XAT 2017 New Pattern Revealed

XLRI has revealed the XAT 2017 pattern today. The new pattern is in line with what was expected but a few changes were made. Below is the XAT 2017 pattern and 2016 pattern to compare the changes –

Exam pattern changes:

Part 1 Time Section A (Part 1) Section B (Part 1) Section C (Part 1) Part 1 Total Q’s Part II Time GK Q’s (Part 2)
XAT 2017 170 min 24 21 27 72 35 min 25
XAT 2016 170 min 26 23 29 78 35 min 25


  • The total number of questions in XAT 2017 has been decreased to 72 from 78 (in XAT 2016).
  • The decrease has happened across all the three sections in part 1.
  • Each section (A, B and C) has a decrease of 2 questions totaling a total of 6 questions decrease.
  • There is no change in the number of options for each question. This remains at 5 options for each question.

Marking Scheme Changes:

– There is no change in terms of marks awarded for each correct question. This still remains +1.

– There is also no change in terms of marks awarded for each incorrect question. This also remains at -0.25.

– There is a small change in the negative mark awarded for each un-attempted question. This year, a student is allowed to leave a maximum of 12 questions without incurring penalty for leaving them un-attempted; this means from the 13th question onwards, there will be a penalty for leaving questions un-attempted. Last year, this limit was 13 questions and the penalty was applicable from the 14th question onwards.

– The penalty value remains the same at -0.05 per un-attempted question post the limit of 12 un-attempted questions

VistaMind’s take on the pattern change and its implications:

  • With fewer questions to solve, the students who are non-engineers will find the paper a bit difficult.
  • The decrease in the number of questions and no change in exam time may imply that the paper can be expected to be a bit more analytical in nature where answers will not be straight forward. (This should not come as a surprise to students as anyone who has analysed XAT for the past 3 years would have noticed that the number of questions has been decreasing and the average difficulty level of the exam has been increasing.)

Impact on cutoffs: This pattern change will lead to a decrease in cutoffs compared to XAT 2016. While the last year cutoff for XLRI was around 29-31, assuming a similar paper, these figures could go down to 27-29.

You can read the first page of the XAT paper disclosed by XLRI here – http://xatonline.net.in/pages/xat_qp_pattern.aspx




About the Author:

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the CEO of VistaMind Education. VistaMind is the only National Level Training institute, which prepares students for CAT through LIVE ONLINE CLASSES. For more information, write to info@vistamind.com OR Visit cat.vistamind.com.

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.