XAT Syllabus 2021


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Updated on
September 29, 2020

XAT MBA Syllabus 2021 is divided into 4 sections - Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude and General Awareness. Except the General Awareness section, all the other three are core sections that determine the XAT percentile score as well as XLRI shortlisting criteria. The score of General Awareness section is taken into account at the time of personal Interview round.


XAT 2021 is an important MBA entrance test leading to MBA admission 2021 in XLRI, IMT, XIMB, TAPMI, XIME and other 150 MBA colleges in India. The date of XAT 2021 exam is Sunday January 3, 2021. XLRI conducts XAT entrance exam in the month of January every year. As the XAT is for admission to all the Xavier institutes, the XAT full form is Xavier Aptitude Test. 


A clear understanding of updated syllabus for XAT and XAT exam structure before beginning your XAT preparation is very important. Accordingly, key changes in XAT syllabus 2021 Pdf, important topics in MBA XAT syllabus are some of the important things you should know before preparing as per the XLRI XAT 2021 exam syllabus.  Based on the past XAT pattern and the regular changes introduced by XLRI in the forthcoming XAT exam, the syllabus for XAT exam 2021 has five major components which are: 

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  • Overall XAT Syllabus and Pattern for XAT 2021 section wise
  • Syllabus 2021 for Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning                            
  • Syllabus for Decision Making
  • Syllabus for Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 
  • Syllabus for General Knowledge

XAT 2021 Exam Structure
XAT is online computer based test. The aggregate maximum marks in XAT exam are 100 for 100 questions divided in 4 sections. Each correct answer is awarded +1 mark and each wrong answer will attract the penalty of -0.25 mark. Total time duration for the XAT 2021 exam is 3 hours. XAT 2021 exam pattern is as below:

Section in XAT 2021 Exam Pattern
Number of questions
Overall Time Duration
75 Total MCQs
165 Minutes
Verbal and Logical Ability
No Sectional Time Limit
Decision Making
No Sectional Time Limit
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
No Sectional Time Limit
25 Total MCQs
15 Minutes
General Knowledge
Total questions (Part 1 + Part 2)

Candidate are allowed to go to Part 2 after completing the time duration of 165 minutes in Part 1 Read More


Key Changes in XAT MBA Syllabus 2021  
Keeping pace with time and periodical changes are the key features of XAT 2021 syllabus. Each year you can find some or other changes in XLRI XAT exam. Some of the important changes that XLRI has announced for XAT exam 2021 are:

  • Syllabus 2021 has reduced to 4 Sections/subjects instead of 5
  • No Subjective Question on Essay Writing in XAT 2021
  • All the 4 subjects on Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning; Decision Making; Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; General Knowledge will form single question paper in single section instead of two different parts without break
  • Total number of questions as per XAT exam 2021 pattern not to exceed 100
  • All questions will be of MCQ type
  • 75 Questions with negative marking
  • 25 GK questions without negative marking

You should also be aware how much time is required to cover the complete syllabus 2021 and which are the most important and different sections to be covered first in the syllabus. Your XAT exam preparation should also be devised as per the XAT syllabus and pattern of the exam.


XLRI will conduct XAT 2021 as a computer based test in a single session across the country.   Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2021 is one of the largest National level MBA entrance exams to which around one lakh candidates apply.


XAT MBA Syllabus: Yearly Modifications
The syllabus for XAT changes every year. For example, the pattern of XAT exam during last 3 years has changed tremendously. On the one hand, number of questions in syllabus are reduced, on the other hand the exam has scrapped the descriptive essay writing test of 3 marks which was present till 2018. With the changed number of questions, more focus has shifted to first three sections which are accounted for determining the merit position in written XAT exam. More updated topics are now contained in XAT exam syllabus 2021.


If you wish to crack XAT 2021 with high score, you should prepare in accordance with the XAT exam prescribed syllabus which is modified and changed every year.


XAT Syllabus and pattern is not pre-defined by XLRI. However, every year, it is updated by XAT experts with anticipated changes in XAT exam pattern and the topics. After this exercise, XAT section wise syllabus is updated. The prospective test takers can also download XAT syllabus Pdf 2021 and prepare accordingly.


