1. What is XAT?

• Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a national-level management aptitude test. It is conducted by Xavier School of Management.

• XLRI conducts the exam on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). XAT scores are used by more than 800 institutes for admission to MBA, PGDM and other management courses.

XAT may refer to:

• XLRI Admission Test, an admission test conducted by XLRI in India

• AT&T Aviation Division, United States (ICAO Code)


2. Why XAT?

1. Portal to a great number of B Schools
XAT has built a sound reputation by conducting a fair and rigorous selection process. As a result, a lot of colleges in the country have chosen to use the score of XAT for their selection process.

2. Pathway to XLRI
For anyone seeking admission to XLRI Jamshedpur, XAT is mandatory. XLRI is one of the most reputable colleges in the country for its PGDM courses in Business Management and Human Resource Management. It is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country. Additionally, the college has also gone on to earn accreditation from prestigious international bodies.

3. Single slot exam
A lot of exams in the country happen over multiple time slots. A statistical process called ‘normalisation of the scores’ is used to compare the students across these different time slots. XAT on the other hand is a ‘single slot’ exam. It takes place on the same day, at the same time across the country. No complex calculations, no normalisation, just the good old direct competition.

4. Greater opportunity for self-analysis
In a lot of other exams, an aspirant gets to see the question paper only during the test. XAT takes the guess out of your analysis and assessment of your performance.

XLRI will release the official answer key of XAT and the question paper along with its explanation. With the help of the answer key, the candidates can figure out their XAT score and percentile.

5. Another shot at greatness

There are quite a few colleges that accept the score of multiple exams. After the CAT, candidates may have analysed their performance and identified areas of improvement. Therefore, they can work on these areas during the five weeks that separate the CAT from the XAT.

3. How to prepare?

• Decision Making and Analytical skills

Decision making section is the most unique section of XAT. It is practice intensive and requires aptitude for solving ethical dilemmas, financial issues, general management scenarios, company management issues etc.

It is designed to check your management skills and aptitude by presenting you with various case studies and situations where you have to use your own judgement to pick a correct resource or make the right decision. The situations and case studies are mostly based on ethical dilemmas, human resource management issues, sales & finance management issues and other general management issues etc.

One thing to remember in the XAT Preparation is that it is a practice intensive section. While solving questions in this section, the focus should be on taking an unbiased, ethical decision which does not favour any single party and making a decision while keeping your preferences and biases aside.

• Verbal & Logical Ability

Reading Comprehension has historically dominated the Verbal section of XAT. The major part of this section is about reasoning skills, RC and vocabulary-based questions, thus requires quick reading and ample mock-test practice to keep up with time and speed.

Topics such as Critical Reasoning, Fill in the blanks and Reading Comprehension dominate this section and are of higher difficulty level than seen in CAT.

The best procedure to understand how to prepare for the XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section is to revise your concepts of verbal Ability and focus on reasoning skills based questions. Work on your speed. Writing and Analyzing Mocks is one of the major steps in how to prepare for XAT with the focus being on analysis to ensure that the candidate gets the most out of each XAT mock test.

• Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation

Focus areas in Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation section of XAT syllabus are, Geometry, Number Systems, P&C, Probability and Functions. The key here is getting the concepts right, building upon that and applying them accurately.

• General Knowledge

• A lot of stress in current affairs. Reading the newspaper regularly and a brushing up of Static GK will help you sail through the XAT exam.

Preparation plan:

  • Make a daily routine and dedicate 6-8 hours to studies. Get hold of the XAT syllabus and make a list of topic-wise strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand the XAT exam pattern and test structure to make a time-bound exam preparation strategy. Given the short duration, you’ve got it is important for you to focus more on topics from which maximum questions are asked.
  • Join online study groups and find a mentor to guide you through your preparation.
  • Download online study material and MBA exam preparation apps, sectional preparation videos to be able to study on the go. Remember every minute is precious.
  • Allot time to each section and time yourself. Do not overstep the time-limit.
  • Dedicate the last month, practice XAT mock tests and assess your growth. The key to all competitive exams is practice so attempt as many mock tests as you can.
  • Scheduling and writing XAT Mocks and earmarking 1-2 mock for every week after CAT
  • Regular newspaper reading.
  • Focusing on concepts and their application.
  • Solving previous year papers.
  • Performing qualitative analysis of each mock or test that you write.

