XAT 2021 XAT DECISION MAKING: PREPARATION TIPS, SOLVED SAMPLE QUESTIONS
NATIONAL LEVEL ONLINE TEST
Decision Making for XAT has gained importance due to its relevance in management based jobs. XAT 2021 preparation for Decision Making is not very difficult with the right approach. It is a non theoretical part introduced in 2012 that puts the candidate’s thinking or decision making ability to test.
Table of Content
Let’s look at the weightage of different sections in recent years.
Maximum number of questions from Verbal and Logical Ability is 26.
Maximum number of questions from XAT Decision Making is 21.
Maximum number of questions from Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation is 27.
Maximum number of questions from General Knowledge is 25.
As one can see, XAT decision making questions are the least in number compared to the other three. This however does not mean it should be ignored or holds less importance. Many XAT aspirants make the mistake of ignoring DM as it is mostly intuitive giving the impression that much practice is not required. Decision making tests the following areas in a candidate:
Financial decision making ability
Ability to make harmless decisions
Ability to resolve issues without personal bias
Ethical dilemma solving
Critical reasoning power
Ability to make just decisions that affect multiple people
|Year||Decision Making Section Difficulty||Number of Questions|
|2017||Moderate to diffucult||21|
|2016||Mix of easy, moderate, and difficult||23|
XLRI releases cutoff marks for each section of XAT. It is essentially the minimum marks one must get in order to be eligible for counseling.
Decision making for XAT is one of the hardest sections in XAT which needs logical reasoning practicing to excel. XAT decision making questions include a scenario in which a person is in some sort of ethical conundrum and you must make a decision out of the options given. Key highlights of XAT Exam Patternhas been given below:
XAT decision making negative marking is ¼ (0.25) for each wrong answer.
1 mark will be awarded for correct responses.
Answering 15 - 16 questions out of 21 correctly is a good attempt. Cutoff is 40 marks.
Questions come from backgrounds like politics, industry, IT, politics, and so on. So having a background from either of these helps.
Difficulty level of this section is moderate to difficult.
Questions in this section often have resemblance to similar or actual scenarios. A question similar to the TATA Nano Singur case that recently came is a good example.
Candidates can expect questions resembling similarity to the current political issues.
Candidates can expect XAT decision making questions from the following topics:
|Situational||Conditions and Grouping Test|
|Data Arrangement Test||Reading Comprehension|
|Case lets||Decision Making in a situation|
The 5 step approach usually works for decision making questions. It is approved by experts and a rather logical approach. These steps involve:
Reading the case - Read the case study carefully and try to collect the main points from it. Pay attention to the minute details. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the individuals involved in the problem.
Reading the questions - Read all the questions. This will help you find answers while scanning through it.
Analysing options - This is perhaps the most crucial part of solving the problem. This is because there is no answer completely correct or incorrect like mathematics. One answer can be more reasonable or ethical than another, putting the reader in a dilemma.
Elimination of options - There will be subtle differences in the answers which you must observe and analyze. Candidates are advised not to answer any question without observing the answers.
Verification - Verify your answer. Often candidates can come down to two options which appear to be equally correct. In such a scenario, choose the one which is more ideal rather than the practical one.
Candidates must familiarize themselves with the following terms to fare better in this section:
Candidates can expect two types of questions in the decision making section. It is vital to understand both these types of questions to fare well in the exam.
One is an individual type question where short questions will be given.
The other one is a group type question where you have to solve a question based on a scenario. About 4 - 5 questions will be of this type.
Both types have been discussed with solution below:
Seema was a finance manager in an MNC and felt that gender discrimination at workplace hampered her career growth. Frustrated, she quit the job and started a company. While starting her company, Seema decided that she would have equal proportion of males and females. Over the last six years, Seema emerged as a very successful entrepreneur and expanded her business to eight locations in the country. However, Seema recently started facing an ethical dilemma because she realized that female employees were not willing to travel across cities and work late hours, as the work required them to do so. Male employees did not hesitate undertaking such work. Seema started to feel the pressure of reducing the proportion of female employees. On the other hand, she is aware that equal representation was one of the strongest reasons for her to have founded the company.
Question: What should she do as a conscientious female entrepreneur?
See if unwilling female employees could be given assignments which do not require travel and involve less overtime.
Reduce the number of female employees as it is a business requirement. She should not let anything affect her business.
let the status quo continue.
Henceforth hire only male employees.
She should close the business.
After reading the questions, we can easily eliminate option (e) as closing a business would not be the solution for an entrepreneur.
Option (d) can be taken into consideration as the passage mentions that male employees are more efficient and willing to make amends for the organization.
Option (c) cannot be a solution from an employer point of view as individuals in key positions must try to solve the problem instead of neglecting it.
