XAT 2021 Application Form, Eligibility, Dates, Pattern and Syllabus

    Atul Yadav Atul Yadav
    Exam prep master

    Xavier’s Aptitude Test (XAT ) is a test organised by Xavier’s Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). XAT 2021 will provide prospective candidates admission to B- schools all across the country. It is an online, computer-based test which is conducted annually on a national level.

    • Registration for XAT 2021 will tentatively commence in August 2020 and will last till November 2020. Candidates will be able to obtain their admit card with their registration number and password online.
    • To apply for the examination, candidates must have obtained a recognized graduation degree in any discipline by June 2021. Applicants from all age groups are welcome to apply for the examination.
    • The selection process for all 11 XLRI member institutes as well as around 150 other B-Schools is hypothesized to begin around February and March 2021. 

    XAT Exam Highlights

    ExamXavier’s Aptitude Test
    Conducted byXLRI
    Eligibility3-year bachelor’s
    Division of Exam2 Parts- Part 1 and Part 2
    Time Duration180 minutes

    XAT 2021 Exam Dates

    XAT 2021 Exam Dates

    Given below are the tentative exam dates for the XAT exam 2021

    Important DayTentative Date
    Application- start dateThird week of August 2020
    Application- end date (without late fee)Last week of November 2020
    Application- end date (with late fee)Second week of December 2020
    Admit CardThird week of December 2020
    Entrance ExamFirst week of January 2021
    ResultLast week of January 2021

    XAT 2021 Eligibility

    XAT 2021 Eligibility

    Applicants must fulfil the eligibility criteria in order to take the XAT exam. The eligibility criteria are as follows-

    • Applicant must have completed a 3-year bachelor’s degree or a recognized equivalent from any stream. The applicant must not possess any backlogs on their mark sheet.
    • While candidates with Indian citizenship can apply for XAT 2021, foreign candidates and NRI applicants may register on the basis of their GMAT Scores. This does not refer to candidates from Dubai and Kathmandu where XAT centres are available.
    • Applicants in their last year are also eligible to apply on the contingency that they fulfil the admission criteria before the required deadline
    • Candidates from any age group are welcome to apply for XAT 2021 as there is no bar on the age limit for the XAT entrance exam.

    Program Eligibility for XAT 2021

    Applicants are eligible to apply for multiple programmes in one go. Candidates who apply for more than one program will be informed about the separate dates for their interview rounds and / or group discussions.

    Program Eligibility 
    PGDM in Business Management and Human Resource Management Candidates who have completed a 3 year Bachelor’s Degree or a recognized equivalent may apply. 
    Applicants who will complete their final examination by June 10, 2020, can also apply on a provisional basis. 
    NRI and Foreign students can apply directly through their GMAT Scores. 
    PGDM in General Management Candidates who have completed a 3 year Bachelor’s Degree or a recognized equivalent from India/abroad may apply.
    Candidates must be employed in a full-time job and 
    Applications must have at least 5 years worth of experience in a managerial role by March 31, 2020, in a reputable public, private or non-governmental organization. 
    Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) - Doctoral Level ProgrammeCandidates who have completed a postgraduate programme in any stream from India / abroad and centres of higher learning with at least 55% marks (50% for SC / ST candidates) with a bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification with at least 60% marks (55% for SC / ST candidates) with a minimum 3-year degree 
    Applicants must have completed 4 or 5 Year Integrated Master’s Degree Programme in any discipline, with at least a 55% aggregate (50% for SC / ST candidates) 
    Bachelor’s in Engineering / B.Tech degree with at least a 60% aggregate (50% for SC / ST candidates) with at least years of work experience 
    A professional qualification such as ICWA, CA, or CS with at least 55% marks (50% for SC / ST candidates) 
    Business Management Programme (Part-Time) Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum duration of 3 years of education after completing 12th class (10 +2) or the equivalent.

    Note: There are no reservation criteria that has been mentioned other than the relaxation of 5% in the final overall marks of the bachelor’s degree for the SC/ ST/ PwD applicants.

    XAT 2021 Registration

    XAT 2021 Registration Process

    The registration of the applicant is the first step to applying for XAT. The following steps must be completed to register successfully.

    Step 1- Register

    • Go to the official site of XAT when the application forms release in August
    • Go to the ‘Registration’ tab and fill in the required details in the form
    • The system will generate an ID and password for you which will be sent through mail or SMS.

