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Zipping the XAT 2013
Zipping the XAT 2013
XAT is the entrance exam organized by Xavier Labor Relation Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. However, the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI) conducts the test. It is considered to be one of the toughest MBA entrance exams in India.

You could be nervous and wondering if you need to be a mathematical genius or a literature pundit to crack the test, but from the examiner's perspective, the real objective of this test is to seek out normal folk with a bit of common sense and logic who have the potential to be great managers someday.

XAT scores are accepted by several prestigious MBA institutes like Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB), S P Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) Mumbai, Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai, etc.

List of Participating Institutes:
  • Academy of Management Studies,Bhubaneswar
  • AICMS Business School, Mumbai
  • Alliance Business Academy, Bangalore
  • Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli
  • Bhavans Royal Institute of Management, Kochi
  • EMPI Business School, New Delhi
  • Goa Institute of Management, Goa
  • Goa University, Goa
  • IILM Institute for Higher Education, Gurgaon
  • Indian Business Academy, Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Finance, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Management Training, Pune
  • Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore
  • Indo American School of Business, Visakhapatnam
  • Inmantec Integrated Academy of Management and Technology, Ghaziabad
  • Institute of Science and Management, Ranchi
  • Institute for Integrated Learning in Management, New Delhi
  • Institute for Technology and Management, Navi Mumbai
  • Institute of Management and Information Science, Bhubaneswar
  • Institute of Marketing and Management, New Delhi
  • Institute of Technology and Science, Ghaziabad
  • International Institute for Special Education, Lucknow
  • International School of Business and Media, Pune
  • Ishan Institute of Management and Technology, GautamBudh Nagar, UP
  • Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Yantrapur, Karnataka
  • Kohinoor Business School, Khandala
  • Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai
  • Management Education and Research Institute, New Delhi
  • Mangalmay Institute of Management and Technology, Noida
  • MATS School of Business and IT, Bangalore
  • Mount Carmel Institute of Management, Bangalore
  • Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad
  • S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai
  • School of Communication and Management Studies, Cochin
  • Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Secunderabad
  • St Josephs College of Business Administration, Bangalore
  • Suryadatta Education Foundation, Pune
  • Training and Advanced Studies in Management and Communications Ltd, Pune
  • Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore
  • Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar
  • Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi
  • XLRI Jamshedpur School of Management, Jamshedpur

You can get the detail list of Participating Institutes from the XAT e-bulletin on the site

XAT 2013: Notification
The notification for the XAT 2013 exam, for the academic year 2013-15 is out and the exam will be held on Sunday, January 6, 2013. This exclusive story on XAT 2013 by will talk about the nature of the exam, the analysis of XAT paper pattern and strategies for cracking XAT.

XAT 2013 : Registration
The registration process will begin from 20thAugust, 2012 andwill continue till 30thNovember, 2012. The registration fee is Rs 950 for general category candidates. One can either register online by visiting or through cash payment in IDBI Bank branches.

XAT 2013: Test centers
XAT 2013 will be conducted across 40 cities across India. This year, three international centers have also been added, which are Dhaka, Dubai and Kathmandu.

XAT 2013:B-schools to accept XAT 2013 scores
XLRI has announced, like previous years, XAT scores would be accepted by over 100 B-schools. XAT 2012 scores were accepted by 101 B-schools. Some of the noted B-schools which will accept the XAT 2013 scores include LIBA Chennai, XIME Bengaluru, Xavier Institute of Management, Jabalpur, XISS Ranchi and XIMR Mumbai.

The complete list of B-schools will be declared on 20thAugust, the day when the application process starts.

Nature of Exam:
XAT usually comprises 3 Objective type Multiple Choice sections and an essay writing section.
  1. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (Math) - (Objective Type Multiple Choice)
  2. Verbal Reasoning (English) - (Objective Type Multiple Choice)
  3. Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making - (Objective Type Multiple Choice)
  4. And an essay writing section

The duration of the test is 120 minutes for the objective type section and an additional 20 minutes is provided at the end of the 2 hours for the essay writing section.

In order to crack XAT, you should first know how the exam is different from others. In XAT, the Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation questions are in one section. The second section is English Usage (EU) and RC. The third section is Analytical Reasoning (AR) and Decision Making

In the recent past, the XAT has had more questions than the CAT exam to be solved in lesser time. While in the CAT exam it may be possible to get a decent shot at all questions, in XAT it is more advisable to drop tough looking questions, and find the easier ones to solve.

Thus, selection of easier questions is very important, which are very well inserted between the tougher questions, the reason for the perception of XAT being a tougher nut to crack than CAT.

