What is XAT exam?



XAT – Xavier Aptitude Test is one amongst the most important All India Management Entrance Tests for aspiring candidates, conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur. XAT is one of the oldest competitive examinations within the country and has kept pace with dynamic times by introducing and implementing the latest testing methodologies.  XLRI has been conducting these tests for more than 60 years at All India level, for students aspiring to become Management Graduates.  

The tests are conducted in more than 75 cities; Around 150 prestigious institutions all over India accept XAT scores. More than 90,000 candidates appear for this test every year.  

Difference between XAT and CAT exams

CAT, Common Admission Test is an All India computer-based exam.  Both CAT and XAT scores are accepted in B-Schools and other prestigious institutions. One of the key differences between XAT and CAT is the way the questions are designed, based on the various topics and sections.  While the CAT does not have the decision making and general knowledge sections, XAT exam has two separate sections on these topics. XAT is considered to be more difficult than CAT because of the sections and pattern adopted.

XAT 2020

XAT 2020 online exam will be held on Sunday, January 05, 2020. Details of examination centres and other information are available on www.shiksha.com.

XAT Eligibility Criteria 

An applicant should have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university to apply for this exam.  Also, candidates who are appearing for final exams of graduation from any recognized university can apply for this test.  For any further details, please log on to www.shiksha.com.

How to apply for XAT Exams?

XAT exam applications are available online and can be downloaded by the candidate for update and submission. The last date of submission is also mentioned online. Application Fee needs to be paid online or through NEFT along with the application.

XAT Syllabus

The XAT Question paper is structured as follows:

Part A

  1. Verbal and Logical Ability
  2. Decision Making
  3. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Part B

  1. General Knowledge 
  2. Essay Writing

Now, let’s talk about these topics in a little detail –

  1. Verbal and Logical Ability: This section tests the reasoning skills of the student; hence, it is important to read the question carefully and answer the same accordingly.  Vocabulary does not play an important role in this section, but reading skills is vital. This section will contain 24 questions, with a 56-minute time frame.
  2. Decision Making: This is an interesting part of XAT questions.  Different scenarios will be given, for which, decisions need to be made.  The scenarios can be based on Employee issues, Financial matters, Revenue, Ethical issues etc.
  3. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation: This section pertains to Arithmetic, Numbers, Algebra, Data Interpretation, Probability, Functions, and Geometry. Practice makes a man perfect, so, ensure that you work on the earlier years question papers from this section.
  4. General Knowledge:  This section will contain 25 questions, and questions from current affairs can be expected.  Awards received/given an author’s names can also form a part of GK.
  5. Essay Writing: Language skills are essential in this topic.  The candidate has to be abreast with current affairs and should be able to analyze the topic and provide opinions.  Reading newspapers with a focus on the editorial will help the candidate in this section.

How to prepare for XAT Exams?

The practice is very crucial prior to appearing for the XAT exams.  The best way to do this is by solving previous years’ question papers.  This will give you a better understanding of what to expect in the exams.  By practising the mock tests, candidates will be able to identify his strengths and weaknesses and can work on the areas that require improvement.  Mock tests will also help him/her to build confidence and speed, which is an important factor to achieve success in this exam.  

There are many books available in the market which will help a candidate to prepare for the exams.  Details of the titles and other study materials are available on www.shiksha.com. Additionally, XAT e-Books and XAT sample papers are also available online.

The XAT exams are normally held for a duration of three and a half hours.  There are 97 Multiple Choice questions and Essay Writing. A candidate can leave 12 questions unanswered, but for every wrong answer, there is a negative marking of -0.25, and for every question unattempted, there will be a negative marking of -0.05.  Therefore, the candidate needs to be 100% sure of the answers before he/she finalizes on the same. It would be a better option to leave the question unattempted than to answer it wrong.


XAT Exam is considered to be tougher than CAT because of the level of questions in each section. Hence, preparation for the exam is critical.  A candidate needs to study the pattern of questions carefully to determine the complexity of the exam.