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XAT 2022 Preparation: Best Strategy, Books, Study Plan, Study Material, and Topper's Tips

Anwita Dhar logo

Anwita Dhar

| Updated On - Feb 22, 2021

XAT 2022 Preparation should be planned out effectively in way that the aspirant is able to cover all topics with least time and effort. Preparation for XAT process should include accurate guidance, the right preparation sources, and dedication.

XAT Preparation Plan should be drafted as per XAT 2022 Exam Pattern. In order to make to one of the best B School, following metrics must be taken care of:

  • Familiarize yourself the best resources for preparation. This includes both materials such as books and XAT Online coaching classes if you are not preparing all by yourself.
  • Familiarize yourself completely with the XAT 2021 syllabus and paper pattern of each section.
  • Create a time table/schedule that must be followed strictly. Spend at least 6 hours every day for XAT Preparation.
  • Practice sessions like Mocks and quizzes, analysis of errors made in attempting it to improve.
  • Keep Check XAT Cut Off for each section as target and prepare accordingly.

XAT 2021 Prep Highlights

XAT 2022 Preparation: Know the Basics

As one of the hardest management entrance exam in India, XAT is tougher than CAT, CMAT, SNAP. Preparing for CAT is not adequate for cracking XAT. Students who are planning to apply for XAT 2022 must focus on particular sections depending what their strength or weakness is. Going through previous year paper analysis of XAT is also quite helpful.

Candidates need to maintain a planned approach that includes time management, speed, accuracy and should also know about the following facts:

  • On-screen calculator facility will not be available for XAT 2022.
  • Candidates can attempt the question in any order, there is no sectional time limit to attempt the questions. 
  • 8 questions can be left unanswered, after that every unattempted question will get you negative 0.05 mark.
  • Sectional time limit for part 1 of the exam is 165 minutes and 15 minutes for part 2.
  • Additional sections like general knowledge and decision making are added in XAT, unlike other competitive management exams.

XAT 2021 Preparation as per Pattern

XAT 2022 Preparation as per Exam Pattern

Pattern Detail
Total Number of Questions 100
Total Marks 100
Number of Sections 4
Type of Questions MCQs
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.

First step towards XAT preparation is to follow the syllabus and exam pattern. This will help analyze the type of questions asked and the nature of the exam. There are 4 sections from which the questions are asked: Quantitative ability and Data interpretation, Verbal ability, and logical reasoning. Decision making and general knowledge

Must Read News

XAT 2022 Preparation as per Syllabus

Once the exam pattern is understood, XAT syllabus details should be analyzed. According to which study material and references should be gathered. A major step towards XAT syllabus change was removal of the essay section.

  • Number of sections reduced to 4 from 5 with change in total number of questions in each section.
  • Questions on Decision making are of utmost importance as no other national level exam has such a domain to test candidates.
  • XLRI focuses on language and normative interpretation skills of the candidates quite a lot, thus syllabus should be interpreted in that way.
  • General knowledge section is important though marks are not included while calculating XAT Score or percentile
  • Candidates who are able to solve the level 3 difficulty of Arun Sharma.

Section Wise XAT Questions and Ideal Attempt

Number of questions from each section with good attempt has been given below:

Section Number of Questions Good Attempt
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 15-17 questions
Decision Making 21 13- 15 questions
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 27 17 – 20 questions
General Knowledge 25 12- 14 questions

XAT 2022 Preparation for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The weight of XAT Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QA and DI) is generally the highest in the XAT paper. The total number of questions from this section are expected to be 27. The difficulty level is on the tougher side of this section as Quantitative Ability will include almost all the topics from maths.

Data Interpretation will be relatively simpler to prepare in comparison to Quantitative Ability. The questions will come in the form of sets. The following topics must be included in the list of important topics to be prepared for this section.

