XAT 2016 Analysis

XAT 2016 Paper Pattern

“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 difficult level of the questions has been brought down” – part of XAT announcement on significant changes http://xatonline.net.in/XAT-2016_Announcement.pdf

If anything, the above special announcement was most misleading. Students who expected to find an easy paper were left wondering what would be difficult if this paper was easy!!! In the bargain, the XAT 2016 was probably more difficult than the XATs of previous years. It is very difficult to assess what the XLRI authorities are trying to test by giving such difficult papers.

Here’s some serious advice from VistaMind: Ignore that you have written XAT 2016. Forget about all the exams you have written, take an evening off and start preparing for GDPI. You would be surprised that you would get a call from some of the institutes that you thought was impossible!

For those of you who still want to know more! Read on!!

The paper pattern however was as announced. No surprises there! As usual it was administered as two parts. The first part consisted of Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & DI. ONLY the first part is taken towards calculation of PERCENTILE. This percentile is used for shortlisting by all institutes that take the XAT scores.

The Second part had the General Knowledge Section (no negative marks) and an Essay section which is used mainly by XLRI at the time of the Interview and final selection.

Part I

No of Questions : 78

Time available : 170 minutes

No of Marks : 78

No of Sections : 3 (Cutoffs exist)

Marking : All questions carry equal marks

Negative marking : ¼ th of the mark (may be deducted)

Part II General Knowledge and Essay

Time Available : 35 minutes

General Knowledge : 25 questions

Essay :“Technology and nature are natural enemies”

Test Pattern

Section Area No. Of Questions Marks
  PART ONE   Section -A   Verbal and Logical Ability 26 26
  Section – B   Decision Making 23 23
  Section –C   Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29 29
  Total 78 78
  PART TWO   General Knowledge 25 25

XAT 2016 Analysis

XAT 2016 was decidedly difficult. Even the Decision Making section, which at first glance appeared easy, was made complex by the closeness of the answer choices. Verbal area was full of Critical Reasoning questions and the Reading Comprehension passages and questions were atrociously difficult!

Despite the time allotted for the exam going up, the cutoffs will still not be high in XAT 2016. For a person who has attempted reasonably well in the paper, it is advisable to apply to some of the institutes under XAT and expect GDPI calls!

XAT scores are taken for admission into not only XLRI but also XIMB, GIM, LIBA, XISS, XIME and a host of other member and associate institutes.

Analysis of Sections in XAT 2016

Verbal and Logical Ability

Of the 12 questions in the Verbal & Logical Area, Six questions were critical reasoning questions, which had very close answers. Even the Vocab based questions were not direct and required high knowledge of vocabulary and Usage While the section heading says it is Verbal and Logical ability, the section was surfeit with critical reasoning and verbal logic.

The Para Jumbles and Para Completion (logical completion of the passages) were not very difficult but required one to spend couple of minutes on each question.

Of the two Para Jumbles questions, one has been taken from the Feynman Lectures and the second one from a book ‘Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious beliefs”.

While the Reading Comprehension sets were not long, the questions required a lot of inference from the passages and critical reasoning abilities.

The section as a whole can be termed as a section of medium to high level of difficulty section.

A good student could have attempted around 17 to 20 questions in about 50 minutes in this section.

A quick view of the pattern of this section will clarify what is meant above

Sno Question Type No of Questions Difficulty Level
1   Vocab based including Analogy 3   Medium
2   Critical Reasoning 5   High
3   Statement & Assumptions 1   Medium
4   Para Jumbles, Para completion 2 + 1   Medium
5   Reading Comprehension (4 sets) 14   High
  Total 26   Medium to High

Cutoff for the section – 7 (80 percentile) & 8 (85 percentile)

Decision Making

The Decision making section is probably the most interesting section of almost all MBA entrance exams.

Decision Making has been a regular feature of XAT for quite a number of years now.

The composition of the section included 9 sets with 23 questions in total. Four sets of these were with 2 questions each and Five of them with 3 questions each.

One set on matching criteria for buying a flat was probably the easiest among all the sets. Another set on Crops and the decision to plan these crops across the months in a year was probably the only set which could have definite answers. Every other set had very close answers choices and were too close to call.

A good student would have attempted around 7 to 8 sets and around 18 to 20 questions from among the 23 questions. However, we expect that the accuracy in this section would be hovering around 50% to 60% only!

Cutoff for the section – 7 (80 percentile)

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The QA and DI section probably was easier than the other two. Of the 22 questions in Quant area, Numbers and Geometry/Mensuration accounted for 11 questions. The section had 6 questions of arithmetic and a question each in Venn Diagrams, Functions, Heights & Distances and a miscellaneous (Order ranking) question.

Around 10 questions could be solved by anyone who has a basic grounding in math.

Data Interpretation was however, a different ball game. The two sets were very difficult to interpret at first glance. The bar chart on Salaries at a campus was solvable but required patience to understand. Even in this set, the answers to at least two questions were very close and could go either way. The set on ‘Shop types’ was much more difficult to interpret, especially in an exam situation.

The break-up of the entire section with their sub-topics is given below.

Area Topic No of Questions
  Arithmetic 6
  Equations (in the garb of T&D question) 1
  Percentages, P&L 2
  Time & Distance& Clocks 2
  Time & Work 1
  Algebra/Pure Math 16
  Number Systems 1*
  Numbers 4
  Geometry 6
  Mensuration 1
  Functions & Graphs 1
  Trigonometry (Heights & Distances) 1
  Venn Diagram 1
  Miscellaneous 1
  Data Interpretation 7
  Bar Chart (Stacked Bar) 4
  Table with percentages 3

* Number System question had a mistake. Though one can get an answer by solving the question in the normal manner

Overall the section was not easy and a good student could have attempted around 12 to 14 questions in about 60 minutes.

Cutoff for this section – 7 (80 percentile) & 8.5 (90 percentile)

Overall Cutoff

XLRI has three programs, the HRM, the BM program and the Global MBA Program. The HRM program typically has a lower cutoff than the BM program.

VA & LA DM QA &DI Total
  XLRI (HRM) 8 (85%ile) 7 (80%ile) 6 (70%ile) 28 (90%ile)
  XLRI (BM) 7 (80%ile) 7 (80%ile) 8.5 (90%ile) 30 (93%ile)
  XLRI (Global) 7 (80%ile) 7 (80%ile) 8.5 (90%ile) 28 (90%ile)
  XIMB 7 (80%ile) 7 (80%ile) 7 (80%ile) 27 (88%ile)



XAT 2016 Key >>