For example, one can easily find simpler questions based upon algebra and trigonometry, between two questions which might involve application of calculus. Though the questions based upon calculus and functions are themselves on decline as observed in the past.

Thus, XAT primarily tests three areas - your decision making abilities, working under pressure and deadlines, and the ability to capitalize on ones' strengths.

Analysis of XAT Paper Pattern:
The first step for a focused XAT preparation is to understand the XAT paper pattern. XAT sample and practice papers, which are available at mbarendezvous, will help you figure how the pattern of XAT 2013 will be. Also for your understanding, XAT 2011 and XAT 2012 paper has been discussed in detail:

XAT 2011 - Analysis

XAT 2011 was held on 2nd January, 2011 on Sunday. This year the exam came out with several surprises that caught students off guard. The XAT 2011 exam was much more challenging as compared to previous years. There were 101 questions asked in the exam and worth 253 marks. It did away with the differential negative marking but introduced differential marking for each question. Also, all the questions carried a variable weight-age of marks ranging between 1 and 5 marks.

So, before solving a question, one had to look for the marks allotted to it.The paper, thus, was a test of a student's ability to select the questions judiciously. Most of the questions were time consuming. In some cases, understanding the questions and applying the correct method to solve the question posed a problem.


Subject Area

Number of Questions

Time Allotted

Section A / I

Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning


35 minutes

Section B / II

Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making


35 minutes

Section C / III

Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability


50 minutes

SECTION A: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning
This section had questions on Verbal Ability, Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. One had to read each and every question properly before solving the same. The options in most questions were quite deceptive. In this section, most of the questions carried 1, 2 or 3 marks. Unlike the Quant section, there were no 5 markers in this section.

Reading Comprehension:
There were 10 questions based on three reading comprehension passages.

Topic of RC Passage

Number of Questions

Conversation between two friends on the concept of “being”


Toyota Production system


Fermi’s Paradox


The passages were moderate in length (one was only two paragraphs long). Two of the passages were based on abstract topics and were dense. The questions following the passages were mainly inferential ones and some of them were based on parallel reasoning. The passage on Toyota was comparatively easy.

Verbal Ability:
The paper also contained questions on grammar, vocabulary, usage and reasoning. There was a special book review caselet followed by five separate reviews and one had to judge the reviews. It contained three questions.

Critical Reasoning:
There were 10 questions on critical reasoning that were based on small passages. Most of the questions were challenging because one had to read the passage, understand the line of reasoning and then reason out the correct answer. The options were close and at times confusing.

Fill in the Blanks:
There were four questions, one was preposition based and easy, two were moderate and elimination based. The fourth one was quote based and ambiguous as the options included synonyms of the original words.

Jumbled Paragraph:
There were only two questions. The one with four sentences was moderate and could be attempted. The six sentence one was better left alone.

There were three questions based on finding the odd analogy from the five given. One was based on phrases, one was antonym based, while there was also a three-term analogy. Baring one question, this was a tricky set as understanding the relation took time. There was also a question on punctuation, where one had to punctuate a paragraph. But none of the options had the sequence of punctuation marks used in the actual excerpt. There was a question based on a verse; but it was easy and should be attempted.

SECION B: Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making
Out of the 24 questions in this section, there were two individual questions on decision-making similar to the ones asked in previous years. There were three caselets:

Topic of Caselet

Number of Questions

Mergers and acquisitions with a rival company (ABC & LMN)


Worker union and related problems (Chetan Textile Mills)


Air travel discounts (Cozy Travel)



Number of Questions

Arrangements (Linear/ Matrix/ Circular) (No. of sets)

2 set (3 Questions each)

Codes, Puzzles, Directions

1 set (3 Questions), 1 set (2 Questions), 1 Question

Some of the questions required one to read the passage multiple times to understand the nuances of the scenario.

SECION C: Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability
This section was difficult as compared to the previous year. There were 16 questions in set of twos, threes and fours, ranging from moderate to a high difficulty level. The questions based on numbers were relatively easy as compared to others. Permutation & Combination, Ratio & Proportion, etc were few other constructs in this section. Overall, one can say that most of the questions in the Problem solving section were conceptual. The selection of easier questions would have helped to maximize the score.


Quantitative Ability


Number of Questions

Numbers (Number, HCF/LCF, Averages, Divisibility, Surds & Indices, BODMAS etc.)


Arithmetic(Percentages, Ratio)




Modern Math (Set theory, Functions, Permutation & Combination, Probability, Log)


Data Interpretation


Number of Questions


1 set (4 questions)

Line Graph

1 set (4 questions)

Bar Graph

1 set (3 questions)


1 set (3 questions)

Essay (Logical analysis of an argument)
There was a statement given and one had to make a judgment on it, and supply justifications and examples.

