XAT stands for Xavier Aptitude Test, which is a national-level management entrance exam conducted by Xavier School of Management (XLRI) on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). It is a popular entrance exam for admission to management programs in various institutes across India.
The XAT exam tests candidates on various sections such as Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. The exam is usually held in the month of January every year, and the application process starts in the month of August.
The XAT Exam is divided into three parts and consists of a total of 105 questions, out of which 101 are MCQs. The MCQ questions are asked in four sections: Decision making, Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. The Essay Writing section has one subjective question. It is important for candidates to have a comprehensive understanding of the updated XAT Exam Pattern 2023 and prepare accordingly in order to score well and clear the cutoffs for XAT Exam 2023.
XAT Exam Pattern Highlights
XLRI has made some modifications to the XAT Exam Pattern this year. Here are some key highlights of the XAT Paper Pattern 2023-
|XAT Exam Structure||XAT Exam Details|
|Number of sections||5 (Decision Making, Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge and Essay Writing)|
|Number of questions||105|
|Language of paper||English|
|Duration of exam||3 hours and 30 minutes|
|Number of answer choices||Five|
|Mode of examination||Online|
|XAT marking scheme||+1 mark for correct answer- 0.25 marks for incorrect answer- 0.10 marks for more than 8 un-attempted consecutive questionsNo negative marking in GK section|
XAT Exam Pattern Section Wise
The XAT Exam has a varied distribution of questions across its sections, meaning that one section may have more questions than another. Here is the section wise break-up of the XAT 2023 exam-
|XAT Sections||Number of Questions||Total Marks|
|Verbal and Logical Ability||26||26|
|Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation||28||28|
|Essay (250 words)||1 (candidates can choose 1 topic from 3 options)||To be evaluated upon shortlisting|
XAT Exam Pattern Marking Pattern
The XAT 2023 Exam Pattern also includes information about the marking scheme, which is important for the candidates to understand. Understanding the marking scheme of XAT 2023 Exam Pattern is crucial for the candidates to strategize and attempt the questions carefully.
- For every correct answer provided, one mark will be awarded, while for every wrong or incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted.
- It’s essential to keep in mind that unanswered questions could also result in negative marking.
- If more than eight consecutive questions are unanswered, 0.10 marks will be deducted for each unanswered question after the eighth question.
- General Knowledge section is an exception to the marking scheme. There is no negative marking for wrong or unanswered questions in this section.
- The scores obtained in the General Knowledge section will not be considered for calculating the overall XAT score. Therefore, it’s important for the candidates to focus on attempting the General Knowledge section without any fear of negative marking.
XAT Exam Pattern Syllabus
The XAT Exam Pattern for 2023 consists of a total of 6 sections, including MCQ questions from 4 sections: Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal & Logical Ability, and General Knowledge. The Essay Writing Part requires candidates to write an essay of 300 words on a given topic. To score well in the upcoming exam, candidates must be well-versed in the section-wise XAT Exam Pattern 2023, important topics, and other details. They should also check the previous year’s XAT Cut Off to understand the trends of qualifying marks.
Below are the details of the subject-wise XAT Paper Pattern for the upcoming exam:
XAT Exam Pattern Verbal and Logical Ability 2023
This section consists of 26 MCQ-type questions, including grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning questions of moderate difficulty level. Important sections include – Para Jumbles, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Para Completion, Critical Reasoning, Analogy, Para Completion, Statements and Assumptions
XAT 2023 Exam Pattern for Decision Making:
This section consists of 22 MCQ questions of moderate difficulty level. Important topics include Analytical Reasoning, Short Caselets, Data Arrangement Sets, Situational sets, and Business Decision-Making.
XAT Exam Pattern Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation 2023
This section has a relatively high difficulty level and includes a total of 28 questions in the form of Tables, Charts, graphs, and Caselets. QA questions will most probably be framed from Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Number Systems, and Mensuration.
XAT Paper Pattern 2023 for GK:
The XAT GK Questions are dynamic, and there is no defined set of questions that can be asked. The syllabus is vast, and the candidates need rigorous preparation. The marks obtained in this section will not be considered for the final score calculation.
