Exam Analysis: XAT 2016- MBA entrance preparation

Exam Analysis: XAT 2016- MBA entrance preparation

XAT is conducted every year in January. This is done by Xavier School of Management, Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI). A paper-based test, XAT is conducted on a single day. XAT 2016 was conducted on 3rd January 2016, 10:30 A.M. to 13:30 P.M.

XAT scores are used by more than 100 institutes for admissions in MBA courses. It is one of the toughest MBA Entrances Tests. Let’s have a look at the analysis of XAT that was conducted this year.

XAT 2016 was different in certain ways as compared to XAT 2015.

XAT 2016- analysis- 1

XAT 2016- analysis- 1

Total Time: 170 mins

Number of Options: 5

Negative Marking: Yes. 1/4th of the total marks for a question were deducted.

Note: NO NEGATIVE MARKS for the General Awareness section.

XAT 2016 had a major change as compared to 2015. A penalty of 0.05 was deducted for every question that was left un-attempted after the first 13 un-attempted questions.

XAT Authorities had earlier announced a much simpler paper for XAT 2016. However, a lot of language questions were quite incomprehensible. This came as a surprise for most of the students.



Verbal Ability & Logical Ability

Pretty Tough

XAT Verbal Ability is usually pretty tough, and this year, it was no different. In fact, Verbal Ability seemed tougher than ever this year. This was despite the fact that it contained fewer questions as compared to last year. The questions were brilliantly designed. One would have had to read the question carefully to accurately decipher what is given, and then proceed by eliminating the options.


12 questions – English Usage, Vocabulary, Grammar, Reasoning

14 questions – Reading Comprehension (4 passages)


Eliminating options would have been necessary in certain Reading Comprehension questions. This was true for the critical reasoning questions as well. Para-jumbles were moderate and should have been attempted by all. The Reading Comprehension passage on Experimentation was definitely avoidable. This was  due to the difficulty level of the content and the questions. Attempting at least 18 questions with 75-80% accuracy, in 45 mins, was necessary to get a good score. Since, XAT encouraged students to maximize their attempts this year, attempting a few more questions would have helped in the total score.


Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning



Decision Making section was similar to the previous year. No long passages this year. Question Sets had additional information in the form of sentences and paragraphs. This was a relief for the students. Attempting the sets would have been as per student’s preference. Shorter sets meant that attempts would be higher this year.
Questions demanded students to make practical decisions to select the correct option. The set on HR had a few tricky questions.


Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation


This section was slightly easier than last year. Geometry and Arithmetic dominated this section. Arithmetic questions were moderate. Geometry and algebra questions were a bit tough. Overall, this section was easier than Verbal Ability and Decision Making. Students familiar with CAT would have been prepared for this section. There were in total, 4 questions on Numbers. Out of this 1 was incorrect. Logarithms, PnC and Probability were absent in this section, this year. Again, eliminating options would have helped to maximize your score. There was 1 question related to Data Sufficiency. A good attempt would be 15-17 questions in 35-40 mins.

Data interpretation had 7 questions distributed in 2 sets. One could have attempted around two to four questions in DI in a span of 20-25 minutes.



General Awareness


General Awareness was difficult as compared to last year. 2-3 questions could be considered easy. Questions contained a balance of national and international events. Most of the questions were single statements. Questions containing multiple statements had more than one correct answer. Students would have had to know each statement independently. Most of the questions dealt with the events and happenings in 2015. A student with good knowledge of multiple areas would have scored well in this section. Options were pretty close to each other. The student had to be careful in selecting them. The topics covered were Geography, Business, Economy, Budget, famous personalities and new inventions. Three questions were concerned with The Middle East. No questions on history, sports and polity. Most of the candidates would have spent 15-20 minutes on this section. A good attempt would be 10-11 questions at the least.




Topic: “Technology and Nature are natural enemies”

An interesting Topic. Students had the flexibility in selecting their view point while writing the essay. A good start to the essay would be with a quote. The structure should usually begin with an introduction. This should be followed by two paragraphs discussing the argument. It should then end with a solid conclusion. The topic was easy as compared to previous years, wherein the topic used to be abstract/philosophical. Despite the topic being a bit easy, the quality of the essay would depend on the language in which it was written. A few examples would have helped in increasing the quality.



XAT 2016 Cut-offs


 xat-analysis-2016-4-p1 xat-analysis-2016-4-p2












Overall cut-offs for some other institutes were as follows:

GIM [26-28]

IMT [29-31]

Great Lakes [26-38]


Related Links:

XAT 2014 analysis | XAT: An Overview | XAT 2011 Analysis

Essay Topics for XAT | XAT 2013 Analysis



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