XAT is the second most popular exam to be taken by any management aspirant. The exam is conducted to shortlist candidates for admission to XLRI and its associated colleges. Every year, around one lakh candidates appear for the XAT exam. In this article, we shall discuss the XAT exam trends.

The XAT 2019 exam took place today, on 6th of January 2019. 

XAT Exam Trends – Paper Pattern

XAT Exam Trends

The XAT Exam Paper Pattern has changed a lot in the past few years. These changes include the transformation of XAT Exam from a traditional pen-paper test to a computer-based test. But, it has been dropping down some syllabus or section, adding some other topics to syllabus or paper and reducing the number of questions counted for percentile calculation.

However, XLRI believes that making changes in the exam paper helps in better evaluation of the candidates’ ability. Coming to the changes, let us tell you that XAT changes its pattern almost every year. It has introduced many friendly changes in the 2019 test too.

This year, however, XAT has dropped down its year-old Essay-writing section. Because an entire section goes missing from the paper pattern, the time duration of the test is also reduced from 210 minutes to 180 minutes.

The four sections for 2019 XAT paper comprised of:

  • Decision-making
  • Verbal and Logical Ability
  • Data interpretation and Quantitative Aptitude
  • General Knowledge

From XAT 2019 onwards, there will be no sectional limit or hierarchy for attempting the XAT exam. Candidates can choose what section they want to attempt first and begin from there.

In fact, this year, you must try to finish the sections you have a command over first and then move to the difficult sections. That would add a lot of benefit to your Percentile score.

XAT Exam Trends – Syllabus and Number of Questions

As already said, XAT has introduced many changes in 2019 XAT Test Paper. The reason is XAT wants to give candidates equal opportunity by not keeping the paper very hard to too lengthy. Given below are year-wise changes in the sections and questions.

Year Sections Number of Questions Duration Difficulty Level
2015 Paper 1 – Verbal & Logical Ability,

Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning,

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Paper 2 – General Awareness

For Paper 1 – 28 + 23 + 33 = 84

Paper 2 – 30

3 hours Tough
2014 Verbal & Logical Ability

Decision Making

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation

General Awareness

28+24+31+20 = 103 3 hours Tough
2013 Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Decision Making, General Awareness 30+25+36+30 = 121 3 hours Moderate-Tough
2012 Quantitative Ability, English Language Ability & Logical Reasoning, Decision Making 28+32+25 = 85 2 hours 30 minutes Tough
2011 Verbal Reasoning & Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making, Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability


Logical Analysis of an argument

34+24+43 = 101 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2010 Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability, Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making, Verbal & Logical Ability 34+24+43 = 101 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2009 Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability, Verbal & Logical Ability, Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making 38+35+31 = 104 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2008 Verbal & Logical Ability, Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making, Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability 38+38+44 = 120 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2007 Quantitative Ability, Reasoning & Decision Making Ability, Verbal Ability 49+40+41 = 130 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2006 Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation & Reasoning, Quantitative Ability 40+43+44 = 127 2 hours 20 minutes Tough
2005 Reasoning & Quantitative Ability, General Awareness, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 75+35+65 = 175 2 hours 20 minutes Moderate

Now, coming to XAT 2019 exam.

Section 1 is about Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. There will be a total of 24 questions in this section, covering all the three topics. Though the share of LR questions in XAT Syllabus for 2019 exam is not very high, you should be prepared for some critical reasoning questions in this section.

Section 2 will be testing candidates’ Decision-making ability this year. This is a unique section of XAT 2019 Exam and no other national-level entrance test has this section. Hence, you might find it difficult to get sample questions for this section. There will be 21 questions in this section.

Section 3 is totally a Math-based section, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation. We popularly know this section as quants and has a very wide syllabus for XAT exam. It covers everything in Mathematics that you may or may not expect. There will be 27 questions in this section.

Section 4 is about General Knowledge. It will have MCQs and non-MCQs (as per the changed pattern) this year. This section, however, is kept to check the awareness of candidates and will not be taken into consideration while calculation of overall percentiles.

XAT Exam Trends – Marking Scheme

In XAT 2019, each question carries one mark. For every correct answer, one mark is awarded and for every wrong answer, 0.25 marks is deducted from the total.

However, XAT Exam Paper also has one more rule – if the unattended question is more then 8, 0.05 marks is deducted per question, for the number of unattended questions.

But this marking scheme has gone through a lot of changes. Till the year 2005, negative marking was 0.33 for each question.

In 2007, it was revised and it became one third for first 5 wrong answers and after, all wrong answers fetched negative marking of 0.2 marks.

After that, however, it became one-fourth for first 6 questions and half for next wrong answer. Thereafter, it became 1 mark for every correct answer and one fourth for negative answers.

XAT Exam Trends – Cutoff for Various Institutes

After appearing for the exam, the candidates wait to clear the cut-off for getting into the XAT colleges. Given below is the list consisting of the previous years cutoff of various colleges through XAT.

Institute Cutoffs (Percentile)
XIM Bhubaneswar 95+
XLRI HRM 94.4+
LIBA Chennai 90+
Goa Institute of Management (GIM), Goa 90+
Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai 90+
Loyola Institute of Business Management, Chennai 90+
Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad 90+
T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal 86+
IFMR Chennai 85+
Amity Business School, Noida 85+
XISS Ranchi 85+
XIM Bengaluru 80+
XIM Jabalpur 80+
Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan’s Usha and Lakshmi Mittal 80+
Institute of Management (BULMIM), New Delhi 80+
BIMTECH Greater Noida 75+
PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore 75+
Alliance School of Business, Bangalore 70+
Balaji Institute of Modern Management, Pune 70+
Thiagarajar School of Management, Thirupparankundram 65+
SCMS Cochin School of Business, Cochin  60+

With this, you are able to see the XAT cutoff trends. You need to score a percentile above 80, in order to get a call for GD & PI in any college. Although there will be 100 questions to be answered in 180 minutes, the General Knowledge section will not be taken into account for percentile calculation. So, you know where you have to score to land a high percentile.

XAT Exam Trends – GD & PI Rounds

After clearing the cutoff, the next step is to appear for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview round. This has also seen variation as different institutes through XAT have different rules pertaining to selection after GD-PI round. The admission processes are different for different institutions because some XAT colleges also have case study-based group discussions. 

XAT 2019 Exam Pattern XAT Scores Accepting Colleges
XAT 2019 Cutoff

XAT 2019 Sectional Analysis

XAT 2019 Admit Card

XAT Exam Preparation