XAT Exam Pattern 2023 for Essay Writing:
This section has been reintroduced in 2022 and is clubbed with GK in Part B. Candidates must choose and write 1 short essay (not more than 300 words) out of 3 questions.
XAT Exam Pattern Time Pattern
The XAT 2023 exam duration is 3 hours and 30 minutes, and it is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A contains three sections: Verbal and Logical Ability, Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation, and Decision Making. Part B contains two sections: General Knowledge and Essay Writing. The table below provides an overview of the time limit for each section and part as per the official XAT Exam Pattern 2023. Please note that the time limit for PWD (Persons with Disabilities) candidates is slightly longer-
|Part||Section||Exam Duration||Exam Duration for PWD Candidates|
|A||Verbal & Logical Ability||No sectional time limit||No sectional time limit|
|Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation||No sectional time limit||No sectional time limit|
|Decision Making||No sectional time limit||No sectional time limit|
|Overall Part 1||175 minutes||175 minutes to 240 minutes|
|B||Mock Keyboard Testing||5 minutes||–|
|B||General Knowledge||No sectional time limit||No sectional time limit|
|Essay Writing||No sectional time limit||No sectional time limit|
|Overall Part 2||30 minutes||30 minutes to 40 minutes|
XAT Exam Pattern Year Wise Pattern
In the last six years, the XAT question paper has remained largely consistent, with the exception of the removal of the Essay Writing section in 2018 and its subsequent reintroduction in 2022. The number of questions on the exam has remained within the range of 97-114 during this period. Below is a table comparing the XAT exam patterns and difficulty levels of questions from 2017 to 2023-
|Exam Year||Total Number of Questions||Section-wise Number of Questions||XAT Marking Scheme|
|XAT Exam Pattern 2023||105||VA & LR – 26 Decision Making- 22 QA & DI- 28 GK- 25 Essay: 1 to be answered out of 3 questions (to be evaluated upon shortlisting) 5 minutes mock keyboard testing round is also included this year||Correct Answer: +1 Incorrect Answer: -0.25 More than 8 Unanswered Questions: -0.10|
|XAT 2022||100||VA & LR – 26 Decision Making- 21 QA & DI- 28 GK- 25 Essay: 1 (to be evaluated upon shortlisting)||Correct Answer: +1 Incorrect Answer: -0.25 More than 8 Unanswered Questions: -0.10|
|XAT Exam Pattern 2021 & 2020||100||VA & LR – 26 Decision Making- 21 QA & DI- 28 GK- 25||Correct Answer: +1 Incorrect Answer: -0.25 More than 8 Unanswered Questions: -0.10|
|XAT Exam Pattern 2019||99||VA & LR – 26 Decision Making- 21 QA & DI- 27 GK- 25||Correct Answer: +1 Incorrect Answer: -0.25 More than 8 Unanswered Questions: -0.5|
|XAT Paper Pattern 2018 – 2017||97||VA & LR – 24 Decision Making- 21 QA & DI- 27 GK- 25 One Essay||Correct Answer: +1 Incorrect Answer: -0.25 More than 12 Unanswered Questions: -0.5|
Note: VA = Verbal Ability, LR = Logical Reasoning, QA = Quantitative Ability, DI = Data Interpretation, GK = General Knowledge.
XAT Exam Pattern Points to Remember
- After completing Part A, which consists of three sections, candidates can move on to the Part B GK Section.
- The total duration for Part A is 165 minutes, and for Part B, it is 30 minutes.
- There is no sectional time limit for Part A, which means candidates can attempt any section within the initial 165 minutes.
- Candidates will get 15 minutes to solve the XAT GK Section.
- The XAT Exam Pattern includes one descriptive part in which candidates have to write an essay of 250 words in 10 minutes.
- PwD candidates will get an extra 20 minutes per hour, which means 55 minutes for Part A and 5 minutes for Part B.
