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XAT 2018 Exam Analysis

Last Updated - October 12, 2017

Analysis of XAT previous years exam can be performed on the basis of yearly & section wise observations with respect to number of questions & level of difficulty in different sections according to XAT Exam format. Find essay topics here which have been asked in different years & analyze your potential & prepare accordingly.


Every year the authorities add set of tricky questions and concepts in questions. Essay topics set a different trend in language aspects.The entrance test is conducted by XAMI members on first Sunday of January.

General Observations

  • Mode of the Test: Every year the test is conducted in offline mode. This is helpful for those candidates who are not familiar with attempting tests on computer. It will affect alternatively their speed of attempting questions. The paper pen mode also confirms that each & every student should be tested on same type of questions not on the basis of different scale.


  • Exam Structure (Yearly): The given bar chart represents the difficulty level in different years in different sections.

XAT EXAM Analysis

In 2013, the essay topic was: Corruption is the root cause of economic slowdown in India (200 words). This topic was different from 2011 & 2012 which were from economics & philosophy. It was a direct topic students have plenty of thoughts to write on.


Below table serve you the whole scenario regarding number of questions asked in different years & their level of difficulty. It will help you to interpret the trend of selection.

Sections askedQuestions askedDifficulty level
VA+LR, QA+DI, DM+AR, GA+ Essay writing28+23+33+30Moderate to tough
28+31+24+30 (113)
30+25+36+30 (121) -
VA+LR, QA+DI, DM+AR34+43+24 (101) -

Note: VA-Verbal ability, LR-Logical reasoning, DM-Decision making, AR-Analytical reasoning, QA-Quantitative ability, DI-Data interpretation, GA- General Awareness.

Year wise Observation

Several changes have been implemented every year in XAT syllabus  and the number of question asked in entrance. The purpose of this exam is to test the presence of mind of students especially when they are bounded by time limit. Logical ability and common sense are the things which are tested during the test.

  • You have to work upon your decision making ability, which questions are to be attempted first. You can prepare for the exam by attempting mock question papers.
  • Time limit is the main issue for most of the students. Practicing more questions will boost your pressure handling capability.
  • Students have to avoid confusion by identifying their strengths and weakness to score with excellence.


XAT 2015 Trend (Section wise analysis)

XAT 2015 was held on January 04, 2015. Questions with higher level of difficulty were asked form those topics which are out of trend and ignored.Note: Each pie chart represents number of questions by different sections. You can also find out the percentage division for questions asked.

  1. Observations on Verbal & Logical Ability:
  • Questions asked in this section were based on reading comprehension from moderate to difficult level.
  • Questions were based on grammar concepts mainly; verb subject agreement, synonym, prepositions & parts of speech.
  • Questions on jumble words, premise, statement and conclusion were also asked.
  • Outstanding Score : 13-15
  • Good score: 7-10
  • Cutoff: 7-8


2. Observations on Decision Making

  • Questions on decision making were complex as well as time consuming.
  • Some answers had related options, it was purposely done to confuse the candidates. Aspirants who have opt for 12 to 15 questions may have fulfilled the cutoff criteria.
  • Questions on employee management issues, issues related sales and revenue.
  • Outstanding: 13-15
  • Good score: 7-10
  • Cutoff: 7-8

3. Observation on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

This section was a bit difficult as compared to previous years. Students were required to solve at least 13 Questions. Most of the questions were asked from Algebra, Arithmetic, probability & Geometry.This section requires sufficient time management to solve at least 18 questions to score well.

  • Outstanding Score: 14-17
  • Good score: 8-10
  • Cutoff: 9-10


4. Emphasis on General Awareness:

  • This section had 30 questions from Finance world, Business, National & International affairs, important dates, books, authors and economics.
  • Students are strongly advised to keep a bird’s eye view on latest news affairs.

5. Essay Writing:

  • Essay writing test was taken to test the writing skills of the students. Special emphasis was given on grammar and tenses. It should be prepared by regular and consistent efforts.
  • Topic on essay was not so difficult. Those who have done this by making proper outline to the subject matter were able to write a good piece of writing.
  • The essay word limit was around 350-400 words in 2015  & topic of essay was: ‘’Listening is a dying art”.

XAT 2014 Trend (Section wise analysis):

  1. Observations on Verbal & Logical Ability:

Questions asked from VA & RC are tough in comparison to grammar & sentence arrangement & completion.

