Xavier Aptitude Test or XAT is considered to be one of the most challenging MBA entrance exams in the country. The exam is conducted by Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur on behalf of the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI) for admission into instiutes of the association such as XLRI, XIMB and many other top tier institutes that take XAT score. The different sections of XAT 2020 are advised below:
- Verbal and Logical Ability
- Decision Making
- Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
- General Knowledge
XAT 2020 – Important Information
Following changes have been made in the pattern for XAT 2019
- Essay writing section was discontinued
- Total allotted time was reduced to 3 hours (180 minutes) from 3.5 hours
- In XAT-2019, un-attempted questions beyond 12 carried a negative mark of 0.05
- The negative marking of 0.25 marks for any wrong answer continued
Since XAT 2020 has not been conducted yet, it is advisable for you to go through the detailed analysis of XAT 2019 available on our website in order to have an understanding of the exam pattern, level of difficulty of the questions, types of questions asked and the expected score.
It is recommended that you check the XAT 2019 Analysis and the Answer Key as it will address your doubts, if any, and also give you an indication of your XAT 2020 test score.
Tips and Strategies for XAT- 2020
- In-depth coverage of the exam
It is time for the last major entrance exam of the season: Xavier's Aptitude Test (XAT). A number of top B-schools in the country, such as S.P. Jain, GIM, TAPMI, IMT etc. accept XAT scores, to go along with CAT scores.
XAT is generally looked upon as a tough entrance exam, and ~ 90000 students took the exam last year. The exam is markedly different from the other entrance exams in the country as it features a section on Decision Making, an area which checks your management aptitude by presenting different situations and cases, and asks you to identify the correct recourse in these situations. It’s very important for you to know the intricacies of the exam. A good starting point can be exploring previous year papers for the exam.
XAT: Sectional Inputs
It is important to look at individual sections of the exam and keep in mind the following for performing well in different areas of the exam.
- Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation:
In the previous XAT exams, majority of the questions featured in this area were from Algebra, Arithmetic and Data Interpretation. Keep in mind that Data Interpretation is not a separate section in the exam and like CAT, is merged with the Quantitative portion of the exam. The various areas that have been probed in the exam last year are: Geometry, Base Conversion, Number System, Algebra and Functions, Pipes and Cisterns, Set Theory, Time, Speed and Distance, Bar Graph, etc. Make sure you revise every topic thoroughly as you never know when the exam pattern might change.
As far the number of attempts is concerned, the answer depends on whether this is a strength area for you. In case you are strong in this section, you should solve around 20-25 questions, in about 45 to 50 minutes. An average student can target around 15 questions. You should spot the easy questions in this section, and there are plenty of those waiting to be solved.
- Verbal and Logical Ability:
In 2019, the Verbal section was moderately difficult and it tested the basic knowledge of the candidates. The questions were asked on various concepts like Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Critical Reasoning, Verbal Analogies, Sentence Rearrangement, Contextual understanding and also on the pronunciation skills. In order to answer the questions well, the identification of the traps by the examiners was imperative. An attempt of 12+ questions was comfortable.
For XAT 2020, you should attempt about 16 to 18 questions in this section. Generally, XAT questions are well-reasoned and you should make sure you are aware of the same before selecting any particular answer. You should only mark the answer if you are sure, as in the Verbal section there is a general habit of marking answers even when one is not sure of the exact answer.
In 2019, a total of 25 questions appeared in general awareness. There were Static GK based questions covering Books Awards, Geography, History, etc. and Current Questions Based on Sports, Politics, Science and Technology, Economics Data and General terms etc. The level of difficulty was tough and a comfortable attempt was 7 questions. Make sure you are abreast with the major happenings of last six months.
- Decision Making and Analytical Thinking:
Decision making forms the most unique part of the XAT exam. Consisting of various businesses and everyday situations, you are meant to establish what the stakeholders should do in various situations given. In general, the situations given in these questions set up interesting dilemmas for the parties involved, and most of the choices involve an analysis of the possible gains and losses with each course of action adopted. The different types of questions probed in these areas include: ethical dilemmas, financial issues involving sales, revenues etc. for a company, employee management issues and general management scenarios.
In general, it can be said that these questions are a mix of critical reasoning and RC. The two key skills required to do well in this area are: reading skill (ability to identify the relevant pieces of data and facts) and reasoning prowess (ability to logically figure out a given situation).
As far as what kind of decisions you should make, make sure that the decision taken is unbiased and does not favor one particular party, ethical, balanced and is from the perspective of all stakeholders involved. Do not lose your objectivity in the entire process and do not let your own biases cloud your judgment.
In 2019, the Decision Making consisted of 21 Questions; including 5 Table based reasoning questions. The questions were easy to moderate, with very few difficult questions. They were based on Caselets and Case Studies taken from various areas - politics, district administration, business organization, small business units and retail shops -dealing with HR issues, Ethical Dilemma, Customer retention, Personal decisions. Overall the feel of the section was moderate to tough. An average attempt of this section was 14 questions.
The XAT format is computer-based to ensure that all candidates are at par. It also ensures that all candidates are tested on exactly the same questions, and not on different sets. Your preparation for the XAT 2020 must be in full gear. As you prepare for the test, you need to keep certain things in mind.
- You can go through the past actual XAT papers as a starting point for your XAT preparation. Solving such XAT papers can give you a peek into the test and help you avoid costly mistakes. Several XAT Sample Papers, complete with analysis, are accessible on https://mba.hitbullseye.com/XAT for your benefit. Each XAT Sample Paper has two parts --- Paper A and Paper B. Paper A is an objective type test, with multiple choice type questions on Verbal Ability, Decision Making, and Quantitative Aptitude. Paper B consists of General Awareness questions.
- In the XAT quant part, the questions require a logical ability for analysis and application of the concepts. It's better to approach a set with an open mind and look deeper inside the question. In quantitative ability and decision-making blocks, a very important thing to remember is - continue the logical thread from the main data until its end. When you are working on a question, you consider many variables and do ground work. If you recreate the scenario for another question, you would be under-utilizing your time.
- The GK part should not be treated lightly. Though you will benefit from solving questions taken from different sources, nothing beats the value you get from current affairs magazines and newspapers. Whatever inputs we give here are going to help your overall preparation for interviews and group discussions.
- In reading comprehension, the answers may be implied within the line. The questions that ask for a deep grasp of the author's viewpoint, opinion on a debatable topic or the result he hopes to get from his readers ---- such questions are very common here.
The in-depth expert analysis of XAT 2020 will be available on this website by the evening of 5th January 2020.