Algebra Arithmetic Geometry
Time and Work Venn Diagram Bar Charts
Equations Polynomials Data Sufficiency
Percentage Trigonometry Table
Profit and loss Progressions, Scatter Plots Probability
  • Conceptual clarity is the key to ace this section.
  • Have a pattern to approach different questions. This will be possible once you practice enough through previous year question papers and mock tests.
  • Once you have a set pattern, analyze its effectiveness by solving questions higher in terms of difficulty level. 
  • Learn shortcuts and tricks for calculations. 
  • Constant practice is the only key to enhance one’s question-solving techniques.
  • Learn successive percentage and fraction values upto a certain point to avoid calculation at the exam hall.
  • Familiarize yourself with every type of graphs and tables as possible.
  • While checking for the answer after solving a problem, try to understand the logic behind that.
  • One can read analytical articles in newspapers and magazines for efficient interpretation skills.
  • Never make assumptions for the DI sections and strictly stick tp facts given in the questions.

Must Read:

XAT 2022 Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning Preparation

This section is divided into 3 parts that are Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. Candidates can prepare separately for each part as the syllabus is different. The total number of questions form XAT Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning is expected to be 26 from this section. You can go for the following tips and tricks to excel in this section:

Analogy Vocabulary Pronunciation
Fill in the blanks  Sentence Correction Paragraph Formation
Para Jumble Reading Comprehension Poem
  • For some people, reading the questions first proves helpful in saving time, find such strategies for you.
  • For Jumbled word problems, try to identify the connectors first and link them according to the paragraph.
  • Improve your vocabulary. This will help you to enhance and speed up your reading and comprehension skills.
  • Along with the meaning focus on the usage of words. Make a habit of learning at least 3 words a day.
  • Read newspapers so that preparation for VA and GK section is done at once.
  • The questions in Logical Reasoning are mostly in the form of sets.
  • One of the important topics is critical reasoning. There is not much study material to prepare from, one has to rely on practice.

Must Read: XAT VARC Practice Papers

XAT 2022 Decision Making Preparation

This section will contain questions and problems in various business and everyday situations. These situations will create dilemmas regarding what should be done. And in the solution, the most suitable analysis will be provided which the candidates have to select. The number of questions from XAT Decision Making section will be 21.

Arithmetic  Situational
Data Arrangement Test Case Lets
Analytical Reasoning Conditions and Grouping Test
Reading Comprehension Decision Making in a Situation
  • The questions can be related to ethical dilemmas, issues involving sales and other financial conditions, the revenue of a company, scenarios of various management issues and of general management.
  • Do not let your personal opinions influence your choice.
  • Do rely completely on the information given. Avoid making assumptions.
  • You can practice the questions from previous years’ papers and can also read sample cases on the Harvard Business Review website. 
  • After solving the previous year’s questions, in case your answers aren’t correct, try to understand the logic behind the official answers.
  • A tip to choose the right option is that your solution should be ethical and should benefit most stakeholders.
  • Avoid choosing options in which the protagonist does not take any action.

Also Read:

XAT 2022 General Knowledge Preparation

To prepare for this section candidates need to be in constant touch with XAT General Knowledge. In addition to current affairs, questions may come from History, Geography, Science, politics, and technology, etc. This section will contain 25 questions.

National Capital Politics Culture
Currency Sports Films and Television
Books and Authors Environment and Ecology Economics
  • Don’t leave out preparation for this section for the last. Some devotion to the GK section will reduce the pressure immensely and will also prove helpful in retaining the information.
  • If on some days you’re short on time, you can watch videos that sum up the day’s current affairs, easily accessible online. 
  • Read news articles on topics that interest you more compared to other topics.
  • If you hate reading, watch news channels more often.
  • You need to have a holistic understanding of subjects like history, geography, etc, and current affairs related to them. 
  • There is no negative marking for this particular section, therefore, candidates shouldn’t leave any question unanswered in the exam. Moreover, the scores of this section will not be included in overall scores.

Must Read:

XAT 2021 30 Days Prep Plan

XAT 2022 Preparation 30 Days Plan

The last month before any exam can be stressful and pressurizing. It is nevertheless an important time which must be utilised smartly. Students often go into panic mode which must be avoided at all costs.

