Review of XAT GK Section

One of the most popular management entrance tests, XAT is the gateway to a number of reputed colleges in India, like XLRI, SP Jain, XIBM, etc. It is unique in the sense that it has a separate section on General Knowledge/Awareness. Since only a few MBA entrance feature this section, you will need to do a little more preparation for XAT.
In this article, we make an in-depth analysis of GK section of the past year XAT papers. Further, you will learn a methodical strategy to prepare for the area in an effective and efficient manner.
XAT GK Section
Although the GK score is not considered in the final percentile, it does impact your admission to B-schools. Overall, GK section is allotted a score of 25 marks. While there are no sectional time limits for part 1 of the exam, you are required to submit part 2 (GK section) within 15 minutes. So, you must prepare well and plan wisely in order to score high in the section.
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XAT GK – Previous Years Papers Analysis
Table 1 gives you an analysis of the XAT GK sections from the past few 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.
Table-1
  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Static 60% 75% 68% 72% 80% 56%
Current 40% 25% 32% 28% 20% 44%
Total 25 25 25 25 25 25
As shown above, XAT is quite unpredictable in terms of weightage given to static and current GK. So, it is necessary to focus equally on both parts of GK. Besides, in the recent years, the section has become more and more challenging.
Table-2
Table 2 gives an area-wise analysis of the GK sections of XAT from year 2016 onwards.
Area 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
*Miscellaneous 4 4 3 4 11 9
Economy & Banking 3 6 3 1 1 0
International 4 8 7 3 5 10
Corporate & Business World 2 0 3 4 3 4
Geography 1 3 5 8 5 5
Polity 2 2 0 0 2 2
Sports 1 4 2 0 1 3
Science and Technology 0 2 2 2 1 1
*Miscellaneous includes questions from Books, History, Art & Culture, Climate Change, and Current Events related to the same. Also, note that there were 18 questions of National Events (static & current) in XAT 2020 and 14 in XAT 2021. So, you must pay special attention to national events, their dates, and significance.
XAT GK: Detailed Analysis
Get a thorough understanding of GK section of previous year XAT exams :-
XAT 2016 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.
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 2018 Analysis
The 25 GK questions contained a division of 8 current and 17 static questions. There were 7 easy, 11 moderate and 7 difficult questions. 17 questions were based on National topics and 8 questions were based on international topics. The section was such that it required the student to possess extremely good general knowledge ability in multiple areas to be able to score well. The topics of the questions were very diverse, encompassing subjects such as History, Geography, Business and Economy, names of political personalities, etc.
Students should have spent 10-15 minutes on GK, and as there was no negative marking, all questions should have been attempted without fail. A score of 8-10 would be a good score in this section.
XAT 2019 Analysis
The level of difficulty of the General Knowledge section was similar to last year. This section comprised 25 questions. Most of the questions were single-statement based. The key areas were static GK (Economy, Geography, Science and Technology) and Current GK (Business economy, personalities, awards, sports and miscellaneous). Overall the difficulty level of the GK section lies in the “moderate-difficult” range. An attempt of 12-14 questions fetching a score of 7-8 can be considered good. There were 18 questions were from static and 7 questions from Current affairs.
XAT 2020 Analysis
There were 25 questions in general awareness consisting of Static GK based questions covering Books, Geography, art forms of states, History etc. and Current Questions based on Science and Technology, Economic Data and General terms etc. The level of this section was moderate. Since there was no negative marking in this section so by using guesswork or by elimination of options, one could have got 3-4 questions correct in addition to what one knew actually.
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XAT 2021 Analysis
There were 25 questions in general awareness consisting of Static GK based questions covering Books, Geography, Art forms of states, History etc. and Current Questions based on Science and Technology, Economic Data and General terms etc. The level of this section was moderate. Since there was no negative marking in this section so by using guesswork or by elimination of options, one could have got 6-7 questions correct in addition to what one knew actually.
XAT GK: Previous year Questions
Let us attempt a few actual questions taken from previous years.
1. What is Article 356 of Indian Constitution?
A) Provision of special status to the state of Arunachal
B) Provision of special status to the state of J & K.
C) Suspension of Financial autonomy to a state
D) Provision of special status to the state of Manipur
E) Imposition of President's Rule after the suspension of a state government
2. Which of the following countries is not a member of Union of European Football Association (UEFA)?
A) Azerbaijan
B) Kazakhstan
C) Uzbekistan
D) Turkey
E) Georgia
3. The prestigious Horlicks brand of GlaxoSmithKline has been recently brought over by another mega FMCG brand. Name the buyer company.
A) Hindustan Unilever
B) Dabur
C) Nestle
D) Patanjali
E) Cavinkare
4. Which of the following liquids demonstrates a convex meniscus when confined within a glass tube?
A) Water in an anomalous expansion state between 0-4° C
B) Petroleum
C) Water at room temperature
D) Olive oil
E) Mercury
5. Name the Indian saint who wrote ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’.
A) Paramhansa Yogananda
B) Sri Aurobindo
C) Satya Sai Baba
D) Swami Abhedananda
E) Hanuman Das Baba
6. According to the World Bank, which country is the highest recipient of remittances?
A) Egypt
B) India
C) China
D) Philippines
E) Mexico
Question No.
Answer Key
1
E
2
C
3
A
4
E
5
A
6
B
Final Tips for XAT GK
To maximize you accuracy in XAT GK section, follow the given things:
  1. Firstly, attempt those questions you are absolutely sure of.
  2. Next, think over the questions you are slightly doubtful of, and then take a guess at the probable answers. You can use elimination technique to mark the answers for such questions.
  3. Finally, you can go for the questions you have no knowledge about. Since there is no negative marking in the GK section, you can mark the answers for these questions too, provided you have time to spare.
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