XAT is one of the entrance exams for admission to MBA to XLRI and many more institutes. Language skills form an important component of all MBA entrance exams, as language is indispensable part of today’s business environment. Not only fluency in speech, but also writing skills and even listening skills have assumed importance in the present world and this reflects in the kind of papers being set for these exams. The extent to which language skills are tested by such exams, however, varies from exam to exam.
XAT is slightly different from other exams such as CAT, as it puts the language skills of aspirants to test, much more than CAT. CAT is a Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning heavy paper whereas XAT tilts in favour of language skills.
1. Essay Writing
The main difference between CAT and XAT is that the latter includes a separate section to test your language skills in the form of Essay Writing, in which the candidate is expected to write a 250-300 word essay in twenty minutes. This essay helps the examiner form an impression about the candidate and get to know the language proficiency of the candidate. The candidate must use this opportunity to leave a strong impression on the examiner. Too many errors in the essay or weak expression can spoil your chances of making it.
2. Verbal Reasoning
The language skills, in particular verbal reasoning, vocabulary and grammar, is tested in the XAT in the Verbal Ability section. This section, usually, has questions such as sentence completion, para- jumbles, para- completion, critical reasoning, verbal reasoning, paragraph summary and others. This clearly shows the range of questions that XAT covers to test the language knowledge of the candidates. To attempt this section, the candidates must be aware of the nitty-gritties of the language, the rules that govern the language, their application, words and their meanings and so on.
3. Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension forms a very important part of all MBA entrance examinations, including XAT. There is no escape from Reading Comprehension. In the three years from 2013 to 2015, Reading Comprehension contributed over half the questions in the Verbal Ability section. The passages are, generally, not lengthy but difficult to read with several inferential questions, rather than questions with direct answers. So, the candidates have to be good readers and have a good grasp on the language, to be able to understand the passages and also the vocabulary used in the passages. Inferential questions require candidates to apply their mind and extract meanings out of the passages.
4. Level of difficulty
As language skills are tested comprehensively, the questions go beyond the surface level and test the critical, analytical, reasoning abilities in depth. Without a good hold on your language, and without familiarising yourself with the kind of questions being asked, clearing the language section can prove to be a big hurdle for aspirants.
Good language skills are an enabling factor in whichever field you chose. In MBA, it is indispensable and the aspirants are expected to have a certain level of proficiency in the language, in particular English.
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