Tips to crack XAT Exam: Toppers Reveal the ‘10 Second Rule’


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Xavier’s Aptitude Test, popularly known as XAT, is a premier b-school entrance test of the country. The test offers admission to some of the best management institutes like XLRI, SPJIMR, along with 140 others.

Every year, around 1 lakh candidates appear for this exam, to get their desired MBA College.

XAT is conducted generally in the first month of January every year. XAT Registration begins in the month of August which continues until December. Results for XAT are expected in the month of February.

With huge competition for the exam, scoring high in XAT is not an easy thing. However, with proper strategy and hard work, one can emerge as a topper in this exam as well.

Today, we bring you some expert preparation tips from XAT Toppers which would help you out in cracking this exam.

Section Wise Division in XAT

Before moving on to the preparation tips, let us take a look at the section wise division or the structure of the exam. XAT is 210 minutes online exam, which is divided into two papers, Paper 1 and paper 2.

Paper 1 contains 3 sections, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning & Decision Making, and Verbal Ability. This will include around 72 (not fixed) questions, with around 21 in DMLR section, 27 in QADI and rest in VA section. Every question in this section is of 1 mark, and every wrong question costs 0.25 marks. Also, if you leave more than 12 questions un-attempted in this paper, each such question will cost 0.05 marks.

On the other hand, paper 2 is of 40 minutes. It comprises of 25 questions on GK and 1 Essay Writing Question. There is no negative marking in this section.

XAT Preparation tips by toppers

Take a look at how toppers of this exam approached XAT and cracked a high percentile in it. Their stories and strategies will surely help you to prepare a proper strategy for the exam –

Kunal Chaudhary 99.97 Percentile

For scoring high in XAT, Kunal says – “Follow 10-second decision rule to save time.”

By this, he means that when you see a question, either mark its answer in 10 seconds or move on. This rule can help you in saving a lot of time in XAT as you will be able to answer all the easy questions in a very small period of time.

For QA, he suggests along with practice, one should keep on learning better and faster methods.

For DI, LR, and DM, mental processing of information is important. For VA, which was his weakest section, he suggests continuous reading and practice.

As a message to XAT aspirants, Kunal says that candidates must keep on learning from their mistakes. Attempt a question or leave it, but just don’t waste time on it.

Disha Gupta 97.26 percentile

As part of her strategy for XAT, Disha quotes “Attempt the easy questions first.”

Disha appeared for XAT in 2016 and cracked the exam with a 97th percentile in the exam. This was her first attempt and she made it a successful one.

Being from an engineering background, Disha shared that QA was never a problem for her. Although, her reading and verbal skills were not good. She said that she worked very hard and finally improved her reading, and brought VA scores at par with QA scores. For DM and LR, she says that practice is the only way out. She practiced a lot of sets to get going in this section.

Disha shares that taking mock tests is very important for the exam. She believes that candidates must have taken at least 15-20 mocks before the exam.

As a message to XAT aspirants, she says that keeping calm during the exam is very important. Therefore, no matter how slow you start, just don’t lose focus in the exam.

Varun 99.92 Percentile

As a golden rule for preparation, Varun Says “Logical Thinking can make you score well in XAT.”

He says that XAT is a perfect entrance exam that not just tests your knowledge, but your decision making and risk-taking ability as well. Therefore, it is very important that you approach the exam logically.

Focus on your strong areas first and never get stuck on tough questions. Since every section carries sectional cutoff, maximize your attempt in each section.

For preparation, Varun shares that since QA has a higher sectional cutoff, one needs to have a higher number of correct questions for this section. He advises candidates to solve as many questions as possible, before the exam.

For other two sections, Varun says that one should go through the previous papers first, to get the idea. These seem easy but are actually tricky.

Siddharth R 98.76 percentile

Siddharth sums up his success mantra in these words – “Keep track of time and keep a level ahead.”

Siddharth, an engineer by education, appeared in XAT 2016 and scored 98.76 percentile in the exam. He says that while attempting the exam, one should always keep the mind in time, and must try to stay ahead of the deadline.

As his preparation strategy, Siddharth shares that he wanted to practice as much as he could before the exam.

Since Quantitative Ability was his weakest section, he worked very hard on it. He made notes of all the concepts and maximized his practice. For VARC, he says that there is not much theory to read about VARC.

Just encounter all types of questions and practice as much as you can. Siddharth shares that he was naturally good in DMLR, therefore, this section didn’t cause him much trouble.

For XAT aspirants he advises preparing for all 4 sections equally. He says that keeping your mind calm is very important during preparation.

Nishant Gupta 99.934 percentile

Nishant Gupta shares a very important tip for working aspirants, which is “Utilize your evenings effectively.”

Many working aspirants face the problem of lack of time for preparation. But Nishant, even due to his hectic schedule, managed his time effectively to score a very high percentile in XAT. Nishant said that he used his traveling time to study, which gave him the extra edge.

Belonging to a non-engineering background, Nishant was weak in QA. He was taking coaching for QA, he solved all the questions that were there in books given by the institute. He noted down all the concepts and took a lot of sectionals. All the mocks and sectionals were followed by proper analysis, which led to a great score in QA. For DMLR, he suggests that picking up the right sets is very important, therefore, he suggests taking a lot of mocks as this help you learn the art of picking sets. Since VA was his strongest section, he did not face any problem in it.

As a message to XAT aspirants, Nishant Suggests staying calm during the process. Mock scores may be depressing sometimes, but one needs to enjoy the journey and learn as much as possible.

XAT demands consistency, regular practice, coupled with a good number of mock tests can definitely help you to crack this exam. Remember, XAT is not tough, it just required good management of time along with the proper application of basics. We hope this article helps you in your preparation. Wish you all the luck for your XAT exam.

Written by admin