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How To Crack XAT In The First Attempt
April 29 2024

How to Crack XAT in the First Attempt: Tips and Strategies

Cracking the Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) in the first attempt is a significant milestone for MBA aspirants aspiring to secure admission to premier business schools in India. Known for its rigorous selection process and challenging questions, XAT requires thorough preparation and strategic planning to ace. Here are some tips and strategies to help you crack XAT in your first attempt:

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern: Familiarize yourself with the XAT exam pattern, which typically includes sections such as Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. Understanding the structure and format of the exam will help you plan your preparation more effectively.

  2. Create a Study Plan: Develop a comprehensive study plan that covers all sections of the XAT syllabus. Allocate sufficient time to each section based on your strengths and weaknesses. Break down your study plan into daily or weekly targets to ensure consistent progress.

  3. Focus on Conceptual Clarity: Build a strong foundation in fundamental concepts across all sections. Focus on understanding the underlying principles and theories rather than memorizing formulas or shortcuts. Strengthen your basics to tackle both simple and complex questions with confidence.

  4. Practice Regularly: Practice is key to success in XAT. Solve a variety of mock tests, sample papers, and previous years' question papers to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and types of questions asked. Regular practice will improve your speed, accuracy, and time management skills.

  5. Work on Time Management: Time management is crucial in XAT, as the exam is known for its stringent time limits. Practice solving questions under timed conditions to improve your speed and efficiency. Learn to prioritize questions and allocate time wisely to maximize your score.

  6. Develop Decision-Making Skills: The Decision Making section in XAT requires candidates to analyze complex situations and make sound judgments. Practice solving case-based questions and ethical dilemmas to develop your decision-making skills. Focus on logical reasoning and critical thinking to arrive at well-reasoned solutions.

  7. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: General Knowledge plays a significant role in XAT. Stay updated with current affairs, business news, and global events by reading newspapers, magazines, and online publications regularly. Prepare a habit of noting down important events and revising them periodically.

  8. Mock Tests and Analysis: Take regular mock tests to assess your preparation level and identify areas for improvement. Analyze your performance in mock tests to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on refining your strategy and addressing gaps in your knowledge.

  9. Stay Calm and Confident: Maintain a positive mindset and stay calm during the exam. Avoid panicking if you encounter difficult questions. Trust your preparation and approach each question methodically. Confidence and composure are essential for performing well in XAT.

  10. Seek Guidance if Needed: If you encounter difficulties in any section, don't hesitate to seek guidance from mentors, teachers, or coaching institutes specializing in XAT preparation. Joining a preparatory course or study group can provide valuable insights and support.

Cracking XAT in the first attempt requires dedication, perseverance, and a strategic approach to preparation. By following these tips and strategies, you can maximize your chances of success and achieve your goal of securing admission to a top-notch business school through XAT.



Reasons why you should appear for the XAT Exam:

Most MBA aspirants only consider taking one exam - CAT, but they do not realize how important it is to appear for most of the MBA entrance exams. XAT is the gateway to the top-notch MBA colleges in India, one of the best in XLRI Jamshedpur.  XLRI is considered equivalent to the top 5 IIMs, and most of the time better than IIM Calcutta. So, missing out on this exam doesn’t look like a sound option for the candidates.

The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is one of the most prestigious management entrance exams in India, administered by Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur. With its unique exam pattern, comprehensive syllabus, and reputation for excellence, XAT offers numerous benefits for MBA aspirants. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider appearing for the XAT exam:

  1. Gateway to Top B-Schools: XAT is accepted by over 160 B-schools across India, including XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT, XIMB, and many others. By performing well in XAT, you can gain admission to some of the most prestigious and sought-after business schools in the country.

  2. Comprehensive Assessment: XAT assesses candidates on a wide range of skills and aptitudes, including Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Decision Making, Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. The exam provides a holistic evaluation of candidates' readiness for management education, making it a preferred choice for many institutions.

  3. Unique Exam Pattern: Unlike other management entrance exams, XAT has a unique exam pattern that includes sections like Decision Making and General Knowledge, in addition to the standard Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation. This diverse structure allows candidates to showcase their analytical, decision-making, and general awareness skills.

