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XAT 2016 Comparison with CAT and other management exams

Last Updated - September 09, 2016

XATis the second most popular management entrance exam in India after CAT. XAT is different in many ways from other exams like CAT, MAT & CMAT. XAT is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur and XAT score is accepted by 120 B schools across India including XLRI and its associate members. XAT is considered a high difficulty level exam in comparison to CAT and other exams. However there are some other parameters which make XAT a unique exam.

XAT ELIGIBILITYXAT APPLICATION PROCESSXAT APPLICATION FORMXAT SYLLABUSXAT PRACTICE PAPERSXAT CUTOFF

Comparison of XAT and CAT will be done on the basis of

  • Exam Pattern
  • Mode and Timing
  • Difficulty Level
  • Participating Institutes/Colleges accepting Score
  • Marking/Scoring/Cutoff
  • Number of Test takers
XATXAT EXAM PATTERNXAT PAPER ANALYSISXAT SYLLABUS
Topics to be comparedCATXAT
What does it stand for?Common Aptitude TestXavier Aptitude Test
Conducting BodiesIndian Institute of ManagementXLRI, Jamshedpur and XAMI members
When it is conducted?Two days slots in November every year.On first Sunday of January every year.
How can I register for the test?To register you may login to www.iimcat.ac.inTo register you may login to www.xatonline.net.in
Application FeeINR 1600 (General) INR 800 (SC/ST/DA/PWD)INR 1000 for each category
Mode of ExamOnlinePen Paper Based

Ques. Do IIMs accept XAT score?

Ans. No, IIMs do not accept any other score than CAT for its regular PGP courses. Now we will discuss in detail how these both exams are different from each other.

XAT Exam Pattern

XAT Exam pattern is little bit different from CAT and other exams. There are some topics that are only asked in XAT. These are – Decision Making, Essay Writing and General Knowledge. Although essay writing and general knowledge sections are not considered in calculating XAT score.  But if you are planning to get into B Schools like XLRI, XIMB and SPJIMR, Essay writing and general knowledge can make a difference. These both sections are evaluated during final selection i.e. personal interview. Following analysis will help you understand the difference between XAT and CAT exam pattern

XATXAT EXAM PATTERNXAT PAPER ANALYSISXAT SYLLABUS
TopicsNo of questions in XATNo of questions in CAT
QA and DI30-3550
VA and LR2850
Decision Making23NA
General Knowledge20NA

Difficulty Level

XAT is considered somehow difficult than CAT. XAT 2017 has moderate to difficult level of difficulty. According to the XAT 2017 candidates Quantitative Aptitudewas the toughest of all the sections followed byVerbal Ability, Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning and General Knowledge. And the candidates who appeared in CAT too, found saying that CAT 2017 was easier. Although some of the candidates feel XAT was not any tougher than CAT, but there are also some parameters which made XAT a bit tougher, these are-

  • Essay Writing  Section, which requires extra attention and time
  • General Knowledge, this section is always considered tough because of its vast syllabus.

Ques. Which is more difficult CAT or XAT?

Ans. There is a myth about XAT that it is a tough exam. Although there are some topics that make it a bit different but these both are of almost same level. However sometimes in XAT some questions are tougher than CAT, as it was in QA section of XAT 2017. 

READ ABOUT XAT AND CAT DIFFERENCE

Marking Scheme

In XAT each objective type question contains one mark and it also has subjective part i.e. essay which carries 30 marks weightage however it is not considered while calculating XAT score and cutoff. There is negative marking of 1/4 in XAT i.e. for every wrong answer .25 marks will be deducted.

READ MORE ABOUT XAT PAPER ANALYSIS

In CAT each question has weightage of 3 marks and there are total objective type questions. Negative marking in CAT is of 1/3 i.e. for every wrong answer 1 mark will be deducted.

Mode and Timing

XAT is a pen paper based exam while most of the exams now are taken into online mode. If we talk about CAT it is taken in online mode. This makes a lot of difference between both the exams. In online mode candidate needs to understand the instructions and also some candidates may not be such tech savvy. XAT on other side follows the same pen paper pattern since it was started in 1949 which is the most conventional way of exam. Except this, XAT time duration is 3 hours and for CAT it is 2 hours and 50 minutes.

XAT EXAM PATTERNXAT SAMPLE PAPERSXAT PREVIOUS YEARS EXAM ANALYSIS

Most importantly in XAT, all the candidates solve the same exam all over the country because it is held on one specific date while CAT is conducted in window mode i.e. there is a set of dates on which exams is conducted and also there are different sets for each day.

Scoring and Cutoff

XAT score is calculated by a simple process, how many questions you have done correctly and how many are wrong. Each candidate attempts the same test and so cut off is also very simply calculated.

READ MORE ABOUT XAT SCORE CARD

In CAT there are different sets of papers attempted by candidates each day of exam taken. CAT score evaluation is done in two stage process- raw score and scaled score, which is a bit complicated than XAT.

Number of Test takers

Although XAT is a national level exam but still it is less popular than CAT. This year number of test takers in XAT was 89400 while in CAT 2014 it was195000. This also makes a lot of difference between both the exams. In XAT the competition hence becomes little easier.

READ ABOUT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN XAT AND CAT EXAM

Acceptance of Score

XAT score is accepted by 120 b schools of India. Among these 10 are the member institutes of XAMI. These institutes include (except XLRI) XIMB,XISS Ranchi,XIME Bangalore, LIBA, Chennai, XIMJ, XIMR Mumbai, SFIMR Mumbai, AIMIT Bangalore, SJCBA Bengaluru and Mount Carmel Institute of Management Bangalore. Except these there are some other top institutes like  SPJIMR, MICA,Welingkar and TAPMI etc. also accept XAT score.

While CAT score is more widely used in almost all renowned b schools of India. There are more than 175 b schools that accept XAT score including country’s top management institutes i.e. IIMs.

Ques. Does XLRI accept CAT score?

Ans.XLRI for its regular PGDM courses accept only XAT score.

Ques. Do colleges prefer CAT score to XAT?

Ans. There are many B schools that accept both XAT and CAT scores. But there are no such criteria for preference of any of these scores. It only depends on how much seats are reserved and how is the cutoff for that particular score. For example SPJIMR accepts both accept CAT and XAT score, and last year cutoff for both were 8.

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