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Your guide to XAT

education Updated: May 22, 2012 17:55 IST
Ramnath Kanakadandi

The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) score is used for entry to the two flagship programmes of XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, as well as to many other management institutes across India. The test is conducted by the Xavier Association of Management Institutes.

The test is paper-pencil-based. The two-hour, multiple-choice main test is followed by an additional 20-minute test, which could be an open-ended essay or a multiple-choice one. Here’s how you can ace it.

For the section on analytical reasoning and decision making, it would be advisable for students to revise concepts pertaining to puzzles and decision making with a focus on practising the distribution-based puzzle questions. The section on verbal and logical ability tests the depth of the student’s understanding of the language, context and their ability to use reasoning to spot the logic. The reading comprehension (RC) passages in XAT are usually based on offbeat topics (one of the passages in XAT 2010 was in the form of a conversation from the film The Matrix). The passages, though short, will be quite difficult to comprehend.

It would be advisable for students to revise concepts pertaining to RC, sentence correction, vocabulary-based questions (words confused), para formation, logical reasoning questions (especially on fact, inference, judgment or FIJs and inference-based questions).

Students should also focus on figures of speech, as there have been questions on identifying the metaphor, personification, oxymoron, etc in XAT papers from previous years.

For the section on quantitative ability and data interpretation, the preparation done for CAT should be sufficient. Students should brush up on their mental maths concepts, as some of the questions in DI tend to be calculation intensive.

In addition to these areas, XAT also tests essay-writing skills. Last year’s topic was ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed.’ Overall, while most of the areas tested are similar to CAT, the difficulty levels of all the three sections have traditionally been tougher. This emphasises the importance of question selection. Finally, make sure to take an all-India mock XAT to brighten your chances.

The author is course director, TIME