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How To Crack XAT In The First Attempt
November 02 2023

XAT 2023 registrations have begun on August 10, 2022, and the exam will be held on January 8, 2023.  XAT, Xavier Aptitude Test is a very popular MBA entrance exam among MBA aspirants. The exam is a national-level management entrance examination conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur for admission to MBA/PGDM programs. The scores of XAT are accepted by some of the best MBA colleges in India such as XLRI, XIMB, and other XAMI member colleges. XLRI is one of the best B-Schools in India and a dream college for many MBA aspirants. Even though XAT is considered the most difficult MBA entrance exam in India, still with the help of the right strategies, study plans, and time management the candidate can easily crack the exam on the first attempt.




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.

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:

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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