After CAT, XAT is the most awaited Bschool entrance exam - its scores are accepted by more than a 100 institutes in the country. XLRI School of Business & Human Resources, Jamshedpur, which conducts XAT in January every year, plans to restructure the exam next month.
It will move from being a formula-based approach to a commonsensical one. XLRI also plans to reduce the XAT score cut-offs for interviews. The institute's admission chairperson and faculty member Soumendra Nath Bagchi spoke to Writankar Mukherjee on all this and more.
THE NEW STRUCTURE
Apart from being extremely doable, this year's XAT stresses more on a commonsensical approach rather than a pure formula-based one. The restructuring has been done to ensure a level-playing field, not only for non-engineers, but also for steady performers.
In the existing format, a majority of the tougher questions remain unanswered. It did not solve the purpose of testing students. Students who answered just a few questions have been getting admission into different institutes, which might not be the kind of students the institute is looking for. Hence, to have a higher attempt rate, we are going in for a reduced difficulty level. However, there will be uniqueness and surprises in the pattern of questions.
Further, we have been observing that engineers and candidates from a science background, who end up as high scorers in XAT, often do so by virtue of their quantitative orientation during graduation, and may not score high in group discussions and personal interviews. After all, around 85% of the applicants are from an engineering background.
XLRI has decided to reduce cut-offs from the the 90s to the 80s to attract a good mix of students. We experimented with reduced percentile cut-offs for calling candidates to the group discussion and personal interview last year. Its success in getting a diverse pool of applicants, in terms of geography and work experience, has been encouraging.
NO DIGITAL EDGE YET
XLRI plans to continue with the paper-pen format. We believe that for students choosing to study in XLRI, this is the best format for holding the exam. The paper based exam allows us to audit the question paper, individual questions or answer sheets at any time we want. XAT allows an equal-playing field for people who are not familiar with computer usage and those who are.
Candidates come from diverse educational and financial backgrounds. XLRI believes that one's familiarity with a computer can make a significant impact on candidates' response to questions. Moreover, systems-related problems such as slow computer terminals are eliminated to a large extent.
Also read:All About XAT Format
Tags: XAT 2012 Test Format - The New Structure of XAT test