Option (b) is not an ideal solution as eliminating employees if they cannot work late might ruin the company’s reputation. Also employees cannot be terminated on this basis.
Option (a) is therefore the best solution as it solves the problem and does not require any drastic steps such as laying off employees.
Mr. Rajiv Singhal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Loha India Ltd., (a steel manufacturing company) had just been visited by several other directors of the company. The directors were upset with recent actions of the company president, Mr. Ganesh Thakur. They demanded that the board consider firing the president.
Mr. Thakur, recently appointed as president, had undertaken to solve some of the management employees problems by dealing directly with the individuals, as often as possible. The company did not have a history of strikes or any other form of collective action and was considered to have good work culture. However, Mr. Thakur felt that by dealing directly with individuals, he could portray the management's concern for the employees. An important initiative of Mr. Thakur was to negotiate wages of the supervisors with each supervisor. In these negotiation meetings he would not involve anyone else, including the Personnel Department which reported to him, so as to take unbiased decision. After negotiation, a wage contract would be drawn up for each supervisor. This, he felt, would recognize and reward the better performers. Mr. Thakur successfully implemented the process for most of the supervisors, except those working in night shift. For them he had drawn up the contracts unilaterally benchmarking the wages of supervisors of night shift with that of supervisors of the day shift.
For several days Ram Lal, a night shift supervisor, had been trying to seek an appointment with Mr. Thakur about his wages. He was disgruntled, not only over his failure to see the president, but also over the lack of discussions about his wage contract prior to its being effected. As a family man with six dependents, he felt his weekly wage should be higher than that granted to him.
Last Thursday afternoon Ram Lal stopped by the president's office and tried to see him. Mr. Thakur's secretary refused his request on the grounds that Mr. Thakur was busy. Infuriated, Ram Lal stormed into the president's office and confronted the startled Mr. Thakur, with his demands for a better wage. Mr. Thakur stood up and told Ram Lal to get out of his office and express his grievance through official channels. Ram Lal took a swing at the president who in turn punched Ram Lal on the jaw and knocked him unconscious.
Question 1: The most likely premise behind Mr. Thakur's initiative regarding individualised meetings with the supervisors seems to be:
Involvement of the company's president in wage problems of employees will lead to a better goodwill towards the management among the workers.
Employee related policies should allow scope for bargaining by employees which leads to unsatisfied employees.
Individual agreements with supervisors would allow the management to prevent any possible collective action by the supervisors.
Management will be able to force supervisors to accept lesser wages individually in this way.
He would be able to know who the troublemakers in the plant are by interacting with the supervisors.
Question 2: Out of the following, which one seems to be the most likely cause of Ram lays grievance?
His disappointment with the management's philosophy of having one to one interaction as the supervisors were in a way being forced to accept the wage contracts.
His being in the night shift had worked to his disadvantage as he could not interact with the management regarding his problem.
He was not allowed to meet the chairman of the board of directors of the company.
Employment in the night shift forced him to stay away from his family during the day time and therefore he could not interact with his family members much,
All of these.
Question 3: The most important causal factor for this entire episode could be:
Trying to follow a divide-and-rule policy in his dealings with the supervisors.
Paternalistic approach towards mature individuals in the organisation.
Legalistic approach to employee problems.
Inconsistent dealings of Mr. Thakur with supervisors.
Inadequate standards for measurement of supervisors' on•job performance.
Question 4: The situation with Mr. Lal could have been avoided if Mr. Thakur had
Delegated the task of negotiation of wage contracts for night shift employees to the Personnel department.
Created a process for supervisors working in the night shift so that they could have an opportunity to interact with him.
Created an open door policy that would have allowed employees to see him without any appointment.
Postponed the decision of wage revision for supervisors in the night shift for two months, since supervisors were rotated on different shifts after every two months.
The option that best arranges the above managerial interventions in decreasing order of organisational impact is:
D, B, C, A
D, C, B, A
D, C, A, B
0, A, B, C
B, C, A, D
Solution for question 1:
The last option is (e) based on an assumption and therefore can be ruled out. The discussion was clearly over salary.
Option d can also be ruled out as it has been mentioned that employees who are better would be recognised and rewarded.
Option c can also be ruled out as this statement would be valid only if any similar incident in the past had already occurred. But in the case it has been clearly stated that the company did not have a history of strikes and had the working culture has a good reputation.
Option b can be ruled out as the statement appears to be quite vague. The first and second part also appears to contradict each other.
We are left with option (a) which is the correct answer. In the case it has been stated that Mr. Thakur felt that by dealing directly with individuals, he could portray the management's concern for the employees.
Solution for question 2:
Option a has little evidence and is talking of the company policy and therefore can be ruled out.
Option (b) can be taken into consideration as the essay says that employees working in the day shift had their chances of individual meetings.
