XAT 2017 or Xavier Aptitude Test, is the next big exam for the MBA aspirants. It is a paper-based test conducted on the first Sunday of the year in which the program commences. XAT 2017 will be conducted on January 08, 2017 from 10AM to 1.30PM across the 47 cities in India and 2 cities abroad. If you have prepared and appeared well for other management entrance exams like CAT, SNAP,IIFT etc, you can consider XAT preparations to be 50% complete. You need to focus and prepare for some exclusive test sections such as General Awareness, Essay Writing and Decision Making in order to get a good percentile.
More than 140 highly ranked B schools in India like XLRI, SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, GIM Goa, XIM Bhubaneshwar, Great Lakes Chennai will accept XAT 2017 scores along with CAT 2016 scores for admission to MBA/PGDM 2017-19, so this is also the last chance to improve your score to get into one of the top B-schools in 2017. A high score in XAT 2017 may get you shortlisted for next round of admission process at one of the top rated B schools in the country.
In this article of AfterGraduation will share the preparation strategy for XAT 2017, the areas you need to focus on, and how to move ahead with the preparations in the crucial few days. Let us understand the XAT exam pattern 2017, before moving further with the test sections.
XAT Exam Pattern
|Paper||Section Name||No. of Questions||Total Marks||Total Time||Negative Marking|
|Paper 1||Decision Making||23||23||170 Mins||0.25 for any wrong answer and 0.05 for more than 13 unattempted questions|
|Verbal and Logical Ability||26||26|
|QA and DI||29||29|
|Paper 2||General Knowledge||25||25||35 Mins||No Negative Marking|
|Essay Writing||1 essay||No Negative Marking|
The total duration of the exam is 3.5 hours. Paper 1 will have 170 minutes, i.e. 2 hours 50 minutes and after a break of 5 minutes, candidates have to start with Paper 2, the duration of which is 35 minutes.
The paper can be split into three parts: concept driven, practice intensive and environment sensitive. Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and selected areas of Verbal & Logical Ability are concept driven; Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning is a purely practice intensive section while General Knowledge is environment sensitive.
By now you must have been thorough with the basics of all the sections of both Paper 1 and 2. If you have appeared or prepared for MBA entrance exams like CAT, IIFT, SNAP you must be well versed with the sections and topics like Quants, Verbal, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. The exam is markedly different from the other MBA entrance exams as it features a section on Decision Making. This is an area that checks your management aptitude by presenting different situations and cases, and asks you to identify the correct recourse in these situations.
Brush up Basics For Concept Driven Section
The key is to focus on sharpening the basis of each section. Having your basics clear would be the key to solve any type of questions, be it easy and direct or complex and sitter based.
- Critical Reasoning should be focused.
- Thrust is on reasoning skills. Purely vocabulary-based questions are rarely asked.
- A very fine balance between quick reading and comprehension skills is required.
- Majority of the questions featured for Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, come from Geometry, Number Systems, Functions, P&C, Probability and Data Interpretation.
- Strong conceptual base in the above topics, with a good application orientation is the key to doing well.
- Thrust areas are Geometry, Number Systems, P&C, Probability and Functions.
XAT Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning
- Consisting of various business and everyday situations, you are meant to establish what the various stakeholders should do in the situation given.
- In general, the situations given in these questions set up interesting dilemmas for the parties involved, and most of the choices involve an analysis of the possible gains and losses with each course of action adopted.
- Different types of questions probed in these areas include: ethical dilemmas, financial issues involving sales, revenues etc. of a company, employee management issues and general management scenarios.
- As far as what kind of decisions you should make, ensure that the decision taken is unbiased and does not favor one particular party, ethical, balanced and from the perspective of all stakeholders involved. Do not lose your objectivity in the entire process and do not let your own biases cloud your judgment.
Focus on the Exclusive Areas
Apart from the common sections, there are certain exclusive sections like General Knowledge and Essay Writing for which you have to make special preparation strategy. Chances are that you might not have come across such areas earlier. You will be given 35 minutes to complete Paper 2, consisting of GK and Essay writing. Time must be a crucial part of your preparation, as not only you have to write an essay but need to complete the GK part as well.
XAT Essay Writing Practice
- Prepare for the essay writing by reading newspapers , especially the editorial columns, regularly and following the current trends.
- Going by the past trends, XAT essay topics have had stronger abstract dimensions.
- The topic is based on either a common phrase or an idiom with a philosophical hint implied within.
- The evaluators not only look for language skills, but also check the coherence of thoughts, , ideas, ability to provide logical arguments and your knowledge pertaining to the topic. Having a fair knowledge of the contemporary topics will give you an edge.
- It is recommended that you practice writing within a specific time duration and get them assessed on content and style.
- General knowledge made its first appearance in the XAT exam in 2013. Out of the 30 questions in XAT 2013, 12 were on current affairs and 18 on static GK.
- Put greater emphasis on economics and business related facts.
- Preparing current events for the last 6 months is essential.
- In static GK part, focus on awards, books & authors and geography.
Practice XAT Mock Tests & Last Year Papers
Solving last years’ papers will help you understand the difficulty level and the question types to expect in the paper. Also, taking proctored mock tests will also help you in time management. Note the fact that circling the OMR sheet is much more time consuming than clicking the option. Hence, take at least 2 mock tests a week to get accustomed to the pattern. (Image Source: Pixabay)