XAT Exam Pattern: XAT Pattern, Latest Marking scheme, Changes over the last decade

Author : Pratik Dubey

Updated On : May 1, 2024

SHARE

Overview: "Every battle is won before it is fought..!!" ~ Sun Tzu. In order to make this happen it is very important to study the enemy, understand the XAT exam pattern, and create a counter-offensive strategy, Attack and Win!

This article provides a detailed analysis of the XAT exam pattern which has been observing changes almost every year since the last decade, and highlights all the major changes that the XAT exam paper pattern has observed. This will help applicants understand the paper pattern of the XAT exam and create a strategy to prepare for it.

Read More: Top 10 colleges of XAT

Table of Contents:

What is the XAT exam?

XAT Exam Pattern

XAT Exam Pattern: 2024

XAT Exam Pattern: Changes over the Years

XAT Exam Pattern: Previous Year Patterns

XAT Exam Pattern: Section Wise Breakdown

Conclusion

What is the XAT exam?

  • The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is an all-India level management entrance examination to get into the prestigious Xavier School of Management (XLRI) and various other associated management institutes.
  • For more than 74 years XLRI has conducted the XAT exam at all India level to select the most appropriate candidate for management education.
  • The XAT exam is conducted every year in January by XLRI on behalf of XLRI Associate Member Institutes (XAMI).
  • More than 160 institutes are using XAT exam scores for admission.

Read More: What is the XAT exam?

XAT Exam Pattern

  • Xavier Aptitude test (XAT) is one of the most challenging & unique exams; utilizing the most advanced technology and modern testing methods, to comprehensively evaluate potential business management candidates on their decision-making skills.
  • Apart from Xavier Associate Management Institutes, the XAT exam score is recognized by 160 elite B-Schools across India.
  • Hence it becomes very important to understand the XAT exam pattern and syllabus to prepare a defining strategy for its preparation and score the maximum number of marks.
XAT Exam pattern 
Generally, XAT consists of 2 time-bound parts 
Part – 1  a) Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VA & LR) 
b) Decision Making (DM) 
c) Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation (QA & DI) 
Part – 2  a) General Knowledge (GK) 
b) Analytical Essay Writing (AEW) 
No. of questions  100 - 105 
No. of questions per section  22 - 30 
Time provided  Part 1: 175 minutes Part 2: 30 minutes 
Marking Scheme  For Part 1
For each correct answer: +1 mark
For each incorrect answer: -0.25 marks
For each un-attempted question after 8 un-attempted questions: -0.10 marks
For Part 2 
In the GK section, for each correct answer: +1 mark
General Knowledge (GK) questions are EXEMPT from negative marking. 
The essay will be evaluated if a candidate is shortlisted for the GD-PI processes at XLRI. 

Read More: Is CAT preparation enough for XAT?

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Read More: XAT Admission Details

XAT Exam Pattern: 2024

The official XAT 2024 Exam pattern & Syllabus released by XAT management also encompasses the essence of the exam in brief as shown below.

XAT 2024 Exam Pattern & Syllabus 
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 
Sections  VA & LR  DM  QA & DI  Mock Keyboard Testing  GK*  Analytical Essay Writing (AEW)* 
Duration  175 Minutes  5 Minutes  30 Minutes 
Number of Questions  About 26  About 22  About 28  NA  About 25 
Question Types  The XAT exam syllabus for the VA&LR section will encompass critical & analytical reasoning, reading comprehension (including poems & passages), vocabulary, English grammar, and other related exercises such as para jumbles, cloze tests, etc.  The XAT exam syllabus for the DM section will present scenarios drawn from both personal and professional lives. Candidates will be required to apply critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and prioritization to make informed decisions.  In the XAT exam syllabus for this section, the questions are designed to assess the quantitative aptitude of candidates who possess a foundational understanding of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, modern maths, etc. The questions on DI are about clear interpretation, summarization, and insightful analysis of the data.  To test the keyboard, candidates will be requested to type--The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.  In the XAT exam syllabus for the GK section, 10 questions will focus on static GK, while the remaining 15 will delve into current affairs.  The XAT exam syllabus for the AEW section will offer three topics, of which candidates will select one. Essays should be approximately 250 words in length and must demonstrate coherence, logical consistency, and strong argumentation, serving as an assessment of the student's analytical abilities. 
Marking Scheme For Part 1:
  • For each correct answer: +1 mark
  • For each incorrect answer: -0.25 marks 
  • Negative marks awarded for each unattempted question after 8 unattempted questions: -0.10 marks 
NA  For Part 3:
  • In the GK section, for each correct answer: +1 mark 
  • General Knowledge (GK) questions are EXEMPT from negative marking. 
  • The essay will be evaluated if a candidate is shortlisted for the GD-PI processes at XLRI.

