2. Identify the questions, which you think you can attempt i.e. you feel that if you spend more time on such questions, you may be able to guess the correct answer.
  3. Identify the questions, which you think you CANNOT attempt i.e. question about which you have no idea. These questions are best left untouched.
Cycle 2
In the second cycle, mark the answers of maximum possible questions that you have identified in Step (2) of Cycle 1 through intelligent guessing using option elimination.