    Step 2- Fill the Application Form

    • Open the application form and fill in the required details.
    • Submit the form after ensuring that no detail is incorrect or missing

    Step 3- Upload Photo and Signature

    The candidate must scan a copy of their photo and signature which must be uploaded in the prescribed format

    Scanned Candidate’s Passport Size PhotographImage Dimensions: 200 x 300 pixels File Type: JPG or JPEG File size: 20 Kbs - 50 Kbs
    Scanned Candidate’s SignatureImage Dimensions: 140 x 160 pixels File Type: JPG or JPEG File Size: 10 Kbs - 20 Kbs

    Step 4- Pay the Application Fee

    • Pay the application fee through online or offline mode
    Application fee (without late fee)1700 INR
    Application fee (with late fee)2000 INR
    Extra fee for each XLRI program300 INR
    XLRI program fee (with late fee)500 INR

    Step 5- Submit Application Form

    • Take a printout of the confirmation page and all other documents
    • Send the documents to the given address along with application fee (if paid in offline mode)

    XAT Admit Card

    XLRI will tentatively issue the the admit card on the official website by the third week of December 2020. It will include all the required details such as information about the exam center, date and timing of the exam, instructions for candidates regarding the exam center, as well as the candidate’s registration details.

    In order to access the admit card, the candidate must input their date of birth as well as their registration number. Candidates must remember to carry two hard copies of their admit card along with them to the exam center as they will not be allowed to sit in the exam without an admit card. The following information will be presented on the admit card:

    • Applicant’s name
    • XAT Registration Number
    • XAT Password
    • Date and Time of the XAT 2021 Exam
    • Exam Day Instructions for XAT 2021
    • Candidate’s Photograph and Signature

    Note: In case candidates face any issues/discrepancies in their XAT 2020 Admit Card, they can contact the XAT Helpline Number - 18002674008

    XAT Exam Centers

    For XAT 2021, candidates will have the option of choosing any 2 test centers at the time of registration. The final center that will be allotted to the candidate will be present on the XAT 2021 Admit Card. XLRI Jamshedpur will release the final list of XAT 2021 exam center cities tentatively in December 2020.

    XAT 2021 Exam Centers
    Bhilai NagarBokaro Steel CityDibrugarhDurgapur
    BengaluruGreater NoidaMangaloreTiruchirapalli

    XAT Exam Pattern

    XAT Exam Pattern 

    XAT 2021 exam will be conducted online as a computer based test. Each correct answer will be given one mark and each wrong answer will reduce 0.25 marks each.The exam is divided into 2 parts Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is for 165 minutes and It consists of 74 questions in total. Part 2 is of 15 minutes and all 25 questions stem from General Knowledge. Any candidate who leaves over 8 unattempted questions will receive a penalty of 0.05 marks on every question.

    QuestionNumber of QuestionsTime Limit
    Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation27165 Minutes
    Decision Making21
    Verbal and Logical Ability26

    Part 2 is of 15 minutes and it includes:

    QuestionNumber of QuestionsTime Limit
    General Knowledge2515 Minutes

    XAT 2021 Syllabus

    The university has not yet declared the exact syllabus for the test. Candidates can check the University site for more details or any changes. The following are the basic topics on which the test is based

    SubjectImportant Topics
    Quantitative Ability and Data InterpretationGeometry, Tables, Graphys, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Statistics, Profit and Loss, Speed and Distance, Clocks
    Verbal and Logical AbilityGrammar, Para Jumbles, Para Completion, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension
    Decision MakingAnalytical Reasoning, Situational events, Caselets, Data Arrangement Sets
    General KnowledgePolitics, History, Sport, Nation and States, Business, Literature, Economics, International Relations, Society

    Recommended books for XAT Preparation

    Each section has different weightage and different cut- off scores. In order to cover all the sections efficiently and get enough practice over the logical reasoning and decision making correct books are necessary. With the right books one can score 98- 99 percentile in the XAT exam. Given are the book recommendations based on each section

    Decision Making

    Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers)By RK Jha
    Target XAT 2019 (Past papers and mock tests)By Disha Publications

    Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

    Books Author
    Word Power Made EasyBy Norman Lewis
    Analytical ReasoningBy MK Pandey
    A Modern Approach to Verbal and non- verbal reasoningBy RS Aggarwal
    Verbal Ability and Comprehension for XAT (2nd ed.)Bharat Patodi
    MBA (XAT , IIFT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT)Gautam Puri
    Koncepts of LR - Logical Reasoning for CAT, XAT , CMAT, Bank PO and Other Aptitude TestsGajendra Kumar

    Quantitative Ability

    Books Author
    Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationBy R.S. Aggarwal
    How to Prepare for Data InterpretationBy Arun Sharma
    Quantitative Aptitude Simplified for XATDeepak Aggarwal
    Concepts of Numbers for XAT and Other Aptitude Exams (Old Edition)Gajendra Kumar

    General Knowledge

    Newspaper and magazines are a good source to gain knowledge such as The Hindu, The Financial Times, Economic Times, Business Today, Wall Street Journal and Competition Success Review.