Option (c) can be ruled out as it is talking about the chairman of the company, not the president. The essay mentions Mr. Thakur as the president.
Option (d) must be ruled out as it has been mentioned anywhere and we cannot choose our answers based on assumptions.
Option (e) cannot be right as several answers have been opted out.
We are left with option (b) which is the correct option.
Solution for question 3:
Option (a) must be ruled out as this has nowhere been mentioned.
Option (b) can also be ruled out as anything related to it has not been mentioned.
Option (c) is also wrong as it has been clearly stated that the company did not have a history of strikes and had the working culture has a good reputation.
Option (d) can be taken into consideration as it has been mentioned that Mr. Thakur has been dealing with day shift employees and neglecting the time shift ones.
Option (e) might appear right on the surface but it has not been mentioned that employees were unsatisfied with the performance feedback.
We have to choose option (d) as it has been mentioned in the passage that the policies were poorly implemented and Lal Ram’s request to schedule a meeting was neglected time and again.
Solution for question 4:
We find that the trouble could have been avoided if Mr. Thakur treated day shift and night shift employees equally, so option (b) is the best solution.
Even if it was not possible for Mr. Thakur to meet night shift employees, he could have treated all employees equally and paid heed to Ram Lal’s request, so option (c) is the second best solution.
If his schedule did not allow him to meet any employee, he could have delegated the task to the personnel department which as mentioned above in the passage was prevented from any intervention. Option (a) should ideally be the next best option.
Option (d) would have resulted in more dissatisfaction among the employees and should therefore be the last option.
The correct sequence of solutions is the 5th option; B,C,D,A.
This section is important for your future as one might come across a situation where you must take hard decisions in management or similar positions. It is a test of your ability to produce maximum benefit in minimum time.
Suggested Read:XAT Topper Tips by Akash Senapati
Here are some best practices or do’s and don’ts while solving Decision Making for XAT:
It is always advisable to opt for the most ethical choice while answering decision making questions.
Decisions which are harmful to others or provide a short term solution are highly likely to be incorrect.
You will often find an option in which the individual does not take any action or make a decision, thereby keeping the situation as it originally was. Such options must be eliminated as it defeats the purpose of decision making.
While solving mock papers, if you come across a problem you could not solve, try to understand why the incorrect options were not the solution to the problem. Doing this will help you eliminate incorrect options faster.
If you are confused between two or more options, choose the one that would provide maximum benefit while causing minimum damage at the same time.
Avoid making personal decisions or options that you might favour over idealistic options. Think from the point of view of the characters. Do not let political, social, or economical views influence your answer.
Never opt for extreme decisions which might result in affecting one or more people negatively, as these decisions show only poor management skills.
Do not opt for decisions that solves an issue partly and does not provide a feasible result to the individuals.
Always make decisions based on logic and reason rather than emotions. Decisions based on emotions reflect poorly on your ability to provide a just solution.
And lastly, solve as many mock questions as possible to familiarize yourself with as many types of problems as possible. Nothing beats the benefits of good old practice!
Some resources that will help you prepare for this section are:
Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers) By RK Jha
Target XAT 2019 (Past papers and mock tests) By Disha Publications
Going through analysis of previous sections will help you understand the trends and give you a perspective on what to expect:
|Year||Decision Making Section Analysis|
|2020||Questions of moderate level with no singlets which made this section easy. Mathematical or analytical reasoning questions were missing and 16 - 17 would be a good attempt.|
|2019||18 questions from decision making of moderate difficulty level. 3 questions were similar to that of the previous year.|
|2018||The mathematical part was on the easier side and the nonmathematical part consisted of 8 sets with 2 - 3 questions from each with medium level of difficulty.|
|2017||The non mathematical part consisted of mostly lengthy questions of medium level difficulty. Mathematical part was of medium - difficult level.|
|2016||Decision making section was of a similar difficulty level as 2017. Reading and interpretation passage was however smaller.|
|2015||Questions from the DM section were hard and difficult to solve.|
Question: Is XAT harder than CAT?
Ans. XAT is considered to be a bit more difficult than CAT as it not just tests your aptitude, but also your attitude.
Question: Is there negative marking in XAT decision making?
Ans. Yes, for every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted.
Question: How many questions can I expect from XAT decision making?
Ans. You can expect 21 questions from XAT decision making.
Question: What is the time limit for XAT decision making section?
Ans. Sectional time limit for the first 3 sections is 165 mins which includes DM. There is no separate time limit for decision making.
Question: What is the duration of XAT exam?
Ans. XAT will be conducted for 3 hours.
Question: Can I bring a calculator to XAT exam?
Ans. No, any type of electronics is not allowed inside the XAT exam hall.
Question: Are candidates allowed to switch between sections in XAT exam?
Ans. Yes, there is no rule against switching between sections in XAT exam.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College