XAT 2015 Last Minute Tips

While it is a sham to give Last Minute tips for an exam for which one has to prepare seriously for more than 3 months if not more, here is an attempt made to only focus on those issues that may make a last minute difference to the outcome of the exam.

Some important facts

XAT is a 2.5-hour exam this year with four sections (as given in the website)

  • Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
  • Decision Making & Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal & Reading Comprehension
  • General Awareness

The exam will immediately be followed by 20 minutes of essay writing making the total examination duration to be 2 hrs 50 min. Please note that there is no break between the exam and essay writing. As per the instructions on the hall ticket, the exam is from 10:30PM to 1:00PM and essay is from 1:03PM to 1:23PM.
Also, there is less likelihood of differential marking (as per the last year’s pattern), while that cannot be ruled out!

Strategy for XAT 2015

XAT is more and more becoming like the CAT of yesteryears. It has about 90+ questions (this time it could be closer to 120) and 2.5 hours of time to crack it.
Many students don’t understand that to crack an exam like XAT, all you need is around 40% of the total marks available. To add to the fact that there is a difference in the percentile levels at which the sectional cut-offs exist, it becomes all the more easier if one plans the way to attempt the exam.


Leave a buffer time of 15 minutes (out of the total time available) and divided the rest of the time between sections.
Assumption 1: The number of questions are in the range of 25-35 in each section.
Assumption 2: Time available is 150 minutes
Strategy : 45-35-35-15 minutes as per the above four section pattern, with a buffer of 20 minutes

Quantitative Ability:

One should give more time to the Quant and DI sections. DI in XAT has traditionally been calculation based – tables, charts – which would make it easy to solve given sufficient time.
While there are a few Arithmetic questions, XAT has always concentrated on higher algebra and higher math including probability, permutations & combinations and functions & graphs.
Concentrate on attempting around 18 to 20 questions in the given 45 minutes and select the right one.

Decision Making Section :

Many a student makes a mess of the this section by trying to attempt too many questions. They appear deceptively easy. Take your pick and objectively ad logically deduce and decide answers
General Awareness:
Here again, do not attempt too many (unless you are very sure). Attempt only those that you are very sure of and or those in which you could eliminate choices and come down to a toss up between two choices.
Verbal & Reading Comprehension
The passages in RC are normally not long. However the questions are mostly inference based. Hence, decide on the number of RCs you would attempt. There are quite a few Verbal Usage, Grammar & Jumbled para questions in XAT. One has to try reading all questions so that it becomes easier to leave questions that one is not absolutely sure of.

Buffer Time

The last 20 minutes should be used to attempt that section where you have the best chance of maximizing scores. As indicated above, the sectional cutoffs are not going to be more than 30% of the total marks in that section. However, you have to score around 40% of the total marks in the paper to get a call.
Note: Whether or NOT the General Awareness section counts for the final percentile, giving 15 minutes is all a student should given (if there are less than 40 questions).


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