XAT 2017: 78 questions with low LoD to determine fate; Check details and prepare accordingly

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Updated on December 16, 2016
XAT 2017 will consist of reduced number of questions in MCQ format with 30 minutes more to attempt the test paper
In order to enable students to attempt as many questions as possible and encourage them to demonstrate all round skills, the difficulty level of the questions has been brought down in XAT

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2017 the gateway to more than 140 highly ranked B schools in India including XLRI, XIMB, SPJIMR, IMT among others has reduced the number of questions and has increased the time limit to solve. On the top of it, XLRI proposes to reduce also the difficulty level of the XAT exam despite increasing the time limit by 30 minutes. Now you will need to solve 78 MCQs in 170 minutes and these 78 questions in XAT 2017 will be taken into account to arrive at the percentile score leading to shortlisting criteria at XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT, XIMB among others.

XAT 2017 is scheduled to be held on January 8, 2017 as the conventional paper pen based test in a single session from 10 AM to 1.30 PM in 47 test cities across the country with 2 test cities abroad in Kathmandu and Dubai.

Use the increased time of 30 minutes
XAT 2017 has increased the time from 3 hours to 3½ hours and will be divided in 5 sections namely Verbal and Logical Ability; Decision Making; Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation;  General Knowledge+ Essay Writing. Out of the 5 sections, 4 will consist of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) while the Essay Writing section will be of descriptive type.

Instead of more than 100 questions, there will be only 78 questions in Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2016. The time limit to solve these questions will now be 170 minutes.

The format of supplementary sections of GK and Essay would remain same with some minor changes. The time allowed to answer both GK and Essay would be 35 minutes. Number of questions in the GK has been reduced to 25. All the questions would be “General” in nature rather than “specific”. There would be no negative marking in this section.

Moderate difficulty allows more attempts
XLRI has announced that the level of difficulty of the questions has also been carefully designed.

In order to enable students to attempt as many questions as possible and encourage them to demonstrate all-round skills, the difficulty level of the questions has been brought down in XAT.

In the previous years, students would attempt only half of the questions reducing the range of marks scored among students. However if the examination is made very easy, many would finish the test before time.

If 10000 students finish the question paper in time and if all of them get most of the questions right then it would be difficult for XAT associated colleges to choose from these ten thousand students. Therefore XLRI proposes to design XAT-2017 in such a manner that the top hundred students will be able to complete the test in 170 minutes.

This way, the examination would avoid 2 possible errors:  low range of scores and excellent students not getting enough opportunities to showcase their ability because of too easy a question paper.  

Don’t skip too many questions: Penalty provision imposed
XAT 2017 proposes to impose penalty on the candidates who leave too many questions un- attempted. According to XAT 2017 conducting authority “We also tried to counteract the phenomenon of students leaving too many questions un-attempted. We appreciate the fact that “leaving the question” is also a sign of intelligence but we are also concerned that students are becoming risk averse in attempting to answer difficult questions. We believe that if one aspires to be a good manager, one should be able to take reasonable risk. That is how one creates future possibilities.”

To take care of both issues, in XAT-2017 students have a choice of not attempting 13 questions. Beyond 13 unattempted questions, any unattempted question will carry the negative mark of 0.05 and in addition there would also be negative marking of 0.25 marks for any wrong answer. According to XAT Centre “We believe this would encourage the risk taking ability of the students while making XAT robust in differentiating a good student from the not-so-good student.”

XAT 2017 Exam details: A guide to preparation
Following points in regard to XAT 2017 must be kept in mind during your preparation journey

  • For the last 60 years XAT has remained paper pen based test with changes in contents, time duration, sections of the test but no change in testing mode.
  • XAT 2017 will have negative marking with 1/4 of a mark for each incorrect answer.
  • No proposal is there to increase the number of questions in XAT 2017 with the increase in time.
  • All questions will carry equal marks in XAT 2017
  • Each question will have five alternatives. You will have to answer each question by darkening the appropriate bubble against the question number on the answer sheet.
  • Apart from overall cut-off percentile XAT 2017 will also have sectional cut-offs.
  • No academic profile will be considered in XAT 2017 result while preparing the 1st round merit list for the GD/PI round of admission process. Scores in XAT 2017 will be the main criteria to shortlist the candidates.

GK not to count for percentile score
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

Free movement among sections; be careful
XAT 2017 will not restrict the test takers from moving to one or other section within the overall allotted time. However, aspirants should not spend too much time only on one section since all the sections will have the respective cut off percentile.

Expert advice
In view of Prof S K Agarwal, expert on Verbal Ability and mentor on XAT 2017 preparation, the XAT 2017 aspirants should practice more while preparing for the exam as they will have to synchronise between the test booklet and the answering OMR sheet. Since more exams are gradually getting computer based, it becomes a real challenge to manage time and attempt more questions with marking the answers accurately on the OMR sheet in paper pen mode.

The biggest advantage for XAT 2017 takers is that they do not have to fight with technical snags and glitches which is a common sight of computer based test and can use their skills and intelligence level without any anticipation of disturbance in the examination hall.

XLRI has been conducting XAT for the past 60 years on behalf of XAMI in the same pattern. The aim to continue the similar approach is to ensure that all the candidates from varying backgrounds are at par.  XLRI  believes that single testing session with same difficulty level will provide level playing field to all the test takers without any discrimination.

XAT 2017 is aimed to select the most appropriate candidates who wish to pursue management education.  Around 90 thousand to 1 lakh candidates explore admission opportunities in XLRI and other member and aassociate B schools by registering for XAT every year.

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