Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2016
Sunday, January 03, 2016
 
For 2016 Test paper (entry into 2016-18 session)
For 2015 Test paper (entry into 2015-17 session)
For 2014 Test paper (entry into 2014-16 session)

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2016
Sunday, January 03, 2016
SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

CAT v/s the XAT

Academically and experientially, three things make XAT eminently a better examination as compared to the IIMCAT.

  1. The XAT is a fully transparent test. Nothing is hidden behind a veil of secrecy - neither the questions, nor the detailed answers. This makes the IIMCAT look pretty un-evolved.
  2. The XAT is designed beautifully. It is more holistic (because of the Essay and the GK) as compared to the CAT. A candidate really needs to do a 360 degrees preparation.
  3. The XAT is a paper-based test, and conducted on a single day. This helps it retain the old world touch of a competitive test, with hundreds or thousands at each test venue, unlike a different feel one gets while writing the IIM-CAT (20 or 40 people in a slot sitting in a comp lab). The crowd at XAT venues makes a big difference to a candidate’s mindset, and perhaps, is instrumental in bringing out the best in many.
  4. The Decision Making section, which truly stands apart in its merit of judging what test-takers really believe in (the value systems stuff, and commonsense etc.). Some of the DI questions this time were beautifully designed.

Just one limitation: at times, the XAT crosses the line between toughness and incomprehensibleness. They should remember that the golden rule of management practice the world over is Keep It Short and Simple. But then, they are the examiners, and we have no choice but to play the game by their rules.

Talking of XAT 2016

When XAT authorites announced there would be negative marking for not attempting questions, they also announced that the test would be simpler in nature. The candidates were in for a huge disappointment. Many of the language questions were, euphemistically speaking, quite incomprehensible.This section itself would account for approximately 10 out of the 13 non-attempts that were allowed. Ha ha - they got the candidates’ goat for sure!

The XAT 2016 was in two parts + Essay + OMR sheet:

Part 1 – Aptitude Test – suggested 170 minutes – covered three sections:

Verbal Ability, Decision making, Quantitative Ability (including Data Interpretation)

OMR sheet taken away at the end of 170 minutes.

Part 2 – General Knowledge and Essay

Suggested time 35 minutes. Students were free to allot the 35 minutes they way they wanted. Ideally GK should be done in 10 minutes and the remaining 25 minutes should be devoted to the essay.

PART I - APTITUDE TEST

Section A. Verbal and Logical Ability
Ability (26 questions – 12 EU/Vocab/Grammar/Reasoning + 14 RC spread over 4 passages)

Difficulty level : Tough to Very Tough

The questions, no doubt were brilliantly designed, however whether they serve the purpose of an apttitude test designed to check the language skills of a management aspirant is a different question altogether. To solve the language part one needed to be -

  1. A regular reader of poems and high-quality literature
  2. Not just a regular reader of philosophical and abstruse passages, but a master at them
  3. A vocabulary expert

Idioms, analogies, meanings and pronunciations were checked brutally. The questions were very intelligently designed. Somebody did put a lot of thought into it. Only one question on best completion of the passage could be considered as easy. In one of the conversations even the style of writing that was used was archaic and classical, not modern which we are used to reading.This part truly went beyong a fundamental understanding of English!

The RC passages – four in number – were from themes as diverse as “The best means of communication”, “Markets and economic theories”, “Ayn Rand on objectivism”, and “Science, Philosophy and Truth”. As one can see, these are not easy themes that anyone can attempt off the shelf. They were made more tough due to the level of abstruseness in the passage, the indirect questions and the very closely aligned options. A test taker’s nightmare indeed !

The XAT repeatedly reminds its candidates that if you have not been serious with learning the language over several years, you won’t get through the portals easily. In all, 14 questions in RC raised the toughness of the language section beyond the mundane. Every passage was equally tough and difficult to grasp..