XAT Syllabus PDF

XAT syllabus Pdf is very wide with many topics getting added or deleted every year. It goes on changing with each XAT exam. The updated XAT 2021 syllabus PDF can help you boost your XAT preparation as per the current XAT pattern. The XAT Syllabus 2021 PDF download is available online. The XAT Syllabus Pdf 2021 contains the existing and expected topics alongwith the type of questions expected in XAT exam.


XAT Vs XLRI Syllabus 2021

Candidates searching for XLRI entrance exam syllabus should note that the XAT entrance Exam Syllabus 2021 and XLRI Syllabus are not different. Xavier Aptitude Test exam syllabus 2021 is the outcome of the topics which have earlier appeared in XAT exam although the type of questions, their composition, format and number may change in each subsequent exam syllabus.


The key point in the XAT MBA exam syllabus 2021 is that there wouldn’t be any repetition of XAT questions. The difficulty level of questions as per the syllabus 2021 may go higher or lower in XAT 2021 exam. The XAT 2021 Exam syllabus signifies that the questions in XAT exam 2021 would remain within the prescribed broad areas of XATsyllabus.


Most Important Sections in XAT 2021 MBA Syllabus

XAT syllabus 2021 will overall test the candidate on Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning; Decision Making; Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation as the key sections to determine your percentile and merit position. The other section on General Awareness (GK) does not have any pre defined XAT syllabus 2021 nor it is counted for percentile calculation. XAT syllabus covers all the major topics on all the above test sections.


Prepare as per XAT Detailed syllabus 2021

The fact is that you will find it difficult to prepare for XAT unless you know the key topics in XAT entrance exam syllabus. XAT syllabus does not leave any study topic untouched. The XAT exam 2021 syllabus shared below is based on revamped and updated Syllabus of XAT, the structure of which stands totally changed.


Section-1: Syllabus for Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning


Section Highlights: Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) exam Syllabus for Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning section in XAT 2021 is divided in 3 parts. The 1st part of XAT 2021 syllabus covers questions based on Verbal Ability; 2nd part of XAT 2021 exam syllabus on the 1st section covers Reading Comprehension passages and the 3rd part on VARC & LR section is based on questions on different topics on Logical Reasoning.


Number of Questions: The revamped pattern in XAT exam syllabus for VARC & LR section shows that there are 26 MCQs in this section of XAT exam.


Major topics covered in XAT detailed syllabus 2021 for VARC & LR are: 


Part-1: Verbal Ability

Topics on which VA questions are based:

  • English Vocabulary based questions – fill in the blanks with correct words; synonyms/antonyms; contextual usage on vocabulary words
  • Jumbled Paragraphs
  • Correction of errors in sentences, correct use of words
  • Completion of sentences
  • Completion of paragraph

Part-2: Reading Comprehension (RC)

  • Share of Reading Comprehension in VARC&LR section is very high
  • Topics on which RC passages are based: Abstract topics, Literature, Social and Economic issues; Science & Culture; history & fiction among others.
  • There is no clear cut definition of RC topics in XAT exam syllabus. RC passage on any topic under the Sun can be placed in XAT exam.  
  • Type of RC passages: Moderate and short
  • Type of Questions: All MCQ type 

Format of questions: Questions based on information in RC passage; explanation of the words & phrases as used in the passage; In context of the passage –True/false statements; Author’s view on various issues raised in the RC passage; Inference from the passage; main idea of RC passage; Purpose of the RC passage


Part-3: Syllabus for Logical Reasoning (LR)

  • Share of LR questions in XAT syllabus is not very high. Usually there are few critical reasoning and a few LR based questions in XAT exam. All questions are of MCQ type.
  • Topics covered in XAT syllabus on which LR questions are based: Analogy, Clocks, calendars, Fact, Inference, Judgement, binary logic, seating arrangement, blood relations, logical sequence, assumption, premise, conclusion among others.
  • XLRI entrance exam syllabus defines that questions on Logical Reasoning can be individual or can be in the sets.

Section-2: Syllabus for Decision Making


Section Highlights: XAT detailed syllabus 2021 on Decision Making is unique as neither CAT nor any other national level entrance exam has Decision Making as one of its exam sections.


Number of Questions: There are 21 questions in this section.