KINDLY NOTE

  • *The scores from the General Knowledge (GK) and Analytical Essay Writing (AEW) sections will be EXCLUSIVELY utilized by XLRI for its final selection process.
  • PwD candidates will be granted an additional 20 minutes for every hour.

Read More: XAT Exam Date

XAT Exam Pattern: Changes over the Years

The XAT Paper Pattern has undergone several changes over the past decade. Some of the most significant changes include: was the shift from the Paper Based Test to the Computer Based Test in 2018. Apart from this, other changes that have taken place over the years include:

  • Shifted from Paper Based Test to Computer Based Test in 2018
  • Essay Based Question scrapped after XAT 2018 and reinstated in XAT 2022
  • The number of Questions has fluctuated over the years
  • The number of un-attempted questions allowed has been reduced from 13 to 8
  • Non-MCQ questions/Fill in the blanks were removed in XAT 2019 but were reintroduced in XAT 2020
  • The time of the exam has changed many times.

Read More: XAT Exam Registration

XAT Exam Pattern: Previous Year Patterns

A summary of the XAT Exam Pattern and marking scheme for 2015- 2024 is given in the table below:

XAT Exam Pattern No. of Questions; Hours Allotted Questions per Section Marking Scheme
XAT Exam Pattern 2024 100; 3 hours 30 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-22
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
 XAT Exam Pattern 2023 102; 3 hours 30 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-22
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2022 101; 3 hours 10 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2021 100; 3 hours QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2020 100; 3 hours QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2019 99; 3 hours QA-27
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2018 98; 3.5 hours QA-27
VA-24
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 12
XAT Exam Pattern 2017 98; 3.5 hours QA-27
VA-24
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 12
XAT Exam Pattern 2016 104; 3.5 hours QA-29
VA-26
DM-23
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 13
XAT Exam Pattern 2015 115; 3 hours QA-33
VA-28
DM-23
GK-30
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25

Read More: XAT Previous Year Papers

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Read More: XAT Exam Eligibility

XAT Exam Pattern: Section Wise Breakdown

  • Until XAT 2021, the XAT exam pattern & syllabus consisted of 4 parts: VA & LR, DM, QA & DI, and GK. However, XAT 2022 saw a revision and hence the revised XAT 2022 exam pattern consisted of 5 parts: VA & LR, DM, QA & DI, GK, and Analytical Essay Writing(AEW).
  • The XAT syllabus although has not undergone major changes can be derived by analyzing the previous years' question papers.

XAT Exam Pattern: VARC

This section of the XAT exam pattern and syllabus assesses a candidate's proficiency in English language comprehension, grammar, and logical reasoning. A comprehensive understanding of grammar rules and logical reasoning principles is imperative to excel in the XAT VARC syllabus.

Key topics include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Inference-based questions.

XAT Exam Pattern: DM

The Decision-Making (DM) section of the XAT exam pattern and syllabus evaluates a candidate's ability to analyze complex situations and make sound judgments. Aspirants must hone their decision-making skills by practicing case studies and developing a strategic approach to tackle diverse scenarios effectively.

Scenarios presented in this section often revolve around:

  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Business decisions
  • Situational analyses

Read More: How to prepare for Decision Making in XAT?