    XAT Exam Mock Test/ Sample Paper

    Paper 2018

    Sample Paper 1
    Paper 2017Sample Paper 2
    Paper 2016Paper 2015

    XAT 2021 Exam Preparation Tips

    To prepare for the XAT exam the candidates must emphasise on the importance of practice and mock tests. The following steps should be followed to study effectively for the XAT exam.

    • The preparation for the XAT exam should be in accordance with the time you have before the exam. Divide the sections and syllabus you need to work on in the given days. During the examination a timer will be present on the computer screen for candidates to gauge their time progression. One can replicate the same during their preparation to create a similar environment.
    • Quantitative ability has the most number of questions and is tougher than the rest of the sections. You must have conceptual clarity. Find a pattern in answering different questions and check its credibility by solving previous question papers and mock tests.
    • For the verbal skills and logical reasoning work on your grammar and reading skills by reciting textual paragraphs out loud. For jumbled works, find connectors and then attach them according to the paragraph. The logical reasoning portion focuses mainly on sets while critical reasoning relies solely on practice.
    • For general knowledge focus on current affairs and pay special attention to recent historical events, worldwide geography and political changes.
    • Decision-making tackles with dilemmas, issues on financial conditions and sales, different management issues etc. Practice previous question papers. The key to answering correctly is finding ethical solutions which also benefit most stakeholders.

    XAT 2021 Cut Off

    XAT cut off is the minimum percentile that a candidate must score in order to make the merit list. On the basis of the cut off the candidates will be selected for the counselling, group discussions and interviews. The cut off will be declared soon after the result declaration and candidates who make the cut will move to the next round. Different universities and colleges are also bound to have their own cut- off lists.

    The score normalization process that is utilized in XAT ensures that candidates don’t obtain negative scores or percentile. Some of the most prominent institutes that will accept XAT 2021 scores are XILR, XIMB, SPJIMR, Great Lakes Institute and IMT.

    XAT Cutoff is decided by a multitude of factors, most prominently the total number of test-takers, available seats in the participating institutes, level of difficulty of the examination paper, average marks scored in previous papers, and the level of score normalization.

    XAT 2021 Result

    XAT 2021 Result

    XAT 2021 result will tentatively be declared on the official site by the end of January 2020. To see the result, candidates must fill in their details i.e. XAT registration ID and password on XAT online.in. Since there is no provision for a hard copy, candidates must download the result and take out two hard copies for the upcoming counselling rounds. The respective authorities will put up a merit list of the candidates who did well in the exam.

    After the exam has been conducted, students can utilize the XAT Rank Predictor crafted by collegedunia to assess their rank and percentile based on their performance. Based on the number of questions the candidate has answered correctly, incorrectly as well as the ones left unanswered, the candidate’s XAT 2021 rank and percentile will be determined. The generated system will compare the candidate’s result to those of thousands of other candidates.

    Check XAT Rank Predictor

    XAT 2021 Counselling

    Candidates will have to appear in person for all rounds of the counselling process in order to gain admission into their desired institutes. Post XAT 2021, there are three stages in the selection process. These stages may vary according to the institute that one applies to, yet most of them will include a group discussion round as well as a personal interview round.

    During the registration process, candidates must be careful and apply separately for institutes that require individual registration such as SPJIMR, IMT, XIMB etc. The selection process ensues directly after the candidates obtain their XAT Results. Once the XAT scores and merit list have been released, candidates can submit their results to the b-schools that they have applied to or will apply to.

    The personal interview rounds, as well as the group discussion rounds, will be organized tentatively during the months of February and March 2021 in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Jamshedpur. Group discussions include candidates being divided into groups of 8-10 individuals and being given a topic to discuss for 15-25 minutes. Personal interview rounds for international applicants will be conducted over video call, preferably through a medium such as G-talk or Skype.

    Finally, XLRI will assess the overall performance of every candidate and release a final list of selected candidates. Many other management institutes also follow a similar process while choosing their final candidates. Factors such as one’s academic work experience, extracurricular activities, previous academic records will most likely affect a candidate’s final selection.

    XAT Top Participating Colleges/ Institutes

    Over 150 management colleges accept the XAT scores for admission. Some of the best colleges of management accepting XAT score are:

    SPJIMR MumbaiXIM Bhubaneswar
    IMT GhaziabadMICA Ahmedabad
    Great Lakes Institute of ManagementTAPMI Manipal
    GIM GoaKJ Somaiya Mumbai
    FORE New DelhiIRMA
    IFMRXIME Bangalore
    SFIMR MumbaiXavier Business School (XBS), St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata
    LIBA ChennaiXISS Ranchi

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Ques. Is XAT conducted online or offline?