  4. Emphasis on Decision Making: The Decision Making section in XAT tests candidates' ability to analyze complex situations, evaluate multiple perspectives, and make sound judgments. This reflects the real-world challenges faced by managers, making XAT a preferred choice for business schools seeking candidates with strong decision-making skills.

  5. Opportunity for Non-Engineering Background Students: XAT provides an excellent opportunity for students from non-engineering backgrounds to showcase their aptitude and potential for management education. With its diverse syllabus and emphasis on critical thinking, XAT levels the playing field for candidates from various academic backgrounds.

  6. Flexibility in Choice of Programs: XAT score is accepted not only for MBA programs but also for other management courses such as PGDM, Executive PGDM, and Global MBA. This flexibility allows candidates to explore a wide range of management education options based on their interests, career goals, and preferences.

  7. Recognition and Prestige: XLRI, the conducting body of XAT, is renowned for its academic excellence, industry interface, and alumni network. By appearing for XAT and securing admission to XLRI or other top B-schools, candidates gain access to a prestigious network of professionals, mentors, and recruiters, enhancing their career prospects.

  8. Global Exposure and Opportunities: Several B-schools accepting XAT scores offer international exchange programs, global internships, and collaborations with foreign universities. By pursuing management education through XAT, candidates can gain exposure to global business practices, cultures, and opportunities, enriching their learning experience and expanding their horizons.

In conclusion, appearing for the XAT exam opens doors to a world of opportunities in the field of management education. With its comprehensive assessment, unique exam pattern, and prestigious institutions, XAT remains a preferred choice for MBA aspirants seeking to embark on a rewarding career in business management

Here are 5 reasons why you should appear in the XAT :

  1. Gateway to Top 5 B-Schools. XLRI is the oldest B-school with consistent rankings in the coveted top 5.
  2. Leverage CAT preparation. With a similar syllabus (except for a single section), extensive CAT prep can be effective for the XAT exam.
  3. Bounce Back opportunity. Plan B, in the case of CAT, didn’t go well.
  4. Decision-Making Section. One of the most interesting and practical sections for any Management Aspirant XAT prep will help in B-School.
  5. Other Top Schools accept XAT at a lower percentile than CAT. MICA, XIMB, IMT-G,GIM,JBIMS



XAT 2023 Exam Syllabus:

The syllabus of XAT is not very different from that of CAT, the only difference is in the level of difficulties between the questions of these two exams. In XAT 2023, there will be only one paper, which will consist of objective questions or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The questions will be asked from the four sections, namely- Verbal and Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. There will also be an Essay Writing section that will only be evaluated after the candidate is shortlisted for the PI round.

Here’s the section-wise syllabus of the exam:


Verbal Ability Logical Reasoning Quantitative Ability Data Interpretation Decision Making General Knowledge
Comprehensions Verbal Logic Arithmetic Graphs Business Decisions National and International Affair
Grammar and Applications Clocks, Calendars Profit Loss Charts Ethical Decision Current Affairs
Critical Reasoning Relations Ratio and Proportions Data Analysis Situational Decision Making History, Geography
Vocabulary Arrangements Algebra Comparison HR Based Events, happenings and Important dates
Jumbles Sequence, Series Geometry Tables Condition Based Public Health, Public Policy
Paraphrasing Directions Mensuration, Trigonometry   Complex Arrangement Environmental and Social Issues
  Miscellaneous LR Number and Modern Math   Grouping Based Business Economics
    Number System    Miscellaneous Public Policy
    Probability     Miscellaneous


NOTE: For the Essay Writing section, 2 topics will be given out of which the candidates will be required to choose 1 and write a short essay of not more than 250 words  

XAT 2023 Exam Pattern:

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is one of the most sought-after management entrance exams in India, renowned for its rigorous evaluation and comprehensive assessment of candidates' aptitude and skills. Aspirants preparing for XAT 2024 need to understand the exam pattern thoroughly to devise an effective preparation strategy. Let's delve into the details of the XAT 2024 exam pattern:

XAT 2024 Exam Pattern:

Section Number of Questions Duration
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 165 minutes
Decision Making 21  
Quantitative Ability 28  
Data Interpretation 24  
General Knowledge 25  

Key Highlights:

  1. Total Number of Questions: XAT 2024 will consist of a total of 124 questions across five sections.

  2. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs): The Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation sections will contain MCQs where candidates need to select the correct answer from the given options.

