XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

Insights on XAT

Xavier Aptitude Test or commonly known as XAT Exam is one of the most prestigious MBA entrance exams which the most MBA aspirants take along with the CAT Exam. It opens doors to some of the best B-Schools in India including the flagship XLRI Jamshedpur which conducts the exam.
The XAT Exam attracts over 95,000 aspirants every year. The number of applicants has been increasing year after year, as per the data released by the authorities. Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is an All-India MBA entrance test conducted by Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur.

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

The top B-schools which accept the XAT score are:

1. Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur (XLRI)

2. Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Delhi (XLRI)

3. S P Jain Mumbai

4. Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar – Core MBA Course

5. MICA Ahmedabad

6. Goa Institute of Management

7. Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad

8. Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur and Hyderabad

9. TAPMI Manipal

10. KJ Somaiya, Mumbai

XAT Exam is known to be one of the most transparent exams. This is because of the fact that along with the XAT exam paper, the XAT answer key is also released by XLRI Jamshedpur before the announcement of result. In addition to this, a limited time window where the candidate can contest the result and demand a recount of his/her score is provided after the announcement of XAT Result.
It is considered to be one of the toughest MBA entrance exams because of the following facts:

  • The inclusion of General Knowledge
  • The unique XAT Exam Pattern which keeps the overall scores quite low.
  • The level of the verbal ability questions is also considered to be higher than that of the CAT exam.
  • The sectional cutoffs in all the sections except for the General Knowledge section.

Important Dates: XAT-2021 (Tentative) XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

The uniqueness of XAT Exam Pattern 2021

1. The XAT Exam consists of two parts, with a total of 99 Questions (expected) overall. The expected distributions of questions are given below:

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

2. Apart from the marking scheme of +1 for each correct answer and -0.25 for every wrong answer, all questions (over 8) left un-attempted carry a penalty of 0.05 marks. The General Knowledge Section does not give any negative marking and is not considered for the final merit.

This unique aspect of the XAT Exam Pattern makes the XAT Exam quite tricky because of the restriction in the number of questions that can be left un-attempted.

The final XAT Exam Pattern will be announced in the second week of August 2020 when the XAT 2021 Notification is expected to be released. The XAT Registration 2021 will begin by the third week of August 2020 and will end in the 4th week of November 2020.

Section 1: VARC & LR

The XAT 2021 exam pattern and syllabus for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Logical Reasoning (LR) section comprises the following:

  • Total number of questions: 26
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • RC passages: 4 (as per last year papers) i.e., a total of 14 to 16 questions.
  • Verbal Ability questions: 8 to 10
  • Verbal Ability topics: Vocabulary; Analogy; Para Jumbles, Para completion; Critical Reasoning; Statements-Assumptions;
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to Tough
 Section 2: Decision Making

The XAT 2021 syllabus and pattern for Decision Making section consists of short caselets and decision-making problems. The questions are mostly in sets.

  • Total number of questions: 21
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Question Pattern: 7 to 8 sets on decision-making followed by 2 and 3 questions each.
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Section 3: Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation
  • Total number of questions: 27
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to tough
  • Syllabus:
  1. Time & Work
  2. Percentage
  3. Profit & Loss
  4. Equations
  5. Number Systems
  6. Clocks
  7. Geometry
  8. Algebra
  9. Mensuration
  10. Venn Diagrams
  11. Tables
  12. Bar Graph
  13. Pie Chart
  14. Line Graph
Section 4: GK

There is no fixed syllabus and pattern for the GK section. The questions can be asked from any topic.

  • Total number of questions: 25
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Time Limit to Attempt: 15 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Syllabus: GK questions could be based on any topic including Current Indian & International affairs; Business-related; Economics related; social issues, new appointments; conventional GK; sports; Constitution of India, Books & Authors, etc.
  • Key highlight: This section is not taken into account for the calculation of percentile in XAT exam.

Previous Year XAT Exam Pattern 2020

The XAT 2020 Exam was held online much like XAT 2019. The XAT 2020 Exam Pattern had very few changes as described below:

  • A 3-hour test consisting of 4 sections: Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation & General Knowledge
  • There were a total of 99 MCQs with the internal distribution being:
    • 26 MCQs for Verbal and Logical Ability
    • 21 MCQs for Decision Making
    • 27 MCQs for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
    • 25 MCQs for General Knowledge
  • The overall marking scheme was 1 mark for each correct answer while a penalty of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer. Candidates can leave up to 8 questions attempted, but any number of questions above the limit would attract a penalty of 0.1 marks each.
  • The scores for the first three sections (or the first 75 Questions) will be considered for percentile calculations.

