XAT 2019 Exam in-depth Analysis

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The second edition of the online XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) exam lived up to the traditional XAT standards! As was already announced by XAT authorities in advance, the major change in the XAT 2019 format was the absence of the essay writing section. The negative marking for questions not attempted went up to 0.10 from compared to 0.05 that was prevalent for the last three years.

Despite minor hiccups and unpleasantness at some centres, the check-in process seemed quite smooth. A quick frisking was followed by admit card check and biometric registration. Instructions about marking and paper pattern were also being announced through loudspeakers in the exam hall. (Some centres reported incorrect instructions being announced.) The instructions page carried the instruction about NAT (Numerical Answer Type) questions, but there was not a single NAT question in the paper which took the test takers by surprise. The test conduction was otherwise smooth, and unlike last year, no technical glitches were experienced.

XAT 2019 Detailed Analysis:

There were two parts in the XAT 2019 – Part A and Part B. Part A had 26 questions of Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, 21 questions of Decision Making and 27 questions of Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. This break up was exactly the same as that of last year. The time allotted for this part was 165 minutes (with no sectional time limit). Part B had 25 questions of General awareness to be answered in 15 minutes. There was no break provided between the two parts like last year.

A tougher than last year Quant + DI, a moderate Decision-Making section, a slightly easier than last year Verbal section and the absence of Analytical Reasoning were the highlights of XAT 2019.

Part A:

Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning: (26 Qs)

This section had 26 questions with 4 RCs and one poem making for 15 questions and 11 questions of Verbal Ability. The RCs were from the subjects of Psychology, Women Empowerment, Art and poetry. One of the Psychology passages dealt with mood and elevation as an inspiring emotion and the second Psychology passage discussed the idea of the creative occupations being predominated by people with bipolar disorders. Both these passages were about 550+ words but were easier to comprehend. The RC on people’s flippant judgments about art being a reflection of their own inadequacies was also one that could be attempted. The difficult RC was the one on women empowerment and the sexism attached to public language. Both these RCs were about 600+ words. Something that was impossible to crack was the poem by Sylvia Plath ‘Crossing the River’.  For anyone aware of Sylvia Plath’s typical style, this poem that revolved around the theme of ‘blackness’ could only be avoided. Though the passages in XAT 2019 were slightly easier to read in comparison to XAT 2018, the questions were not straight-forward. The options were also quite tricky. Many questions asked to weaken/make irrelevant/ not agree with the author’s main point.

The 5 Vocabulary-based questions provided a respite to the test taker. Of the three cloze passages, one antonym question and one analogy, about three could be easily attempted. The 4 CR questions were easy to moderate, and of the 2 Para jumbles, one was moderate.

Overall, the section could be called moderate to difficult. The good attempts can be said to be 18 questions in about 55 mins.

Decision Making: (21 Qs)

This section surprised test takers with 21 questions – all of Decision Making caselets. A test taker who hoped to clear this sectional with the 6 AR questions that have been seen in the past would have been very much disappointed. For the well-prepared student whose preparation would have involved solving DM questions of the past papers, the two familiar case lets- that of Limo cars and Rollover ice cream were a welcome respite. All the other caselets were situational decision making and had difficult questions – most likely, least likely – with really lengthy options in some cases, which had to be further put in decreasing order of relevance.

Overall, the surprise factor in this section made this a slightly challenging section than previous years’ papers. In about 50 mins, one could attempt about 18 questions.

Quantitative Ability + Data Interpretation: (27 Qs)

The section consisted of 6 questions of Data Interpretation, two questions of Data sufficiency and 19 questions on Quantitative Ability, which was exactly in line with last year’s break up.

Data Interpretation was split into two sets of 3 questions each. One was standard mix of a pie chart and a bar graph while other was a caselet based on time zones. The mixed graph was direct, and the questions were easy, with some data missing in one sector. The caselet on time zone was time-consuming.

The quant part of the section was dominated by Geometry with two questions from coordinate geometry, two from mensuration, three from triangles and one from a circle. Algebra also had its share of 5 questions – 2 questions were based on functions and two on surds. There was 1 question on polynomial where the data seemed to be inconsistent. Arithmetic was on the lower side with 1 question each on ratio, percentage, profit and loss and instalments. Modern maths was totally absent except for one simple question on progressions. There were two questions on data sufficiency which were doable.

A typical observation in this paper was that while a few selected questions could be solved very easily (within 1 minute), while a few of them were heavily calculative and could take around 5 minutes or even more. Overall this section can be called moderate considering the mixed bag of difficulty level.

Allocating 60 mins to this section, 18+ can be termed as Good Attempts, and 12+ can be a good score.

Part B:

General Knowledge:

With 25 questions to be taken in 15 minutes, this section was a mix of current affairs and static GK. It covered subjects like business, economy, politics, geography, science and art. There were questions about the Kyoto Protocol, Article 356, Raja Ravi Verma, countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal, Horlicks acquisition, events of Indian history, the channels owned by Viacom 18, India’s biggest importer etc.

For a well-read student, good attempts could be said to be 10 to 12 questions

Sectional Synopsis of XAT 2019:

Section Difficulty Ideal Time Good Attempts Good Score
QA + DI Moderate to Tough 60 Min 18+ 12+
VA + LR Moderate to Tough 55 Min 18+ 11+
DM Moderate 50 Min 18+ 11+
Overall Moderate to Tough 165 Min 54+ 34+

Predicted Scores for different Percentiles:

Section Score @ 97%ile (Appx.) Score @ 90%ile (Appx.) Score @ 80%ile (Appx.) Score @ 70%ile (Appx.)
Quant 11.3+ 9.5+ 8+ 7.2+
VA+LR 10.7+ 9.1+ 7.6+ 6.9+
DM 11+ 9.3+ 7.8+ 7+
Overall 30.4+ 25.8+ 21.7+ 19.5+

Predicted Cut-offs for XAT 2019:

Quant 70%ile (7.2+) 90%ile (9.5+) 70%ile (7.2+)
VA+LR 80%ile (7.6+) 80%ile (7.6+) 70%ile (6.9+)
DM 75%ile (7.5+) 80%ile (7.8+) 70%ile (7+)
Overall 92%ile (27+) 94%ile (28+) 90%ile (25.7+)

Wishing all XAT 2019 aspirants all the best!

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