XAT Exam Pattern 2025

“The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.” ~Brian Tracy
So, the first step to cracking XAT is to learn about its exam structure and marking criteria.
Recently, the XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) exam pattern underwent noteworthy changes. These modifications included an increase in the number of questions and an extension of the time duration for the test. As a result, it is of utmost importance for aspirants to familiarize themselves with the latest XAT pattern before commencing their preparation. This will ensure that they are well-equipped and confident to tackle the exam successfully.
In this article, we have given a detailed description of the XAT paper pattern along with the key takeaways for planning your preparation strategy.
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XAT Exam Pattern 2025
XAT is a computer-based test which was of 190 minutes till 2022. In XAT 2023, the duration of the exam was increased to 210 minutes. In XAT 2024, the duration of the exam was still 210 minutes. It consists of five sections that are formulated to evaluate the management aptitude of the candidates. An MBA aspirant is expected to be good at making decisions, resolving conflicts, communicating ideas, and interpreting data in a timely manner. XAT is the primary criterion for seeking admission to several top-ranked B-schools. But it is not easy to achieve a high score unless you have a well-planned strategy beforehand. So, you must be fully familiar with the XAT pattern and format.
XAT paper is divided into three Parts where only the first part is counted in the final score. The following table gives a clear picture of the XAT exam pattern 2025:
Number of Sections 5
Sections *Part 1: Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making; Part 2: Mock Keyboard Testing: Part 3: General Knowledge, Essay Writing
Mode of Exam Online
Duration of the Test 210 minutes
No. of Questions
Verbal & Logical Ability: 22-30 Questions
Decision Making: 22-30 Questions
Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation: 22-30 Questions
General Knowledge: 22-30 Questions
Essay: 1 Question
Marking Scheme
  • 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer.
  • 0.10 marks are deducted after every 8 unattempted questions.
  • Negative marking for every incorrect response is 0.25 marks.
  • There is no negative marking in Part 2 & Part 3.
  • *Note:The total number of questions will not exceed 100, including those focused on General Knowledge. There are no sectional limits for Part 1 of XAT 2025. But the total time available for XAT Part 1 is 175 minutes, Part 2 is of 5 minutes whereas Part 3 needs to be answered in 30 minutes. Further, remember that your score in Part 3 impacts your MBA admission even though it is not considered in the overall XAT score.
    Please NOTE the General Knowledge and Essay sections will not influence the cutoff score. Their evaluation will come into play only during the interview stage.
    So, while they are essential for the overall process, they will not affect your initial test results.
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    XAT Exam Pattern 2025: Key Takeaways for Preparation
    Here are our expert suggestions for devising a smart strategy for XAT exam:
    • All the sections should be given equal importance as it will fetch you high sectional as well as overall score. This is because you are required to clear both the overall and Sectional cut-offs to get admission in best B-schools.
    • As the exam's level of difficulty is high, you must decide the time limit for each section (of Part 1) well.
    • A distinguishing feature of XAT is that it has a Decision-making section that tests a student’s aptitude for MBA through different management-related problems. This section needs to be dealt very carefully since their answer choices are usually tricky.
    • Regular practice of Mock Tests is essential for superior performance in all Sections.
    • Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension are the main dominating areas in Verbal & Logical ability section. It is recommended that students work on building their vocabulary and grammar concepts to master these topics.
    • Strong conceptual base in Geometry, Number System, Probability and DI with a good application orientation is the key to crack Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section.
    • It is crucial to stay updated with both current and static GK. Preparing current events for the past six months is essential, and a focus on awards, books and authors and geography will keep your hold on static GK. Besides, acquiring such knowledge will also help you write better essays.
    • Striking a right balance between speed and accuracy is all that matters to score high in XAT.
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    Lastly, you must solve the previous year papers to get an accurate understanding of the XAT exam pattern and difficulty level.
    About XAT
    XLRI Jamshedpur conducts the XAT on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). XAT is one of the most difficult management entrance exams and taken by 90,000+ aspirants annually. It is held in the month of January every year. XAT scores are accepted for admission in MBA/PGDM courses offered by 11 XAMI member institutes, 83 associate institutes, and 600+ other B-schools.
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