You should get at least 7-10 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

Section B. Decision Making
(23 questions)

Difficulty level : Tough

How does a manager or business leader work in real life? With all facts at his /her disposal? Or with half-facts and half-truths? More likely, the latter version reflects the real world’s subjective reality. And the Decision Making section of XAT precisely checks this nuanced ability to look between the lines (yes, yes, read also will do), and go beyond the obvious. A little bit of GK, a little touch of commonsense, some maths, and a lot of luck is surely a good combination to crack most of the DM questions.

As expected, the questions forced the students to try making practical decisions or chart a specific course of action. The section this year had a good number of mathematical questions too. Many questions reflected the happenings in our corporate and national life, in recent times. One of the question sets was based on proper HR practices that need to be followed. The questions in this set were tricky. An important factor that made this section tough was that multiple course of action were to be choosen and a preference to be indicated based on immediate to later or ethical to unethical. These were the RC type cases / case-lets, again reinforcing the belief that XAT really wants you to be good at reading speed and comprehension. Two of the sets looked mor from the Data Interpretation and Arrangement part rather than Decision Making part.

You should get at least 8-10 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

Section C. Quantitative Ability
(29 questions)

Difficulty level : Moderate to tough

This year again DI was clubbed with QA and the section name did indicate this. This was the easiest of the three sections in Aptitude test. If you have prepared for the CAT thoroughly, then this section was very doable. The topics were all standard – Arithmetic, Geometry, Statistics, Number system, Algebra, P&C and Probability, Set theory, and of course, DI caselets. It is important to use the “elimination of options” technique to improve your chances. This is something we have stressed upon in all our Percentile Booster Sessions also. One minor surprise element was the number of questions in geometry increased. However they were very doable.

The good part in this section was that identifying the speed breakers was easy. They should have been really avoided. Spotting the easy ones and attempting them in the first round is very important. It build your confidence as you move through the section. The DI questions were long and complex and were very conceptual in nature. All the sets were tough. You roll the dice and take your chances !

You should get at least 12 to 14 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

PART II
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE - 20 questions

Included General Awareness / GK / Current Affairs
Difficulty level : Moderate

No senseless questions asked. Every question had a direct link with your future career and what you really must be reading these days. So, well-designed! There were three question focussing on the middle east. Knowledge of the world map would have been very important to answer some questions. All the questions were related to the happenings of 2015. A couple of questions can be considered as sitters.

The options were very close in many questions. The student should have very carefully eliminated some choices before going to the right ones. Caution – a question may look easy, but the closely placed options may make answering quite difficult. Hence take an extra ten seconds before jumping to conclusions.

The questions clearly prove that you need to prepare for 12 months prior to the exam, with a daily reading of at least two English newspapers, under expert supervision. We are happy to share that almost 80% of the questions that appeared in XAT 2016 GK section were directly discussed in PT’s Knowledge Booster’s 35 sessions with lots of examples and explanation. All these were also uploaded through videos inside the PT SRC. The rigour with which PT has covered the GK section is absolutely unmatched.

The tips for students targeting XAT 2017:

  1. Start reading The Economic Times, and The Hindu right from today (1 hr each)
  2. Be meticulous with PT’s Knowledge Booster sessions, and the quizzes that follow
  3. Try reading at least 1 business magazine regularly.
  4. Solve all the tests in the SRC put inside the GK-CA builder
  5. Attend all test specific revision sessions
  6. When an issue appears in the newspaper dig up till at least two levels. That is where the questions lie.        

Remember students: There is no alternative to regular reading of newspapers, and regular mentoring by a professionally designed course and system.

You should get at least 8-10 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

then came the
Essay

       “Technology and nature are natural enemies”

While the topic looks pretty direct and simple, writing a meaningful essay on it will be far from anything simple. A really good effort should include the following ideas:

  • Definition of what technology and nature truly mean
  • Why are they seen as mutually incompatible with each other?
  • What is the objective of technology? Is it under our control or are we under the control of technology?
  • Examples where technology has resulted in a destruction of nature (Oil spills, ozone layer depletion, emissions etc)
  • Development Vs. Nature: The different situations in the developed and the developing nations
  • Some inputs on various protocols and agreements that have been signed to preserve nature
  • Technology is out of our choice, we are out of nature’s choice or are we?
  • How can both technology and nature co-exist and enhance each other rather than have an adversarial relationship

As a general rule, you should make a good start – a dramatic quote is always appreciated. Similarly, you should end on a good note, with a solution, and a hint of optimism.

