How to Prepare and Score 99 Percentile in XAT Exam

The Xavier Aptitude Test, commonly known as XAT is an annual, national entrance examination conducted by XLRI. MBA aspirants may use their XAT score for applying to more than 100 other management institutions. Held on the first Sunday of the year, XAT 2020 will be conducted online.

In the XAT 2020 exam pattern, candidates need to attempt 97 Multiple Choice Questions and an Essay Topic. Duration of XAT is three and a half hours.

XAT is similar to MAT, but the differences are:

  1. No on-screen calculator in XAT
  2. Attempt questions in your preferred order. There is no sectional timing
  3. You will lose -0.05 marks for each unanswered question, after 12 unanswered questions

For one-step ease, here is your XAT 2020 Exam Pattern:

 Part-A sections:

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

Part-B sections:

  1. General Knowledge
  2. Essay Writing

Now that the logistics are out of the way let us tell you how to maximize your XAT score!

Ever heard that age-old adage “Practise makes one perfect?” For XAT 2020, practice is your smartest technique. Solve the previous years’ question papers rigorously, tediously and methodically. This will help you adapt to various patterns and difficulty-levels. Soon you will identify the areas which need your attention for improvement and sections where you will triumph.

However, it is to be noted that for every wrong answer you will lose -0.25 mark, whereas leaving the question unanswered will lose -0.05 mark, that too after 12 unanswered ones. Hence, a good suggestion here would be not to attempt a question if you are unsure about the answer.

Here’s why – After you skip 12, if you leave another 5 questions, then you will lose -0.25 in total, but if you answer one wrong answer, then you will lose -0.25. There’s your logical reasoning already! Speaking of which, here’s how to approach each section:

XAT Cutoff 2020

Decision Making:

Anyone with a decent comprehension skill will find this section interesting and easy to attempt. Usually, 50-55 minutes for this section is more than enough. In a typical DM question, identify the constraints and the objectives to be met. It is a good idea to tick the option which fulfils the purpose. Remember that in case the DM is long, they are still easy to crack!

This section may also include DM Case-lets requiring Mathematical Interpretation. Do not be intimidated, irrespective of the length or the complexity of the question. Not more than an extra 5-7 minutes should suffice.

Stay connected with fellow students on PaGaLGuY for XAT 2019 | XLRI 2019 – Admit Card, Exam, Result

Verbal Ability:

Chances are you hate it, but you have no choice. One is supposed to attempt the CR and RC in XAT. Once again, dedicate 50-55 minutes to this section. Read passages twice to understand what is exactly being asked in a question. Solve PJs, fill up the blanks and grammar first, then RC passages and CR questions.

Quant & DI:

XAT may have novelty in DI with some unseen graphs and pictorial depictions and hence cracking them could be time-taking but rest assured they are not complicated. Unlike verbal where everybody believes that s/he knows something about it, if one does not know maths, one simply does not know it. Be selective, solve DI first and then pick the questions from your area of strength.


A score of 6-8 is sufficient in GK, and it does not require more than 10 minutes. How to prepare? Keep your eyes and ears open for the last 90 days. Be aware, register events.

Essay Writing:
Analyze the topic deeply and state your opinions. Language skills are also necessary for this topic.


  1. Solve the previous 5 years’ XAT papers under actual exam conditions and analyze your performance. Focus on Decision Making questions
  2. Write at least 4 Mock Test in two weeks
  3. Focus on Grammar and Critical Reasoning for Verbal and RC sections
  4. Revisit all the concepts for Quants
  5. For GK focus on Current Affairs on the previous 3 months’ happenings
    Remember to take your mocks in an exam-like situation and dedicate time to analyze your answers. Along with preparation for other MBA entrance exams, XAT should be a cakewalk!

Stay alert, revise and all the best

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