    Ans. XAT is conducted online. It used to be a pen and paper test till 2017, after that it is now only conducted online.

    Ques. Why is the XAT exam important?

    Ans. The XAT exam is important to apply to hundreds of management schools along with XLRI.

    Ques. How many times can one attempt XAT ?

    Answer: There is no restriction on the number of times a candidate can attempt the XAT paper.

    Ques. In how many months can you prepare for XAT ?

    Answer: The ideal number of months required for XAT preparation is between 4 to 6 months. However, candidates can make their own schedules which need not be restricted to the given time.

    Ques. In the second year of Graduation can you apply for XAT ?

    Answer: No. Candidates must have graduated or should be in the last year of graduation to apply for the XAT 2021 exam.

    Ques. Who do I have to contact if I have questions regarding my XLRI Admission?

    Answer: You can contact the admissions desk through the following information:

    The Chairperson Admission, XLRI

    Circuit House Area (East), Jamshedpur-831001

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Hi Kritika, There is no defined marking scheme for the essay writing section.



    Aryan Joshi

    What does basically comes in xat? I came to know that it is something for MBA but somewhere I saw that it also includes medical field education. Can you provide some clarity on this?

    23 Apr, 2020 00:20
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Aryan, you can check the complete syllabus of this exam on following this link provided here: XAT Syllabus

    23 Apr, 2020 01:26


    11 Jul, 2019 00:20
    Chaitanya Chauganjkar

    How can I apply in sp jain using my XAT score? Will I be shortlisted with a 97.4 over percentile but a 66 percentile in Decision making

    15 Feb, 2018 02:24
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Chaitanya, The Students are shortlisted on the basis of their profiles. They are also expected to meet the qualifying scores in at least one of the Entrance Exam and I am giving you the qualifying score in the table format which is given below:

    Entrance Test



    CAT 2017

    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

    Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

    Quantitative Ability







    XAT 2018

    English Language & Logical Reasoning

    Decision Making

    Quantitative Ability







    GMAT( Jan 01, 2015 to 31 Dec 2017)



    Integrated Reasoning





    6 (Score)


    15 Feb, 2018 12:33
    Poornima Goyal

    Can anyone please give a little bit brief about essay section in xat. We have to write essay online or offline? And also most of the time what is the topic about? Is it taken from current affairs or history or anything else?

    02 Jan, 2018 02:03
    Bhawna Vedwal

    Hello Poornima,The Xavier Aptitude Test was conducted in online mode

    XAT Essay Topics

    1. There is no right way of doing a wrong thing.
    2. Ships are safer in the harbour. But they are not meant for the same.
    3. Economic Growth without distributive justice can only lead to violence
    4. Indian Economy in the Post WTO Era.
    5. To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or measured, like sincerity and integrity.
    6. Economic growth without environmental damage – a mirage or a reality.
    7. India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products.

    17 May, 2018 18:07
    Kritika Gupta

    I want to my XAT score to be reviewed, what to do?

    02 Sep, 2017 13:25
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Kritika, The authorities have defined no provision in this regard but if you can send an email or a letter on the official address i. e XLRI Jharkhand, India XLRI, C. H. Area (East) The Chairperson Admissions, Jamshedpur – 831001

    02 Sep, 2017 18:19
    Kritika Gupta

    What is the marking scheme for the XAT essay writing section?

    02 Sep, 2017 13:25
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Kritika, There is no defined marking scheme for the essay writing section.

    02 Sep, 2017 18:17
    pushpendra singh

    How many times can I appear for XAT in this year? What is the mode of XAT 2018 exam?

    01 Sep, 2017 18:36
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Pushpendra, You can only appear for XAT only once in a year. Also, your score will be valid just for a year. From this year, XAT will be conducted in an online mode. It is a computer-based exam where candidates have to answer online. The exam is on January 28, 2018, at various centers across the country.

    01 Sep, 2017 18:49
    Deeksha Gupta

    If I have some work experience, does it increases my chances of selection?

    01 Sep, 2017 18:05
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Deeksha, It will give you an edge but it does not support your chances of selection over others, as they will look on overall development and requirement of candidates

    01 Sep, 2017 18:22
    Deeksha Gupta

    I have done an integrated 5-year course, what is the percentage that I should fill in the percentage section?

    01 Sep, 2017 18:04
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Deeksha, Fill your percentage of the past 5 years if you have completed the degree, it is treated as post-graduation.

    01 Sep, 2017 18:23
    pankaj pathak

    When is XAT 2018 cut off expected to be released?

    01 Sep, 2017 17:50
    Sakshi Garg Expert

    Hi Pankaj, XAT result will be announced on January 28, 2018. So, XAT cut-off will be released after the declaration of the result on the official website.

    01 Sep, 2017 18:24

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