  • When there are about 30 days left for XAT exam, candidates who recently took CAT exam stop studying for XAT. avoid this mistake and do not stop solving mock papers.
    In verbal ability, a huge chunk of questions are from RC. so concentrate on this section. Solve at least 1 RC on a regular basis.
  • Similarly, in all sections aim for the topics from which the maximum number of questions come. Do not leave out smaller topics such as those carrying one or two marks about 2 days in a week.
  • Solid studying of at least 3 - 4 hours a day without any distraction should do the trick. Focus on memorizing every formula in mathematics and tricks to solve long calculations faster.
  • Get into the habit of topic wise preparation for XAT. For example, read 2 passages a day, solve a DI question everyday, and so on.
  • Avoid any kind of distractions during the study period. Keep mobile phones away and if you find it hard to stop looking at your phone, ask a family member to keep it with them.
  • If you can solve level 3 of Arun Sharma’s CAT books, solving XAT problems should not be very hard as the topics are more or less same.

Check XLRI Salary and Placement

XAT 2021 Prep with Mock Test

XAT 2022 Preparation with Mock Test

In order to score well in XAT, accuracy is to be gained. and mock tests are the key to achieve accuracy with speed. Attempt at least more than 25 mock test of different types. Go for non-CAT test series to get a close idea of XAT. Read Free XAT Mock Test for Preparation

  • As the decision-making section and general knowledge is an add on in XAT, opt for sectional mock test.
  • Critical thinking is required for these sections, hence practice with previous year papers and mock test to improve these sections.
  • XAT mock test is available online. Candidates can go for websites like- hitbullseye, oliveboard, testfunda.
  • Stay updated on current affairs, online news portals and audio-visual sessions can help in that.

Remember to track your performance after each mock test. a personalized and detailed analysis of mocks will mark your strengths and weaknesses. do overall performance analysis, topic wise analysis and time wasted analysis.

XAT Preparation with Previous Year Question Papers

Candidates need to practice previous year papers and sample papers to know the type of questions asked, the weight of sections and difficulty level. at least two months prior to the XAT 2021 Exam candidates should start practising the papers. Grasp the core of each concept and solve papers with a timer. This will help to acquire time management skills which is a necessity. There is a saying that XAT hurdle is Verbal, it is slightly tougher than other exams. Thorough practice is essential for this section. 

Collegedunia has a repository os XAT of previous year question papers and sample papers which can be accessed free by the candidates.

XAT Preparation Material: Important Books and Study Resources

All the 4 sections in XAT have different weight and cut off, hence candidates need to score well in all the sections. this calls for a different preparation strategy for each section, covering topics that you are weak in. best recommended books for XAT 2021 preparation are mentioned below:

Check Complete List of Best Books and Study Material for XAT 

Section Book and Author

Verbal and Logical Ability

  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma

XAT Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum Cat by Sarvesh Kumar
  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Analytical and Logical Reasoning by Arihant Publications
XAT Decision Making
  • Target XAT 2021 (Past papers & mock tests) by Disha experts
XAT General Knowledge
  • Recommended Magazines: Business Line by The Hindu Group, Business Today by India Today Group, Management Compass Career Launcher
  • Recommended Newspapers: The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times

XAT 2021 Prep by Self Study

XAT Preparation By Self Study

It is well said that there is no substitute for self study. The initial step to prepare for any exam is self analysis, self study is recommended if candidates have enough time in their hand. Several XAT Exam toppers preferred self study to ace the exam. Keep the following pointers in mind:

  • Gain conceptual clarity by understanding syllabus and exam pattern in depth. In case stuck at questions due to basics not being strong enough, that's a mere wastage of time. 
  • Candidates from engineering background may have a stronghold on Quants and DI section thus should focus on verbal and decision making parts.
  • The reverse goes for candidates from non-engineering background-focus on brushing your mathematical and analytical skills. 
  • General Knowledge section can be prepared in spare time as reading newspapers, magazines and other resources. This will save time in dedicating a separate section fpr GK.
  • Solve mock test and practice papers-this will inculcate the habit of sitting for 3 hours continuously for the exam.
  • Moreover mocks will help improve speed and analysing the solved papers will improve accuracy. Less than 1 minute accuracy is required to solve questions in XAT. 

Download Free XAT Sample Papers

XAT Preparation with the help of Coachings

If candidates feel expert guidance is required they should opt for coaching institutes for preparation. There can be several ways of attaining coaching in the form of regular classes or weekend classes. This is a feasible option for working professionals as well.

Certain benefits of preparation with the help of coaching include: institutes provide relevant material and a time table to cover them, topic wise explanation and doubt sessions, test series, expert guidance. During the pandemic situation, consider online coaching for XAT preparation.