  3. No Negative Marking for GK Section: Unlike other sections, the General Knowledge section in XAT does not have negative marking. This encourages candidates to attempt questions without the fear of penalty for incorrect answers.

  4. Time Allocation: The total duration of the XAT exam is 165 minutes. However, candidates are allowed additional time of 25 minutes specifically for the General Knowledge section, making the total exam duration 190 minutes.

  5. Section-wise Distribution: Each section in XAT 2024 has a specific number of questions, as outlined in the table above. It's essential for candidates to manage their time effectively and prioritize sections based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Preparation Strategy:

  1. Conceptual Understanding: Focus on building a strong foundation in fundamental concepts across all sections, including Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation. Practice solving a variety of questions to improve your problem-solving skills.

  2. Time Management: Practice time management techniques to ensure that you allocate sufficient time to each section during the exam. Prioritize questions based on their difficulty level and your proficiency to maximize your score.

  3. Mock Tests and Practice: Take regular mock tests and practice sample papers to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and types of questions asked. Analyze your performance and identify areas for improvement to refine your preparation strategy.

  4. General Knowledge Preparation: Stay updated with current affairs, business news, and general knowledge topics by reading newspapers, magazines, and online resources regularly. Practice solving previous years' GK questions to get a feel for the type of questions asked in XAT.

By understanding the XAT 2024 exam pattern and adopting a structured preparation strategy, candidates can enhance their chances of performing well and securing admission to their desired management institutes. Effective time management, thorough preparation, and strategic approach are key to success in XAT.

XAT is a computer-based exam, with 100 MCQ-type questions in a time duration of 3 hours (180 minutes). This year, the Essay Writing section is reintroduced, and hence the duration is increased by 10 minutes for writing the essay. In the XAT exam, there is no sectional time limit for the sections Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, and Decision Making, however, for the GK and Essay Writing sections there will be sectional time limits.


Here’s how the XAT exam pattern looks like: 

Section Number of Question Marking Scheme Maximum Marks Sectional Time Limit
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 +1 for Correct answer, -0.25 for Incorrect answer 26 No Sectional Time Limit
Decision Making 21 +1 for Correct answer, -0.25 for Incorrect answer 21 No Sectional Time Limit
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 28 +1 for Correct answer, -0.25 for Incorrect answer 28 No Sectional Time Limit
General Knowledge 25 +1 for Correct answer, no negative marking 25 15 minutes
Total 100   100 180 minutes

NOTE:  For the sections (except GK),  0.10 will be deducted for more than 8 un-attempted questions.  


Strategies to ace XAT in the first attempt:

  • Make sure you are well versed with the syllabus: XAT is one of the toughest MBA entrance exams. It is necessary to begin preparing six to seven months in advance of the XAT 2023 entrance exam to crack XLRI's exam in the first attempt only. Candidates should clearly understand the syllabus and pattern of the exam they intend to take on the day of the exam to begin their preparation on the right foot.
  • Get your concepts clear with the help of courses. The syllabus of XAT is very similar to CAT, but there are more sections in XAT than in CAT. The Decision Making Section requires a lot of conceptual knowledge and practice. Hence, candidates are advised to take the help of teachers or courses for this section. 

CATKing provides great courses for XAT that’ll ensure your good percentile score in the exam. 

  • Taking Mock and Sectional Tests is very important: Mock Tests are a great way to assess your preparation, also sectional tests help you to sharpen your concepts.
  • Inculcate a Reading habit: XAT comprises General Knowledge and Essay Writing section, which requires extensive reading and understandability. Read newspapers, articles, and magazines to widen your range of awareness, also it will help you boost your range of vocabulary which is again very important for the XAT Verbal Ability section.
  • And lastly, be consistent with your preparation and practice the previous year's question papers.
Anisha Mukhija

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