As you can see, the topic looks easy, but the quality of written word will vary significantly. At PT, we tried to cover all these concepts at a great length in our classes. We are sure many of our students must have pieced together the ideas at the right time.

Connecting the dots, as we call it!

OVERALL, a difficult test, beautifully designed, and requiring the best of each candidate. Please go through the rest of the analysis, and Predicted CutOffs, and and Answer Keys below.



See table at the end.
All the best – Kar ke dikhayenge!
OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

We present here an objective analysis of Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) held on January 03, 2016 across India and some international locations. 

XAT 2016 concentrated on checking the linguistic and compreension skillsof the students in addition to their reading skills. The verbal ability section bears ample testimony to that.

One of the major changes this year was in the method of negative marking. 0.05 marks were to be deducted in case the number of non-attempts exceeded 13. Looking at the nature of questions in this paper, many students would have struggled to keep their non-attempts below 13.

The Verbal Ability section was full of surprises with a poem being the main surprise element (it had only 1 question). Though only one passage can be termed truly philosophical, the other passages were equally tough either due to the content of the passages (mostly abstruse) or the nature of questions and closeness of the options. Only one passage (Economic theories) can be considered as being less tough. This was indeed the trickiest section.

The Decision Making Section was of a greater difficulty level than the last year and more relevant to a manager’s life and career. The Quantitative Ability section was manageable. The topic for Essay writing was very general.

One had to mark the answers on the OMR sheet with a pen; unlike some other exams, where the medium of marking is pencil. So there was no chance of changing an answer at the last moment. This was dangerous for the less prepared or for the ones in a jiffy!

Thus, the paper was full of surprises, which came to light section-by-section in 3 hrs.

Bird’s Eye View - XAT 2016
Part  Sections Questions
I Verbal and Logical Ability 26
Decision Making 23
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29
II General Awareness 25
  Essay  
  Total 78

Total Number of Questions – 78 in Part I and 25 in Part II (+ an Essay)

Total Time – 210 minutes (170 min for Part I + 5 mins break + 35 mins for Part II )

The Marking Scheme – It was mentioned that all questions carry equal marks, and negative marking was 25%. Also, 0.05 marks would be deducted for every non-attempt above 13

Number of Options – 5

Sections/Sectional Time Limit – Three sections in Part I and One (GK) in Part II

Essay Writing Topic – Technology and nature are natural enemies.

Medium of marking – Black pen.

Sectional Break-up – as shown in the table


Verbal and Logical Ability

This section was of tough difficulty level. The vocabulary based questions, para jumbles and fill in the blanks were very confusing with very close options.

The detailed breakup of this section is given below:

Section name :
Verbal and Logical Ability
Test Area No. of questions
Logical Reasoning 3
L C I  1
Parra Jumbles 2
Reading Comprehension 14
Direct Vocabulary 3
Theme based  3
Total 26

A score of 10 can be considered excellent in this section.


Decision Making

This section was of higher difficulty level. The questions required the skill of prudent and speedy judgement.

A score of 8+ can be considered good in this section.

Section name :
DECISION MAKING
Test Area No. of questions
Quantitative 3
Semi Quantiative 2
Purely subjective 18
Total 23


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

This section was easier compared to the other sections this year. With good selection and speed a student could manage to get a high score. DI sets were very conceptual and required a high degree of analytical ability.

The detailed breakup of this section is given below:

Section name :
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
Test Area No. of questions
Arithmetic 6
Geometry 8
Set Theory  2
Algebra 5
DS 1
DI 7
Total 29

A score of 12+ can be considered good in this section.

General Knowledge

GK was easy to moderate. To score high one needs a good reading habit as the fundamental skill.

A score of 8+ can be considered good in this section.