Some well known coaching centres for XAT Preparation Online include:

  1. Floating GMAT    
  2. hitbullseye    
  3. Handa Ka Funda    
  4. Career Launcher    
  5. CrackU    
  6. TestFunda    

XAT 2021 Preparation FAQ's

XAT 2022 Preparation Tips FAQ's

Ques. Is XAT difficulty level more than CAT?

Ans. XAT is tough than CAT in some respect as there is an additional decision making section in XAT. Quantitative aptitude questions in XAT are also challenging to attempt. IIFT is considered comparable to CAT in terms of difficulty. Go Through XAT Exam Pattern

Ques. Can CAT preparation be utilised to appear in XAT?

Ans. XAT has an additional section of decision making and general awareness. the remaining sections are somewhat similar to CAT. candidates preparation for CAT can attempt XAT by focussing on the additional sections. Check XAT Preparation Tips

Ques. How much time is required to prepare for XAT?

Ans. 6 months are considered sufficient to prepare for XAT. Go through the exam pattern and syllabus and analyse previous year question papers. This will help candidates acquire knowledge about their level of preparation. attempt mock test as much as possible. Remember to inspect the solutions and improvise on the mistakes.

XAT 2021 : 3 answered questions


Ques. Which are some good GK apps for IIFT, XAT, SNAP?

● Top Answer By Aditi Arun on 02 Feb 21

Ans. Here are some apps which will help you prepare GK for IIFT, XAT, SNAP, exams. Knappily It is one of the best news apps, basically, a knowledge app that updates you with all the important events happening around the world.  It covers sections from Politics, Tech, Sports, Entertainment, Business, Law, Environment, Literature, etc.  It also has its desktop version.  Knappily in 2 minutes give in-depth information on What, Why, When, Who, and How. Inshorts Inshorts is one of the best news apps you will come across. In 30 seconds it covers all the major events happening around the world.  As it summarizes in only 60 words, it will be a helpful app if time is running low for exam preparation.  You can also select relevant issues of your interest on the app, as there are 100% of news flooded on the app. Also, avoid unnecessary use of different applications at once. This will only confuse and distract you. It is better that you use only two of the best news apps for preparation.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Who can rate CAT, XAT, SNAP, IIFT, MICAT, TISS, or NMAT in terms of difficulty level?

● Top Answer By Janvi Bhambri on 01 Feb 21

Ans. Among all these examinations, XAT is most difficult, followed by CAT. The difficulty level of the exams, in descending order (most difficult to easy) is XAT> CAT> IIFT> SNAP> TISS> NMAT. Now, let us dive into a detailed analysis behind the assigned ranks and the difficulty level. IIFT-  The questions asked in IIFT are a mixture of moderate and difficult.  The struggle lies in the attainment of marks within the cut-off range, both total cut-off and individual section cut-off.  Therefore, the students have no option but to perform exceedingly well in all sections, GK included.  The acceptance rate of IIFT is comparably low, only 400 students get admitted out of 50000 students. SNAP –  The entrance exam is easy but the tough part is to score marks that will be eligible for admission into Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, or SCHMID branch.  These are the branches which are of good quality, unlike the rest of them. TISS-  The exam pattern of TISS is easy but the GK section is the most dangerous part among them.  The questions asked in the GK section comprise both general knowledge and current affairs, therefore the portions are cover is endless. NMAT-  NMAT exam can be successfully cleared with proper preparation. The questions asked are conceptually based.  No negative marks are given for wrong answers, hence the students are free to attempt all the questions fearlessly.  MICAT is pretty easy. If you want a career in brand marketing and advertising it is necessary.  Therefore, from the above discussion, you can estimate the logic behind ranking the difficulty level of exams.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the order of difficulty mode of entrances exam among these CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT, ATMA and other exams conducted by deemed universities?

