XAT Analysis Paper Key

XAT 2018 was held on January 7, 2018. The exam started at 10 AM and ended at 01:35 PM. There was a break of five minutes between part A and B. Get here complete XAT 2018 exam analysis along with predicted XAT 2018 cut offs. There were cases of technical glitches at some centres and students are receiving emails if their exams are being rescheduled, know about that too here.

Latest: XLRI has conducted XAT 2018. Exam dates for rescheduled cases will be sent to candidates individually. Result of XAT 2018 will be announced by January 31, 2018.

Has your exam been rescheduled?

If you faced issues at exam centre then chances are that your exam will be rescheduled. Please check your email. Some students have reported that they have received an email from XLRI, such as the one shown below.

Share your exam experiences in comments below, or mail to [email protected]

XAT 2018 Exam Analysis and Expected Cut Offs

Xavier Aptitude Test is among the toughest management entrance exams. It is as competitive as CAT considering number of candidates appearing and number of seats available. It is conducted by XAMIs (Xavier Association of Management Institutes). The exam was held in online mode for the first time after being pen and paper mode for nineteen years before this. The exam features several MCQs with negative marking and a section on GK which has MCQs without negative marking. XAT is one of the very few exams that have essay writing too.

Now that exam is over, let us take a look at what it was like.

Every MCQ had 5 options.

There are two papers namely Part A and Part B. The first one was for 170 minutes (2 hours 50 minutes). After that there was a break of 5 minutes. Then Part B was held for 40 minutes.

Part A

In Part A there are three sections namely “Verbal and Logical Reasoning”, “Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation”, “Decision Making”. In this part there were multiple choice questions.

Marking scheme was as follows

  • +1 for correct answer
  • -0.25 for incorrect answer
  • -0.05 for unattempted questions if more than 8 questions were unattempted.

XAT 2018 Analysis of Verbal and Logical Ability

Number of easy, medium, hard questions in verbal and logical ability section were as follows.

Topic Questions Difficulty
Critical Reasoning/Inference 3 Medium to hard
Fill-in-the-blanks 2 Medium to hard
Para Jumbles 3 Medium
Poems 2 Hard
Reading Comprehension (4 sets) 12 Medium to hard
Sentence Correction/Grammar 2 Easy
Vocab based Analogy 2 Medium

XAT 2018 Analysis of Quantitative Ability

Distribution of questions in quantitative ability section were as follows.

Topic Sub Topic Questions
Arithmetic Equations (in the garb of T&D question) 1
Percentages, P&L 1
Time & Distance 1
Time & Work 1
Algebra or Pure Math Functions & Graphs 1
Geometry 3
Mensuration 1
Miscellaneous 1
Numbers 1
Polynomials 1
Probability & Permutations, Combinations 2
Progressions 1
Trigonometry 1
Venn Diagram 1
DI Data Sufficiency 2
Scatter Plots with Bar Charts 4
Table 4

XAT 2018 Analysis of Decision Making

In this section there were 7 caselets.

Part B

In part B there are two sections. First is on “GK” which has only multiple choice questions of +1 mark each, there is no negative marking. Next is an “Essay question”, subjective in nature.

XAT 2018 Analysis of General Knowledge

Distribution of questions in general knowledge section was as follows.

Topic Number of questions Sub Topic
Static GK 15 Books and authors
Important dates
National capital
Current affairs 10 Diversity
Film and television

Essay Topic

Topic was “Ethical practices and sustainability – Do they coexist?”.

XAT 2018 Expected Cut Offs

It is likely for the cutoff to dip. Expected sectional cut offs for XLRI are as follows:

Section BM HRM
Verbal and Logical Ability 7 6
Decision making 7 7
Quantitative Ability 12 9
Total 35 31

Will there be sectional cut offs?

Yes, there will be sectional cut offs. You can check all past year cut offs of XAT here.

