Know your exam – Although there is no any written syllabus for competitive exams like XAT or CAT, but still, by observing the past trends, you can get a lot of idea of what sort of question is expected to appear in the question paper. The sections are usually announced in advance like verbal ability, quantitative aptitude, decision making, essay writing, general awareness, etc. So, what you really need to work upon is the basics of these subject areas, like Maths formulas for QA, English grammar for VA & essay writing and regular current news updates for general awareness. Thus, if you are aware of the essentials of the paper, you will come out with flying colours.
- Know the difference - XAT is pretty different from all the other MBA entrance exams that you plan to appear for. That doesn’t mean it is the toughest but undoubtedly the one that checks your academic skills as well as IQ and expression power. It does not require you to be the master of any one field while ignoring others; rather it looks out for a jack of all trade who could be transformed into the master of business administration/management in near future.
- Sharpen your edges – Once you are aware of the intricacies of your exam, you need to plan your preparations accordingly; after all, it is rightly said, "He who fails to plan, plans to fail". So, please don’t undermine the importance of planning and pave your way to success by cracking this exam.
- Know your strengths and Weaknesses – While you prepare for your test, you also need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses like you can be strong in Mathematics, average in DI and totally clueless in RC. This is important because for clearing XAT; you need to clear all the sections of the paper. If you will not strengthen your strong areas and hone your weak areas, you might lose your entrance ticket to some of the most reputed colleges of this country.
- Schedule you preparation – Only knowing what you need to prepare is not enough; planning how to do it the key. You not only need to read and understand things but do so in a fixed time frame. You need to make a routine and stick to it for a scheduled preparation. You need to devote some time to every section and especially to those which is out of your comfort zone and complete the groundwork in the fixed time period.
- Be ready to adapt to changed scenario – In 2013 XAT, students witnessed some changes in the exam pattern like there was a complete new section of general awareness, long hours and QA section was easier than expected. Students who were mentally prepared to tackle the change successfully made a mark and made it to the league list. So, apart from knowing the syllabus and planning your preparation, you also need to be ready to face any challenge that the question paper posses.
- Practice Hard - Don't forget that only learning chapters and making plans will not take you anywhere, it is the executions of these strategies that ultimately count. 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".
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