XAT will be a do-able paper this year, difficulty level lowered


Picture taken from the XLRI website

If it can be called a change, the biggest change in this years Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) paper will that it will be a do-able paper and the level of difficulty will see a dip. Disclosing this, Xavier’s Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Admissions Chairperson Soumendra Bagchi told PaGaLGuY that the paper will not be tough but definitely unpredictable. The difficulty level in Quant would be altered this year. The Quant section will be a do-able section for everybody, the professors said.


Prof. Soumendra Bagchi

He added that the XAT topper last year was none other than a girl who was a BCom graduate. This means that the paper is do-able provided care is taken to answer it in the right way, if done properly it will have the same level of difficulty for engineers and non-engineers. It is not that we are against engineers, the Admissions Chairperson clarified. The concepts right through the paper will remain as in previous years but they will be just applied differently.

?Prof Bagchi stressed on three important points.

  1. Differential marking will remain. So candidates need to attack the paper not randomly but systematically. Questions will be tricky and unpredictable but not tough. Prof Bagchi suggests that candidates find the easy questions and do them first. Do not just attempt any question, but have a strategy to find the ones which are do-able and those which should not be attempted. If candidates take a gamble, they should be aware of the risks.
  2. Reading Comprehension will remain and follow the same pattern as in the previous years, except for a few alterations. Candidates need to understand the ideas contained in the paragraphs rather than just reading it through
  3. Analytics and Decision Making questions will see some changes. A clear drift from the game questions and more into business situations. Candidates will be well prepared for these if they are update with the newspapers and what is happening in crucial sector such as environment and politics. “It is often seen that even if the questions are related to simple and general topics like environment, they are not attempted. In the bargain, scoring questions are left un-touched, added Prof Bagchi

When asked why XLRI is continuing with the pen/paper format when most big exams have gone online Prof Bagchi answered that XAT format provides a level playing field as everything is in black and white. The paper pen format allows us to audit the entire process whenever required in an extremely robust manner.

Anyway, coaching centres have mastered the anchor questions and that serves as an advantage to some students. The other reason for continuing with the pen and paper set-up is also because many candidates from rural and small towns who are not too familiar with computers lose out in an online design. Not to forget, that in a pen and paper system, the candidate can go back and forth and there is not time restriction on the type of questions being attempted.

As for cut-offs, Prof Bagchi said that cut-offs will be lowered only to have a bigger interview pool but thereafter there will be no concessions or criteria changes. We will not give more marks to non-engineers or women just to increase the diversity, he said.