Essay

The essay topic was very general, and some quotations and examples would have made the examiner’s day!

Estimated Cut offs

Keep visiting www.PTeducation.com/MBATestAnalyses for more
EXPECTED CUTOFFS - XAT 2016
(assuming 1 mark per correct answer, 25% negative marking)
Section Questions XLRI BM XLRI HRM XIMB SPJain
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 9 (90-95 %ile) 8 (85-90 %ile) 7 (70-75 %ile) 8 (85-90 %ile)
Decision Making 23 9 (90 %ile) 6 (80 %ile) 5 (70 %ile) 6 (80 %ile)
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29 13 (90 %ile) 11 (70 %ile) 9 (70 %ile) 11 (70 %ile)
TOTAL 78 29-31 24-26 20-22 25-28
Keep visiting www.PTeducation.com/MBATestAnalyses for more

Answer Key (Series A)
ANSWER KEYS XAT 2016 - SET A
VERBAL AND LOGICAL ABILITY
1.(C) 2.(C) 3.(E) 4.(A) 5.(B) 6.(E) 7.(A) 8.(C) 9.(D) 10.(C)
11.(E or C) 12.(B) 13.(E) 14.(A) 15.(E) 16.(A) 17.(C) 18.(E) 19.(D) 20.(B)
21.(E) 22.(B) 23.(A) 24.(B) 25.(B) 26.(B)
DECISION MAKING
27.(C) 28.(B) 29.(D) 30.(A) 31.(E) 32.(D) 33.(C) 34.(A) 35.(B) 36.(C)
37.(E) 38.(C) 39.(B) 40.(C) 41.(C) 42.(D) 43.(B) 44.(E) 45.(C) 46.(D)
47.(B) 48.(B) 49.(A)
QUANTITATIVE ABILITY AND DATA INTERPRETATION
50.(D) 51.(D) 52.(B) 53.(A) 54.(B) 55.(B) 56.(B) 57.(D) 58.(C) 59.(B)
60.(C) 61.(C) 62.(C) 63.(C) 64.(A) 65.(A) 66.(D) 67.(B) 68.(C) 69.(C)
70.(A) 71.(D) 72.(D) 73.(B) 74.(E) 75.(C) 76.(B) 77.(B) 78.(A)
Second Part
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
1.(C) 2.(B) 3.(B) 4.(C) 5.(A) 6.(A) 7.(E) 8.(B) 9.(A) 10.(C)
11.(A) 12.(C) 13.(D) 14.(B) 15.(A) 16.(D) 17.(E) 18.(B) 19.(E) 20.(C)
21.(B) 22.(E) 23.(D) 24.(D) 25.(E)
XAT Strategy Video


~ All the best – Kar ke dikhayenge ~


Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2015
Sunday, January 04, 2015

SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

CAT v/s the XAT
As we have said earlier, academically and experientially, three things make XAT eminently a better examination as compared to the IIMCAT.

Keep checking    www.PTeducation.com/MBAtestAnalyses
XLRI test pattern comparison - PT education
SECTION 2015 2014
Questions Total Section
Marks
Questions Total Section
Marks
First part of test (140 min - 2015)
Verbal and
Logical Ability
28 All questions carry
equal marks
(25% negative
marking)
28 All questions
carry equal marks
(25% negative
marking)
Decision Making and
Analytical Reasoning
23 24
Quantitative Ability
and Data Interpretation
33 31
Second part of test (40 min - 2015)
General Awareness 30 Same directions 20 Same directions
Essay 1 topic Nothing disclosed 1 topic Nothing disclosed
TOTALS 114 N.A. 103 N.A.
Keep checking    www.PTeducation.com/MBAtestAnalyses
  1. The XAT is designed differently, and in a way, beautifully. It is more holistic (because of the Essay and the GK) as compared to the CAT. A candidate needs to do a 360 degrees preparation, and must have a lot of stamina to be at top pace till the last moment.
  2. The XAT is a paper-based test, and conducted on a single day. This helps it retain the old world touch of a competitive test, with hundreds or thousands at each test venue, unlike a different feel one gets while writing the IIM-CAT (20 or 40 people in a slot sitting in a comp lab). The crowds at XAT venues make a big difference to a candidate’s mindset - positive or negative!
  3. The Decision Making section stands apart in its attempt at judging what test-takers really believe in (the value systems stuff, and commonsense etc.). However, it can often stary into the dangerously subjective realm of individual likes and dislikes, as happened in 2015.

