How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months
Ranjini Basu, 20 Aug 2018, #XAT
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How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months - XAT 2019 is scheduled on January 6 in a new exam pattern. As many as 90,000 students appear for Xavier Aptitude Test or XAT, the management entrance examination that falls in line just after CAT in terms of popularity. The test is conducted annually and its scores are accepted by over 150 B-Schools across the sub-continent. Conducted by Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI), XAT is a computer-based examination of three hours. Now, the most pertinent question that any aspirant comes up with is how to prepare for XAT 2019 in six months? XAT aspirants are typically students either pursuing the final year or have completed the Bachelor’s degree; therefore it is most likely that they are engaged either with the academic curriculum and final exam or busy preparing for other entrance examinations. So it is imperative that one should know how to prepare for XAT in 6 months strategically.

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The most important preparation aspect is to be aware of the XAT 2019 exam including its test pattern, important dates, scoring pattern, and syllabus. Without the thorough knowledge, candidates will fall out of place and feel clueless!

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How to prepare for XAT 2019 in six months


In this article, Careers360 brings forth the ways to prepare for XAT 2019 in six months.


Know the Exam Pattern

As known to all, XAT 2019 will be conducted on computer-based (online) mode. According to XLRI Jamshedpur, the XAT exam pattern will undergo changes from last year. There would be no Essay Writing part in XAT 2019. Moreover, the duration of XAT 2019 will be three hours instead of three hours and 35 minutes. XAT 2019 will carry objective-type questions only. The following table explains the most probable exam pattern of XAT 2019.

XAT Exam Pattern


No. of Questions


Verbal and Logical Ability


180 minutes

Decision Making

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation



Scoring Pattern- Each question will carry 1 mark and for each incorrect answer, 1/4th of the total marks allotted to a question will be deducted. Candidates should note that there is a negative marking of 0.05 mark attached to unattempted questions as well, beyond eight unanswered questions.


How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months – Sectional Preparation

Knowledge of the XAT syllabus will aid in planning the sectional preparation. Each section needs equal attention as the exam is considered quite challenging and competitive. A constructive planning and strategy can be executed by creating a proper schedule where one is expected to allot sufficient time for all the sections. Kriti Sinha, XAT 2018 Topper revealed the secret of her success  which goes as “10 good Quant questions, one Reading Comprehension, one Para jumble, one Data Interpretation or Logical Reasoning set every day, is the recipe for success” kept her going

  • Verbal and Logical Ability – Vocabulary, Analogy-based on Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, Grammar, Fill in the blanks, Paragraph Formation Questions, Poem, and more.

  • Decision Making - Arithmetic, Analytical Reasoning, Situational decision making. Clarity on basic concepts, quick thinking, and extensive practice will yield success in this section. The topic is comparatively new, hence one needs to familiarise with the subject well. The only path to achieve this is by solving more and more practice papers from previous years.

  • Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation - It is important to hone basic mathematics skills to cater to this section. The topics that are covered are Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & Distance, Time & Work, Equations, Polynomials, Numbers, Progressions, Probability, Permutation and Combination, Data Sufficiency, Scatter Plots and Bar Charts, etc.

  • General Knowledge – Reading of General Knowledge books, journals, magazines will help to have a strong grip in this section. Focus should be rendered on the following topics- History, Currency, Invention, Geography, National Capital, Culture, Books and authors, Personalities, Important Dates, Films, Science and Business, Current affairs, etc.

How to prepare for XAT in 6 months – To Solve Practice Papers and Mock Tests

Currently pursuing MBA at XIM BhubaneswarXAT 2018 Topper, Isha Parasramka after scoring 93.3 percentile says, “Focus more on mastering the mocks and notes to have a tactical approach.” The sections on Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation are quite similar to those of the Common Aptitude Test (CAT). Therefore, candidates preparing for CAT will find it easy to cope with the XAT questions based on these sections. Also, a number of websites provide practice tests on Data Interpretation, Verbal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Mathematics. Specialised question banks for the XAT are made available for aspiring test takers. Intense practice will not only help in increasing accuracy but also aid in becoming proficient in managing the time.


Analysis of mock tests is an integral part of XAT preparation. Priyadarshi Dasgupta, a student of XLRI and XAT 2017 topper who secured 99.72 percentile states, “Just taking mocks is not enough. You must also work on the aspects that you assess in these tests. A section-wise preparation strategy and topic-wise break-up is extremely helpful and gives you an idea of what to focus on.” Self-assessment is the best way to rectify one’s flaws; however, one may resort to external help to analyse the mock and the practice tests on a regular basis.


How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months – Time Management

As all are aware that the total duration of XAT is quite lengthy in compared to other entrance examinations (3:35 hours), therefore the time management plays a pivotal for clearing the exam. XAT 2018 Topper Akash Senapati, currently pursuing management studies in XIM Bhubaneshwar comments, “Time management skills can only be developed after taking mock exams.”


According to XAT 2017 Topper Kunal Choudhary who secured 99.97 percentile, “The most important factor to remember during the test is not to waste time on a particular question. One must follow a ‘10 second’ rule which states, give only 10 seconds to a question, mark an answer if you are confident, else move away to another question.” Kunal had devoted 45 minutes for each section and remaining 15 minutes to maximise his score. In the initial 45 minutes of each section, he ensured that the number of attempts can pull the sectional scores above the past sectional cut-offs. It is vital to read the question thoroughly and make a quick decision on whether one wants to go for the question or not!


How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months- What to Read

To clear the academic concepts pertaining to the sections of the XAT exam, it is imperative to read books/study materials written by the experienced authors. It aids in knowing the sections with clarity; thus resulting in scores beyond average.

Here is the list of books for section-wise preparation recommended by toppers to crack XAT 2019.


XAT Preparation Books

Name of Section

Name of Books and Study Materials

Quantitative Ability

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests For Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K Verma

  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha

Data Interpretation:

  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  • The Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency by Ananta Ashisha

Verbal Ability

  • Word Power Made Easy Book by Norman Lewis

  • High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren, Martin

  • The Students' Companion Book by Wilfred D.Best

  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis.

  • Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the C ATby Arun Sharma

  • Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal

  • Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations by T.I.M.E.

Logical Reasoning

Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr. R.S. Agarwal

How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months – Be Positive

For any test aspirants, it is important to remain focused throughout the preparation tenure. Many times candidates give up due to stress and demotivation. Failures are bound to come across during the preparation period of six months; however, one should not lose hope and stop his/her preparation mid-way. Aspiring test takers should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and considering the same should jot down their study plan which should not be ideal but a realistic one! In order to stay motivated, candidates may try their hands on yoga, meditation, leisure-time activities, outdoor games etc. It is advised to take small breaks during the preparation to keep oneself rejuvenated. XAT 2018 Topper Rebecca Yesuvadian says, “Hard-work and dedication are a must. But smart work is also necessary. Don’t follow others blindly. Don’t ever give up and eventually you will reap the most bountiful success.”


Now that the aspirants know how to prepare for XAT in six months, it is time to pull up the socks and prepare well to crack XAT 2019.

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