XAT – Xavier Aptitude Test Preparation Tips
Xavier Aptitude Test, prominently known as XAT is a national level aptitude exam conducted by Xavier Institution of Management Institutes (XAMI). The scores of this exam are used to evaluate students on various parameters and are accepted by various reputed colleges in India for admission in their management programs.
XAT is conducted once every year in the first week of January.
About the XAT Test
The exam consists of two parts divided in 180 minutes.
- 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.
- Second part consists of multiple choice questions on General awareness and Essay.
- Time allotted for second part is 40 minutes.
- XAT usually has differential marking for all the questions. Marks for different questions are printed on their right side of the test paper.
- Negative marking is 1/4th of the marks allotted to each question.
The uniqueness of XAT is that it has the following
– General Awareness section had 30 questions of one mark each.
– An essay had to be written in not more than 200 words. The topic of the essay was, “Corruption is the root cause for economic slowdown in India”.
Fees for XAT Examination Form
- The fee is Rs. 950 for General category students and Rs. 650 for SC/ST category students.
- The candidate can either opt to make the payment through the online payment gateway, net-banking (for IDBI bank customers), demand draft or through cash payment in any branch of IDBI Bank.
- If you are an SC/ST student and you are paying through demand draft then you must send a copy of your caste certificate with it.
- XAT is conducted in the following cities of India: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Berhampur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Dehradun, Delhi, Goa, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Surat, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam
- XAT is also conducted in two international cities, namely Dubai and Kathmandu.
A Basic understanding of different sections of XAT
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Quantitative aptitude and Data Interpretation: Most questions come from Number system and Arithmetic plus geometry. 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.
4. General Awareness: This section was added to XAT exam in year 2013 only and therefore we cannot analyze its pattern through any past precedents. This year, most of the questions were based on the current happenings in business world. Apart from that, questions are asked from various other fields too, but they are all based on current affairs.
5. Essay: The Essay part is comparatively easy if an aspirant is regular with newspapers and has good writing skills. What one needs here is to identify the core of the topic, structure his thoughts carefully, use proper language and substantiate your arguments with logic and data.
The examiners would check the second part of the test consisting of General awareness and essay only after the aspirant has cleared the cutoff in the first part. It is advised that the student memorize the important points that he has written in his essay because it might be discussed again in the interview.
Preparation Tips for XAT
1. Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning:
- Reading comprehension passages are comparatively difficult in this exam, therefore an aspirant should have a good habit of reading eclectic materials. Candidates should make a daily habit of reading novels and editorials from major newspapers, offline and online.
- One can strengthen his vocabulary by memorizing a few words every day that he stumbles upon in newspaper or novels. One can also make use of word flash cards that can be brought from Career Launcher or he can create his own using online resources.
2. Decision Making Section For XAT:
- There cannot be any standard method to prepare for this section. While solving this section in exam, candidates must be non-emotive and must use practicality and logic to answer questions.
- Reading business case studies can be helpful to understand the decision making problems that are given in this section.
- Tackling this section is one of the most trickiest things for students. This is evident by the fact that even though different coaching institute provide solution keys for this section, they seldom match. The issue is the subjectivity involved in tackling these questions. For starters, students should never choose an answer that is even remotely unethical.
- Read the problems very very carefully and get to know what the exact problem is. The book – 101 ethical dilemmas is also a great book to refer to for practice on this topic. Try to work backwards by eliminating the redundant options and normally you will be left with just two options in the end. These strategies would go a long way in helping you tackle the problem of preparing for this section. In the end, the decision making section of XAT is more about common sense than anything else.
3. Quantitative aptitude and Data Interpretation:
- Students must practice a wide range of questions in their preparation before they attempt this section in exam. R.S Agarwal’s book on Quantitaive aptitude is a good start to hone your skills.
- Number system and Algebra are important part of this section and therefore students must practice a diversity of questions before they attempt the main exam. It is recommended to solve the previous XAT papers and examine your shortcomings and weaknesses through them.
- One key of solving Data interpretation questions quickly is to have the knowledge of various ratios, squares, square roots, cubes, fractions etc. on your fingertips.
4. General Awareness:
- Most of the questions are from current affairs in the business world. Students must make a daily habit of reading a business magazine and the financial section of the newspapers.
- Reputed news magazines like “Wall street Journal” and “The Financial times” can be accessed through their online websites. Subscribe to the websites and like their pages on Facebook. In this way, you would be better able to get most of the important news in your feed.
- Read Novels, Blogs and the editorial sections of various newspapers to get a hand on the different dimensions of writing.
- Write essays on various topics, abstract and general ones and get them evaluated through your friends or teachers at your coaching classes.
- Keep a tab on national and international news, read Wikipedia or general awareness books. This will help you in providing facts, data and logical arguments in your Essay.
Mock Test for XAT
- Mock tests are necessary for a student to pitch his skills and knowledge against his competitors and evaluate his overall standing.
- Today, there are numerous mock tests available online and offline.
- If you want to enroll on an offline mock test than you should go for the one offered by Career Launcher or TIME.
- If you want to enroll in an online mock test then you should go for the one offered by TestFunda. (Test Funda Discount Over Here)
XAT Tips for the final Day
- Do not go with a pre-determined plan for XAT. The exam never fails to surprise students. It has done that every time in the past and there is no reason why it won’t do that in the near future.
- Manage your time intelligently. Remember that you need to do well in all the three sections.
- Do the easy questions first, then move on towards those which are harder for you. Do not get stuck on one question – EVER !! This advice has been given so many times but still students make the same mistakes.
- Rest well before the final day.