Many students who have taken the XAT in the last few years believe that it has changed a lot and is traditionally more challenging than the CAT.
According to Amit Anand, a student of the HR management programme at XLRI who has been handling various queries from aspirants, the section on general awareness is now considered ‘important.’ Many test-takers are not very clear about how they should handle this section. “Last year, GK scores were not used as a deciding factor for interview shortlists. The disparity among people with shortlists on the GK score was alarming. Out of a total score of 10, there were many who had scored less than two and we also had some who got high scores. So, one must pay attention to this section too.”
To crack XAT, it is necessary to have a strong base of topics from quantitative ability and verbal ability with a lot of practice. “Though formal coaching provides more avenues for practice, it depends on the candidate whether he/she can manage to put in an effort without formal coaching. I was working while preparing for XAT and there was little room for losing focus because of my busy schedule. Therefore, I had to work on my study schedule for every week with proper planning. I stuck to my schedule and this helped me immensely in my daily preparation for XAT,” says Gaurav Dadlani, a business management student at XLRI who got 99.89 percentile in XAT 2013.
Dadlani focused more on the quantitative ability section as he found it tough. While writing the test, he began with the quantitative ability section. “I aimed to score the maximum as this was the section in which I performed most accurately. Once I solved a good number of problems, I moved on to the verbal and logical ability section. For the entire test, I allotted 70, 35 and 35 minutes for quantitative ability, verbal and logical ability and decision-making, respectively,” adds Dadlani.
For Vivek Srnivasan, a business management student at XLRI, the focus was primarily on speed. “My weak point was verbal ability and I made sure I spent more time on it to maximise my attempts and also score well accurately. For quantitative ability, I focused on speed as it was my strength and I had to maximise my score in it to get a good overall score. The decision-making section is unique to XAT and it is not very easy to get reading material for it. So, I decided to solve questions from the previous year XAT papers,” he says.