XAT 2021 Preparation Tips, Study Material, and Topper's Tips

    XAT Preparation Plan is of utmost importance to get admission in XLRI and other B Schools. Preparation for XAT process should include accurate guidance, the right preparation sources, and dedication. Practice sessions like Mocks and quizzes, analysis of errors made in attempting it to improve.

    Preparation Plan should be drafted as per XAT 2021 Exam Pattern. In order to make to one of the best B School, following metrics must be taken care of:

    • Familiarize yourself completely with the syllabus of each section.
    • Familiarize yourself with the exam pattern of the last few years.
    • Get the best resources for preparation. This includes both materials such as books and coaching classes if you are not preparing all by yourself.
    • Create a time table/schedule that must be followed strictly.
    • Remember to stay healthy. Healthy body will result in healthy mind.

    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 must focus on particular sections depending what their strength or weakness is.

    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 forXAT 2021
    • 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.

    Download Free XAT Sample Papers

    XAT 2021 Preparation as per Exam Pattern 

    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

    Total Number of Questions100
    Total Marks100
    Number of Sections4
    Type of QuestionsMCQs
    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.

    Must Read News

    XAT 2021 Preparation as per Syllabus

    Once the exam pattern is understood, 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 percentile. 
    • Candidates who are able to solve the level 3 difficulty of Arun Shar

    Section Wise Preparation Tips

    Section Wise 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 Ability2615-17 questions
    Decision Making2113- 15 questions
    Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation2717 – 20 questions
    General Knowledge2512- 14 questions

      XAT 2021 Preparation Tips 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.

      Time and WorkVenn DiagramBar Charts
      EquationsPolynomialsData Sufficieny
      Profit and lossProgressions, Scatter PlotsProbability
      • 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.

      XAT 2021 Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

      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:

      Fill in the blanks Sentence CorrectionParagraph Formation
      Para JumbleReading ComprehensionPoem
      • 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.

      XAT 2021 Preparation Tips for Decision Making

      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 TestCase Lets
      Analytical ReasoningConditions and Grouping Test
      Reading ComprehensionDecision 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.
      • 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.

      XAT 2021 Preparation Tips for General Knowledge

      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 CapitalPoliticsCulture
      CurrencySportsFilms and Television
      Books and AuthorsEnvironment and EcologyEconomics
      • 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.

      Preparation with Mock Test

      XAT 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 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.

      XAT 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.

      Go Through XAT Previous Year  Paper 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 exam candidates should start practicing 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.

      Preparation with Study Material

      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:

      CheckComplete List of Best Books and Study Material for XAT 

      SectionBook 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

      Preparation By Self Study or Coaching?

      XAT Preparation By Self Study

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

      • Gain conceptual clarity by understanding syllabus and exam pattern in depth. In case stuck at questions due to basics nmot being strong enough, thats a mere wastage of time. 
      • Candidates from engineering background may have a stronghold on Quants and DI section thus should focus onVerbal and decision making parts.
      • The reverse goes for candidates from non-engineering background-focus on brushingyour mathematical and analytical skills. 
      • General Knowledge section can be prepared in spare time as reading newspapers,magzines and other resources. This will save time in dedicating a separate section fpr GK.
      • Solve mock test and practice papers-this will incultate the habit of sitting for 3 hours continously for the exam.
      • Moreover mocks will helpimprove speed and analysing the solved papers will improve accuracy. Less than 1 minute accuracy is required tosolve questions in XAT. 

      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 teh form ofregular 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.

      XAT Preparation as per Topper Tips

      For a productive preparation process, one must consider the opinions of the more experienced. Collegedunia brings you insights from the journeys of XAT toppers:

      XAT Tips by Toppers
      XAT Topper Tips By Arya Balial
      XAT Topper Tips By Isha Parasramka
      XAT Topper Tips by Akash Senapati
      XAT Topper Tips by Aditi Srivastava

      XAT 2021 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 comrable to CAT interms 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 some what 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.

      *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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