Preparation Tips for XAT

Name of exam: Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

Age criteria: No age limit

Educational qualification: A minimum of three-year bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognised institute or university is required to apply for XAT. Students awaiting their graduation results can also apply.

Frequency of Exam: The XAT exam is held once a year.

Notifications: Important announcements and notifications are published in the XAT Bulletin and websites, namely,, and

Preparation time: This three-hour pen-and-paper exam attracts a large number of MBA aspirants. Therefore, six to eight months of strategic preparation is recommended.

What is the XAT exam?

The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a national-level admission test conducted by the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) annually for students who aim to pursue a course in management.

Scope after clearing XAT

This test is considered for admission by not only the Xavier Group of Institutes but also many other business schools of India.

A little about XLRI

The XLRI is one of the oldest and leading business management schools in India. The institute is located in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, and conducts a number of graduate and post-graduate courses in the field of management.

Examination pattern

Negative marking: One-fourth of the allotted marks for each question.

SectionsSubjectsNo. of QuestionsQuestion PatternTime Allotted
(In Minutes)
Part IDecision Making25Objective (MCQ)140
Verbal and Logical Ability30
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation36
Part IIEssay & General Awareness Subjective40

Tips to prepare for XAT
  • Prepare section-wise: Each section need equal attention as the exam is considered quite challenging and competitive. Make a plan for your studies by creating a proper schedule where you allot sufficient time for all the papers.

  • Improve your Verbal Ability and General Awareness: Read newspapers, editorials, magazines, and other books to increase your vocabulary skills and general knowledge. Mark new words you encounter, add them in your data bank and use them wherever applicable. The basics of English grammar should be clear. Engage in group discussions. Watch news channels and browse the Internet to keep updated with the current affairs. Solve previous years' question papers.

  • Opt for a crash course: The institutes offering crash courses for different entrance exams help you to get acquainted with the format of exams. Regular mock tests conducted are of real help. Exchanging information and discussing with other MBA aspirants can be beneficial.

  • Hone your mathematics skills: Start practicing the basics of mathematics and regularly solve problems. Once the concepts are clear, apply conventional methods while solving different problems. Later, improvise to use short-cuts when you get a grip on the subject. You can acquire speed in this manner.

  • Extensively practice Decision Making: Quick thinking and extensive practice are the key to success for Decision Making. The topic is comparatively new, hence you need to familiarise with the subject well. The only way to achieve this is by solving more and more sample papers from previous years.

  • Solve question papers: The sections on Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation are quite similar to those of the Common Aptitude Test (CAT). Practice from these papers also. Also, a number of websites provide practice tests on Data Interpretation, Verbal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Mathematics. Specialised question banks for the XAT are available. Practice them to improve your skills.

  • Keep your calm: Reach the examination hall a bit earlier and settle down comfortably. Have confidence in yourself and stay calm and composed during the exam. Unnecessary nervousness can spoil your preparation, which is not desirable.

  • Avoid negative marking: The exam has negative marking, so it is advisable not to attempt too many questions on guesswork. In case you have to, then apply the process of elimination (PoE) to eliminate the less probable choices to zero-in on the correct one.

  • Time management: The paper is quite lengthy, so it is advisable that you glance at it for the first few minutes and answer the easier ones first. Try the others later. This will not only save you time but also improve your score and confidence.

  • Read the questions carefully: The questions in the exam can be confusing. Any silly mistake can ruin your efforts. Read the question carefully, understand well and then go for solving it. Revise the paper carefully before submitting, if you have time.

Some useful books
  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr. R.S. Agarwal
  • The Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency by Ananta Ashisha

Last Updated on : January 19, 2016