XAT 2018 Live Updates

01:45 PM – XAT 2018 exam is over. It was held smoothly in most centres. However students have reported harrowing experiences in Pune, Kolkata, Gurgaon. Exam could not be held in at least 3 centres for technical difficulties. Officials are yet to comment upon this, students request just measures.

01:00 PM – Another case of mismanagement from BM group of institutions, Farukh Nagar, Gurgaon. 381 Test takers are present there and they have no clue what to do now. Students are quite jittery now as to what will happen to them. XAT had gone online this year only, however, such issues were not anticipated. Being a crucial exam, students at least request XLRI to look into it and take necessary steps to ensure their future is not compromised for technical miscalculations.

12:00 PM – Situation similar to that of Azam campus Pune is said to be happening in a center in Kolkata also. There is no news from XAT officials as of now as to what will happen to these students.

11:30 AM – Exam at Azam campus centre put on hold.

11:00 AM – Around 200 students at “MA Rangoonwala Institute of Information Technology, Azam Campus, Camp, Near Poona College, Pune 411001” are stranded. There seems to be some technical chaos in that center. Students are reporting that systems are not working, logins are not working.

10:00 AM – Start of exam. XAT 2018 consists of around 75 questions in part A for 170 minutes, and 25 plus essay in part B in 40 minutes. Part A is of 75 marks and part B is of 25 marks. You can skip up to 8 questions for which there is no negative marking. If you skip more than 8 questions then there is negative marking of .05 per question. For all incorrect answers in part A, there is negative marking of 0.25 per question.

09:30 AM – Demo exam starts.

08:45 AM – This is the time when all students need to have reported to exam center. They show admit card and one photo ID proof.

XAT 2018 Expected Cut Offs

The cut off for Xavier Aptitude Test will be decided by XLRI. The percentile will be used to shortlist candidates for GD and PI for 2018-2020 programmes of the institutes. Candidates must note that XAT has sectional cut offs as well. Looking at past year trends, the following is expected to be the cut off for XAT 2018.

Name of college VA DM QA DI Overall
XLRI – BM 7.5 (80 percentile) 7 (80 percentile) 9.5-10 (90 percentile) 32-33.5
XLRI – HRM 8 (90 percentile) 6.5 (80 percentile) 7-7.5 (70 percentile) 30-31.5
XLRI – GMP 26-28
XIMB 6 (75 percentile) 6.5 (75 percentile) 8-8.5 (75 percentile) 26-31
SP Jain 7 (75 percentile) 6.5 (75 percentile) 8-8.5 (75 percentile) 32-33.5
GIM 26-28
IMT 29-31
Great Lakes 26-28

XAT Analysis – Archives

Given below is last year’s exam analysis.

XAT 2017 Exam Analysis

Exam pattern – XAT exam had two parts, Part I, Part II. Part I was divided into three sections A, B, C. Sections A consisted of 24 questions, Section B had 27 questions, and Section C involved 21 questions. Whereas Part I with total 72 questions had to be answered in 170 minutes, Part II including General Knowledge was to be answered in 35 minutes.

Overview of the exam

As per students who appeared for the exam, XAT was difficult. Compared to the Common Admission Test (CAT) as well as last year’s XAT exam, it was tougher. The sections on Verbal Ability and also Decision Making seemed more difficult than usual. Apart from questions being difficult, it was also the opinion of some test takers that the paper was a bit lengthy.

Overall difficulty level was Difficult.

Xavier Aptitude Test was based on a new exam pattern. Candidates were already prepared to face the new pattern and they felt that standard of the exam got higher this time. Like last year, Quantitative Ability (QA) seemed to be relatively easier whereas Decision making was tougher.

