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XAT Exam Pattern - All About XAT Format, Duration & Cutoffs

Overview
XAT is a multiple choice test of 180 minutes duration divided into 4 sections: 
-Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning
-Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability and 
-Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making. 
-General Knowledge

XAT 2015 will be on the similar pattern like last few years. It will be conducted in a pen & paper format and will have four sections. The marks of General Knowledge will not be used for determining the percentile and cut off at first stage of selection. However it is used by XLRI and some other Associate Member Institutes at the time of final selection. 
Candidates are also required to write an essay on a given topic.

Each question is followed by 5 options and there is progressive negative marking.
The test is followed by an Essay-writing exercise of 20 minutes duration. 

Number of Question in XAT:
The number of questions asked in XAT has gone up  again last year:
XAT 2008 had 120 questions
XAT 2009 had 104 questions
XAT 2010 had 101 questions
XAT 2011 had 101 questions
XAT 2012 had 85 questions
XAT 2013 had 121 questions
XAT 2014 had 103 questions

Marking Scheme: 
Though not mentioned explicitly, it was assumed that each question carried 1 mark in XAT 2008, 2009 and 2010. There was progressive negative marking for incorrect answers. In XAT 2008 and XAT 2009, 0.25 marks were deducted for the first 6 incorrect answers in each section and 0.50 marks for every incorrect answer thereafter. In XAT 2010, 0.20 marks were deducted for the first 5 incorrect answers in each section and 0.25 marks for every incorrect answer thereafter. So XAT had relaxed the criteria for negative marking considerably in 2010. XAT 2011 was much more challenging than the previous years’ papers. XAT introduced the pattern of differential marking this year. There were questions with marks ranging from 1 to 5. There were 101 questions in the paper worth 253 marks. The penalty for incorrect answers was 25% of the marks allotted to the question.



Cut-Offs: 
In XAT 2010:

XLRI XAT Cutoff
Cutoff for PM&IR  program at XLRI:
Around 650 applicants with more than 92.60 percentile in VA&LR, 80.36 percentile in DI&QA, 84.36 percentile in AR&DM, and overall 95.03 percentile (around 29-30 marks) were shortlisted for the PM&IR  program. 
Cutoff for BM program at XLRI:
Around 550 applicants with more than 90.13 percentile in VA&LR, 91.31 percentile in DI&QA, 90.01 percentile in AR&DM, and overall 98.02 percentile (around 32-33 marks) were shortlisted for the BM program. 
In XAT 2011:
Cutoff for PM&IR  program at XLRI:
All the candidates with more than 85 percentile in VA&LR, 70 percentile in DI&QA, 75 percentile in AR&DM, and overall 91 percentile were shortlisted for the PM&IR programme; 
Cutoff for BM program at XLRI:
All the candidates with more than 70 percentile in VA&LR, 90 percentile in DI&QA, 80 percentile in AR&DM, and overall 92 percentile were shortlisted for the BM programme. 
Note:
So the cut-off percentiles were reduced considerably in XAT 2011 and the number of candidates called for the second stage of assessment was much higher as compared to previous years.


XIMB XAT Cutoff

Expected XAT cutoff for XIMB (PGDM-BM program at XIMB) :
For All India : 70+ in each section and  96+ Overall Percentile
For students from Orissa:  50+ in each section and  88+ Overall Percentile


XIME Bangalore XAT Cutoff
XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2009:
80+ XAT/CAT percentile for candidates with work experience and 85+ XAT percentile for freshers was thw cutoff for XIME Bangalore
XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2010
In 2010 the cutoff on which candidates got calls from XIME Bangalore dropped till 77 percentile in XAT/CAT.
XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2011
In 2011 the cutoff on which candidates got calls from XIME Bangalore was 80+ percentile in XAT/CAT.
XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2012
In 2011 the cutoff on which candidates got calls from XIME Bangalore was 75+ percentile in XAT/CAT.
XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2013
In 2011 the cutoff on which candidates got calls from XIME Bangalore was 75+ percentile in XAT/CAT.
Expected XAT/CAT cutoff for XIME 2014
Looking at the relatively easier XAT paper, cutoff for XIME is expected to be on the higher side 75+ 

XAT Question Type & difficulty Level
The design of XAT questions is different from other B-School entrance tests and the difficulty level of test was very high till 2011. In addition to XAT performance, other factors like academic ability and work experience may also be considered while shortlisting candidates for the second stage. From XAT 2012 the difficulty level is going to be reduced so as to ensure higher attempt rate.

Section-wise details of XAT:
Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making: 
The section mainly comprises arrangement problems and decision-making cases. The decision-making cases present real life situations where a candidate is expected to make rational choices keeping in mind the socially acceptable norms. One should go through the previous years’ XAT papers and a few ethical dilemma cases on the internet to prepare for the DM questions.

Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning: 
The section mainly comprises Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Parajumbles and Fill-in-the-Blanks. There are hardly any questions based on Pure Grammar and Vocabulary.

Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability: 
There are 3-4 DI sets in the section comprising 10-12 DI questions. QA questions are spread across different topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Maths. Most of the questions require a good command over the topic. The questions are generally very wordy and one needs to devote some time to pick and choose the easier questions.

Essay writing:
At the end of the objective test, an essay on the given topic is to be written in 20 minutes. Though the essays are not used for shortlisting candidates for the second stage, candidates may be asked questions regarding their essays during their interview. One should try to be concise, precise and logical while writing. Slangs, abbreviations and sms language should definitely be avoided.

Also read:

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