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XAT 2016 Verbal Ability Preparation Tips

Last Updated - September 08, 2016

Every year around 28-34 questions are asked in XAT exam from Logical reasoning and Verbal ability section making it one of the most important part for scoring well in the entrance test. Among these 28 questions almost 25 questions are from Verbal ability. So for scoring well in this section verbal ability or English is one of the key factors. In this article we will share the type of questions asked from which topic, and some useful tips to prepare for them.


XAT is going to be held on January 03, 2016. XAT Application process has been started from September 04, 2015 and last date for applying is November 30, 2015. XAT is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur in pen paper based mode.


XLRI follows the same XAT Exam Pattern every year in XAT. Verbal Ability is asked with logical reasoning, although weightage for LR is very much less. In Verbal mostly questions are asked in the following forms:-

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Jumbled Words
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Synonyms and antonyms
  • Verbal Analogies
  • Vocabulary usage

Now we will discuss some preparation tips for attempting the verbal ability  part

Reading Comprehension

Concentrate on Reading Comprehension; practice more with clear and conceptual understanding of phrases, sentences and key words, as it is the most important part. Solve two to three passages a day.Try to form questions based on passages and answer them. A good number of questions in XAT are from Reading Comprehension part. More than half of Verbal Ability questions belong to this part. Passages in XAT are content and language enriched. Read as many as editorials, books, newspapers as it will enhance your reading skills as well as your vocabulary.


Keep the following tips in mind while answering the comprehension part:-

  • Get the overview of the entire passage: Try to understand the main idea/concept of the behind the given passage. Try to understand what the paragraph tries to convey. Clearer you are with the concepts, more is the chances of you selecting the right answer.
  • Idea generation: Every sentence in the paragraph has a relation with each other. You must go through the paragraph carefully and try to develop ideas simultaneously. Understanding the meaning of Reading comprehension becomes much clearer after reading each paragraph.
  • Search for structural words: Try to identify structural words, which are related to continuation of an idea, for example additionally, similarly and moreover; or any contrast words - e.g. but, though, however; or conclusion words such as thus, so and therefore to take out the right meaning of the sentence.
  • Time management: Try to manage your time while reading and answering the questions of this section. Don’t be too slow or too fast while answering these questions. Average reading speed one should have while reading comprehension is of 250 words per minute.

UnlikeCAT, XAT lays more emphasis on basic understanding of English Language. Articles, Prepositions, Usage of adjective, adverb, verbs, nouns, and pronouns play an important factor in attempting the questions on error corrections and fill in the blanks. So you need to build your conceptual understanding on fundamentals-like parts of speech in grammar, time zones, punctuations etc. Try to find out your forte a in each section and thoroughly practice them to score well.


Increase your vocabulary as much as you can. It will not only help you in attempting synonyms and antonyms  part also when you will attempt the essay writing part as if your article will be more content and vocabulary wise rich it will fetch you more marks .


For example-  Suppose in a question you have to distinguish between ‘Avarice and Miser’, ‘ Pretty and Handsome’, ‘skilled and consummate’, and thousands of other such pairs and  place them in a meaningful manner , and you know the difference between all and their exact meaning then attempting such a question is not misery task However this is only possible if your vocabulary is enriched with such words.. The best way to understand correct contextual usage is to practice more questions with two blanks, to be filled in with correct vocabulary words preferably synonyms.

Jumbled Paragraphs

The basic strategy to solve jumbled paragraphs is to practice them as often as you can. One of the important trick is to find out the connectors to sentences e.g. conjunctions, personal or relative pronouns (He/ she/ it /they /their /who / whose/that/which etc.) as they indicate that they must have been used in place of some nouns. Try to link the sentences in accordance with the information specified in the paragraph.


Some examples on jumbled paragraphs

Question 1

In this particular job we have discovered that to be diligent is more important than being bright.

(1) By being diligent is important than being bright.

(2) being diligent is more important than being bright.

(3) Diligence is more important than brightness.

(4) for one to be diligent is more important than being bright.


Option (3) - diligence is more important than brightness.


There is a Parallel construction error in the original statement. A similar form is required on each side of the comparison. “Diligence - brightness”

Question 2

No one but him could have told them that the king was I.

(1) he could have told them that the king was me.

(2) him could have told them the king was me.

(3) he could have told them that the king was I.

(4) him could have told them that the king was I.


Option (4) - him could have told them that the king was I.



The given statement is grammatically correct. The word “But” is always followed by an objective pronoun (him).

Question 3

If she were I, she would have accepted the prize had she won it.

(1) was I, she would have accepted the prize if she had won it.

(2 )was I, she would have accepted the prize she had won.

(3) were I, she would have accepted the prize if she would have won it.

(4) were I, she would have accepted the prize had she won it.


Option (4) - were I, she would have accepted the prize had she won it.


Past perfect tense is required in the conditional clause “if she had won it”. Also, “I” is required after a form of the verb “to be”. And any hypothetical situation of “If I were she” or “If she were I” will have were and not was.

XAT 2016 Verbal Ability Books

Some preparation books that you may find useful while preparing for Verbal Ability part in XAT 2016

Book NameAuthor’s Name/ Publisher’s NameISBNReview
Reading Comprehension for CATSujit Kumar8131733084
  1. Most of the questions in this book are from 2014 and consists of 15 to 25 passage.
  2. Explanation of answers are also given which is a positive part
30 Days to a More Powerful VocabularyWilfred Funk and Norman Lewis067174349X
  1. Very useful for building knowledge on antonyms and synonyms
  2. Interactive approach
A Communicative Grammar of EnglishGeoffrey Leech0582506336
  1. The content of the book is relevant and easily understandable
  2. Focus on grammar usage rather than the structure of grammar




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