One Stop Solution For NMAT-IIFT-XAT | Part 3 XAT

Xavier Aptitude test (XAT) is traditionally the second most important MBA entrance exam after CAT and is also considered as the toughest one to crack. It is possibly the last chance for most students to get a good score and an admission into one of the most reputed MBA College in the country-XLRI.

Apart from XLRI, many good colleges such as S.P. Jain, TAPMI, IMT, MICA etc consider its score.

XAT 2018 will be conducted online unlike past years where it used to be conducted in pen and paper-based format. The exam will be held on 7th January 2018.

XAT exam is divided into 2 parts – Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Paper 1 comprises of three sections

Verbal & Logical Ability – No. of Questions: 24 – Total Marks: 24

Decision Making –  No. of Questions: 21 – Total Marks: 21

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation – No. of Questions: 27 – Total Marks: 27

Total Questions-72, Total marks 72, Total time = 170 minutes.

Negative Marking = 0.25 for any wrong answer, 0.05 for more than 12 unattempted questions.

Paper 2 comprises of two sections – 

General Knowledge (GK) Total Questions – 25, Total marks – 25.

1 Essay Writing Question.

Total time 35 Minutes, No Negative Marking.

Here are some pointers to help you score well in XAT.

  • Decision-making section is the key: This is the section which is different in XAT when compared with CAT and hence most students are usually unprepared for it. To prepare for DM give the mock tests of various coaching institutes (any one among IMS/TIME/CL) and go through the solutions of all previous year decision-making questions.
  • Develop a strategy: Keep a strategy in place which garners to your strengths with respect to the sections in XAT. Since I was very strong in RC but weak in certain areas of VA. I attempted all the questions of RC (although they were extremely tough) and ended up scoring 99.90+ in VA-RC and also 99+ overall. Hence try to make a slightly similar strategy according to yourself.
  • Don’t attempt all the questions: 0.05 negative marks for more than 12 unattempted questions is just meant to scare students and insure that they attempt out of their comfort zone, for example, 20 unattempted questions will lead to only a -1 in the overall score which is really not that much.
  • XAT questions (even quant questions) use a lot more ‘language’ than the other b-school entrance tests. Hence good vocabulary & reading comprehension skills will come in handy here.
  • GK:  The candidates must keep themselves updated with the current news so as to attempt the GK section of the XAT exam easily. This will also help them in the subsequent Personal Interview rounds.
  • You must Love Logical Reasoning: The Reasoning questions in XAT are the most scoring among all and hence this section must be mastered.
  • The XAT timing: The XAT is conducted in the first week of January – this gives you ample time after the CAT to fine-tune your preparation. Even if you screwed up in CAT, XAT is a test that still gives you a chance to be in the top 10 b-schools of the country.

Midnight Ruminations

You have little time left, and none of it for crap. A fine state. I would say that the best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are lots of things a warrior can do at a certain time which he couldn’t do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself.

― Carlos Castañeda, Tales of Power

To Read the first part on tips regarding NMAT, click here.

To Read the second part on tips regarding IIFT, click here.

To Read the story of how I cracked CAT, click here.

Karan Kakkar

A die-hard Roger Federer fan, Karan is a singer and a musician who plays three percussion instruments. After spending the first 24 years of his life in Delhi, he finally found solace in the beautiful campus of IIM Kozhikode. Known simply as Kakkar among his friends, he prides myself on having watched all the IMDB top 250 movies in a single summer long movie marathon. He served as one of the student team members/writers of, representing IIM Kozhikode.


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