Do Not Dare Miss The Syllabus for the XAT Exam

XAT Syllabus

XAT Exam Syllabus

XAT exam is one of the most reputed and important exam for getting admission in top B-schools in India, including XLRI, Jamshedpur. As the pattern and difficulty level of this exam is different than from CAT, aspirants should start preparing at an early level to secure better score.

Disclaimer – Arguably, XAT is perhaps the toughest MBA exam to pinpoint the exact syllabus. It’s a highly mutable paper that keeps changing every year and that too substantially. They keep adding myriad of sources to their already diversified array. So this article is just a humble attempt to bring all that serendipity under one roof, but alas, it has its limitations.

About the Exam:

The XAT exam is divided in two parts:

–         First part consists of three sections, namely Quantitative ability and Data Interpretation, Decision making and Verbal ability.

–         Time allotted for the first part is 140 minutes. (Varies each year)

–         Second part consists of multiple choice questions on General awareness and an Essay.

–         Time allotted for second part is 40 minutes. (Again, not constant as XAT paper is full of surprises)

XAT Syllabus

  Verbal and Logical Ability 

  • Majority of questions come from Grammar, Sentence Arrangement, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning.
  • More emphasis is laid on Reading comprehension passages that can be long and riddled with intricate language and difficult words.
  • The vocabulary used in the exam can be pretty cumbersome for occasional readers; therefore one must develop a strong reading habit.
  • Logical ability consists of fact Inference, judgment, passage Conclusion, statement Argument etc.      

Decision making

  • This is the most obscure and contentious section in the whole paper. The questions test the general decision making capability of a student in various complex situations.
  • Most of the decision making questions are derived from corporate scenarios.
  • There are also some questions from analytical and logical reasoning. These include questions based on the conditions and grouping test, Complex arrangement and Logical ability.

 Quantitative aptitude and Data Interpretation: 

  •  Most questions come from Number system and Arithmetic plus geometry.
  •  Problems in Arithmetic include Ratio and proportion, trains, clocks, calendars, mixtures, profit and loss etc.
  • Questions in geometry mostly include triangles and circles only.
  •  Algebra is next important section and questions come from surds, indices, polynomial equations and inequalities.
  •  Data Interpretation consists of complex graphs and tables but the questions are doable if one is keen to invest some time in them.

General Awareness:

This section was added to XAT exam in year 2013 only and therefore we cannot analyze its pattern through any past precedents.

  • Started in 2013, most of the questions in this section are based on the current happenings in the business world.
  • Apart from that, questions are asked from various other fields too, but they are all based on current affairs.


If you want to read about XAT exam preparation, check over here.

Are you aware that IIMs offer Ph.D or doctorate programs too? – you can read about those over here – IIM A Ph.D. 

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