The argument given was:

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate and which be nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

The question was worded differently but one still had to write a 250 word analysis of the statement, similar to an essay. The statement criticizes authoritative regulation of capital. Most likely one had to agree with the statement and provide examples and justifications to how regulation in such cases can prove detrimental.

XAT 2012- Analysis

XAT 2012 came up with a number of changes. First, this time one had to mark the answers on the OMR sheet with a pen; so no chance of changing an answer at the last moment. The total number of questions came down from 101 to 85. The break-up is:
  • 28 questions of Quant & DI and total marks for the section were 34;
  • 32 questions of VA & LR and total marks for the section were 35;
  • 25 questions of Decision Making and total marks for the section were 30.

This time, the Decision Making section had only case studies. Unlike previous years, there were no logical reasoning type of single questions and this was the trickiest section. The questions had differential marking of 1, 1.5 and 2 marks, unlike previous year when there were 3, 4 or 5 markers also.

Overall, XAT 2012 was an easier paper compared to other years because VA and Quant was manageable but Decision Making was quite time-consuming and tricky.

Structure of the test:

Total Duration of the Exam

120 minutes + 20 minutes for essay

Total Number of Questions

85 (28-QA/ 32 – VA & LR/ 25 – DM)

Number of Sections


Number of choices per question


Sectional timing

No sectional timing

Marks per Question

Mentioned beside each question

Negative Marking

1/4th of the allotted mark/s

Mode of marking the ovals

Black / Blue Ball point pen

Section Wise Analysis:



No. of Qs.

Total marks for the Section

1 mark

1.5 mark

2 mark


Quantitative Ability


35 marks





English Language Ability and Logical Reasoning


35 marks





Decision Making


30 marks




Section A: Quantitative Ability
The level of difficulty of the questions in Quantitative Ability varied from moderate to slightly tough with the overall level of difficulty easier compared to the previousyear's papers.Questions were distributed across areas like:
  • Number properties (2 questions),
  • Arithmetic (11 questions distributed across topics like TSD, Ratio & Proportion, Mixtures, Simple interest, Statistics, etc.),
  • Geometry (7 questions),
  • Algebra (3 questions based on Algebraic equations)
  • Modern Math (1 question fromVenn Diagrams) and
  • 5 questions on Data Interpretation

One could have easily made it out that, of all the questions,3- 4 questions based on Geometry were most challenging in this section.Data Interpretation unlike previous year's papers had very less data to read and comprehend and was not very calculation intensive either. However, the set with bar diagram had two questions with errors.

In this section, major questions were not asked from higher math and this bought a smile on the faces of students as they were not required to put extra efforts to solve the mathematical problems.Non-existence of complicated problems from permutation & combination, probability and Functions, which were present in last year, gave Quantphobias, a relief. The section had questions from almost all the domains of quant but Numbers & Geometry and mensuration, as discussed above, got substantial weightage.

Section B: English Language Ability and Logical Reasoning
This section was easier compared to earlier XAT papers. While the focus was once again on inferential logic and critical reasoning, the grammar based and word based questions were quite easy and could be solved by an average student also.

Reading Comprehension:
There were 3 RCs of varying length. One was just a short paragraph, the other two were of moderate length.

Topic of RC

No. of Questions

Difficulty Level

The increasing number of SEZs in India


Easy to moderate

‘Agency aspect’ and ‘well-being aspect’ of a person



Theory of technological evolution


Moderate to difficult

The passage on SEZs was a must-attempt as it was easy to read and the questions were mainly direct and partially indirect ones. There was one question which could be very easily answered by just looking at the dates given in the passage. The passage on 'agency aspect and 'well-being aspect' of a person was the most difficult to understand and the questions were of inferential type. In case of time constraint, one could have left this passage. The passage on theory of evolution was also quite intricate but the questions were manageable if one understood the crux of the passage.

