The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2020 exam conducted by the XLRI Jamshedpur will be held on 5th January 2020 across the country. The XAT exam is one of the most prestigious MBA exams in India. With around 1 lakh students appearing for the exam every year, the XAT is also one of the well-known exams amongst MBA aspirants.

The XAT 2020 becomes more crucial for those candidates who are not satisfied with their CAT attempt. As only a couple of days are remaining before such an important exam, one should utilise his/her time very well.

If you are going to appear for this exam, you should read the last minute preparation tips for the XAT 2020. Keep reading to find out how the 99+ percentile scorers prepared for XAT.


For a good attempt in any exam, you need months of practice and lots of revisions. You have prepared for this day for months and it’s time to go through all your notes once again. Reserve the day before the exam entirely for revision. Prepare a rigid schedule for the Revision Day the day before and adhere to it strictly.

Also, now is not the time to read a new topic. Focus completely on what you have studied till now. Be sure to go through all your notes at least thrice before arriving at the exam centre.

Short Tricks for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation(DI)

For a section like quant and DI, one needs time to work out the solution. Depending on the difficulty of the question, it can also take up to 10 minutes. However, using short trick methods for solving various quant and DI problems can save both your time and day.

If you know the shortcuts, you won’t have to devote a minute or two to figure out the math. You will get the answers in a few seconds and use the time to solve a difficult problem. Dedicate an entire hour of your Revision day to go through all the short tricks related to quant and DI.

Time Management

In a competitive exam like XAT, time management becomes extremely important. Try to use shortcut tricks for as many questions as you can. Even though students can be a little relieved about not having any sectional time limit for XAT 2020, the time duration for the entire paper has been reduced to 3 hours from 3 and a half.

All candidates will get 165 minutes to complete the first three sections. You can assign 50 to 55 minutes for each section to restrict yourself from over-focusing on only one section.


Every student has his/ her strengths and weaknesses. Believe in your strengths as your strong areas are going to get you more marks. Don’t attempt unsure questions in the beginning. Attempt the easy questions before the difficult ones.

GK section

This is the section for which you will possibly get the least amount of time. Since you can move to the GK section only after completing the first three, you have to be quick but decisive while attempting this section. Reserve 2 hours of your Revision Day for reading about all the significant current events. From sports to the latest discoveries, try to read and remember the most important events of national importance. Even though the marks obtained from the GK section are not included in the XAT percentile, it will be a determining factor for shortlisting the candidates for the final list. Thus, the GK section becomes as much important as the other three sections.

Stay Calm

There is absolutely no reason for you to panic in the exam hall after leading a long comprehension or a difficult DI problem. Relax and read the paragraph again with a clear mind. If a quant problem cannot be solved by short tricks, take your time( although not too much) to figure out the solution.

Important changes for XAT 2020

Keep the following changes in mind before appearing for the XAT 2020 exam:-

  • There will be a deduction of 0.05 mark for every unattempted question after 8 unattempted questions.
  • There will be no essay writing section for the 2020 exam.
  • The total duration of the paper has been reduced from 3 and a half hours to 3 hours.
  • Candidates will get an additional option of Numerical Answer Type (NAT) for entering the numerical answers via a virtual keypad.
  • Candidates can attempt the GK section only after attempting the first three sections.

Is XAT tougher than CAT?

A common question that every MBA aspirant ponders over while preparing for both the examinations. Both the exams have moderate to difficult level questions and are not something that one should take lightly. The common notion is that the XAT exam is tougher because it has 4 sections as compared to the 3 sections of CAT paper.

Decision making and GK are both unique to XAT and are also an additional reason why the common notion prevails. A candidate will think thrice before leaving many questions unattempted as the XAT 2020 will deduct 0.05 mark for every unattempted question beyond 8.

However, the marks deducted for a wrong exam is more in CAT (-1) than XAT(0.25). The XAT exam also doesn’t have any sectional time limit as compared to CAT which is a relief for all the students.

Taking all these factors into account, it is very difficult to say which exam is tougher as both have their pros and cons. One thing can be said for certain:- one has to study well and work hard for both the exams.

How did the 99+ percentile scorers prepare for XAT?

How did the toppers prepare for their XAT exam? Do the XAT toppers have any unique strategy? The answers to these questions can be found on the XLRI website itself. A section called ‘XAT Topper Tips’ has been posted on the xatonline website by the XLRI to help candidates prepare for the exam.

Find some of the topper tips below:-

  • Sarthak Kumar, one of the 2018 XAT toppers with a 99.95 percentile has remarked, “My target was to practice as many questions as possible and give as many mocks as possible.”
  • When asked about her strategy, Noor Gupta, another XAT 2018 topper has said that she used to give the test series along with her preparation so that nothing was left for the last moment. She also used to practice decision making every day for 1 to 2 hours as she considered it as her weakest section.
  • Aditya Ganesh, a XAT topper with 99.4 percentile described the decision to appear for XAT a last moment decision. He advises to practice Decision Making by solving previous year question papers and keeping in mind the practical and ethical solutions.


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