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How to prepare for SNAP along with XAT

Last Updated - August 28, 2018

With SNAP scheduled for December 16, 2018 and XAT for January 6, 2019, aspirants who are planning to attempt both the entrance tests are in a tizzy right now trying to balance preparations for each exam while strategizing perfectly two of the most popular yet fundamentally different aptitude tests. Historically speaking, level of difficulty of SNAP is comparatively lower than XAT. While XAT has two very unique features – Decision Making and Essay Writing in addition to other regular sections like Verbal Ability, Reasoning, Quantitative Skills etc., SNAP follows the more conventional exam pattern of English, Reasoning, Quants & Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge.

SNAP Application FormSNAP Exam PatternSNAP Preparation Tips

The table here depicts the differing exam pattern of SNAP and XAT. Understanding the differences will help in strategizing better for each of the tests.

FeaturesSNAPXAT
Mode of ExamOnlineOnline
Medium of ExamEnglishEnglish
Exam Duration2 hours (120 minutes)3 hours 25 minutes (170 minutes+35 minutes)
Level10+2-
Number of Papers12
Type of QuesMCQs (Objective Type)MCQs and 1 Essay
Total Sections 4: General English; Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency; Analytical & Logical Reasoning; Current Affairs5 (split into two papers) Paper 1- Verbal and Logical Ability: Decision Making; Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation. Paper 2- General Knowledge; Essay Writing
Total Ques15072+25+1 essay
Max. Marks150100
Marking Scheme+1 for correct answer, -0.25 for incorrect answer+1 for correct answer, -0.25 marks for incorrect answer, -0.05 marks for question not answered

The most covered topics in XAT and SNAP Quants and DI sections are Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Numbers, Trigonometry, Data Interpretation, Permutation & Combination, Probability, and Co-ordinate Geometry. The difficulty level of the Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation section of XAT is quiet as compared to the similar section of SNAP which stresses more on Arithmetic. For XAT-level preparation of Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation section, the best reference books are those by Arun Sharma and Nitish Sinha. To match the SNAP level and to groom yourself with the type of questions asked in the test, practice SNAP sectional and overall Mock Tests as much as you can.

Instead of a separate section for Reasoning, XAT tests its candidates on their decision –making skills in relation to team management, efficiency and ethics including decision-making situations that involve interpreting data. However, SNAP Reasoning is of moderate difficulty level and focused more on the customary topics like Statement and Assumption, Cause and Effects, Coding and Decoding, Syllogism and Sequences etc. that requires skills as well as speed on the part of the candidates. SNAP Reasoning is far vast in scope yet easier to handle than XAT Decision Making. Practicing problem-solving and decision-making techniques would help candidates score well in this section.

Both in case of XAT as well as SNAP, the vocab book by Normal Lewis and the school-level Grammar book by Wren and Martin are like Bibles. Following these two books will definitely help candidates glide through number of topics in both the exam. While reading comprehension is the most difficult part of XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section, the rest of the section is of moderate difficulty level, like that of SNAP, covering vocabulary, idioms and phrases, grammar basics like voice etc. and para jumbles and sentence completion. XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section also incorporates some amount of problems to assess candidates’ logical thinking skills. Both the tests lay stress on Idioms and Phrases.

Both SNAP and XAT has separate sections on General Knowledge with 30 and 25 questions respectively carrying 1 mark each. SNAP has provision for negative marking in this section while XAT doesn’t. However, XAT GK section score is not accounted for in percentile calculation while SNAP GK contributes majorly to your overall score. XAT GK will focus more on recent current affairs while SNAP GK will focus both on Static GK as well as current affairs from last 2 years.

Check here SNAP Practice Papers


SNAP and XAT simultaneous preparation

Broadly considering Reasoning, Quantitative and DI Skills, Verbal Ability and General Knowledge as the different segments covering both XAT and SNAP, and Decision Making and Essay Writing sections unique to XAT, candidates should ideally prep with XAT in mind, as the overall difficulty level of the same is higher than SNAP. Candidates should ideally focus on XAT specifically in terms of the Quant section as XAT questions are normally concept heavy and requires intensive calculations. SNAP on the other hand would be relatively easier but would require speed in order to target maximum attempts of 40 questions.

However, since Reasoning is a dedicated section in SNAP with 40 questions again, candidates would do well to practice this section separately. Verbal and Quants, if prepared for keeping in mind XAT structure, SNAP pattern will be covered smoothly. Decision-Making and Essay Writing for XAT has to be prepared separately but at the same time. Developing a habit of reading newspapers and business magazines will not only hone comprehension skills and vocabulary but will also prepare you for the GK section without additional efforts.

Decision Making section in XAT would evaluate your logical thinking ability alongside data interpretation skills. Practicing maximum number of related model questions is the only way you can master this section. Another most unique feature of XAT is the 200-word essay that you will have to write on mostly an abstract or current affair topic. Writing an essay, a day will help you in expressing your ideas lucidly and within the given time.

Practicing previous years’ question papers will help you acclimatize with the question pattern and level of difficulty of both the tests. Mock Tests, done in a timed scenario will help time management as well as identify and manage your strengths and weaknesses. Practice test papers for XAT as well as SNAP designed by experts and different coaching institutes are excellent tool for both the tests’ successful preparation and crack XAT exam. These Mock tests are available both online and offline. Here we list the most prominent mock test series available online for both XAT and SNAP.

  • Hit Bulls Eye
  • TCY Online
  • Cetking
  • Careeranna.com
  • Career Launcher Test Series

Also follows here is an indicative list of books and reference material for SNAP and XAT preparation.

Name of BookAuthor/Publication
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CATArun Sharma
How to prepare for Data InterpretationArun Sharma
Data Interpretation for the CATNishit K. Sinha
Verbal Ability and Reading ComprehensionAjay Singh
Word Power Made Easy BookNorman Lewis
High School English Grammar & CompositionWren & Martin
Analytical ReasoningMK Pandey
Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers)R.K. Jha
General Knowledge 2018Manohar Pandey
XAT 2018 SimplifiedDisha experts
Target SNAP (English) Disha Publications
SNAP GuideRamesh Publication House
Map the SNAP TestArihant Publications

For the General Knowledge section magazines like Business Line, Business Today, Business & Management Chronicle, Manorama Year Book, Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review, etc.) and newspapers like The Hindu, Economics Times, etc. are good resources. Check here XAT Preparation Tips


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