If there were a priority list for MBA entrance exams, for most aspirants, XAT would miss out on the top spot by just a whisker. The exam is a gateway to one of India's top ranked business schools, XLRI, as well as numerous other elite management institutes. However, as testtakers will tell you, one doesn't simply breeze through the XAT question paper. In fact, some testtakers opine that XAT may even be a notch tougher than CAT! In this article, we review what you can expect from one of the most dreaded sections in this exam  Quantitative Ability, and how you can maximize your XAT 2020 Quant scores!
XAT 2020  Quantitative Ability Section  What To Expect
Based on patterns observed in previous years' papers, the following is a summary of what XAT 2020 aspirants can expect in the Quantitative Ability section:
 Over the past 5 years, XAT has been dominated by questions from Geometry and Mensuration, including concepts that are not tested in CAT such as Trigonometry. Questions are not always straightforward, and concepts of Geometry have previously been combined with Modern Mathematics, Arithmetic, etc. On average, in the past 5 years, XAT has consisted of 7 questions from this topic, making it one of the most important topics to maximize your scores in the QA section. Testtakers can expect the same pattern to be repeated in the XAT 2020 Quant section.
 Along with Geometry and Mensuration, testtakers must become proficient in solving Data Interpretation questions, since these form a large chunk of the DIQA section in XAT. Once again, these questions are not straightforward and can become calculation intensive. Candidates who have performed relatively well in the DILR section of CAT 2019 should find little difficulty in solving DI sets in XAT.
 Questions based on Arithmetic concepts have featured in significant numbers over the past years, including and especially from topics such as Time, Speed and Distance, Time and Work, Profit and Loss, and Ratios, Proportions, Variations among others.
 Testtakers must also be prepared for certain topics that are not tested in other major examinations like CAT, such as Statistics.
Preparing for XAT 2020? Take a look at XAT question papers from the past 8 years here. Also read this indepth analysis of XAT 2019 by Career Launcher.
XAT 2020  What Is A Good Number of Attempts For The Quantitative Ability Section?
The XAT 2020 paper pattern is unlikely to change as compared to XAT 2019, and no notification related to a change in paper pattern has been released by XLRI Jamshedpur. Based on the difficulty level of the QA section in the past 5 years, the following is an estimate of a good number of attempts with 80% accuracy to crack the QA section of XAT:
Note  The following table encapsulates data that is an estimate based on assessments carried out by leading and reputed MBA portals in India, and the number of good attempts may vary for the XAT 2020 Quant section.
XAT Quantitative Ability Review  Number of Good Attempts 

Year  Total No. of Questions  Number of good attempts 
2019  27  1820 
2018  27  1820 
2017  27  1820 
2016  29  1719 
2015  33  1820 
XAT Quantitative Ability Section Review  Previous Years' CutOffs
The following were the cutoffs for the QA section of XAT conducted in 2019 and 2018. The cutoffs differ for male and female candidates, and have been segregated accordingly.
XAT Quantitative Ability CutOffs: Male Candidates
XAT Quantitative Ability Sectional CutOffs  Male Candidates  
QA CutOff (Percentile)  Overall CutOff (Percentile)  
Year  Number of Questions  BM  HRM  BM  HRM 
2019  27  90  72  96  94 
2018  27  88.7  70  94  92 
XAT Quantitative Ability CutOffs: Female Candidates
XAT Quantitative Ability Sectional CutOffs  Female Candidates  
QA CutOff (Percentile)  Overall CutOff (Percentile)  
Year  Number of Questions  BM  HRM  BM  HRM 
2019  27  75  67  95  93 
2018  27  80  65  94  92 
XAT 2019  Quantitative Ability Section Review
The following was the analysis of XAT 2019's QA section by leading MBA portals in India:
 TIME  "The section had a mix of few easy and mostly moderatedifficult questions. There were quite a number of questions which were tricky and required a thorough understanding of concepts; few others required intensive calculations also."
 CL  "Questions from Arithmetic were doable whereas the ones on Geometry were difficult. In DI, there were 2 sets comprising 6 questions in total. Few questions were ambiguous. One DI question on the proportion of Economists and that of Engineers was incorrect. One QA question on roots was incorrect since x was mentioned in the root. Students could have attempted 23 DI questions and 1315 Quant questions in about 6570 minutes."
