All about XAT: A to Z of Xavier Aptitude test (XAT)

What is XAT?
Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a national-level MBA entrance test conducted by Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur on the behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). For the last 70 years, XLRI is conducting XAT at the all-India level to select the most appropriate students for its management programs. Considered as one of the toughest entrance exams. XAT scores are accepted for admission in MBA/PGDM offered by 11 member institutes and 160 associate institutes.
Many students aim to get admission to XLRI and pursue management courses. XLRI is considered one of the top b-schools and it has added many executive and certificate programmes to meet the demands of the business sector. XLRI has a host of courses to offer namely, PGDM HRM, PGDM BM (Full-time residential programmes), Exec- FPM, and BM (Part-time Programmes for Working Executives), to name a few.
The best brains of the country aspire to seek admission in the programs offered by XLRI and related institutes. More than 90,000 aspirants appear for the exam every year.
What is the structure of XAT exam?
XAT is a computer-based test of three hours duration. The exam features questions from the following sections:
  1. Verbal Ability & Logical/Analytical Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
  3. Decision Making
  4. General knowledge
The test includes around 100 questions of objective type. Except for GK section, the rest of the sections carry a negative marking of 0.25. Apart from the overall cut-off, you are required to clear the sectional cut-offs of the exam. However, the score of all the sections will be taken into consideration for shortlisting the final admissions.
The official XAT answer key and OMR sheet is released by XLRI in the last week of January. The result is declared online in the first week of February.
When is the XAT exam conducted?
XAT is conducted in the first week of January. The detailed notification is released around September on the official website ( You will get to know about the important dates, application fees, MBA/PGP programmes and other requisite information from the notification. The registration process for XAT and XLRI is with the same application form by paying an additional amount as per your choice of XLRI program.
The exam is conducted in 81 cities across India. The selection procedure of XAT for all the participating institutes begins after the announcement of the result and cut-off. XLRI sends the hard copy of XAT score-card to the candidates' registered address. Candidates are advised to preserve the score-card until the admission process gets over. After clearing the entrance exam, students are called for Personal Interview and Group Discussion session.
Who can appear for XAT exam?
Applicants are required to possess a bachelor’s degree/ equivalent of minimum 3 years duration. There is no bar on age or number of attempts. Final year students can also apply for XAT. Additionally, XLRI also specifies programme-wise eligibility criteria for the candidates.
Which colleges/institutes accept XAT scores?
More than 150 B-schools accept XAT scores. Some of these top B-schools are:
  • Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur (XLRI)
  • Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar – Core MBA Course
  • Goa Institute of Management
  • SP Jain Mumbai
  • Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad
  • Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur and Hyderabad
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • KJ Somaiya, Mumbai
After each XAT participating institute releases its cut-off, candidates are shortlisted for the subsequent selection process comprising of Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI). Finally, candidates are given admission to the participating institutes of XAT based on their performance in the selection procedure.
What’s the ROI of programmes offered by XLRI and the related institutes?
The best talent of country aspires to do MBA from the top ranking management institutes of India. Return on investment (ROI) at these top B-schools is very high. A high score in XAT ensures your career in a top recruiting company. Top recruiters from India and abroad eye these institutes for their placement season. The salary packages go as high as Rs.50 to 70 lakhs per annum to the top students of these B-schools.
Finally, XAT doesn’t require you to be a specialist in English or Maths. The goal is to maximise the number of correct attempts. Experts advise that you need around 6-8 months to prepare for XAT and get a good percentile to ensure your seat in a top ranking B-school.
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