• Long & Lengthy

Earlier, XAT was a three hour examination. Now, it's going to be a three and half hour exam - from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm. So be prepared to spend a long time in the examination centre. 

  • Perfect dose of difficulty

XAT has traditionally been a tough nut to crack. But exam officials promise that the difficulty level of the exam will be brought down in 2016, so that students can attempt as many questions as possible. But also at the same time, it won't be an extremely easy paper. Therefore we can say that XAT 2016 will have the perfect dose of difficulty.

Explaining this part, XAT 2015 officials state, "In order to enable students to attempt as many questions as possible and encourage them to demonstrate all-round skills, the difficulty level of the questions has been brought down. In the previous years, students would attempt only half of the questions reducing the range of marks scored among students. However if the examination is made very easy, then many would finish the test before time. If ten thousand students finish the question paper in time and if all of them get most of the questions right then it would be difficult for XAT associated colleges to choose from these ten thousand students. Therefore XAT-2016 has been designed in such a manner that that the top hundred students will be able to complete the test in 170 minutes. This way, the examination would avoid both possible errors

a)      Low range of scores

b)      Excellent students not getting enough opportunities to showcase their ability because of too easy a question paper."

  • Right number of attempts

In most MBA examinations, candidates choose not to attempt a certain number of questions in order to avoid negative marking and increase their overall percentile score. But this year, it's going to be a different ball game. Leave more than 13 questions and you'll get negative mark of 0.05. Moreover, every wrong answer will have negative marking of 0.25 marks.

Explaining this part, XAT officials say, "We also tried to counteract the phenomenon of students leaving too many questions un-attempted. We appreciate the fact that 'leaving the question' is also a sign of intelligence but we are also concerned that students are becoming risk averse in attempting to answer difficult questions. We believe that if one aspires to be a good manager, one should be able to take reasonable risk. That is how one 'creates future possibilities'. To take care of both this issue, in XAT-2016 students have a choice of not attempting 13 questions. Beyond this, any unattempted question will carry the negative mark of 0.05. There would also be negative marking of 0.25 marks for any wrong answer. We believe this would encourage the risk taking ability of the students while making XAT robust in differentiating a good student from the not-so-good student."

We love the way XAT officials explain how students opposed to risk-taking in MBA examinations, despite that a career in MBA is all about taking risks and creating opportunities!

Remember, that the rule of negative marking is applicable only to the main part of the exam containing Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation sections. 

  • Leave no questions unanswered in GK section

The good thing is candidates will receive just 25 questions in GK section which will be 'general' in nature. Plus, there's going to be no negative marking. So make sure to attempt all the questions.

XAT explanation on the same: "The format of supplementary sections of GK and Essay would remain same with some minor changes. The time allowed to answer both GK and Essay would be 35 minutes. Last year, the GK score of most candidates was on the lower side, and some candidates had complained about the time. Taking this feedback into consideration the number of questions in the GK has been reduced to twenty-five. All the questions would be 'General' in nature rather than 'specific'. There would be no negative marking in this section."

  • GK - 'General' in nature. What does it mean?

XAT officials state that the all GK questions will be 'general in nature rather than specific.' We think it means that most questions will be related to current affairs and not so much static GK. So, it's a good idea to follow the current news, rather than memorising facts from Manorama yearbook.

XAT 2016 has announced a host of changes in the exam pattern. The total number of questions in the main part (VA, DI, DM) has been brought down to 78 and the time allotted has been increased by 20 minutes. The candidates would have 170 minutes to answer the questions. Students can choose have a choice of not attempting 13 questions. Beyond this, any unattempted question will carry the negative mark of 0.05. There would also be negative marking of 0.25 marks for any wrong answer. The number of questions in the GK has been reduced to twenty-five and there would be no negative marking in this section.

So, what do these changes in XAT 2016 exam mean for the student? Let's take a look at the following five points:

  • Long & Lengthy

Earlier, XAT was a three hour examination. Now, it's going to be a three and half hour exam - from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm. So be prepared to spend a long time in the examination centre.

 Perfect dose of difficulty

XAT has traditionally been a tough nut to crack. But exam officials promise that the difficulty level of the exam will be brought down in 2016, so that students can attempt as many questions as possible. But also at the same time, it won't be an extremely easy paper. Therefore we can say that XAT 2016 will have the perfect dose of difficulty.

Explaining this part, XAT 2015 officials state, "In order to enable students to attempt as many questions as possible and encourage them to demonstrate all-round skills, the difficulty level of the questions has been brought down. In the previous years, students would attempt only half of the questions reducing the range of marks scored among students. However if the examination is made very easy, then many would finish the test before time. If ten thousand students finish the question paper in time and if all of them get most of the questions right then it would be difficult for XAT associated colleges to choose from these ten thousand students. Therefore XAT-2016 has been designed in such a manner that that the top hundred students will be able to complete the test in 170 minutes. This way, the examination would avoid both possible errors

a)      Low range of scores

b)      Excellent students not getting enough opportunities to showcase their ability because of too easy a question paper."

 Right number of attempts

In most MBA examinations, candidates choose not to attempt a certain number of questions in order to avoid negative marking and increase their overall percentile score. But this year, it's going to be a different ball game. Leave more than 13 questions and you'll get negative mark of 0.05. Moreover, every wrong answer will have negative marking of 0.25 marks.

Explaining this part, XAT officials say, "We also tried to counteract the phenomenon of students leaving too many questions un-attempted. We appreciate the fact that 'leaving the question' is also a sign of intelligence but we are also concerned that students are becoming risk averse in attempting to answer difficult questions. We believe that if one aspires to be a good manager, one should be able to take reasonable risk. That is how one 'creates future possibilities'. To take care of both this issue, in XAT-2016 students have a choice of not attempting 13 questions. Beyond this, any unattempted question will carry the negative mark of 0.05. There would also be negative marking of 0.25 marks for any wrong answer. We believe this would encourage the risk taking ability of the students while making XAT robust in differentiating a good student from the not-so-good student."

We love the way XAT officials explain how students opposed to risk-taking in MBA examinations, despite that a career in MBA is all about taking risks and creating opportunities!

Remember, that the rule of negative marking is applicable only to the main part of the exam containing Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation sections.

 Leave no questions unanswered in GK section

The good thing is candidates will receive just 25 questions in GK section which will be 'general' in nature. Plus, there's going to be no negative marking. So make sure to attempt all the questions.

XAT explanation on the same: "The format of supplementary sections of GK and Essay would remain same with some minor changes. The time allowed to answer both GK and Essay would be 35 minutes. Last year, the GK score of most candidates was on the lower side, and some candidates had complained about the time. Taking this feedback into consideration the number of questions in the GK has been reduced to twenty-five. All the questions would be 'General' in nature rather than 'specific'. There would be no negative marking in this section."

 GK - 'General' in nature. What does it mean?

XAT officials state that the all GK questions will be 'general in nature rather than specific.' We think it means that most questions will be related to current affairs and not so much static GK. So, it's a good idea to follow the current news, rather than memorising facts from Manorama yearbook.

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