Hedge your risks now: GK Qs 20 % of XAT, IIFT, SNAP, CMAT & MAT

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Tuesday, October 08 2013, 12:45 PM
General is a crucial part of various MBA entrance exams like XAT, IIFT, SNAP, CMAT, MAT. General Knowledge section adds up to around 20% of the total question. This article tells you the importance of GK and ways to score high marks in this section.
Scoring well in CAT doesnt necessitate the final selection. The real competition starts in the second phase i.e. WAT/PI stage. Apart from academic knowledge, panels main focus was on General Knowledge & current affairs

Are you focusing only on Quantitative & Verbal ability, Logical Reasoning or Decision Making and not on General Knowledge? 

If your answer is yes, then you are probably leaving behind 30 questions in XAT 2014, 40 questions in SNAP, 25 question in CMAT, 28 in IIFT and 40 questions in MAT. Moreover you are also jeopardizing your chances to clear GD PI WAT round of top B schools with your CAT 2013 percentile.

All these major MBA exams like IIFT, SNAP, CMAT and XAT have General Knowledge or General Awareness as part of their entrance exam criteria.  And even though CAT does not have it, you will certainly need it in the 2nd or the final round of your selection process i.e. for Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).

Aspirants tend to ignore the importance of general Awareness in their attempt to succeed in MBA exams, But General Knowledge is a section which can’t be improved in a fortnight. It needs a continuous and a gradual process from the very starting to increase your chance of scoring high marks in this crucial section of the MBA exams.

Why GK is Important?
General Knowledge never finds a proper place in the study schedule of MBA Aspirants as they tend to ignore its importance. On the contrary, GK is the most unpredictable section of the exam as its syllabus can range from numerous subjects and various field of life. One cannot predict what questions to expect and from where in a GK section of MBA exam.

Importance of General Knowledge has increased a lot in recent years with national MBA exams like CMAT and XAT including GK as part of their entrance exams in the year from February 2012 and XAT 2013 respectively. Other popular exams like SNAP, IIFT and MAT also include GK as a section with crucial number of questions.

In XAT, 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 process.

GK can make or break your chances of securing high percentile or getting admission to your desired B schools. This is much more important in exams where there is a negative marking as one needs to know the exact right answer and can’t beat around bush or assume as in case of LR or verbal sections.

CAT is an exam which has not yet included General Knowledge as a part of its entrance exam, but CAT toppers have hailed the importance of General Knowledge and General Awareness in their attempt to secure admission in Top B schools including IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR,MDI, etc.

Rohit Anand Garg , who scored 99.16 percentile in CAT 2012 and secured admission to an IIM, says, “I knew that the WAT/PI stage requires even more efforts than the CAT examination itself. My extensive current affairs knowledge helped me a lot in this. In the WAT/PI process, my topic revolved around government reforms in India. I was well-versed with the current topics which helped me substantiate my article with facts.”

Another CAT Topper from IIM Raipur, Mr Siddhartha Tiwari who scored 98.94 percentile, says, “Scoring well in CAT doesn’t necessitate the final selection. The real competition starts in the second phase i.e. WAT/PI stage. I was interviewed on questions ranging from my hometown to fashion industry. The panel also asked about my viewpoints on some contemporary issues like scams and FDI. Apart from academic knowledge, their main focus was on current affairs. With selection criteria changing every year, the weightage given to CAT score for the final selection has lessened and more importance is being given to WAT/PI stage by IIM’s.”

Table below shows the total number of questions that appear in the General Awareness section of the MAB exam in comparison to its total questions.

MBA Exam

No. of G.K Questions

Nature Of Questions

Total No. Of Questions



General Awareness General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Business Scenario


XAT 2014


General Awareness

121 (As per last year)



General Awareness


IIFT 2014


General Awareness




Indian & Global Environment


How to nail GK section?
General Knowledge cannot be built in a week’s time. One need to keep himself updated on the current affairs by reading newspapers, magazines and try to make a note of important events while reading news or articles.

Everyone has their area of interest, like sports or history or politics. Experts suggest starting your preparation with your area of interest as it will not only take less time but will also take less effort in the starting.

Dushyant Agarwal from MDI Gurgaon who scored 99.95 percentile in CAT, says reveals his strategy for GK and says, “While preparing for my CAT exam, I made sure I was regularly reading Economic Times and other news articles. This did not only improve my vocabulary, but also helped me increase my awareness about the environment.”

In the next series of articles, MBAUniverse.com will bring before you various GK questions with their answers to help you prepare for General Awareness section of various MBA entrance exams.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news and updates on MBA Exams.