XAT Exam Pattern: QA & DI

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation form the bedrock of analytical prowess in the XAT exam pattern & syllabus. Proficiency in mathematical concepts coupled with adeptness in data interpretation is indispensable for excelling in this section. Topics encompass:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Set Theory
  • Probability
  • Charts & Data Analysis
  • Data interpretation & Data sufficiency

XAT Exam Pattern: GK

The General Knowledge section of the XAT exam pattern & syllabus evaluates a candidate's awareness of current affairs, business, economics, politics, and other pertinent topics. Regular reading of newspapers, magazines, and online resources is crucial for staying abreast of recent developments.

Additionally, referring to XAT GK syllabus resources and practising mock tests can augment one's GK proficiency significantly. Some of the topics that can be highlighted are as below:

  • Business, Finance, and Economics
  • The Indian Constitution and Laws
  • Famous Personalities
  • Current Affairs of National and International Importance
  • Books and Authors
  • Awards and Winners
  • History and Geography

Read More: XAT Exam Pattern 2024 Analysis

Conclusion

In conclusion, the XAT exam, a gateway to prestigious management institutes, undergoes dynamic changes annually. Understanding its pattern is crucial for the effective preparation of strategies for these changes for aspirants' success.

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CAT preparation enough for XAT, or do I need separate study materials and strategies for both exams?

How similar are the CAT and XAT syllabus?

Should I prioritize CAT preparation and then focus on XAT, or can I prepare for both simultaneously?

What is the Decision Making section in XAT?

How many questions are there in the Decision Making section?

Is there negative marking in the Decision Making section?

What types of questions are asked in this section?

How much time should I allocate to the Decision Making section during the exam?

What are the best preparation materials for XAT DM section?

How can I improve my decision-making skills for the exam?

What is a good score in the Decision Making section?

XAT Exam Pattern: XAT Pattern, Latest Marking scheme, Changes over the last decade

Author : Pratik Dubey

May 1, 2024

SHARE

Overview: "Every battle is won before it is fought..!!" ~ Sun Tzu. In order to make this happen it is very important to study the enemy, understand the XAT exam pattern, and create a counter-offensive strategy, Attack and Win!

This article provides a detailed analysis of the XAT exam pattern which has been observing changes almost every year since the last decade, and highlights all the major changes that the XAT exam paper pattern has observed. This will help applicants understand the paper pattern of the XAT exam and create a strategy to prepare for it.

Read More: Top 10 colleges of XAT

Table of Contents:

What is the XAT exam?

XAT Exam Pattern

XAT Exam Pattern: 2024

XAT Exam Pattern: Changes over the Years

XAT Exam Pattern: Previous Year Patterns

XAT Exam Pattern: Section Wise Breakdown

Conclusion

What is the XAT exam?

  • The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is an all-India level management entrance examination to get into the prestigious Xavier School of Management (XLRI) and various other associated management institutes.
  • For more than 74 years XLRI has conducted the XAT exam at all India level to select the most appropriate candidate for management education.
  • The XAT exam is conducted every year in January by XLRI on behalf of XLRI Associate Member Institutes (XAMI).
  • More than 160 institutes are using XAT exam scores for admission.

Read More: What is the XAT exam?

XAT Exam Pattern

  • Xavier Aptitude test (XAT) is one of the most challenging & unique exams; utilizing the most advanced technology and modern testing methods, to comprehensively evaluate potential business management candidates on their decision-making skills.
  • Apart from Xavier Associate Management Institutes, the XAT exam score is recognized by 160 elite B-Schools across India.
  • Hence it becomes very important to understand the XAT exam pattern and syllabus to prepare a defining strategy for its preparation and score the maximum number of marks.
XAT Exam pattern 
Generally, XAT consists of 2 time-bound parts 
Part – 1  a) Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VA & LR) 
b) Decision Making (DM) 
c) Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation (QA & DI) 
Part – 2  a) General Knowledge (GK) 
b) Analytical Essay Writing (AEW) 
No. of questions  100 - 105 
No. of questions per section  22 - 30 
Time provided  Part 1: 175 minutes Part 2: 30 minutes 
Marking Scheme  For Part 1
For each correct answer: +1 mark
For each incorrect answer: -0.25 marks
For each un-attempted question after 8 un-attempted questions: -0.10 marks
For Part 2 
In the GK section, for each correct answer: +1 mark
General Knowledge (GK) questions are EXEMPT from negative marking. 
The essay will be evaluated if a candidate is shortlisted for the GD-PI processes at XLRI. 