Verbal Ability (including Verbal Reasoning):
  • Grammar Based (3 qs.): There was one question where one had to identify the grammatically incorrect sentence. This was a tricky question as the options were very close. There was one question where one had to identify the grammatically correct sentence and it deal with pronoun error. Though the sentence was lengthy, the concept that it tested was very easy. There was one Fill in the Blank type of question where one had to identify the correct pair of words. This question was based on the concept of tenses and quite easy.
  • Vocabulary Based (7 qs.): There was one Fill in the Blank question where knowledge of commonly confused words and confused spellings were tested. The other Fill in the Blank question tested pure vocabulary and usage. This was very easy as the words were familiar ones. There were three questions of synonym-antonym types. Two words were easy; only 'embezzlement' could be a problem for some students. There was one question where meaning of an in idiom was tested. The odd one out question was very easy.
  • Jumbled Paragraph (3 qs.): There were either 4 or 5 sentences given in jumbled order. The sentences were not too lengthy and the paragraphs were easy to understand. So, arranging the sentences in a coherent manner was not much of a problem.
  • Verbal / Critical Reasoning (8 qs.): In most of the questions, a paragraph was given and a question asked alluding to it. Some of the questions were like a cakewalk. Only one question posed a problem none of the options was exactly similar to the line of reasoning followed in the passage. There was one question of syllogism type and was very easy.

Section C: Decision Making
Decision making is always the distinguishing element in XAT and it was all the more this year because the Analytical Reasoning questions were completely done away with. There was no single question; one had to read entire case studies to solve the questions.

Case I - Ginger Automobiles:
This was a short passage and had 3 questions, out of which 2 questions were quite tricky because of very close options.

Case II - Vivekananda Memorial Elocution Competition:
This was a slightly lengthy case but easy to understand and had 2 questions that could be solved using simple logic.

Case III - Saral Co.:
This was again a very short case and had 2 questions, of which 1 question was difficult because the options were very close.

Case IV - Tina's travel by train:
This was a lengthy and difficult case. The case was not difficult to understand but involved a lot of parameters which made it slightly cumbersome. It had 2 questions which are difficult to solve because of the close answer options.

Case V - DevAnand and his choice of driver:
This was a lengthy case and one had to carefully read the parameters given for each prospective driver. There were 3 questions of which 2 were quite easy but 1 question was very difficult as one had to consider multiple concerns before arriving at the answer.

Case VI - Teknik Group of Industries and the ERP project implementation:
This was a lengthy and comparative difficult case and had 6 questions. Solving the question would take time as one had to considered the nuances before arriving at the correct answer.

Case VII - A short letter to the Chairman:
This was an easy passage and had 2 questions which could be easily attempted.

Case VIII - Naresh and the ethical concerns:
This was the most difficult set and quite confusing because for every question one had to consider the definition of 'ethics' and 'morals' given in the case and then analyse the situations. There were 3 questions and for attempting each one had to read additional information given with the question. One could have easily avoided attempting this set.

After the test of 2 hours, the candidates were given 20 minutes to write an essay. This time the essay topic has two statements:
  1. Poverty is a big menace in India. Due to its complexity and magnitude, most of the government initiatives fail.
  2. Poverty is a consequence of failure of government policies due to the governments not targeting the root causes.

One had to select one of the statements and then justify the same and substantiate it with the help of relevant examples.

This was an easier task compared to the essay topic given last year where most students found it difficult to understand the statement. This was topical theme - poverty in India - and one who is updated regarding the welfare policies and schemes of government could have written the essay well.

Decision making questions:
Lots of candidates have trouble understanding this section as they are confused between approach for analytical and logical reasoning. Analytical Reasoning is basically Logical Reasoning (generally not very challenging questions) whereas Decision Making involves a business scenario and you as a manager have to decide the best course of action (generally tougher questions).

So, it is advisable to consider all alternatives or options, given in the caselet,in mind before making a decision and marking the right option. As it might eat up a lot of time, you can save this portion for the later part of your test, but as always, there might be some low hanging fruits in this section also, which one can target easily.

For the Decision Making Ability questions, you should go through the test papers of previous years to understand what questions may appear in this section.

Essay Writing:
For Essay Writing, you need to read a lot, practice and must keep in mind certain strategies like, do not feel bogged down if you have not understood the topic of essay, because if you are well read, chances are high that you will find the connect and will be able to write some good points and present your thought process in a smooth flow, better than most of the other XAT takers.

Previous year's XAT Essay topics for your reference are as follows -

XAT 1996: There is no right way of doing a wrong thing.

XAT 1997: By the third or fourth week of the term, business school had succeeded in afflicting me with a variation of the Stockholm syndrome, named after the incident in which a hostage in a Stockholm bank robbery fell in love with one of her captors.

XAT 1998: Max Weber, a German Sociologist, defined state as an entity that has a monopoly over legal violence. India proves that the converse is also true; if criminals cannot be punished by the law, its effect they become the state.

XAT 1999: That is what a Television really is; it is another eye so you can see anywhere; another part of your heart so you can feel and care about things you never felt and cared about before; another ear to hear strange music . the first and only International language

XAT 2000: Ships in harbor are safe; but that is not what they are built for.

