Xavier Aptitude Test 2017 (XAT) is scheduled to be conducted on January 8, 2017. Candidates should fasten-up their belts and formulate preparation strategies as there is only a month to go. To achieve the best in the examination it is a must for all the candidates to start their preparation strategically and as early as possible.

Given below is the complete examination pattern and marking scheme to get familiar with and make a better preparation strategy.

XAT Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

Paper Section Name No. Of Questions Total Marks Total Time Negative Marking
Paper 1 Decision Making 23 23 170 Mins 0.25 for any wrong answer, 0.05 for more than 13 unattempted questions
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 26
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29 29
Paper 2 General Knowledge 25 25 35 Mins No Negative Marking
Essay Writing 1 essay No Negative Marking



Paper- 1- XAT Paper 1 consists 3 sections that have multiple choice objective type questions. Below are given the tips to solve the different sections-

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section holds the highest weightage in the XAT 2017 Exam. In XAT 2016 Exam, the section included 78 questions wherein 29 questions were asked from the QA & DI section. The sectional difficulty is expected to be tough. The important topics that need to be prepared on the higher priority are Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, and Number System.

The Quant Section is not about speed, it is more a concern of accuracy. Due to which, it is the most time taking and a tricky section of the XAT Exam.

To prepare for this section, you can refer to the books or study material for CAT or XAT

Conceptual clarity is required more to solve the questions. Hence, if you are weak in this section then it is recommended to prepare important topics with perfection rather that preparing the complete syllabus.

In comparison to Quant section, Data Interpretation is much simpler. The question will be asked in sets on various topics that include Bar Chart, Tables, Line Graphs, Pie Chart, and others. To brush up your skills, regular practice is required.

Verbal and Logical Ability

The Verbal Ability section is further divided into English Usage and Reading Comprehension. The section carries 26 questions and the second highest weightage. Besides Reading Comprehension, the other areas consist Critical Reasoning, Vocabulary based Analogy, Statement and Assumptions, Para Completion and Para Jumbles.

  • If you think that you are not good in verbal ability then it is recommended to solve at least 2 reading comprehension passages every day to get good marks in this section.
  • Solving past years’ question papers helps you to practice the other English Usage topics.
  • To improve your vocabulary, you can refer to the books like Barron’s Dictionary, Word Power by Norman Lewis, and many more. Learn at least 10 new words every day by using Flash Cards.

Coming to the Logical Ability section, Critical Reasoning comprises one of the vital topics. The questions are asked in the form of caselets. Logical reasoning requires more practice than theoretical studies. So, it is better to practice as much you can to get good marks in this section.

Decision Making

Another important section is Decision Making, which is exclusive for XAT. The best method to get through this section is build good analytical knowledge that can be gained only by regular practice. Solve previous years’ question papers as much you can.

This section is the high scoring section. It can help you in increasing overall marks. To have a firm grip on this section and to improve your knowledge, you can go through the sample cases of the Harvard Business Review website.

All questions are asked in the Caselet structure followed by a set of questions. The case defines a situation with generally two questions types:

  • What would be the ideal method to solve the given situation?
  • What is the reason that lead to this situation?


Paper Two

The part two of the exam comprises of two sections – Essay Writing and General Knowledge. Herein you will encounter both subjective and objective questions.

General Knowledge

The GK section contains 25 questions and the topics will be similar with the other MBA Exams like CAT and IIFT. GK has been recently added to the paper and the difficulty level is quite high. Apart from current affairs, the questions will also be asked from Geography, History, Science & Technology and more.

Hence, just reading newspapers is not enough to get good marks in this section, you should also have a holistic knowledge on different topics. There will be no negative marking in this section and no sectional percentile will be considered to shortlist the eligible candidates. However, attaining good marks in this section is utmost important as low score can decrease your chance to get admission.

Essay Writing

Only regular practice can help you in cracking this section. Candidates will have 20 minutes to write the essay for which topic will be provided to you. The best way to write an essay is first make points of whatever comes to your mind. This will help you in increasing the writing speed.

The example of topics are “Technology and nature are natural enemies”, or “Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand, we only listen to refute or reply”.

This section will depict the thought clarity on the current issue. Make sure you write relevant and logical thoughts rather than just filling up the paper.