XAT 2014: Shorter paper, ‘discriminatory’ questions and GK to be part of main test

The Xavier Aptitude Test (2014) paper will have a few minor changes. To begin with, GK will be made part of the main test and not a separate paper like last year, when it was introduced. This also means that the main test which was of a 2 hours and 20 minutes duration last year will now be 2 hours and 40 minutes (the exact time is yet to be fixed, could be anything from 2 hours 30-40 minutes).
Last year, the duration for GK plus essay test was 40 minutes, which meant the total test duration of XAT 2013 was 3 hours instead of 2.5 hours during XAT 2012. Essay will have 20 minutes duration. Another big change is that while XAT 2013 had 121 questions ( 91 + 30 GK), XAT 2014 will have some 85-90 plus 20 GK questions . This has been done also to accommodate GK in the first Section itself. Prof Vishwa Ballabh, who is Admission Chairperson with Xavier Institute of Management (XLRI) added that the paper is going to be longer to accommodate GK as part of the main paper. “The GK marks however will not be part of the paper assessment. They will only be taken into account during the Personal Interview, not earlier.”
Regarding the questions, Prof Ballabh said that they will be discriminatory in nature. “ It will vary in difficulty levels- some easy, some tough and others. We have to keep a wide range of applicants in mind and at the same time the minimum requirement of the course should not be neglected,” he said. Contrary to tradition, XAT 2013 was comparatively an easy paper. And that possibly resulted in the institute getting a huge number of applicants from Social Sciences for this academic year. “We finally want to groom managers who are not only smart but also sensitive,” said Prof Ballabh.
The pattern of questions thus will be almost similar to last year. XLRI is certain that the upcoming exam will be pen and paper like the previous years. “A lot of candidates are still not too familiar with computers and online tests and we do not want anyone to be left out because of this,” added Prof Ballabh adding that a paper test gives a level playing field to all candidates.

The main test areas for XAT 2014 will still be Quant, Verbal Reasoning and Decision Making, like in the previous years. The application process will begin from August 12 to November 22 and XAT will held on January 5, 2014, which is a Sunday.