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XAT 2020 Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

Updated On - September 16th 2019 by KARISHMA KHATRI

XAT 2020 is scheduled for January 5, 2020.In 2019, XAT Exam Pattern underwent a few major changes and XAT 2020 paper is expected to continue on the same lines. Applications for XAT have been released on August 23, 2019. Apply Now

XAT 2020 Exam Pattern – Key Changes

  • Essay Writing section has been removed from XAT. 
  • NAT (Numerical Answer Type) Questions have been added to the paper pattern of XAT last year. Download XAT Sample Papers
  • Time duration for XAT has been reduced to 3 hours.
  • As per the XAT 2020 exam pattern, the scribe will be provided an additional 25 minutes to complete the first three sections of the exam. No extra time will be awarded for the GK section. 
  • Candidates can leave 8 questions unattempted. Beyond that, a penalty of 0.05 per question will be charged. Check XAT 2020 Syllabus

Highlights of XAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Exam ModeComputer Based Test
Total Number of Questions99
Total Marks300
Number of Sections
Name of SectionsVerbal and Logical Ability Decision Making Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation General Knowledge
Duration of Exam180 minutes 
Medium of ExamEnglish
Type of QuestionsMCQs
Number of Answer Choices5
XAT Marking Scheme

+1 mark for a correct answer

 - 0.25 mark for an incorrect answer

Beyond 8 unanswered questions, 0.05 marks will be deducted for each unanswered question.

Questions without Negative MarkingNo Negative Marking for GK Section

XAT 2020: Sectional Division of Questions and Time Limit

  • XAT 2020 paper will be divided into 4 sections viz. Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge.
  • Exam consists of 99 multiple choice questions to be solved in the duration of 3 hours. 
  • Candidates can move to the GK section, after completing the first three sections in the initial 165 minutes.
  • There is no sectional limit between the first 3 sections. However, for the GK section, candidate will get a duration of 15 minutes. 
  • An extra time of 25 minutes shall be given to the scribe for completing the first 3 sections. There is no time concession for GK section. 

The sectional division of questions and time limit of XAT 2020 is tabulated below:

Section NameMax. QuestionsTime Limit
Verbal and Logical Ability26165 minutes
Decision Making21
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation27
General Knowledge2515 minutes
Total99 180 minutes
Note: Essay writing was scrapped from the paper pattern from XAT 2019.

Check Topper Tips to Crack XAT 2020

XAT Marking Scheme

Marking scheme of XAT 2020 is expected to remain the same as 2019. The following table elucidates the changes in XAT Marking scheme over the past 3 years.

YearCorrect AnswerIncorrect AnswerUnanswered Questions
Question LimitScoring
XAT 2019+1-0.258-0.05 per question
XAT 2018+1-0.2512-0.05 per question
XAT 2017+1-0.2512-0.05 per question

XAT Syllabus 2020

XAT Syllabus is prepared in order to check the quantitative, decision making and logical and verbal ability of applicants.

SubjectImportant Topics
Quantitative Ability & Data InterpretationGeometry, Tables, Graphs, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Statistics, Profit & Loss, Speed, and Distance, Clocks
Verbal and Logical AbilityGrammar, Para Jumbles, Para Completion, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehensions
Decision MakingAnalytical Reasoning, Situational, Case lets, Data Arrangement Sets
General KnowledgePolitics, History, Sports, Nation and States, Business, Literature, Economics, International Relations, Society

Read Top XAT Coaching Institutes to Boost your Preparation

XAT 2020 – Exam Day Instructions

The Exam taking instructions for XAT 2020 are as follows:

  • For time management, a timer shall be present on the right- hand side corner of the computer screen.
  • No specified sequence has to be followed by the candidates while answering the questions.
  • While responding to the questions, candidates have the option of checking the count of attempted and unattempted questions. 
  • Candidates can change their response to another option, if need be. 
  • Candidates can answer the questions in any sequence. 
  • Candidates can see one question at a time. 
  • They can select the option of ‘Next Question’ or ‘Previous Question’ to move on to different questions.
  • The ‘Erase’ button at the bottom of the screen can be used to change the response. 
  • To review a particular question, candidates can use the ‘tag’ option to bookmark it and later ‘de-tag’ the same, if required. 
  • To know the status of every question, there is a colour pallete on the right hand side of the screen. Different colours against the question status they represent are as follows:
Yellow Question hasn't been answered and kept for review
Purple Question has been answered and marked for review
White Question hasn't been answered
Green Question has been answered
  • Most of the selections made by the candidate will be on autosave mode.
  • Candidates must note that questions marked for review or attempted will be considered attempted unless candidates use the ‘erase’ option on them.
  • After finishing the exam candidates can use the ‘Preview Submit’ Button to view their responses.
  • Candidates can only leave the exam hall after the completion of 3 hours.