Read More: Is CAT preparation enough for XAT?

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Read More: XAT Admission Details

XAT Exam Pattern: 2024

The official XAT 2024 Exam pattern & Syllabus released by XAT management also encompasses the essence of the exam in brief as shown below.

XAT 2024 Exam Pattern & Syllabus 
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 
Sections  VA & LR  DM  QA & DI  Mock Keyboard Testing  GK*  Analytical Essay Writing (AEW)* 
Duration  175 Minutes  5 Minutes  30 Minutes 
Number of Questions  About 26  About 22  About 28  NA  About 25 
Question Types  The XAT exam syllabus for the VA&LR section will encompass critical & analytical reasoning, reading comprehension (including poems & passages), vocabulary, English grammar, and other related exercises such as para jumbles, cloze tests, etc.  The XAT exam syllabus for the DM section will present scenarios drawn from both personal and professional lives. Candidates will be required to apply critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and prioritization to make informed decisions.  In the XAT exam syllabus for this section, the questions are designed to assess the quantitative aptitude of candidates who possess a foundational understanding of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, modern maths, etc. The questions on DI are about clear interpretation, summarization, and insightful analysis of the data.  To test the keyboard, candidates will be requested to type--The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.  In the XAT exam syllabus for the GK section, 10 questions will focus on static GK, while the remaining 15 will delve into current affairs.  The XAT exam syllabus for the AEW section will offer three topics, of which candidates will select one. Essays should be approximately 250 words in length and must demonstrate coherence, logical consistency, and strong argumentation, serving as an assessment of the student's analytical abilities. 
Marking Scheme For Part 1:
  • For each correct answer: +1 mark
  • For each incorrect answer: -0.25 marks 
  • Negative marks awarded for each unattempted question after 8 unattempted questions: -0.10 marks 
NA  For Part 3:
  • In the GK section, for each correct answer: +1 mark 
  • General Knowledge (GK) questions are EXEMPT from negative marking. 
  • The essay will be evaluated if a candidate is shortlisted for the GD-PI processes at XLRI.

KINDLY NOTE

  • *The scores from the General Knowledge (GK) and Analytical Essay Writing (AEW) sections will be EXCLUSIVELY utilized by XLRI for its final selection process.
  • PwD candidates will be granted an additional 20 minutes for every hour.

Read More: XAT Exam Date

XAT Exam Pattern: Changes over the Years

The XAT Paper Pattern has undergone several changes over the past decade. Some of the most significant changes include: was the shift from the Paper Based Test to the Computer Based Test in 2018. Apart from this, other changes that have taken place over the years include:

  • Shifted from Paper Based Test to Computer Based Test in 2018
  • Essay Based Question scrapped after XAT 2018 and reinstated in XAT 2022
  • The number of Questions has fluctuated over the years
  • The number of un-attempted questions allowed has been reduced from 13 to 8
  • Non-MCQ questions/Fill in the blanks were removed in XAT 2019 but were reintroduced in XAT 2020
  • The time of the exam has changed many times.