 IMS  "This section had a few sitters, which should not have been left. Some questions were difficult with close options. 1 question in one DI set could not be answered because of inadequate/ambiguous data, as per students’ feedback. An attempt of about 1819 questions (with about 80 percent accuracy) in about 55 minutes would be considered a good attempt."
XAT 2019  Quantitative Ability Review 

Topic  No. of Questions 
Geometry & Mensuration  6 
Data Interpretation  6 
Coordinate Geometry  2 
Data Sufficiency  2 
Statistics  1 
Profit & Loss  1 
Quadratic Equations  1 
Logarithms  1 
Indices and Surds  1 
Percentages  1 
Simple Interest & Compound Interest  1 
Inequalities And Modulus  1 
Ratio, Proportion and Variation  1 
Number Systems  1 
Miscellaneous  1 
Total  27 
XAT 2018  Quantitative Ability Section Review
The following was the analysis of XAT 2018's QA section by leading MBA portals in India:
 TIME  "The section was a mix of mostly easy and a few moderatedifficult questions. There were only a few questions which were tricky and required a thorough understanding of concepts. The section was overall lower in difficulty level compared to last year’s Quant section. There were six questions from two DI sets and both these sets were of moderate difficulty level. The questions were easy to solve, however, the scrolling up and down to look at the data made it a little difficult for the students to comprehend the information given in the sets. With slightly easier section as compared to last year’s, the number of attempts is bound to go up. An attempt of 1820 with an accuracy of about 80% can be considered to be a good bet."
 IMS  "Students have reported that at least 2 questions (one each on Progressions and Circles) were ambiguous. There were two Data Interpretation sets, with 3 questions each. One set was a logical Data Interpretation based on a hockey tournament, which was rather simple. The other set consisted of as many as 4 graphs with multiple data sets. That set should have been attempted only after attempting other questions if time permitted. Overall, the level of difficulty of the section was slightly lower than that of XAT2017. In 60 minutes, about 1920 attempts with 80%85% accuracy will be considered good."
XAT 2018  Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation Review  
Topic  No. of Questions 
Data Interpretation  6 
Geometry & Mensuration  4 
Number Systems  2 
Data Sufficiency  2 
Time, Speed and Distance  2 
Time & Work  1 
Profit & Loss  1 
Averages, Mixtures, Alligations  1 
Trigonometry  1 
Ratio, Proportion and Variation  1 
Simple Equations  1 
Inequalities And Modulus  1 
Set Theory  1 
Quadratic Equations  1 
Probability  1 
Number Series  1 
Total  27 
Take a look at the XAT 2018 question paper here.
XAT 2017  Quantitative Ability Section Review
The following was the analysis of XAT 2017's QA section by leading MBA portals in India:
 CL  "The section on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation was slightly easier than last year’s. However, one of the DI set was quite tricky. There were 17 questions of QA and most of them were from Geometry and Algebra. Majority of the questions from Arithmetic were doable whereas the questions on Geometry were difficult in nature. There were two case let questions based on sports. In Data Interpretation, there were 2 sets comprising 8 questions in total. There were a few questions which were a little ambiguous. In a nutshell, one could have attempted 46 DI questions and 1416 Quant questions in 55 minutes."
 IMS  "Questions on Quantitative Ability were dominated by Geometry, Modern Mathematics and Arithmetic. There was one Data Sufficiency set with two questions. Unlike in XAT2016, no questions were confusing and/or incorrect. There were two Data Interpretation sets, with 4 questions each. The set on Table was fairly calculation intensive but doable. The other set on Tables and Scatter Plot was very complicated in terms of the representation of the data. This set tested the concepts in statistics. Students, who were familiar with the concepts such as correlation, mode etc. would have found the set manageable. This set should have been best left. Overall, the level of difficulty of the section was slightly lower as compared to XAT2016. In 60 minutes, about 1517 attempts with 80% accuracy will be considered good."
XAT 2017  Quantitative Ability Review  
Topic  No. of Questions 
Data Interpretation  8 
Geometry, Mensuration  4 
Data Sufficiency  2 
Simple Equations  2 
Number Systems  1 
Time, Speed and Distance  1 
Time & Work  1 
Trigonometry  1 
MaximaMinima  1 
Set Theory  1 
Probability  1 
Functions  1 
Sequence and Series  1 
Indices & Surds  1 
Miscellaneous  1 
Total  27 
Take a look at the XAT 2017 question paper here.
