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XAT Exam Pattern 2022, Marking Scheme, Important Topics, Best Books

XAT Exam Pattern is specified by XLRI Jamshedpur. It is an online exam (CBT) of 3 hours. 100 questions will be asked from in 4 sections: Decision making, Verbal & Logical ability, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. Check XAT 2022 Syllabus

XAT paper pattern underwent a few major changes like essay writing section has been removed. Number of questions and sectional cutoff is not fixed and has varied over the years.

  • NAT (Numerical Answer Type) Questions with no negative marking have been added to the paper.
  • Candidates can submit the exam after 30 minutes of commencement.
  • Scores obtained in GK will not be included in the final score or percentile.
  • Visually challenged candidates will get extra 25 minutes for part 1 of XAT paper.
  • Beyond 8 unattempted questions, a penalty of 0.05 per question will be charged (except GK section)

XAT Exam Pattern Highlights

XAT Exam Pattern 2022 Highlights

Feature Details
Exam Mode Computer Based Test
Total Number of Questions 100
Total Marks 100
Number of Sections
Name of Sections Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation General Knowledge
Duration of Exam 180 minutes (3 hours)
Medium of Exam English
Type of Questions MCQs
Number of Answer Choices 5
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 Marking No Negative Marking for GK Section

Must Read News

XAT Sectional Questions

XAT 2022: Sectional Division of Questions and Time Limit

Section Name Max. Questions Time Limit
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 165 minutes
Decision Making 21
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 27
General Knowledge 25 15 minutes
Total 100 180 minute

XAT 2022 paper will be divided into 4 sections and into two parts.

  • 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 GK section, the candidates will get a duration of 15 minutes.
  • Candidates can switch between sections in part part 1 of the paper.
  • 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.

Check Topper Tips to Crack XAT 2022

XAT Marking Scheme

XAT Marking Scheme

Year Correct Answer Incorrect Answer Unanswered Questions
Question Limit Scoring
XAT 2020 +1 -0.25 8 -0.05 per question
XAT 2019 +1 -0.25 8 -0.05 per question
XAT 2018 +1 -0.25 12 -0.05 per question
XAT 2017 +1 -0.25 12 -0.05 per question
Note: Marking scheme of XAT 2022 is expected to remain the same as 2020. The following table elucidates the changes in XAT Marking scheme over the past 4 years.

XAT Verbal and Logical Ability Exam Pattern

The Verbal and Logical Ability section comes up with 26 questions of multiple choice. Around 4 reading comprehension are asked with 14 to 16 questions in total. Verbal ability posses 8 to 10 questions. The level of difficulty generally is moderate to difficult. Important Topics from VARC & LR are:

  • Para Jumbles
  • Para Completion
  • Vocabulary
  • Analogy
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Statements and Assumptions

Preparation Books for XAT Verbal Ability

XAT English Preparation Books
Book name Author
Verbal Ability and Comprehension for XAT (2nd ed.) Bharat Patodi

Recommended Books for XAT Logical Reasoning

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

XAT Decision Making Exam Pattern 

Considered one of the prominent sections in XAT candidates should score fairly good in decision making to make it to XLRI. Total 21 questions are posed from decision making with 7 to 8 seta. each set follows 2 to 3 questions to be answered. The level of difficulty is moderate to difficult.

Important aspects covering the topic are:

  • Short caselets
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Situational sets
  • Data Arrangement Sets

Read: How to Solve XAT Decision Making With Useful Tips and Solved Examples

XAT Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation Exam Pattern

27 questions are asked in total from quants as well as DI. These are individual questions along with sets. Each set has 3 to 4 questions to be attempted. Candidates should expect that level of difficulty ranges from Moderate to difficult. Most questions can be expected from topics such as numbers, geometry, and mensuration followed by arithmetic, Venn diagrams, and functions.

Important topics asked are:

  • Geometry
  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Arithmetic
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics
  • Profit & Loss
  • Speed and Distance
  • Clocks

Read: How to Prepare for XAT Quant with Sample Questions and Solutions

Preparation Books for XAT Quantitative Ability

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

XAT General Knowledge Exam Pattern

GK in any entrance exam whatsoever cannot be defined in particular as the subject scope is quite vast. Everything under the sun forms part of general awareness. 25 questions are asked in GK section of XAT EXam that must be attempted in 15 minutes. Key feature of this section is that marks obtained are not taken into account while calculating XAT scores.

