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 2019 GK section. Further, we will give you a methodical strategy to prepare for this key section in an effective and efficient manner.
The GK section constitutes 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.
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XAT GK – Previous Years Paper 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
Static 60% 75% 68% 72%
Current 40% 25% 32% 28%
Total 25 25 25 25
Table-2
Table 2 gives an area-wise analysis of the GK sections of XAT from 2016, 2017,2018 and 2019. A cursory glance at this table reveals that there is no single favourite 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 2016 2017 2018 2019
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
Let us understand the XAT GK section of previous years’ in detail :-
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.
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
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.
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