XAT Preparation Books

Books play an important role in the life of students. It is very important to choose the right books for proper preparation. Given below are some recommended books for candidates preparing for XAT 2020:

Recommended Books for Verbal Ability

XAT English Preparation Books
Book nameAuthor
Verbal Ability and Comprehension for XAT (2nd ed.)Bharat Patodi
MBA (XAT, IIFT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT)Gautam Puri

Recommended Books for XAT Quantitative Ability

XAT Quantitative Ability Books
Book nameAuthor
Quantitative Aptitude Simplified for XATDeepak Agarwal
Concepts of Numbers for XAT and Other Aptitude exams (Old Edition)Gajendra Kumar

Also Check How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for XAT?

Recommended Books for XAT Logical Reasoning

XAT Logical Resoning Books
Book nameAuthor
Koncepts of LR – Logical Reasoning for CAT, XAT, CMAT, Bank PO & Other Aptitude TestsGajendra Kumar
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT/XAT/IIFT/CMAT/MAT (Box Set)Gajendra Kumar

    Recommended Books For XAT General Knowledge

    Books play an important role in the life of students. It is very important to choose the right books for proper preparation. Given below are some recommended books for candidates preparing for XAT 2020:

    XAT Important Books
    Book nameAuthor
    General Knowledge 2020Arihant
    IIFT & XAT (GK Compendium) 2016-17Career Launcher

    Target XAT 2020 (Past Papers 2005 - 2017 + 5 Mock Tests)

    Disha
    XAT Solved Papers 2008-2016 Career Launcher
    Jabbing the XATR.K Jha

    Recommended Magazines

    Reading magazines is a fun way to boost your vocabulary and stay updated with topics for general awareness. 

    • Competition Success
    • India Today
    • Business World
    • Business Line by The Hindu Group

    XAT Previous Year Exam Pattern Analysis

    There were some major changes introduced in the exam pattern of the XAT 2019 paper. It is expected that those changes will be continued in this year’s XAT 2020 exam pattern. XAT 2019 Exam pattern changes are mentioned below:

    1. Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions were added. 
    2. The duration of the exam was changed to 3 hours compared to last year’s 3½ hours. 
    3. Essay type questions were removed from the paper. 
    4. No negative marking for the wrong answer under the General Knowledge section (Part – 2).

    The following table displays XAT Exam Pattern (Over Past 3 Years):

    Section2019 (Essay section scrapped)2018 (XAT in CBT Mode)2017
    VA/RC262424
    DM212121
    QA/DI272727
    GK252525
    Total999797

    For section-wise analysis of XAT previous years’ paper click here.


    XAT 2020 Model Test Paper

    • Candidates can practise the model test paper given on the XLRI’s official website a few days before the exam. 
    • The questions will give a fair idea about what can be expected in XAT 2020.
    • This paper will have a time duration of 2 hours. The actual XAT 2020 paper pattern will have a time duration of 3 hours.
    • The sections will include Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. 
    • Practicing XAT 2020 Model Paper, along with the sample papers, will help you enhance your speed and accuracy. 
    • They will help you manage your time properly. 

    XAT Exam Pattern FAQs

    Ques. Any changes in the overall pattern compared to last year?

    Ans. The overall exam pattern was changed last year. No new changes are expected this year. 

    Ques. What is the syllabus for GK section of XAT? How do I prepare for it?

    Ans. GK questions for XAT can be based on Politics, History, Sports, Nation and States, Business, Literature, Economics, International Relations, Society. To prepare for the same, candidates must devote some time to current affairs everyday, leaving GK section preparation for the last is a mistake that most candidates commit and it causes unnecessary stress. Candidates can read newspapers or watch daily current affairs on various news channels to remain updated. A good command over GK will be immensely helpful for the Group Discussion round. Check XAT 2020 Preparation Tips

    Ques. Will the candidates be able to choose the order of sections according to their choice?

    Ans. Yes, the applicants can choose any section, to begin with. However, GK section can be attempted by the candidates after they’re done with the first 3 sections. 

    Ques. Will there be an essay section in XAT 2020?

    Ans. Essay Section was removed from XAT Exam Pattern in 2019. XAT 2020 is expected to continue on the same line. So there will be no essay section in XAT 2020.

    Ques. What will be the duration of the exam?

    Ans. The exam duration will be 3 hours.

    Ques. Will there be any sectional time limit or overall time limit?

    Ans. First 3 sections have to be completed in 165 minutes, 15 minutes will be given for the GK section.

    Ques. Will the candidates have access to an on-screen calculator?

    Ans. No, the candidates will not be given access to the on-screen calculator.

    Ques. What are the sections for XAT 2020?

    Ans. XAT 2020 Exam Pattern comprises of 4 sections:

    • Verbal and Logical Ability
    • Decision Making
    • Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
    • General Knowledge

    We hope this article will be helpful during your XAT Preparation. Once you are thorough with the exam pattern and syllabus, the preparation journey becomes a smooth-sail. We wish you luck for the exam. In case of any query, ask in the comments below.

    *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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