Salient Features of XAT Exam Pattern 2020

  • XAT 2020 pattern: Computer Based Test
  • XAT 2020 Total Questions: 99
  • XAT 2020 Question Type: MCQs
  • XAT 2020 Scoring Pattern: +1 Mark for Each Correct
  • Negative Marking: 0.25 (¼) mark deducted for wrong answers from question 1 to 74
  • For GK questions there was no Negative Marking
  • XAT Paper Submission: Candidates are allowed to submit test paper after 30 minutes of the test commencement time
  • Time Duration: XAT 2020 exam pattern has shared a time duration of 3 hours between the two parts.
  • XAT Exam Pattern 2020 – Percentile Calculation: Only three sections in XAT exam are taken into account to calculate the XAT percentile score and XAT merit list for the written exam. Part 2, i.e., the GK section will not be considered while percentile calculation in XAT exam.
  • No Sectional Time Limit: It means that a candidate can attempt any question from any of the three sections within the overall time limit. However, the candidate was allowed to go to Part 2 in XAT 2020 only after completing the time duration of Part 1

5 Key Changes in XAT Exam Pattern 2020 

1. NAT Questions Introduced: A new type of Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions in XAT pattern 2020 has been introduced by XLRI. To answer the NAT questions, candidates have to use the virtual keypad appearing on the computer screen and enter the numerical answer.

2. Penalty for Un-attempted Questions: Each un-attempted question beyond eight will carry a negative marking penalty of 0.10 mark per unattempted question.

3. No Essay Writing part: There is no descriptive question or Essay Writing test in the revised XAT pattern 2020.

4. XAT Time Duration Reduced: XAT 2020 exam pattern had a time duration of three hours instead of three and a half hours.

5. Extra 25 Minutes for Visually Impaired Candidates: There was a provision of allotting 25 minutes extra time for the scribe to complete the Part-1 (first three sections) of the XAT exam. However, it must be kept in mind that there is no time concession for GK section or Part-2 of the exam.

XAT-2020 vs Past XAT Exam Pattern

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

Detailed Comparision b/w XAT 2020 & Past XAT Exam

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

How to Prepare for XAT-2021

Well, we will leave this part for the next article, where we will be sharing some critical preparation strategy for XAT.

The major takeaways for the XAT preparation are:

  • Equal importance must be given to all the sections as fetching maximum marks is the most critical task and a gateway to move forward. Clearing Sectional cutoff is mandatory.
  • Proper time management is required to crack the XAT exam.
  • Mock Tests and its proper analysis is required.
  • Basics of Geometry, Number System, Probability and DI with a proper application is the key to crack Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section.
  • Special emphasis on the daily current affairs as well as static GK.

Who can appear for XAT exam?

Applicants are required to possess a bachelor’s degree/ equivalent of minimum 3 years duration. There is no limitation on the age or the number of attempts. The candidates who are in their final year of graduation can also apply for the XAT exam. Additionally, XLRI also specifies programme-wise eligibility criteria for the candidates.

Which colleges/institutes accept XAT scores?

More than 150 B-schools accept XAT scores. Some of these top B-schools are:

After each XAT participating institute releases its cutoff, candidates are shortlisted for the subsequent selection process comprising of Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI). Candidates are given admission in the participating institutes of XAMI based on their performance in the selection procedure.


FAQs Regarding XAT Exam Pattern

QUES: Is the sequence of answering questions in XAT?

ANS: Yes, one can choose the sequence of answering questions in the XAT exam.

QUES: What is the sectional timing in the XAT exam?

ANS: The XAT exam is divided into two parts with an overall time limit of 3 hours. The duration of Part 1 is 165 minutes while for Part 2, the time limit is 15 minutes.

QUES: Is a preview of the answers possible before submitting my test?

ANS: Yes, the preview answers to all the questions before submitting the test is possible. You can preview your answers by clicking on the ‘Preview Submit’ option in the XAT question paper.

QUES: What will happen if I leave any question unattempted in the XAT exam?

ANS: There is no negative marking for unanswered questions, but if any candidate leaves more than eight questions unanswered 0.1 marks per question left unattempted will be deducted.