Talking of XAT 2015 (04 Jan)

They modified the pattern once again, and structured it differently. Since there was no differential marking, strategizing at the beginning of the test was easier. Since all questions carry equal marks, the SSSS technique can be applied directly – Scan and Search for the relatively easy ones, Select them (and mark with a pen or pencil), and Solve them. Do it a second time for the second round of tougher questions. And so on.

In fact, if you do not startegise (pick the right questions to solve) in XAT, your chances are as good as none.

The Test was structured thus:

Part 1 – Aptitude Test – compulsory 140 minutes overall - no sectional time limits –
Section A: Verbal and Logical Ability (28 questions)
Section B: Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning (23 questions)
Section C: Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (33 questions)
Total: 84 questions

Part 2 – General Awareness + Essay - compulsory 40 minutes overall - no sectional time limits –

Section 1: General Awareness (30 questions)
Section 2: Essay
(Topic : Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand, we only listen to refute or reply).

In the complete test, we found some DM questions and some RC/Language questions extremely subjective, allowing multiple interpretations. Also, many DM questions will make no sense to freshers who haven't spent a day working in a formal setup. Please watch the full Analysis Video (link on this page) for questionwise insights and the problems with certain typical questions.

XLRI - take note! Reduce the subjectivity please!

PART I - APTITUDE TEST

Section A. Verbal and Logical Ability
(28 questions – 11 EU/Vocab/Reasoning + 17 RC spread over 5 passages)

Difficulty level : Moderate to Tough

Again, it was a well-designed set of questions that checked three skills:

  1. Are you a regular, serious reader of stuff in English language?
  2. Do you pay attention to the very small things and semantics that matter?
  3. Do you think and analyse facts and figures when you read, and have your opinion? 

The 11 questions in English Usage / Verbal were designed with a lot of thought.

The 2 direct fill-in-the-blank (FIB) questions were tricky. With multiple blanks in the questions, all based on confusing words (imminent / immanent), only those who either knew the words clearly, or could eliminate options intelligently (recommended strategy here) could have attempted them safely! Worse, only 2 questions on FIB. We expected much more (4 or 5). Questions based on grammar were absent this year (phew!). The 2 questions (only  2!) on para-jumbles were complex and required careful screening of options and identification of connecting clues between sentences, and indeed required higher-than-normal language skills. There were only 2 direct vocabulary-based questions, which were quite manageable (as "childlike" is obviously a positive word, etc.).

Logical completion of idea questions (2) were moderately tough. There were 2 questions based on Critical Reasoning (slightly subjective) and 1 question on Argument strengthening/weakning. These 5 questions required full concentration and multiple reading to be really sure of the answer.

That made 11 questions so far. Then came the RC passages – five in number (just like 2014) – from themes as diverse as “Facing death and emerging positively charged to live long” (4 q.), “Learning and neural circuit development process” (4 q.), “Behavioural gene presence and dandelion/orchid children in human society” (4 q.), “Competitive markets, public intervention, economics” (3 q.) and “Creative thinking and brainstorming” (2 q.). So, 17 questions were RC - based - a change from the 15 questions of 2014.

As one can see, these are not easy themes that anyone can attempt off the shelf. The XAT repeatedly reminds its candidates that if you have not been serious with learning the language over several years, you won’t get through the portals easily. In all, 17 questions in RC gave the serious reader a good chance to surge ahead. It was crucial to choose the right passages to attempt, and again - some questions are just too tricky to be sure of the "really absolutely totally correct answer". Sad.

You should get at least 10-12 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also. Do watch the full analysis video (linked on this page).