XAT 2016  Quantitative Ability Section Review
The following was the analysis of XAT 2016's QA section by leading MBA portals in India:
 IMS  "The Quantitative AbilityData Interpretation section was slightly easier than XAT2015. Questions on Quantitative Ability were dominated by Geometry and Arithmetic. At least two questions on Arithmetic also combined the concepts of Geometry. There were four questions on Numbers, out of which one question was incorrect. Further, there were three questions on Modern Mathematics. There was no question on Logarithms, PermutationCombination or Probability. One question was on Logical Data Sufficiency.There were two Data Interpretation sets, one with 4 questions and the other with 3 questions. The set with 4 questions on salaries involved a complex combination of a box plot and line graph with medium to difficult questions. The other set with 3 questions on crops had a table and was characterized by Easy to Medium level of difficulty questions. The set on table should have been attempted while the set on box plot should have been attempted at the end. Overall, the level of difficulty of the section was slightly lower as compared to XAT2015. In 60 minutes, about 1719 attempts with 80% accuracy will be considered good."
 TIME  "The set was a mix of doable and difficult questions. There were questions which were tricky as well and there were some which could have done with slightly better clarity (the tiles question and the question on pipes). The questions required a thorough understanding of concepts. The section was overall, a lot more doable than the last year's QADI. There were 8 questions from DI in 2 sets and both these sets were tough to crack. The set on categorization can do with more clarity and the set on salaries had a thoroughly confusing graph. Both these sets were best left out. Ideal time distribution for the section would be around 50 min."
XAT 2016  Quantitative Ability Review  
Topic  No. of Questions 
Data Interpretation  7 
Geometry & Mensuration  7 
Number Systems  4 
Time, Speed and Distance  3 
Data Sufficiency  2 
Time & Work  1 
Profit & Loss  1 
Ratio, Proportion and Variation  1 
Set Theory  1 
Probability  1 
Functions  1 
Total  29 
Take a look at the XAT 2016 question paper here.
XAT 2015  Quantitative Ability Section Review
The following was the analysis of XAT 2016's QA section by leading MBA portals in India:
 IMS  "The section was characterized by majorly easy to medium Quantitative Ability questions and difficult Data Interpretation questions. Quantitative Ability was dominated by Geometry, Modern Mathematics and Arithmetic questions. There was no question on Logarithms or Permutation and Combination. There was one question on Data Sufficiency. One question on Number Theory (factorials) was confusing. There were two Data Interpretation sets of 4 questions each. One set on tables was significantly calculationintensive while the other Data Interpretation set contained multiple graphs and was fairly complicated. Both the Data Interpretation sets were best left to be attempted at the end. Overall, the level of difficulty of the section was lower as compared to XAT2014. In 5055 minutes, about 1820 attempts with 80% accuracy will be considered good."
 CL  "The section on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation was slightly more difficult than last year’s. There were 25 questions of QA and most of them were from Geometry, Algebra, Number System and Arithmetic. Majority of the questions from Arithmetic were doable whereas the questions on Geometry and Algebra were difficult in nature. There was one question based on directions whose language was ambiguous. One could have attempted 911 questions (QA) in 3540 minutes. In Data Interpretation, there were 2 sets of 4 questions each. One out of these two sets was based on unusual graphs. The other tablebased set that required intensive calculation was doable and the first two questions of this set could be easily attempted.
In a nutshell, one could have attempted 35 DI questions in 2025 minutes."
XAT 2015  Quantitative Ability Review  
Topic  No. of Questions 
Data Interpretation  8 
Geometry & Mensuration  8 
Number Systems  3 
Sequence & Series  2 
Functions  2 
Data Sufficiency  1 
Profit & Loss  1 
Averages, Mixtures, Alligations  1 
Trigonometry  1 
Simple Equations  1 
Simple Interest & Compound Interest  1 
Probability  1 
Percentages  1 
Statistics  1 
MaximaMinima  1 
Total  33 
Take a look at the XAT 2015 question paper here.
Have questions about the XAT paper pattern, or the Bschools that accept XAT scores? Find answers to your questions here.
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