4. Important materials:


XAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation

  • Arithmetic
  • Geometry
  • Percentage
  • Functions
  • Mensuration- 2D and 3D
  • Averages and Partnerships
  • Probability
  • Inequalities
  • Algebra Functions
  • Heights & Distance
  • Direction Sense
  • Linear and Quadratic Equations
  • Time, Speed & Distance
  • Tables, Graphs, Pie Charts
  • Trigonometry
  • Profit and Loss etc.

XAT Syllabus for Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning

  • Decision Making
  • Semi-Quantitative topics
  • Situational questions
  • Analytical Reasoning

XAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Para Jumble
  • Vocabulary
  • Logical Completion of Idea
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Arguments

XAT Syllabus for General Knowledge

  • Economy
  • Indian Polity and Constitution
  • Business and Corporate GK, Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science and Technology
  • Current Affairs (last 12 months)
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Sports

a. E-books:

Best books for XAT Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations; by R. S. Aggarwal
  • How to prepare for Data Interpretation; by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha
  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

Best books for XAT Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension; by Ajay Singh
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning; By R.S. Aggarwal
  • Analytical Reasoning; by MK Pandey
  • Word Power Made Easy Book; by Norman Lewis
  • High School English Grammar & Composition; by Wren & Martin

Best books for XAT Decision Making:

  • Analytical and Logical Reasoning by Arihant Publications
  • Target XAT 2020 (Past papers & mock tests); by Disha experts
  • Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers); by R.K. Jha

Best books for XAT GK & Essay Writing:

  • General Knowledge 2020; by Manohar Pandey
  • XAT 2020 Simplified; by Disha experts

b. Videos:

How to prepare for XAT:


Score 99% tile in XAT:


XAT verbal strategy:


XAT preparation plan:


Important details for XAT:


Paper pattern and test strategy:


Grammar rules required for XAT:


5. Previous Test papers with answers:

XAT 2020 question paper:


XAT 2018 question paper:


XAT 2017 question paper:


XAT 2016 question paper:


XAT 2015 question paper:


XAT 2014 question paper:


6. Important Tips:

1. Revision

Revision of the topics and formulae is the most important part of last minute tips for XAT preparation. This is the time when candidates must revise their short notes. Revision is a must before appearing for the XAT exam. Revise all the important concepts, formulae, facts and dates in the last few days . Revision helps in clearing all kinds of confusion and it strengthens what you have already studied.

2. Focus on your strengths

You must focus on your strong areas. Spending time on improving weak areas will be of no help at this point of time. It may end up confusing you. The time before the XAT exam should be devoted to strong areas only.

3. Revise General Knowledge

Refer to the timeline of the whole year and read up important points of the major events of the year. Even a cursory glance on events of the year gone by and GK topics will help you recall them during the XAT exam.

4. Don’t forget Decision Making section

Decision Making section is a unique aspect of the XAT exam. Though this section is totally dependent on your point of view and presentation of facts, it is better to attempt questions on decision making from previous year XAT question papers.

5. Choose the best XAT exam strategy

Do finalize an exam strategy before you appear for the XAT. It is important to work according to a strategy to score well in the exam. Having an exam strategy help you save time as you will know what to do immediately once you get the XAT 2020 question paper, instead of losing crucial minutes in devising a plan after the timer has started.

6. Be prepared with Plan B

Be ready with a Plan B, in case of surprise or shock questions. Sometimes, things go out of hand and at that time Plan B works.

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