Section B. Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning
(23 questions)


Difficulty level : Moderate to tough

A big change this year was - cases were either non-quants (purely subjective), semi-quants (numerical + subjective), or pure quants (pure numbers-based). We saw 11, 9 and 3 questions resp. on these three types.

Type 1. Purely subjective (no quants) - 11 q.
Type 2. Semi quants (quants + subjective) - 9 q.
Type 3. Pure quants (no subjective) - 3 q.

Type 1 caselets were - Baura-Patel-HR case (3 q.), Green campus pursuit (1 q.), National Political Party's crisis (4 q.), Family managed business at Delhi (3 q.)

Type 2 caselets were - MBA entrance exams and search for entrepreneurs (2 q.), Oil refining business and investments needed (3 q.), Pharmaceutical company and HR / Sales issues (4 q.)

Type 3 caselet was - Bright Engineering College and 20 electives (3 q.)

How does a manager or business leader work in real life? With all facts at his /her disposal? Or with half-facts and half-truths? More likely, the latter version reflects the real world’s subjective reality. And the Decision Making section of XAT precisely checks this nuanced ability to look between the lines and go beyond the obvious. A little bit of GK, a little touch of commonsense, some maths, and a lot of luck is surely a good combination to crack most of the DM questions.

All said and done, this section is merciless on freshers. You just have to "imagine" and solve.

As expected, the questions forced the students to try making practical decisions or chart a specific course of action. The section this year had lesser number of mathematical questions compared to 2014. Many questions reflected the happenings in our typical corporates and family-managed-businesses. They tried to check a student’s presence of mind, and reading span (ET, etc.). None of the sets was very lengthy, making it unwieldy unlike in 2014 (for example : the smartphones sales case of 2014). This time round, all were small to medium caselets, reinforcing the belief that XAT really wants you to be good at decision making under stress.

You should get at least 7-9 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also. Do watch the full analysis video to get a good feel of the approach required.

Section C. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
(33 questions)

Difficulty level : Moderate to Tough

Two sets of DI were clubbed with QA, as mentioned in the section title. If you have prepared for the CAT thoroughly, then this section was very doable. The topics were all standard – Arithmetic, Geometry, Graphs and Functions, Number system, Algebra, P&C and Probability and of course, DI caselets. It is important to use the “elimination of options” technique to improve your chances. This is something we have stressed upon in all our Percentile Booster Sessions also. Do check the full video (linked on this page) to see detailed approach.

The good part in this section was that identifying the speed breakers was easy. They should have been really avoided. Spotting the easy ones and attempting them in the first round is very important. It build your confidence as you move through the section. The DI questions looked long and complex, but were easy if the graphs were deciphered with some effort.

Arithmetic made a big presence with 9 questions in all, followed by Geometry with 4. The rest had 1 or 2 questions (Functions & graphs, 2D geometry, 3D geometry, number system, factorials, statistics etc.)

The examiner perhaps tried to look relevant and contemporary by creating a full DI set on a hot topic like Twitter following of political parties! A good choice.

You should get at least 12 to 14 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

PART II
GENERAL AWARENESS - 30 questions

Included General Awareness / GK / Current Affairs
Difficulty level : Moderate to Tough

A mix of questions asked, though the type and quality could have been much better. It seemed that a final proofing by a senior Professor was missing - some newbie typed out the raw stuff, and processed it without supervision (how else do you explain Ji Xinping? - a big mistake!).

The examiner is trying to judge the following things: Are you really aware of what the technologies being used today (Android OS)? Do you know something about the strife going on in the world (Syria, Ukraine etc.)? Do you know the names of the top political leaders visiting India? Do you know what economic terms like CAD and QE mean? Are you in the loop regarding major political and socio-economic movements in India, and around the world? If you are asked to write the top 10 socio-political-economic headlines of the world, will you be able to do it correctly? The options were very close in many questions. The student should have very carefully eliminated some choices before going to the right ones. Caution – a question may look easy, but the closely placed options may make answering quite difficult. Hence take an extra ten seconds before jumping to conclusions.

