XAT is one of the toughest entrance exams in the country in which accuracy matters more than speed. If you are struggling to manage time in other exams having a good strategy can really make a difference in XAT like it did for me where I secured 99%ile and got admission in Great Lakes Chennai. Usually attempting 40% of the paper with 90% accuracy can help a candidate to score a very good percentile.
Since 2012, the paper has 3 sections- Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Language ability and Decision Making. The number of questions is not announced before the paper and 2013 had a twist in terms of Paper-2 which was General Awareness but it was used for selection only in XLRI and its score is not used for calculating the percentile.
The best way of managing time in XAT is selection and prioritization of questions. The ideal way to distribute the allotted 140 minutes is 55 minutes for quant section, 45 minutes for decision making and 40 minutes for verbal ability. Its usually the quant section which has the highest weightage and is the most time consuming of all and if you are good at quant you can gain a competitive advantage through this section. Again the key is to identify the sitters and avoid the tougher questions. This section has charts, pie diagrams and tables which can be given 15-20 minutes and the rest of the time can be utilized in solving questions related to Averages, Percentages, Time and Distance, Linear Equations etc.
The decision making section is a critical section as many a times well prepared candidates easily clear the other 2 sections but because of lack of exposure to this section they mess up their chances. The key to succeed in this section is to separate the analytical questions like linear arrangements, tables, mathematical cases from questions like critical reasoning and try scoring in the former part as the latter is usually riskier and 45 minutes are sufficient for this section.
The third section of language/verbal ability contains Reading comprehension, Fill in the blank, Sentence Correction, Para-Jumbles etc. The RCs are usually difficult and candidates should try to figure out the easy ones and try scoring on that and should not give more than 20-25 minutes to this section and in the remaining 15-20 minutes they should try to solve the remaining section. The key to succeed is not to take any risk in this section as fill in the blanks and sentence correction can sometimes be very tempting and in return can harm one’s chances, prior practice is required for this section.
So prepare hard and distribute your time well after figuring out the easy questions to score 99%ile + in XAT 2014.
Written by: Pulkit Mehrotra
Great Lakes Institute of Management
PGPM Class of ’14
XAT 2013 99%ile