Important topics to be covered are:

  • Politics
  • History
  • Sports
  • Nation and States
  • Business
  • Literature
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Society.

Questions from GK and current affair will be in the ratio 60:40. Read: Preparation Tips for XAT 2022 GK.

Preparation 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 2022:

XAT Important Books
Book name Author
General Knowledge 2022 Arihant
IIFT & XAT (GK Compendium) 2016-17 Career Launcher

Target XAT 2022 (Past Papers 2005 - 2017 + 5 Mock Tests)

XAT Solved Papers 2008-2016  Career Launcher
Jabbing the XAT R.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

Also Read: XAT Books for Preparation 2022 With Key Features (Section Wise)

XAT 4 Year Exam/Marking Pattern

XAT Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme for Last 4 Years

Year 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Total Questions 100 100 100 98 104
Duration 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Mode of Exam Online Online Online Offline Offline
Type of Questions MCQs + Descriptive MCQs + Descriptive MCQs + Descriptive MCQs + Descriptive MCQs + Descriptive
Answer Options 5 5 5 5 5
Level of Difficulty Moderate to High Moderate to High Moderate to High Moderate to High High
Total Sections 3+1 3+1 3+2 3+2 3+2
Distribution of Questions

VALR - 26

DM - 21

QA & DI - 28

GK - 25

VALR - 26

DM - 21

QA & DI - 27

GK - 25

VALR - 26

DM - 22

QA & DI - 27

GK - 25

VALR - 24

DM - 21

QA & DI - 27

GK - 25

VALR - 26

DM - 23

QA & DI - 29

GK - 25

Special Case 0.05 marks per question for more than 8 unattempted questions 0.05 marks per question for more than 8 unattempted questions 0.05 marks per question for more than 8 unattempted questions 0.05 marks per question for more than 12 unattempted questions 0.05 marks per question for more than 13 unattempted questions

XAT 2022 Exam Day Instructions

Candidates have to follow the instructions while taking the XAT Exam. The instructions will help you to take the computer based exam easily.

  • For time management, a timer will 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, you will get options for checking the count of attempted and unattempted questions. 

Candidates can change their response to another option if needed. Also, you can answer the questions in any sequence but you can see only one question at a time.  There are a few more instructions that should be taken into consideration are:

  • 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 color palette on the right-hand side of the screen.
  • Different colors against the question status they represent are as follows:
On Screen Feature Interpretation
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. You must make sure that questions marked for review or attempted will be considered attempted unless you use the ‘erase’ option on them. After finishing the exam you can use the ‘Preview Submit’ Button to view their responses. Candidates can only leave the exam hall after the completion of 3 hours. Download XAT Sample Papers

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 2022

XAT Previous Year Pattern Analysis

XAT Previous Year Exam Pattern Analysis

Section 2020 2019 (Essay section scrapped) 2018 (XAT in CBT Mode) 2017
VA/RC 26 26 24 24
DM 21 21 21 21
QA/DI 27 27 27 27
GK 25 25 25 25
Total 100 99 97 97

There were some major changes introduced in the paper pattern of the XAT 2020 paper. It is expected that those changes will be continued in this year’s XAT 2022 exam pattern. XAT 2020 Exam pattern changes are mentioned below:

  • Verbal and Logical Ability Analysis was moderate to difficult
  • Decision Making consisted of moderate and few boring questions
  • Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation sections had a mix of easy, moderate, and difficult questions
  • GK sections consisted of questions mostly from static GK and current affairs. Level of difficulty was similar to that of previous year.

Check section-wise analysis of XAT previous years’ paper

XAT 2022 Model Test Paper

Candidates can practice 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 2022. This paper will have a time duration of 2 hours. The actual XAT 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 2022 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

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 2021 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 2021?

Ans. Essay Section was removed from XAT Exam Pattern in 2019. XAT 2021 is expected to continue on the same line. So there will be no essay sectionthis year as well.

