XAT 2016 Analysis And Cutoffs

Have a look at the XAT 2017 Analysis and Cutoffs, here.


XAT 2016 Paper Pattern

“The level of difficulty of the questions has also been carefully designed. In order to enable students to attempt as many questions as possible and encourage them to demonstrate all-round skills, the difficult level of the questions has been brought down” – part of XAT announcement on significant changes! http://xatonline.net.in/XAT-2016_Announcement.pdf

If anything, the above special announcement was most misleading. Students who expected to find an easy paper were left wondering what would be difficult if this paper was easy!!!  In the bargain, the XAT 2016 was probably more difficult than the XATs of previous years. It is very difficult to assess what the XLRI authorities are trying to test by giving such difficult papers.

Here’s some serious advice from VistaMind: Ignore that you have written XAT 2016. Forget about all the exams you have written, take an evening off and start preparing for GDPI. You would be surprised that you would get a call from some of the institutes that you thought was impossible!

For those of you who still want to know more! Read on!!

The paper pattern however was as announced. No surprises there! As usual it was administered as two parts. The first part consisted of Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & DI. ONLY the first part is taken towards calculation of PERCENTILE. This percentile is used for shortlisting by all institutes that take the XAT scores.

The Second part had the General Knowledge Section (no negative marks) and an Essay section which is used mainly by XLRI at the time of the Interview and final selection.

Part I

No of Questions                     : 78

Time available                       : 170 minutes

No of Marks                           : 78

No of Sections                       : 3 (Cutoffs exist)

Marking                                  : All questions carry equal marks

Negative marking                  : ¼ th  of the mark (may be deducted)


Part II                                    General Knowledge and Essay

Time Available                       : 35 minutes

General Knowledge              : 25 questions

Essay                                      : “Technology and nature are natural enemies”


Test Pattern

  Section Area No. Of Questions Marks
PART ONE Section -A Verbal and Logical Ability 26 26
Section – B Decision Making 23 23
Section – C Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29 29
  Total   78 78
PART TWO General Knowledge 25 25


XAT 2016 Analysis


XAT 2016 was decidedly difficult. Even the Decision Making section, which at first glance appeared easy, was made complex by the closeness of the answer choices. Verbal area was full of Critical Reasoning questions and the Reading Comprehension passages and questions were atrociously difficult!

Despite the time allotted for the exam going up, the cutoffs will still not be high in XAT 2016. For a person who has attempted reasonably well in the paper, it is advisable to apply to some of the institutes under XAT and expect GDPI calls!

XAT scores are taken for admission into not only XLRI but also XIMB, GIM, LIBA, XISS, XIME and a host of other member and associate institutes.


Analysis of Sections in XAT 2016


Verbal and Logical Ability

Of the 12 questions in the Verbal & Logical Area, Six questions were critical reasoning questions, which had very close answers. Even the Vocab based questions were not direct and required high knowledge of vocabulary and Usage While the section heading says it is Verbal and Logical ability, the section was surfeit with critical reasoning and verbal logic.

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.

Of the two Para Jumbles questions, one has been taken from the Feynman Lectures and the second one from a book ‘Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious beliefs”.

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

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

A good student could have attempted around 17 to 20 questions in about 50 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 Vocab based including Analogy 3 Medium
2 Critical Reasoning 5 High
3 Statement & Assumptions 1 Medium
4 Para Jumbles, Para completion 2 + 1 Medium
5 Reading Comprehension (4 sets) 14 High
  Total 26 Medium to High


Cutoff for the section – 6.5 (80 percentile)  & 7.5 (85 percentile)


Decision Making

The Decision making section is probably the most interesting section of almost all MBA entrance exams.

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

The composition of the section included 9 sets with 23 questions in total. Four sets of these were with 2 questions each and Five of them with 3 questions each.

One set on matching criteria for buying a flat was probably the easiest among all the sets. Another set on Crops and the decision to plan these crops across the months in a year was probably the only set which could have definite answers. Every other set had very close answers choices and were too close to call.

A good student would have attempted around 7 to 8 sets and around 18 to 20 questions from among the 23 questions. However, we expect that the accuracy in this section would be hovering around 50% to 60% only!


Cutoff for the section  – 7 (80 percentile)


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The QA and DI section probably was easier than the other two. Of the 22 questions in Quant area, Numbers and Geometry/Mensuration accounted for 11 questions. The section had 6 questions of arithmetic and a question each in Venn Diagrams, Functions, Heights & Distances and a miscellaneous (Order ranking) question.

Around 10 questions could be solved by anyone who has a basic grounding in math.

Data Interpretation was however, a different ball game. The two sets were very difficult to interpret at first glance. The bar chart on Salaries at a campus was solvable but required patience to understand. Even in this set, the answers to at least two questions were very close and could go either way. The set on ‘Shop types’ was much more difficult to interpret, especially in an exam situation.