- As per official updates, the essay section will only be assessed if candidates qualify for the interview round.
- Candidates can download XAT Books PDF to get the best study materials.
- There is no negative marking for unanswered questions up to 8 questions, after which it is -0.10 for each unanswered question.
- For every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted, and for every correct answer, one mark will be awarded.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques – Does XAT have an offline mode of examination?
Ans – No, XAT is not conducted in an offline or pen and paper mode. Since 2018, the exam is exclusively conducted in an online mode. Candidates have to take the exam on the computer system at designated exam centers located in over 70 cities across India.
Ques – What are the different sections included in the XAT exam paper?
Ans – The XAT exam paper consists of four main sections, namely Decision Making, Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. However, starting from the year 2022, an additional section of Essay writing has been reintroduced, making it a total of five sections.
Ques – Does the XAT exam have any negative scoring?
Ans – In the XAT exam, negative marking is present as a provision where 0.25 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer. However, it is only applicable for the 76 questions in Part 1 of the paper which comprises sections such as Decision Making, Verbal & Logical Ability, and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation. It is important to note that the GK section does not have any negative marking, hence candidates can attempt all the questions in this section without the fear of losing marks due to wrong answers.
Ques – What is the length of the XAT Exam in total?
Ans – The duration of the XAT Exam is 210 minutes or 3 hours and 30 minutes. The exam is divided into three parts, Part A, Part B, and Part C, each having a different time limit. Part A, consisting of three sections, Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability, and Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, has a total time limit of 175 minutes, with no sectional time limit between the sections. Part B, the General Knowledge section, has a time limit of 5 minutes, and Part C, the Essay Writing section, has a time limit of 30 minutes.
Ques – What is the XAT Question Pattern for Part B?
Ans – The XAT Question Pattern for Part B includes a new round called the keyboard testing round, which has been introduced for the first time in 2023. However, as there is no clarity on this section yet, the exact pattern for this section is not available. After the exam, the XAT Exam Pattern for this section will be shared.
Ques – Which section of the XAT 2023 exam has the most questions?
Ans – In the XAT 2023 exam paper, the section with the highest number of questions was Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, comprising 28 questions. Verbal and Logical Ability followed with 26 questions, while the General Knowledge section had 25 questions, and Decision Making had 22 questions. It is important for candidates to be aware of the number of questions and the distribution of topics to effectively prepare for the exam
Ques – Has the XAT exam pattern undergone any changes from the previous year?
Ans – Yes, the XAT exam pattern has undergone changes for the current year. The exam paper now consists of five sections, which include Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, GK, and Essay Writing. Additionally, candidates will now have a total of 210 minutes to solve all the questions, as opposed to 190 minutes in the previous year.
Ques – Is there a sectional time limit in the XAT exam?
Ans – No, there is no sectional time limit in the XAT exam. Candidates can attempt the questions in any order they prefer within the given overall time duration.
Ques – What is the difficulty level of the XAT exam?
Ans – The XAT exam is known to be one of the toughest MBA entrance exams in India. It is designed to assess a candidate’s aptitude, analytical and decision-making skills, and general awareness. The difficulty level of the questions varies from moderate to high, making it a challenging exam. However, with consistent preparation and practice, candidates can crack the XAT exam.
Ques – What is the marking scheme for the XAT essay writing section?
Ans – The essay writing section is an important part of the XAT exam. However, it is not given any marks. The essay is evaluated by the participating institutes during the selection process. The purpose of the essay is to assess the candidate’s writing ability, clarity of thought, and analytical skills. The essay topic is usually related to current affairs or a social issue, and candidates are required to write an essay of 250 words in 10 minutes.
Ques – How important is the General Knowledge section in the XAT exam?
Ans – The General Knowledge section plays an important role in the selection process of certain participating institutes. The purpose of the GK section is to assess the candidate’s knowledge of current affairs, business, economics, politics, and other related topics. The section consists of 25 questions, and candidates are given 15 minutes to answer them. To prepare for the GK section, candidates should read newspapers, business magazines, and other relevant publications regularly.