● Top Answer By Sahil Sachdeva on 18 Jan 21

Ans. The order of difficulty is definitely related to various factors but the prominent ones are candidates appearing & its composition. Keeping these in mind; the list is as follows: Common Aptitude Test(CAT) The exam is conducted by IIMs and accepted by most of the management institutes across the country.  The test duration is around 3 hours and comprises 100 questions.  A nice level of preparation is required to crack it as colleges look up to candidates holding more than 90 percentile. Xavier’s Aptitude Test (XAT) This examination is organised by Xavier Institute Of Management situated in Jamshedpur.  It also qualifies as a prominent score for management courses across various colleges.  The paper has sections similar to CAT but reasoning and general knowledge are the cracking points in the paper. Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) It is conducted by All India Council Of Technical Education(AICTE) having a moderate level of difficulty.  It takes general knowledge scores into consideration.  It is a 3 hour exam with 100 questions. Management Aptitude Test (MAT) This examination is conducted 4 times a year in February, May, September and December by All India Management Association (AIMA).  It is the easiest of all management exams and is accepted by 55-60% colleges across the country.  It is a 2.5 hour paper including 200 questions.  The percentile awarded is not inclusive of general knowledge score. The details regarding exams can be summed up in the table as follows: PAPER Number of questions Time duration (hours) Number of times paper conducted CAT 100 3 Once in a year (29 November 2020) XAT 100; 2 parts 3 Once in a year ( 3 January 2021) CMAT 100 3 Once in a year ( January 2021 ; registration open) MAT 200 2.5 4 times a year (February, May, September and December) The other prominent exams that are institute specific are : NMAT- Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies -Management Aptitude Test SNAP- Symbiosis College – Symbiosis National Aptitude Test IIFT- Indian Institute Of Foreign Trade The aforesaid examinations are followed by GD/PI with a comprehensive evaluation of the entire academic cycle of candidate. Mere qualification of percentile is not a sure shot entry to top institutes.Read more
1 Answer

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


preetam oinam
Am I allowed to give internet based test from any centre in India or only my domicile city?
abdul nazir

Hi Preetam, For IBT, you can take exam from anywhere in India where proper internet connectivity is possible. There are certain norms or guidelines of eligibility that needs to be followed before registration. Find relevant details at XAT 2022.

preetam oinam
Is there any way to change my exam center after release of the admit card?
common admission test

Hii Preetam, Greetings from collegedunia. Yes, you can change your test city preference only once at the time of XAT Form Correction. For more details Click Here

puja sao
Which section of the paper is the toughest and shall be focussed to get good rank?

HI Puja

Visit on our official website of XAT Exam Pattern to know the whole marking scheme and pattern of the exam. Each section is equally important and you must focus on each of them.

preetam oinam
How many types of scholarship programs are available?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, Scholarships of Rs 70,000 to up to Rs 7 lakh will be awarded to 30 students based on their percentile in entrance exams - CAT/XAT/GMAT/GRE/NMAT and MAT. This scholarship will be for First Year tuition fees only. For more information, please refer, XAT Exam.

yash raj singh
What should I do in case of mistake while filling the form?
abdul nazir

Hi Yash, Unfortunately there is no form correction window applicable for XAT exam and hence details once entered in the submitted form cannot be omitted or edited under any circumstances. To know more details visit XAT Registration 2021.

Which section has the highest weightage?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, The first section of Verbal and Logical Ability had high difficulty level although questions in Decision Making and Quant sections were a bit moderate. For more information, please refer, XAT Exam.

shivkumar dama
Where can I get the cutoff of different colleges?
common admission test

Hii Shivkumar. Colleges accepting XAT score release category-wise cut-off separately. You can check the cut-off of different colleges here. Kindly visit:- XAT CUTOFF OF COLLEGES

mizna harmain
How long does it take to prepare for the XAT exam?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi Mizna, XAT preparation time of 6 months is sufficient to crack the exam. Following should be adhered to before proceeding on XAT preparation journey: As you are left with sufficient XAT exam preparation time, first of all go through and understand the XAT exam pattern. Get a good feel of XAT 2021 exam syllabus.

vikram dewan
How can I prepare for XAT at home?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi Vikram, Step by Step Preparation tips for XAT as recommended by XAT toppers are:

Step 1: Scan the XAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus.

Step 2: Attempt a few XAT Mock tests/previous test papers to figure out your strong and weak topics.

preetam oinam
Where can I find topper's XAT routine?

Hi Preetam, 

You can ahe a look at the preparation tips page on our official website for the 30 days plan.