  • Time allotted: 170 Minutes + 35 Minutes for GK and Essay
  • Total no. of questions: 72 + 25 (For GK)
  • Marking Scheme: All questions carry equal marks
  • Sections: Part I (Sections A, B, C) + Part II
  • Number of choices: 5
  • Negative Marking: One-fourth of a mark
Section Marks
Verbal and Logical Ability – Moderate to Tough 24
Decision making and Analytical Reasoning – Moderate to Tough 21
Quantitative ability – Moderate 27

XAT Analysis is published here after the exam. For MBA aspirants who appeared for the exam, analysis is as important as the answer keys (you can check answer keys here). Analysis of the XAT and expected cut offs of Xavier Aptitude Test highlights the following:

  • Types of questions asked,
  • Expected cut offs,
  • Level of difficulty.

Sectional Analysis of XAT exam is given below.

Section A: Verbal and Logical Ability

This section focuses on testing the student’s hold on language and implementation of it logically. Largely, it also tests the candidate’s critical reasoning skills. There were 4 reading comprehension passages. Questions based on it ranged from moderate to very difficult. Students should especially be wary of the seemingly short, but tough passages.

Most candidates said that the questions on para jumble were time-consuming.

Questions asked were of the following types

Description Number of questions
Analogy 1
Grammar 2
Cloze test 1
Statements – Assumption, contradiction, understanding, drawing conclusions 3
Para jumble 2
Pronounciation 1
Reading comprehension (4) 14
Total 24

The questions from critical reasoning are always exceptionally tricky in XAT. To maximise one’s score, it is advisable to solve those in the end.

  1. The number of questions asked: XAT Verbal and logical ability section’s number of questions was 24.
  2. Good Attempts: 16-18.
  3. Good Score: 8-12.
  4. Expected Cut Off: 7-8.

Section B: Decision making

This particular section differentiates XAT exam from other MBA tests. Focus in Decision Making questions is to analyze a candidate’s critical assessment of a given situation and apply common sense, logic and keen observation to problem-solving.

Types of questions asked include, but were not limited to the following types.

  • Cricket, snakes, and ladders,
  • Situational problems,
  • Mathematical and analytical reasoning.

In such questions, the recommended approach is to first identify the situations, analyse what various stakeholders should do in a given situation. Key is solving particular dilemmas for the parties involved by weighing the pros and cons of various choices and reach the best course of action.

  1. The number of questions asked: XAT Decision Making section’s number of questions was 21.
  2. Good Attempts: 14-16.
  3. Good Score: 9-10.
  4. Expected Cut Off: 8-10.

Section C: Quantitative ability and Data Interpretation

According to candidates who appeared in test, QA in XAT was as tough as last year. Largely, the questions asked in Xavier Aptitude Test in quantitative ability were a mix of moderate to difficult ones. In order to score more in QA, a thorough understanding of concepts is necessary. Focus should be on approaching the problem correctly and reaching the right choice of answer in the shortest time.

Questions asked were of the following types

Description Number of questions
Data Interpretation – tables 4
Data Interpretation – grids, histograms 4
Geometry and Mensuration 4
Time, Speed, Distance, Work 2
Algebra 2
Puzzle 2
Caselet 2
P and L 1
Number System 1
Series 1
Probability 1
Trigonometry 1
Functions 1
Set Theory 1
Total 27
  1. The number of questions asked: XAT Quantitative ability section’s number of questions was 27.
  2. Good Attempts: 17-19.
  3. Good Score: 9-11.
  4. Expected Cut Off: 8-10

Part II: General Knowledge

Marks scored in GK are not added for the final XAT result and merit list. It may be used for final selection in XLRI Jamshedpur and other top B Schools accepting XAT scores. There were 25 questions in this section and 35 minutes to complete it GK + Essay.

Questions in this section were generally heavily skewed towards static GK, such as from the following areas.

Description Number of questions
Geography 9
Economy and Business 5
Current Affairs 3
Personality and awards 3
Science and technology 2
History 2
Others 1
Total 25

The number of questions asked: XAT GK section’s number of questions was 25.

XAT Essay Topic

Last year The essay topic was: Globalization and jingoism always coexist.

Last year’s essay topic was: Technology and nature are natural enemies.


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