QUES: Which section of XAT 2021 exam will have the maximum number of questions?

ANS: The Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation section will have the maximum number of questions, i.e. 27, followed by VARC and LR with 26 questions. GK will have a total of 25 questions, while Decision Making will have 22 questions.

QUES: Is the XAT exam conducted in offline mode too?

ANS: No. Since 2018, the XAT exam is conducted in online mode only.

QUES: Is there any change in the XAT 2021 exam pattern from last year?

ANS: There is no change in the XAT exam pattern until now. Official notification will be released in the month of August 2020.

QUES: What is the marking scheme of XAT 2021?

ANS: For each correct answer candidates will get 1 mark.

QUES: Is there negative marking in XAT?

ANS: Yes, there is negative marking in XAT. For each wrong answer, there will be a deduction of 0.25 marks.

QUES: What are the important topics of Quantitative Aptitude in XAT?

ANS: Some of the essential topics of Quantitative Aptitude are Algebra, Geometry, Co-ordinate Geometry, Number System, Probability, Mixtures, Arithmetic Sequences, Tables Chart, Multiple Graph, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Interest, Average, Logarithm, etc.

QUES: What is the format of questions in XAT?

ANS: The questions in XAT will be in MCQ format and will have five options to choose the right answer from.

QUES: How to apply for XLRI program through GMAT?

ANS: After completing the basic and personal details candidates need to select the option through GMAT to apply for XLRI programmes.

QUES: What is the eligibility criteria for taking XAT 2021?

ANS: A recognized Bachelor’s Degree of minimum three years or equivalent in any discipline. Those completing their final examination by June 10, 2021, can also apply.

All Indian candidates must appear for XAT 2021. However, NRI and Foreign candidates can apply through GMAT score.

QUES: I am in the final year of my graduation, what percentage should I fill in the form?

ANS: The aggregate percentage of marks obtained until the time of filling the form is to be filled.

QUES: By Registering and paying for XAT 2021, am I eligible for XLRI and other Associate Member Institutes?

ANS: Candidates interested in XLRI needs to apply for the programmes of their choice. Please note that each institution independently decides the weightage to be given for each of the test components on the basis of its needs. For XAT Associate Member Institutes (refer XAT Associate Institutes website)
XAT is just a  common test for admission into various academic programmes of XLRI.

QUES: When shall I receive the XAT 2021 Admit Card?

ANS: You can download the admit card from our website www.xatonline.in 3rd week of December 2020 onwards.

QUES: What is the duration of the test?

ANS: The duration of the test will be of three hours. The exact date will be announced officially in the month of August

QUES: When are XAT 2021 results out?

ANS: Results will be available on the website by 31st January 2021.

QUES: I have done 5 years integrated course, so how will I enter my percentage?

ANS: The candidates who have done 5 years integrated course are required to fill up the same percentage for graduation and post-graduation.

QUES: How do I calculate the aggregate marks for CBSE /SSC. Is it the best 5 or all the subjects?

ANS: The candidate must take the aggregate of all the subjects for the10th class.

QUES: Does internship/Articleship counted as work experience?

ANS: No, these are not counted as work experience

QUES: Does the work experience before Graduation is counted?

ANS: No, it is not counted as work experience.

QUES: I am in the final year of my graduation, am I eligible to register for XLRI?

ANS: Yes, you are eligible for admission to XLRI. You need to complete your final year examination by June 10, 2021.

QUES: Will the candidates have access to an on-screen calculator?

ANS: No, there is no such provision of screen calculator during the XAT exam.

QUES: Will the candidates be able to choose the order of sections according to their choice?

ANS: Yes.

QUES: Can the candidates switch between sections?

ANS: Yes.

QUES: What happens in case of any technical glitch in the computer of some candidates?

ANS: In case of a technical glitch the candidate will be shifted to another terminal without any loss of time.

QUES: With sectional partitions, will the candidate be allowed to decide the order of the sections or will all the three sections will be made open to the candidate the moment the exam starts.

ANS: All three sections will be open to the candidate once the exam starts.

QUES: I would like to apply for XLRI Delhi Campus BM programme, How do I apply? Is there any extra fee charged?

ANS: A candidate can apply to XLRI Delhi BM Programme by clicking on BM programme and giving the preference as Delhi. There is no extra fee charged.

XAT 2021: Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Dates, FAQs

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