XAT 2015 Comprehensive Analysis and Cutoffs

(XAT 2016 Cutoffs can be found here)

There were no surprises in XAT 2015. As usual it was administered as two parts. The first part consisting of English, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & DI constitute the first part. As has been informed by XAT administration and XLRI, ONLY the first part is taken towards calculation of PERCENTILE. This percentile is used for shortlisting by all institutes which take the XAT scores. The Second part which contains the General Knowledge section and an Essay is used mainly by XLRI at the time of the Interview and final selection.

Part I
No of Questions : 84
Time available : 140 minutes
No of Marks : 84
No of Sections : 3 (Cutoffs exist) + GK (used at time of final selection)
Marking : All questions carry equal marks
Negative marking : ¼ th of the mark (may be deducted)
Part II General Knowledge and Essay
Time Available : 40 minutes
Part A : General Awareness
Part B : Essay – To be written in NOT more than 200 words
“Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand. We only listen to refute or reply.”

Test Pattern

  Section Area No. Of Questions Marks
PART ONE Section -A Verbal and Logical Ability 28 28
Section – B Decision Making 23 23
Section – C Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 33 33
  Total   84 84
PART TWO General Awareness 30 30
Essay 30


XAT 2015 Analysis

One look at the XAT 2015 paper and most students would have heaved a sigh of relief. It was definitely not as tough as the XAT 2014 paper. Having said that, parts of Decision Making and parts of Quant and Verbal were difficult (as they usually are). For students who have written CAT 2014 in November, XAT would decidedly be tougher. However, as we always maintain, the relative performance of the students matter and hence the cutoffs and marks required to get into the top institutes under XAT (XLRI, XIMB, GIM, LIBA etc) would definitely be less.

XAT is also an important exam and probably the last of the important exams for the admission to 2015 academic year.


Analysis of Sections in XAT 2015

Verbal and Logical Ability

While the section heading says it is Verbal and Logical ability, the section was surfeit with critical reasoning and verbal logic. Even the fill-in-the-blanks were given with more than 3 words to be identified correctly to arrive at an answer. The Para Jumbles and Para Completion (logical completion of the passages) were not very difficult but required one to spend couple of minutes on each question.

While the Reading Comprehension sets were not long, the questions required a lot of inference from the passages and critical reasoning abilities.

The section can be termed as a medium to high level of difficulty section.

A good student could have attempted around 15 to 18 questions in about 35 minutes in this section.

A quick view of the pattern of this section will clarify what is meant above

Sno Question Type No of Questions Difficulty Level
1 Synonyms/Antonyms 2 Medium
2 Fill in the blanks – WORDS 2 Medium
3 Critical Reasoning 2 Medium
4 Para Jumbles, Para completion 2 + 2 Medium
5 Reading Comprehension (5 sets) 17 Medium to High
  Total 28 Medium to High


Cutoff for the section – 7 (80 percentile)  & 8.25 (85 percentile)


Decision Making

Without undermining any other entrance exam for MBAs, it is but imperative to mention that the Decision Making section of XAT stands out commendably, every year. In fact, it is this section that makes the XAT exam extremely interesting and a paper to crack.

Decision Making has been a regular feature of XAT for quite a number of years now.

The composition of the section included 8 sets with 23 questions in total. Four of these with 3 questions, Two with 4 four questions, One with 2 questions and One other with just 1 question.

All the eight sets were quite interesting to answer and did not include any problem solving or probability set which is the wont of XAT.

A good student would have attempted around 5 to 6 sets and around 15 to 18 questions from among the 23 questions.

Cutoff for the section  – 8 (80 percentile)



Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The QA and DI section was definitely doable. While Numbers and Geometry accounted for 4 questions each, the total in Arithmetic of 7 questions would leave some leeway for non-engineers to solve this section.

The questions on Graphs and Functions were not very difficult to solve for a student who has some understanding of the same.

As has been the case, there was one question on Statistics.

Data Interpretation sets were lengthy but not difficult to calculate. The first set on Tables was very easy to understand but decidedly lengthy to calculate in an exam setting. The set on Spider graph and scatter plots was a very good set probably for a DI connoisseur. However, once the student understands the set, the questions were pretty simple to solve. However, given the stress in an exam, DI can be pronounced as Difficult.

The break-up of the entire section with their sub-topics is given below .


Area Topic No of Questions
Arithmetic 7
  Equations 1
  Percentages, P&L 2
  Averages & Mixtures 1
  Simple/Compound Interest 1
  Time & Distance 1
  Time & Work 1
Algebra/Pure Math   18
  Progressions 1
  Numbers 4
  Geometry 4
  Coordinate Geometry 1
  Mensuration 2
  Functions & Graphs 3
  Trigonometry (Heights & Distances) 1
  Statistics 1
  Probability 1
Data Interpretation   8
  Table with percentage calculations 4
  Spider graph & Scatter plots 4


A good student could have spent about 45 minutes in this section and attempted around 15 to 17 questions.

Cutoff for this section –   6  (70 percentile)  & 9 ( 90 percentile)


Overall Cutoff

XLRI has three programs, the HRM ,the BM program and the Global MBA Program. The HRM program typically has a lower cutoff than the BM program.

  VA & LA DM QA &DI Total
XLRI (HRM) 8.25 8 6 27
XLRI (BM) 7 8 9 29
XLRI (Global) 7 8 9 26
XIMB 7 8 7.5 27


General Knowledge

The General Knowledge section is always a nightmare for lot of students who hardly read newspapers. But the nightmare this year was real even for people who have good reading habits. The GK Section in XAT this time was more difficult than the CSAT (Civil Services) paper which is traditionally very difficulty.

The cutoff could be hardly 5 marks out of the 30 questions given.


ARKS Srinivas

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the National Head for MBA Prep at Career Launcher.



Naman Banaudha

I Think he is the same author who had given comprehensive analysis of CAT?? And how can you be so sure that the cut off you gave are linked to XAT in any way?? Being an alumni of IIM Calcutta on the cat analysis it was your picture sir but in this you put forward the name of the Coaching Institute just because your CAT so called comprehensive analysis gone horribly wrong!! Not the best way to market your product I guess!!