XAT 2020 Analysis: Section-wise XAT Exam In-depth Analysis

XAT 2020

XLRI Jamshedpur conducted the XAT 2020 exam across India on 5th January 2020. As expected, the difficulty level of the question paper was not very easy. The 2020 XAT paper saw few significant changes from the previous year. The total duration of the exam was brought down to 3 hours from 3 and a half hours. This year also saw the introduction of Numerical Ability Test (NAT) based questions that require a candidate to type the answer through a virtual keypad. One aspect that must have impacted the attempts of a candidate is the introduction of negative marking for unattempted questions. 


There were a total of 100 questions in the XAT 2020 paper divided into two parts



Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (VALR) 26
Decision Making (DM) 21
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 28
General Knowledge 25
Total 100

A candidate had to finish attempting PART A questions to answer the PART B questions. 

Time allotted:

Part A 165 minutes
Part B 15 minutes
Total 180 minutes/ 3 hours

Marks Distribution

● One mark each for every correct answer.

● Negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer.

● No deduction of marks for not attempting 8 questions.

● Negative marking of 0.10 marks for every unattempted question beyond 8. 

● There was no negative marking for PART B questions.

Important Note – Due to a glitch, no negative marking was shown while answering some questions. However, It has been confirmed by XAT admin office that all questions consist of negative marking.

XAT 2020 Detailed Sectional Analysis


XAT 2020 Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QADI) Analysis

The Quantitative Aptitude section was comparatively easier than last year’s paper. There were 1 question each on topics like percentage, time & work, and time & speed. Questions on geometry with moderate to severe level dominated the Quant Section. There were three sets and a total of 8 DAta Interpretation (DI) questions. The Data Interpretation questions were easier than expected with the except for the GDP question, which was a bit time-consuming.

QA questions- 20

DI questions- 8

Question Distribution

Topic No. of Questions
Geometry 6
Number System 2
Algebra 3
Modern Math 2
Arithmetic 7
Table 3
Graph 3
Set Theory 2
Total 28

Overall Difficulty- Moderate

Good Attempt– 19 to 20 questions

XAT 2020 Decision Making Analysis

The Decision Making (DM) section of XAT 2020 did not contain any analytical question. Each of the seven sets carried three questions. The difficulty level of the section seemed easier because of the absence of singlet questions. However, some of the questions were tedious, and the options were rather tricky. Sequencing questions were more in number, which could have impacted the attempt. All these factors raised the overall difficulty level of the DM section from easy to moderate.

Question Distribution

Topic No. of Questions
Decision Making 21

Overall Difficulty- Moderate to Difficult

Good Attempt– 16 questions

XAT 2020 Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation (VADI) Analysis

The difficulty level of Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation section can be called moderate to difficult. The questions were not very different from the previous year. Critical reasoning questions were quite tricky and challenging to solve. There were a total of 4 Reading Comprehension sets with 3 questions from each set. The difficulty level reading comprehension ranged from moderate to difficult. One of the Fills in the blank questions was very tricky and quite difficult to solve. Like past years, the section also comprised a poem. 

Question Distribution

Topic No. of Questions
Reading Comprehension 12
Poem 2
Fill in the Blanks 2
Para-jumble 2
Critical Reasoning 6
Error Corrections 2
Total 26

Overall Difficulty- Moderate to Difficult

Good Attempt– 19 to 20 questions


XAT 2020 General Knowledge Analysis

Applicants were allowed to move into the second part of the XAT paper only after completing the first part. Fifteen minutes were assigned for the General Knowledge section as it did not consist of negative marking questions. Static General Knowledge dominated this section with more than 15 questions. There were also some questions on Current Affairs. The distribution of topics was diverse. Questions were asked from topics like Science, Economy, History, Geography, Books and Author. Most of the GK section questions were based on events related to India. Five out of 25 questions were about events of international importance. 

Question Distribution

Type No. of Questions
Current Affairs 2
India 18
International 5
Total 25

Good Attempt- Candidates could attempt all questions as there were no negative markings.

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Overall Analysis

  • The overall Difficulty level of XAT 2020 was moderate.
  • Quantitative Aptitude was comparatively easier than last year.
  • Cut-off expected to be lower.
  • The DM section will be the deciding factor for increase or decrease in an applicant’s percentile