  • Good score:14+
  • Cutoff:9+


2. Observations on QA & DI:

  • Good score:8+
  • Cutoff:6+


3. Observations for General Awareness:

  • Good score:12+
  • Cutoff:8+

4. Essay Writing:

  • The essay topic was: “The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched with hands. They can only be felt with heart’’. (200 words)

XAT 2013 Trend

According to test takers XAT 2013 was quite difficult to crack. According to faculty and experts you need not to be a brilliant student in Mathematics & Aptitude. Just prepare smartly. XAT 2013 was classified by difficult Verbal Ability Section. Decision making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation sections are moderate as compared to previous years.

  1. Observation on Verbal Logical Ability:
  • Difficult as compared to previous years question paper.
  • Time consuming due to difficulty level.
  • Total number of questions 30: at least 10 questions were difficult, 5 were at moderate level.
  • Reading Comprehension questions were a bit confusing and full of jargons & technical terms. There were 4 passages & they were very advanced for a graduate level candidate.
  • The verbal question surprised the aspirants with four Reading Comprehensions.

Quick view of the pattern of this section will clarify what we mean exactly:

Good Score: 20


2. Observations on Decision Making Section:

  • Easy for the students who have prepared through mock tests and went through current affairs.
  • Illustrations related to recent news affairs were asked in this section.
  • Cut off for this section : 9

Observations for Quantitative Ability


The breakup of the section was on 11 marks.

  • Easier yet lengthy as compared to previous years.
  • Students who had prepared well attempted 17-18 questions in 45 minutes.
  • Cutoff for this section – 9

XAT 2012 Trend

In 2012 the exam was challenging as compared to previous years. Questions asked in this year had increased the standard of the exam. There were 85 questions in total.

  1. Total 34 questions were asked from this section with weightage of 69 marks.Observation for Verbal ability Section:
  • Questions on para-jumble, reading comprehension were quite easy.
  • Poetry based questions were asked.
  1. Observation on Essay writing

In essay (250 words) an argument was given and students were expected to write on that by providing appropriate clarifications and examples.

Argument: The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would ot only load himself with unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate and which be nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

  1. Observation on Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making:

There were 24 questions of 57 marks. AR was very difficult & DM section was time consuming.

  1. Observation on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

There were total 43 questions of 117 marks. This section was very difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. Is it possible to crack XAT without coaching?

Ans. It is better to opt for a crash course to learn basic concepts. To score well, ample of mock test papers shall be solved. There are various books available for preparation the best shall be chosen to learn tricks and strategies.

Ques. Is it mandatory to attempt all the sections in XAT?

Ans. Yes, it is mandatory to attempt all the sections of XAT Exam.  Every section judges different skills of the aspirants, so it is important for quality sake.


Ques. Can students from Humanities background appear for XAT?

Ans. Yes, students from Humanities background can apply for the exam. It is important for these students to learn concepts of mathematics and reasoning to meet the standard of other aspirants. These students require well polished skills as compared to other students, as they are changing their stream.

Ques. Is there any choice in essay writing section of XAT?

Ans. There are no internal choices in essay section of XAT. Students are required to frame their ideas in a proper format with clarified approach. It is important to avoid haywire ideas and focus on the topic given.Ques. How many months shall one devote for preparation for XAT?

Ans. Several students prepare for other competitive exams as well most of the sections are similar and require similar preparation. If you are indulged in preparations already then XAT preparation will take less time. 3 months preparation may yield to good result. This time period includes practice of all sections along with mock test papers.

Ques. How to decide the time to be allotted to each section?

Ans. The time allotment varies from person to person. This can be decided by individual’s strengths and weaknesses. One shall work more on weaknesses, so that they don’t undermine their strengths. A proper time allocation shall be done accordingly.

Ques. Does XAT have negative marking scheme?

Ans. Yes, for first six wrong answer 1/4 or 0.25 mark & after that 0.5 marks will be deducted. So, it is advised not to attempt the question until you are very sure, otherwise, it can hamper your good score.

Ques. Give me the idea regarding XAT 2016 expected trend in terms of questions & difficulty level?

Ans. XAT test is considered among the best management exams, due to its well balance question structures & equal emphasis on different test areas.  Number of questions may be increased by 5 to 10 in total this year with increased difficulty level. Essay topics will not change but GK questions may turns to be more.



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