Read More: XAT Exam Registration

XAT Exam Pattern: Previous Year Patterns

A summary of the XAT Exam Pattern and marking scheme for 2015- 2024 is given in the table below:

XAT Exam Pattern No. of Questions; Hours Allotted Questions per Section Marking Scheme
XAT Exam Pattern 2024 100; 3 hours 30 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-22
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
 XAT Exam Pattern 2023 102; 3 hours 30 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-22
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2022 101; 3 hours 10 minutes QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Writing-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2021 100; 3 hours QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2020 100; 3 hours QA-28
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.10 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2019 99; 3 hours QA-27
VA-26
DM-21
GK-25
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 8
XAT Exam Pattern 2018 98; 3.5 hours QA-27
VA-24
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 12
XAT Exam Pattern 2017 98; 3.5 hours QA-27
VA-24
DM-21
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 12
XAT Exam Pattern 2016 104; 3.5 hours QA-29
VA-26
DM-23
GK-25
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25
  • A penalty of 0.05 for every un-attempted question over 13
XAT Exam Pattern 2015 115; 3 hours QA-33
VA-28
DM-23
GK-30
Essay Type-1
  • +1/-0.25

Read More: XAT Previous Year Papers

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Read More: XAT Exam Eligibility

XAT Exam Pattern: Section Wise Breakdown

  • Until XAT 2021, the XAT exam pattern & syllabus consisted of 4 parts: VA & LR, DM, QA & DI, and GK. However, XAT 2022 saw a revision and hence the revised XAT 2022 exam pattern consisted of 5 parts: VA & LR, DM, QA & DI, GK, and Analytical Essay Writing(AEW).
  • The XAT syllabus although has not undergone major changes can be derived by analyzing the previous years' question papers.

XAT Exam Pattern: VARC

This section of the XAT exam pattern and syllabus assesses a candidate's proficiency in English language comprehension, grammar, and logical reasoning. A comprehensive understanding of grammar rules and logical reasoning principles is imperative to excel in the XAT VARC syllabus.

Key topics include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Inference-based questions.

XAT Exam Pattern: DM

The Decision-Making (DM) section of the XAT exam pattern and syllabus evaluates a candidate's ability to analyze complex situations and make sound judgments. Aspirants must hone their decision-making skills by practicing case studies and developing a strategic approach to tackle diverse scenarios effectively.

Scenarios presented in this section often revolve around:

  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Business decisions
  • Situational analyses

Read More: How to prepare for Decision Making in XAT?

XAT Exam Pattern: QA & DI

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation form the bedrock of analytical prowess in the XAT exam pattern & syllabus. Proficiency in mathematical concepts coupled with adeptness in data interpretation is indispensable for excelling in this section. Topics encompass:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Set Theory
  • Probability
  • Charts & Data Analysis
  • Data interpretation & Data sufficiency

XAT Exam Pattern: GK

The General Knowledge section of the XAT exam pattern & syllabus evaluates a candidate's awareness of current affairs, business, economics, politics, and other pertinent topics. Regular reading of newspapers, magazines, and online resources is crucial for staying abreast of recent developments.

Additionally, referring to XAT GK syllabus resources and practising mock tests can augment one's GK proficiency significantly. Some of the topics that can be highlighted are as below:

  • Business, Finance, and Economics
  • The Indian Constitution and Laws
  • Famous Personalities
  • Current Affairs of National and International Importance
  • Books and Authors
  • Awards and Winners
  • History and Geography

Read More: XAT Exam Pattern 2024 Analysis

Conclusion

In conclusion, the XAT exam, a gateway to prestigious management institutes, undergoes dynamic changes annually. Understanding its pattern is crucial for the effective preparation of strategies for these changes for aspirants' success.

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CAT preparation enough for XAT, or do I need separate study materials and strategies for both exams?

How similar are the CAT and XAT syllabus?

Should I prioritize CAT preparation and then focus on XAT, or can I prepare for both simultaneously?

What is the Decision Making section in XAT?

How many questions are there in the Decision Making section?

Is there negative marking in the Decision Making section?

What types of questions are asked in this section?

How much time should I allocate to the Decision Making section during the exam?

What are the best preparation materials for XAT DM section?

How can I improve my decision-making skills for the exam?

What is a good score in the Decision Making section?

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