We spotted many grammatical errors in this section - a letdown for an exam of the stature of XAT :-(

The questions clearly prove that you need to prepare for 12 months prior to the exam, with a daily reading of at least two English newspapers, under expert supervision. We are happy to share that almost 80% of the questions that appeared in XAT GK section were directly discussed in PT’s Knowledge Booster’s 35 sessions with lots of examples and explanation. All these were also uploaded through videos inside the PT SRC. The rigour with which PT has covered the GK section is absolutely unmatched.

The tips for students targeting XAT 2016:

  1. Start reading The Economic Times, and The Hindu right from today (1 hr each)
  2. Be meticulous with PT’s Knowledge Booster sessions, and the quizzes that follow
  3. Try reading at least 1 business magazine regularly.
  4. Solve all the tests in the SRC put inside the GK-CA builder
  5. Attend all test specific revision sessions

Remember students: There is no alternative to regular reading of newspapers, and regular mentoring by a professionally designed course and system. You should get at least 8-10 correct in this section to stand a fair chance at XLRI. Cutoff table given at the end also.

then came the
Essay

“Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand, we only listen to refute or reply.”

While the topic looks pretty direct and simple, writing a meaningful essay on it will be far from anything simple. A really good effort should include the following ideas:

  • Definition of what ‘listening' really means to you
  • What are the pros and cons of being a good listener?
  • Difference between being a good speaker and a good listener
  • The fleeting nature of our senses, and the difference between listening and hearing
  • Many examples from global developments (North Korea, Syria, Iran...) could have been beautifully quoted here
  • Role of technology, social media, smart mobile handsets in creating a world of false egos and illusions
  • How to lead a better life, and how to create joy for others

As a general rule, you should make a good start – a dramatic quote is always appreciated. Similarly, you should end on a good note, with a solution, and a hint of optimism.

As you can see, the topic looks easy, but the quality of written word will vary significantly. At PT, we tried to cover all these concepts at a great length in our classes. We are sure many of our students must have pieced together the ideas at the right time.

Connecting the dots, as we call it!

OVERALL, a difficult test, beautifully designed, and requiring the best of each candidate. Please go through the rest of the analysis, and Predicted CutOffs, and and Answer Keys below.


CUTOFFS
See table at the end.

All the best – Kar ke dikhayenge!

OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

We present here an objective analysis of Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) held on January 04, 2015 across India.

XAT 2015 concentrated on intensively checking the reading skills of students. The verbal ability section, decision making section, GK, and the essay writing sections bear a testimony to that. Some changes were indeed introduced this year.

The GK section was shifted with the Essay section (Total 40 min). All questions carried equal marks. The total number of questions was 84 in Test Part I. So, for a student, selection became a very important factor.

In the Test Part II of the paper, 30 questions of general awareness were asked, as expected.

The Decision Making Section had very few questions from Quantitative Reasoning and this was the trickiest section. The English Language Ability (and Logical Reasoning) section was of moderate difficulty level and the Quantitative Ability section was moderately tough. The topic for Essay writing was very general.

One had to mark the answers on the OMR sheet with a pen; unlike some other exams, where the medium of marking is pencil. So there was no chance of changing an answer at the last moment. This was dangerous for the less prepared or for the ones in a jiffy!

Thus, the paper was full of surprises, which came to light section-by-section in 3 hrs.

Verbal and Logical Ability

This section was of moderate to tough difficulty level. The vocabulary based questions, para jumbles and fill in the blanks were the doable ones (with some effort). The reading comprehension based questions and logical reasoning questions were not so easy.

The detailed breakup of this section is given below:

Section name :
Verbal and Logical Ability
Test Area No. of questions
Reading Comprehension
(5 sets)
17 (4,4,4,3,2)
Fill in the blanks 2
Vocabulary based 2
Para Jumbles 2
Logical completion of idea 2
Critical Reasoning 2
Arguments 1
TOTAL 28

A score of 10+ can be considered good in this section.


Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning

This section was of higher difficulty level. The questions required the skill of prudent and speedy judgement.
A score of 8+ can be considered good in this section.

 Section name :
Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning
Test Area No. of questions
Quantitative 3
Semi Quantiative 9
Purely subjective 11
TOTAL 23

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

This section was easy. With good selection and speed a student could manage to get a high score. DI sets looked lengthy, with a lot of data, but could be attempted eaily, because the questions did not require lengthy calculations.

The detailed breakup of this section is given below:

Section name :
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
Test Area No. of questions
Arithmetic 9
Geometry 4
Functions and Graphs 3
2D Mensuration 2
3D Mensuration 1
Probability 1
Direction Sense + TSD 1
Algebra 2
Heights and Distances 1
Statistics 1
Tabular D.I. 4
Web diagram D.I. 4
TOTAL 33

A score of 11+ can be considered good in this section.


General Knowledge

GK was easy to moderate. To score high one needs a good reading habit as the fundamental skill.

A score of 8+ can be considered good in this section.

Essay

The essay topic was very general, and some quotations and examples would have made the examiner’s day!

Estimated Cut offs

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EXPECTED CUTOFFS - XAT 2015
(assuming 1 mark per correct answer, 25% negative marking)
Section Questions XLRI BM XLRI HRM XIMB SPJain
Verbal and Logical Ability 28 9.25 (80-85 %ile) 10  (85-90 %ile) 8 (70-75 %ile) 8 (70-75%)
Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning 23 8 (80 %ile) 8 (80 %ile) 7 (70 %ile) 7 (70 %ile)
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 33 8 (90 %ile) 5.5 (70 %ile) 5.5 (70 %ile) 5.5 (70 %ile)
TOTAL 84 27-29 24-26 24-26 30-32
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Answer Key (Series B)
ANSWER KEYS XAT 2015 - SET B
VERBAL AND LOGICAL ABILITY
1.(C) 2.(D) 3.(B) 4.(A) 5.(B) 6.(C) 7.(D) 8.(C) 9.(E) 10.(C)
11.(E) 12.(E) 13.(A) 14.(C) 15.(A) 16.(A) 17.(B) 18.(E) 19.(B) 20.(D)
21.(D) 22.(A) 23.(A) 24.(C) 25.(A) 26.(C) 27.(E) 28.(D)
DECISION MAKING AND ANALYTICAL REASONING
29.(E) 30.(B) 31.(D) 32.(D) 33.(E) 34.(C) 35.(C) 36.(D) 37.(B) 38.(C)
39.(B) 40.(C) 41.(A) 42.(A) 43.(C) 44.(B) 45.(E) 46.(E) 47.(B) 48.(C)
49.(C) 50.(D) 51.(B)
QUANTITATIVE ABILITY AND DATA INTERPRETATION
52.(B) 52.(E) 54.(C) 55.(D) 56.(D) 57.(B) 58.(B) 59.(E) 60.(D) 61.(D)
62.(A) 63.(C) 64.(C) 65.(C) 66.(A) 67.(D) 68.(E) 69.(C) 70.(B) 71.(E)
72.(B) 73.(B) 74.(C) 75.(A) 76.(D) 77.(D) 78.(A) 79.(D) 80.(E) 81.(D)
82.(A) 83.(B) 84.(A)
Second Part
GENERAL AWARENESS
1.(D) 2.(E) 3.(D) 4.(D) 5.(C) 6.(E) 7.(E) 8.(D) 9.(A) 10.(E)
11.(D) 12.(B) 13.(A) 14.(D) 15.(A) 16.(A) 17.(D) 18.(A) 19.(B) 20.(A)
21.(A) 22.(D) 23.(C) 24.(E) 25.(E) 26.(C) 27.(A) 28.(C) 29.(C) 30.(B)
XAT Analysis Video

XAT Strategy Video

Just one limitation : at times, the XAT crosses the line between toughness and incomprehensibleness. They should remember that the golden rule of management practice the world over is Keep It Short and Simple. But then, they are the examiners, and we have no choice but to play the game by their rules.

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