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


Area Topic No of Questions
Arithmetic 6
  Equations (in the garb of T&D question) 1
  Percentages, P&L 2
  Time & Distance & Clocks 2
  Time & Work 1
Algebra/Pure Math   16
  Number Systems 1*
  Numbers 4
  Geometry 6
  Mensuration 1
  Functions & Graphs 1
  Trigonometry (Heights & Distances) 1
  Venn Diagram 1
  Miscellaneous 1
Data Interpretation   7
  Bar Chart (Stacked Bar) 4
  Table with percentages 3

* Number System question had a mistake. Though one can get an answer by solving the question in the normal manner

Overall the section was not easy and a good student could have attempted around 12 to 14 questions in about 60 minutes.

Cutoff for this section –   5.5  (70 percentile)  &  8 ( 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) 7.5 7 5.5 26
XLRI (BM) 6.5 7 8 28
XLRI (Global) 6.5 7 8 26
XIMB 6.5 7 6 25


CAT 2015 Analysis

XAT 2015 Analysis



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.



rizwanur rahman

I have calculated my scores and it comes out around 29-30 overall. 10+ in VA, 12+ in DM and 6.5-7 in QA. I have 10-11 in GK. Do i have any chance of getting a call from XLRI ? I want a BM call.


Probably NOT unless you have a reservation. But you would be very close to percentile required. Keep your fingers crossed!

Utkarsha Srivastava

Is the cutoff really going to be that low? some institutes claim this was the easiest paper in the history of XAT :/ I hope they are wrong

Utkarsha Srivastava

in the range of 29.75 – 34 according to different keys.. might be the borderline case.. so m nervous


We have made some small changes in the cutoffs and the same will be put up by InsideIIM too. Having said that, this years XAT paper is definitely difficulty than the last years one. The Verbal Section was a nightmare for a lot of them and so was the DM and Quant section. It appeared deceptively easy. Lastly, you may check the Answer Keys of all the institutes and between the institutes there are at least a difference of 10 t0 15 keys in Verbal and DM. Clearly shows that the paper was NOT at all easy.

Anjana Warrier

Hello Sir, this is my second attempt. Sadly I was did much better in all exams last year. I’m scoring 23 in xat. Last year 24 marks fetched me 93 percentile. With 23 this year can I at least expect a call from tapmi?

Team Insideiim

TAPMI looks possible Anjana. You may also fetch a slightly higher percentile as compared to last year.

Team Insideiim

No one can be sure since this is not the official key. But things look good for you is all we can say for now

Team Insideiim

XLRI – BM look tough. HRM borderline. You should apply to other schools under XAT too.


Hello Sir,Can i apply to Tapmi,greatlakes ,IMT G with a score of 20-23.QA 11+, DM 12+ VA-(-0.65- 2) and VA as you said it was a nightmare for me.Kindly help.

Pappu Singh

Hello sir,can i get a call from xlri with a score of overall 42 answers according to the answer key and with a score of 15 in gk …….how gk marks are added????????

Aditya Khandelwal

I am getting 22 accordint to TIME’s key. 27 according to CL’s key and 25.75 according to INSideIIM’s key (All excluding GK) .
Any idea on the expected percentiles for the above mentioned scores ?

Aditya Khandelwal

22 according to TIME’s key. 27 according to CL’s key and 25.75 according to INSideIIM’s key (All excluding GK) .
Any idea on the expected percentiles for the above mentioned scores ?

Akanksha Dwivedi

25 according to cl
27 according to time
24 according to testfunda
25 according to insideiim’s key (excluding gk)
Any idea what will be the expected percentiles for the mentioned scores and which colleges should i apply?

Sai Teja

Hi sir,
My scores are:
32.7 as per CL
30.7 as per Test Funda
28.93 as per IMS
I applied only for XLRI BM/HRM, SP Jain.
Do I have any chance here?

Sarthak Shrivastava

Hello Sir,
According to official answer keys I have scored 33, of which VA-7.5, DM-14 and QA-11.5. What are my chances of getting a call from XLRI and what percentile should I expect?

Mayank Ramnani

Hello Sir,
I am getting different overall scores like CL(27.15) to IMS(25.50), expecting my scores in the range 25-28 would be feasible? How much percentile I may expect and also which good colleges I may expect to get a call from? (FORE,TAPMI,LIBA…)
Can I even hope to get a call from XLRI -HR?
[My profile- 10th- 70.2%, 12th- 66.67% BE-7.82 CGPA Work ex-12 months (Cognizant)]
Please guide me further. Thanks!

Shruti Sinha

hi sir,

qa- 5.25

total 29.25

without considering the 0.05 deduction for 27 unattempted question is 1.35

i am scared that my quant cutoff might not be cleared . please suggest should i prepare for GD PI or next year?

GK -11

applied for HR xlri
category OBC

advice required .. please help