XAT 2001: Economic Growth without distributive justice can only lead to violence.

XAT 2002: Indian Economy in the Post WTO Era

XAT 2003: To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or measured, like sincerity and integrity.

XAT 2004: Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would he choose as his master piece, Frank Lloyd wright, the architect answered, "The next one"

XAT 2005: More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities.

XAT 2006: India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products.

XAT 2007: Economic growth without environmental damage - a mirage or a reality

XAT 2008: Gender imbalance will lead to Third world war.

XAT 2009: The Inherent vice of Capitalism is unequal sharing of blessings and the inherent virtue of Socialism is equal sharing of misery

XAT 2010: Earth provides enough to satisfy everybody's need but not everybody's greed

XAT 2011: A statement given and one had to make a judgment on it.

XAT 2012: The essay topic this year comprised two statements:
  1. Poverty is a big menace in India. Due to its complexity and magnitude, most of the government initiatives fail.
  2. Poverty is a consequence of failure of government policies due to the fact that governments do not target the root causes.

One had to select one of the statements and justify it with proper examples.

Strategies to crack XAT

  • Plan your preparation - It is rightly said, "He who fails to plan, plans to fail". Nobody can undermine the importance of planning when doing any important task, and if it means preparing for the XAT exam, you should be even more careful. The Study Plan should be such that you assign yourself some chapters to study every week, so that you are able to complete your syllabus in time.

  • Know your exam well - Know the syllabus and exam pattern very well. Analyze the previous year's questions and be prepared for any kind of change in the pattern of exam.

  • Know your strengths and Weaknesses - You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses for any test preparation, like you can be strong in Mathematics, average in DI and totally clueless in RC. This is important because then you will create your plan to turn your weaknesses into strengths and ignore certain weaknesses if they are not important from exam point of view and improve your strengths.

  • Practice Hard - Don't forget that only learning chapters will not take you anywhere, it is questions that you need to answer in the final exam. So practice, practice and practice till you are perfect at the chapter and then move ahead. Taking mock test and solving previous year's question papers are certainly beneficial.

  • Reference Material - Mathematics by: R.S.Agarwal and S.L.Gulathi. Reasoning by: R.S.Agarwal[Verbal and Nonverbal] and Marksman Reasoning. English by Wren and Martin [English Grammar], Antonyms and Synonyms [Arihant Publication] and Thesaurus [Idioms and phrases]. You can also follow Norman Lewis's "word power made easy".

There are a few things as well, that one needs to keep in mind, for getting that coveted selection.

Psychological factors
The statistics which states that only 1 of 250 candidates makes it into XLRI can rattle any candidates, but if the number of serious aspirants is taken into account, it would drastically fall. You should understand that this exam is designed to measure your ability of maintaining a level head under pressure.

So avoid getting demoralized or disheartened by such statistics. It's not as much an examination of your knowledge base as much as it is of your nerves. Maintain a cool head during the examination.

This does not come overnight. Studying all the topics, practicing DI and quantitative problems is of utmost importance. While this builds up your speed and analytical skills, it also gives you much-needed confidence to crack the exam.

After you have attempted 10 to 15 mock papers, identify your strong and weak areas. You should know which section to start with and which areas to attack first in each section. Set your time limits. Do not spend time on a question from an area you are not comfortable with. That time can be utilized to get you points from a section you know better.

Also, during an exam, if you feel the section is too tough, remember that if it is tough for you, it is tough for everybody else. Never forget this golden rule that solving a question is not an ego issue.

Flexible strategy
Keep in mind when you go into the examination hall that you need not try to predict the paper or close your options by forming a strategy for a particular pattern. A paper like XAT will always give you a shock when you see the instructions and, unfortunately, 30 to 35 per cent of candidates lose out then and there.

It is important to keep a cool head, take time to form your strategy and go through the whole paper once before starting with any particular section. Spend the first three minutes scanning through the entire paper, so there are no rude surprises awaiting you. This serves a dual purpose. It gives you a general feel of the difficulty level and, as you write, helps your mind subconsciously condition itself for the paper.

Maintaining an accuracy level of at least 75 to 80 per cent is very important. This also gives you the leeway to, once in a while, mark an option based on chance.

Selection Process
During the selection process criteria such as XAT marks, academic performance, work experience and extra-curricular activities, performance in group discussion and personal interview is taken into account.

Hope we have provided you much insight on the XAT Exam and to crack it. We wish you all the success in the upcoming XAT Exam. All the Best !!

Any queries please write to us at and stay tuned to

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