Major Topics: Decision Making is the problem or case solving expertise of a candidate. Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) measures such skills broadly on following topics:

  • Conditions and Grouping Test;
  • Data Arrangement Test;
  • Complex Arrangement;
  • Decision Making in a situation;
  • Case lets 

Section-3: Syllabus for Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation


Section Highlights: XAT detailed syllabus 2021 for Quant and DI section is very wide. QA & DI is the 3rd and last section in the revamped XAT exam pattern. This section in XAT is taken into account for XAT percentile calculation.  Syllabus of XAT 2021 for Quant is vast and covers everything in Mathematics that you may or may not expect.


Number of Questions: There would be 28 MCQs on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation section in XAT 2021.


Major Topics: Quantitative Ability

Syllabus on Quant is based on questions on different topics on Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Math, Geometry, Mensuration, Trignometry among others. Major topics covered in XAT syllabus for Quant are as under

  • LCM and HCF
  • Percentages
  • Profit and Loss
  • Interest (Simple and Compound)
  • Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Averages; Ratio and Proportion and others
  • Number System
  • Algebra
  • Geometry including Co-ordinate Geometry
  • Mensuration
  • Pure Math
  • Venn diagrams
  • Linear Equations
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithm
  • Progressions
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Surds and Indices
  • Inequalities
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Probability Functions
  • Set Theory
  • Mixtures and Alligations
  • Trigonometry

Syllabus for Data Interpretation (DI)

Questions in Data Interpretation in XAT exam are in sets in most cases. Sometimes individual questions are also asked. All the questions are of MCQ type. DI questions in XAT exam are in the set of 4 questions. Questions on interpretation and analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), venn diagram, are asked. Data could be given in form of tables, charts or graphs. In this section it is tested that how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it.


Major Topics Covered:

  • Data Tables
  • Data charts
  • Bar diagrams
  • Pie charts
  • Graphs
  • Data analysis and comparison

Section-4: Syllabus for GK


Section Highlights: Syllabus for second part in XAT exam consists of General Awareness (GK) section. The score in this section is not taken into account for percentile calculation in XAT exam. Questions can be based on current as well as conventional GK.  In-depth and regular reading of GK helps more as sometimes a few GK questions in XAT appear more tricky and need intensive reading


Number of Questions: As per the changed pattern of XAT exam, there would be 25 questions of Multiple Choice type in XAT 2021 exam.


Major Topics Covered: Economics, finance, national and international current affairs are a few of the many topics on which questions are placed in this section in XAT exam.

  • Economics, finance,
  • National and International current affairs
  • Conventional GK
  • Constitution of India
  • Company profiles, logos,
  • Business & Economy
  • Who’s who
  • Books & Authors
  • Capitals & Currencies

No More Essay Writing Test

Since Essay Writing in XAT has been scrapped, there is no need to look for the syllabus of essay writing test. However, please note that it is the test of writing skill of an aspirant. It prescribes that the test taker should write a coherent and logical essay on the given topic. The XLRI entrance exam syllabus on Essay Writing test is not limited to any particular type of topic. Past trends in XAT reveal that it needs a well worded essay on the contemporary or abstract topic. Test taker has to write essay on one topic but sometimes there is choice to choose between 2 topics and sometimes there is no choice at all.


The test taker is supposed to write after giving a thought and produce a better piece of writing in 20-25 minutes. Ideal size of essay in XAT is reduced to 200 words. Essay in XAT used to play important role in the Personal Interview round as questions are based on what you have written in your XAT Essay.


Key Points to Note on XAT Syllabus

  • Candidates searching for XLRI entrance exam syllabus should note that the Syllabus for XAT is the outcome of the topics which have earlier appeared in XAT exam although the type of questions, their composition, format and number may change in each subsequent XAT exam.
  • There wouldn’t be any repetition of XAT questions. The difficulty level of questions as per the syllabus is to remain from moderate to difficult
  • The questions in XAT exam 2021 would remain within the prescribed broad areas of exam syllabus.
  • XLRI-XAT entrance exam syllabus or XAT 2021 exam is not pre-defined by XLRI, Jamshedpur nor the syllabus was outlined earlier also. Syllabus of XAT exam 2021 is based on the mentioned guidelines and current structure of XAT exam.

City-wise List & Cut Off of MBA Colleges accepting XAT 2021

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