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 2021?

Ans. XAT 2021 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.


kashish tomar
From which books shall I study for quatitative aptitude section?
mrittika mallick

Some of the best and most popularly studied books for XAT Quantitative Aptitude are as follows:

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R. S. Aggarwal

How to prepare for Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma

Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha.

uma goenka
What exactly are the questions asked in Decision Making section?
diya suresh

The section will have around 21 questions and mostly set based questions are asked. Some of the important topics in the section are Arithmetic, Analytical Reasoning, Situational, Conditions and Grouping Test, Data Arrangement Test, Reading Comprehension, Case lets, Decision Making in a situation. There will be negative marking for the section as well. To find more details visit XAT 2022 decision making exam pattern and syllabus.

sourajit mukherjee
For Verbal and Logical Ability, which books are good?
mrittika mallick

Some of the best and most popularly books used for Verbal and Logical ability are :

‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension’ by Ajay Singh

‘Word Power Made Easy Book by Norman’ Lewis

‘High School English Grammar & Composition’ by Wren & Martin

‘A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning’ By R.S. Aggarwal

‘Analytical Reasoning’ by MK Pandey

shivkumar dama
Can you suggest any online coaching for preparation?
mrittika mallick

There are many online coaching classes for XAT conducted through video lectures, online group meets, mock tests, PDFs, special applications, etc. Some popular coaching classes are Floating GMAT, T.I.M.E, Handa Ka Funda, Career Launcher, CrackU, and many more. To know about more online coaching classes, their fee structure and dates of teaching, visit the following link : XAT Online Coaching.

gouri kumari
For biology, is NCERT sufficient to clear XAT?
aniket ranjan

XAT doesn't consists of biology section. The Questions in XAT are asked only from 4 section that are Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. 

ankur jain
How many questions are asked in the asked based on maths?
aniket ranjan

XAT Quantitative Aptitude section is one of the most difficult sections of the paper and the Quantitative Aptitude section of a total of 27 questions. For more details visit:- XAT QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE SECTION

How many questions can be descriptive?
aniket ranjan

Hii Drona, Greetings from collegedunia. No, XAT exam doesn't have any descriptive type of questions it only consists of MCQs type of question. For more details Click Here

Where can I get the previous years' paper for practice?
aditi arun

Hello Riyaz,

To get the previous year papers and some sample papers, please visit- XAT Practice papers.

How many papers are there?
aniket ranjan

Hii Taniksha, XAT is single paper which is conducted in online mode (CBT). It consists of 100 questions from 4 sections: Decision making, Verbal & Logical ability, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. For more details visit:- XAT PAPER PATTERN

sheetal chib
Is there any subject wise exam also?
manika gupta

Hi, No, there is no subject wise exam in XAT. XAT Syllabus 2021 include four subjects - Decision Making, Verbal and Logical.

ambar ahirawar
What is the marking scheme?
aditi arun

Hello Ambar,

The examination has 4 sections having 100 questions in total. Each question carries 1 mark and there is a negative marking of -0.25 mark for every wrong answer. Beyond 8 questions, 0.05 marks will be deducted for every unattempted question. For more details, visit- XAT Exam Pattern.

mohammed najamuddin
What is the criteria of admission?
gurpreet singh

Hi Mohammed

Greeting of the day

You can visit on our official website of XAT Eligibility Criteria to know the whole eligibilty criteria of the exam and whether you are eligible for the admission.

sheetal chib
What is the examination pattern for the XAT exam?
aniket ranjan

Hii Sheetal, Greetings from collegedunia. XAT include 100 questions that is asked from 4 sections. The 4 section of XAT Exam includes Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation General Knowledge. For more details Click Here

What type of questions are there in the XAT exam?
aniket ranjan

Hii Drona, Greetings from collegedunia. XAT Exam has MCQs type of question which are divided in 4 section Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. For more details Click Here

What is the duration of the test?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Harssham, greetings from Collegedunia. The duration of the XAT test is 3 hours.

ramesh kumar gupta
Can we switch between the sections during the XAT exam?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Ramesh, Greetings from Collegedunia. Candidates are allowed to switch between the sections in Part 1 of the paper.