Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is national-level management aptitude test. It is conducted every year by Xavier School of Management to fill seats in various courses. This year, the exam is going online. The XAT 2018 pattern is not available but we can take the previous years’ exams as a guide for preparation.
Part One contains three sections. Section 1 was on Verbal and Logical Ability. Section 2 tested a student on Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning. Section 3 focused on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. The total time given to students for the Part 1 was 170 minutes.
Compared to the other exams, there are two main differences in the XAT – the presence of the decision making questions and negative marks for leaving the questions. Each correct answer attracted 1 mark. A student could skip up to a total of 12 questions in the three sections. Beyond this, every skipped question attracted a penalty of 0.05 marks per question. Every incorrect answer attracted a penalty of 0.25 marks.
Part Two contained 25 GK questions in addition to an essay topic. This section was for 35 minutes. There was no negative marking in this section. Although the score of this section is not considered while determining the percentiles, it is important for a serious XLRI aspirant to do well in this section.
Let us also focus on the preparation strategy for the areas that are not a part of the other exams – Decision Making and Essay Writing
Preparing for decision making
The decision making questions were mini cases followed by one or more questions. There have been questions asking for the future course of action on the basis of the given information. Similarly, there have been questions asking for identifying the cause behind a situation. Quite a few of these questions could be answered through a sound understanding of the principles of Critical Reasoning. Then there have been questions that introduced ethical dilemmas and elements of managerial decision making. Practice these questions thoroughly through mock XAT exams and precious year question papers to move towards greater accuracy.
Preparing for the essay writing
A candidate received 35 minutes for the 25 GK questions and the essay both. If one could go through the GK section in around 15 minutes then at least 20 minutes can be saved for the essay. Out of these 20 minutes, you should spend at least 3-4 minutes on idea generation and pre-writing. After interpreting the topic, you should tap your existing knowledge and come up with as many pertinent points that you can. Thereafter, decide on a broad framework for the essay, e.g. for and against structure, cause and effect structure etc.
Once you have decided on the structure, think of the number, order and transition among the various paragraphs in the essay. After creating this outline, you can start writing. Since essay writing is a skill, practise writing an essay every day until the exam.
XLRI will announce the result on January 31.
The article is authored by Ankur Jain, Chief Knowledge Expert at T.I.M.E.