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XAT 2019 Comparison with CAT and other Management Exams



XAT 2019- Xavier Aptitude Test or XAT conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur is one of the top MBA entrance exams of India, scores of which are accepted by all top MBA institutes (except IIMs) in India.

XAT is often compared to CAT and IIFT exam in terms of difficulty level. The uniqueness of XAT exam lies in its Decision Making section. The ‘Decision Making’ section of XAT checks the candidate’s management aptitude by presenting different situations and cases and offering options to choose from as the best.

In terms of negative marking too, XAT follows a very distinct pattern from CAT or other MBA entrance exams like CMAT, MAT, SNAP, ATMA, NMAT by GMAC. In XAT, 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer. Additional 0.5 marks are also deducted for more than 8 un-attempted questions.

Let’s take a look at aspects which sets apart XAT from other management entrance exams:

XAT exam pattern

The XAT exam pattern till 2018 used to have two parts. First part included Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; the second part consisted of General Knowledge and Essay Writing. From 2019 exam, the essay writing has been scrapped. But it doesn’t mean that XAT 2019 question paper will be easy now.

The XAT 2019 question paper will contain one section and four subjects:

  • Decision Making
  • Verbal and Logical Ability
  • Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and
  • General Knowledge
Since, the Essay Writing section, which contained one question, has been scrapped, the Decision Making section will have one extra question so that the total number of questions remain 100.

Below mentioned are the XAT 2019 sections:


Sections/ Number of Questions Total marks Total time


Decision Making (22 questions) 100 3 hours
Verbal and Logical Ability (26 questions)
Quantitative Ability & Data  Interpretation (27 questions)
General Knowledge (25 questions)

XAT question paper and marking scheme

In terms of exam duration and other related aspects, XAT is similar to other MBA exams. Unlike CAT, XAT candidates will have the freedom to decide the chronology of the question paper. He/she can decide which XAT section to solve first.

Negative marking in XAT is also different from other MBA entrance exams. While in most of the exams, 1/4th or 1/3rd marks are deducted, in XAT, not only 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer, 0.5 marks are deducted for more than 8 un-attempted questions too. Negative marking scheme applies to Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation sections of the XAT question paper only. There is no negative marking in General Knowledge section.

Also, score of General Knowledge section is not included in determining the XAT percentiles and the cut-offs in the first stage of the selection process at XLRI, Jamshedpur. It is important to score well in this section, nonetheless.

XAT eligibility criteria:

While most of the MBA entrance exams including CAT accept applications of candidates who have scored at least 50% marks in aggregate in Graduation; there is no minimum qualifying marks criteria for appearing in XAT. Any candidate who has completed Graduation from any stream or equivalent from a recognized university, can apply for XAT.

XAT application fee:


XAT application fee is same for all candidates. There is no rebate for candidates belonging to SC/ST or PWD categories, unlike other MBA entrance exams where application fee for Reserved category students is much less than that for General category students.

To prepare for XAT 2019 exam, it is important to know the topics well and understand the concepts thoroughly. Mock test series is the other most important factor that will determine an aspirant’s performance.

Let’s take a look at some of the topics of XAT 2019 exam syllabus:

Verbal and Logical Ability

Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Fill in the blanks Para completion
Analogy based on vocabulary Para Jumble Paragraph formation questions
Poem Cloze test Grammar
Sentence correction Pronunciation Critical Reasoning and Inference

Logical Reasoning

Analogy calendars Inference
Clocks Fact Judgement
binary logic seating arrangement blood relations
logical sequence assumption premise, conclusion

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) & Data Interpretation (DI)

Percentage Tables and Caselets Linear and Quadratics Equations
Profit and Loss Probability Surds and Indices
Ratio and Proportion Critical Path Inequalities
Variation Averages and Partnerships Logarithms
Time and Work Alligations and Mixtures Numbers
Time, Speed and Distance Algebra Mensuration
LCM and HCF Simple and Compound Interest Geometry
Pure Maths Venn Diagram Trigonometry
Data Tables Data charts Bar diagrams
Graphs Pie charts  Data analysis

Decision Making


Decision making Logical Reasoning Sets

General Knowledge

Awards and winners History Static GK
Business and Politics Geography Famous Personalities
Government  and Economy World Events Current Affairs

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