Know exam patterns before planning for XAT 2013

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
August 16, 2011
This article analyses the trends of XAT question papers in the past five years, helping one prepare for the kind of the changes to be encountered with.
The pattern of XAT is not fixed and it throws surprises or elements of change every year. It is one of the toughest MBA entrance tests, cracking which can guarantee one's admission in premiere institutes of the country.
XAT 2013 is the latest MBA entrance examination that has been announced recently. The registration process will start from August 20, 2012. Before deciding on taking the test, one must be aware of the pattern.

The pattern of XAT is not fixed and it throws surprises or elements of change every year. It is one of the toughest MBA entrance tests, cracking which can guarantee one’s admission in premiere institutes of the country.

This article analyses the trends of XAT question papers in the past five years, helping one prepare for the kind of the changes to be encountered with.

XAT is a paper- & pencil-based test and there is no plan to change the format to a computer-based one. The duration of XAT is 2 hours and 20 minutes. The sections are data interpretation & quantitative ability, analytical reasoning & decision making and verbal & logical ability. Apart from the three sections, one has to write an essay in 20 minutes.

The following table will give you the pattern of XAT over the past five years.

 

Year Section
No. of questions
Difficulty level
Element of change/surprise
2008 data interpretation & quantitative ability

Analytical reasoning & decision making

verbal & logical ability

Essay topic: The consequence of gender imbalance – The Third World War

120
Tough
Lesser number of questions compared to 2007, which was 130
2009 Data interpretation & quantitative ability

analytical reasoning & decision making

verbal & logical ability

Essay topic: The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of riches; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries

101
Tough
Number of questions reduced from 104 to 101
2010 Data interpretation & quantitative ability

analytical reasoning & decision making

verbal & logical ability

Essay topic: Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed

101
Tough
Number of questions reduced from 104 to 101
2011 Data interpretation & quantitative ability

Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making

Verbal & Logical Ability

Analytical Caselet

101
Tough
Instead of essay writing, an analytical Caselet was given. Instead of an essay topic, a statement was given and one had to give a judgement on it within 250 words in 20 minutes
2012 Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability

Analytical Reasoning & Decision Making

Verbal & Logical Ability

Essay Topics: Poverty is a big menace in India. Due to its complexity and magnitude, most of the government initiatives fail.

Or

Poverty is a consequence of failure of government policies due to the fact that governments do not target the root causes.

 

85
Moderate
Number of questions reduced from 101 to 85. The difficulty level was also lower compared to the previous years. Essay writing made a comeback but this year instead of one, there were two topics and candidates told to write on any one of them

Now let us have a look at the detailed section-wise analysis of XAT over the years.

XAT 2008

The data interpretation and quantitative ability section had 38 questions. This was the toughest section. It had questions on line graph and tables. While the questions on line graphs were easy, the ones on tables were calculation-intensive and tough.  Most of the arithmetic questions were tough.

The verbal & logical ability section was also of tough. It had 38 questions. There were four reading comprehension passages. The other questions were fill in the blanks and paragraph jumble which were tricky in nature. The logical reasoning caselets were relatively simple and were of ‘moderate’ difficulty level. 

The analytical reasoning & decision making section had 38 questions which were of moderate difficulty level. The questions were on puzzles, quantitative reasoning and decision making.

XAT 2009

The data interpretation & quantitative ability section had 38 questions which were extremely tough. The DI questions involved more of thinking than calculation. The arithmetic questions covered a wide variety of areas and were difficult and time consuming.

The number of verbal & logical ability questions was 35. There were three reading comprehension passages which required careful reading. The questions on grammar were on sentence correction, figures of speech and para jumbles which were difficult in nature. The logical reasoning caselets were of moderate difficulty level.  

The analytical reasoning & decision making section had 31 questions. This section was relatively easier. The analytical reasoning questions were of moderate difficulty level and the decision making questions were tricky.

XAT 2010

The data interpretation & quantitative ability section had 40 questions. This was the toughest section in the paper. The DI sets were very tough. The QA questions were easier compared to DI and DS questions.

The verbal ability & logical reasoning section had 31 questions. The difficulty level of this section was tough. There were four reading comprehension passages which were of moderate to difficult level. Other questions were on fill in the blanks, analogy, vocabulary and grammar. They were of moderate to difficult in nature.

The analytical reasoning & decision making section had 30 questions. The difficulty level was very tough and the section was lengthy. The questions were on puzzles, decision making and other miscellaneous topics.

XAT 2011

The quantitative ability and data interpretation section had 43 questions which were of very tough difficulty level. The DI questions were from table, line graphs and bar graphs. The QA questions were from pure maths area.

The verbal & logical ability section had 34 questions. The difficulty level was tough. There were two reading comprehension passages. They were of moderate to tough difficulty level. The VA questions were on fill in the blanks, PFQs, vocabulary, analogies and grammar. The reasoning questions were on inferences, strengthening/weakening arguments, etc.  

The analytical & decision making section had 24 questions of tough difficulty level. The section was pretty time consuming. The questions on puzzles were very difficult. The decision making questions were of moderate difficulty level.

The essay writing section was presented in a different manner. There was a statement given and one had to make a judgment on it. The argument given was:

“The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate and which be nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.”
 
In this question, the candidate had to write a word analysis on the given argument in 250.

There was no progressive negative marking, which had given nightmares to past test takers. There was ¼ negative marking this time. There was differential marking system for each question which demanded candidates to look at the marks of each of the questions. Marks per question ranged from one to five.

XAT 2012

The quantitative ability & data interpretation section had 28 questions. The topics included numbers, statistics, bar charts, geometry & mensuration, simple & compound interests, averages, mixtures & alligations, special equations, ratio, proportion, variation, time & distance, Venn Diagram, pie chart, percentage, profit & loss.

The English language ability & logical reasoning had 32 questions. The reading comprehension area had two passages with nine questions in total. The verbal reasoning area consisted of PFQ and fill in the blank questions. Vocabulary questions consisted of analogy, synonyms, antonyms and fill in the blanks. The grammar part consisted of questions on fill in the blanks and identification of correct & incorrect options.

The logical reasoning area consisted of questions from strengthen/weaken arguments and sentence-based inferences.

The data sufficiency section had 25 questions of 30 marks. Unlike previous years, analytical reasoning questions were not there. This section was quite tough.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more on XAT 2013.