How to start XAT 2019 Preparation
Ranjini Basu, 01 Sep 2018, #XAT

How to start XAT 2019 Preparation - Xavier Aptitude Test, commonly known as XAT is a computer-based entrance exam administered by Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur on the behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). XAT 2019 will be conducted on Sunday, January 6, 2019, in a single session between 10 AM-1 PM. Quite a few alterations related to exam pattern and registration have been noticed after the announcement of official notification. As per the exam pattern of XAT, the Essay Writing section has been scrapped thereby slashing the duration of the test to three hours instead of 3 hours and 35 minutes. Now the exam will have four sections, namely Verbal and Logical Ability (VA & LR), Decision Making (DM), Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI) and General Knowledge (GK). Before delving deep into the intricacies of XAT exam, it is crucial to know how to start XAT 2019 preparation.

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There is always a first time, for everything. Doing something that is completely out of one’s comfort zone takes real courage and he/she tries to find reasons for avoiding it. But the same ‘self’ however, would be over the top when it comes to glorious scores and admission to top notch B-School. There cannot be any specific date and time to begin XAT 2019 preparation, for that matter any other entrance examination/s. As prospective test takers are usually fresh graduates, final year students, and working professionals, the ideal time to begin preparation for XAT is six-eight months prior to the date of examination. With more than 90,000 candidates pursuing the dream of cracking XAT, the question pattern has developed to be a competitive and challenging one.

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How to start XAT 2019 Preparation


XAT, the national level post-graduate entrance examination which primarily assesses the test-taker's aptitude in English, Mathematics and Logical Reasoning is the gateway to India's 150 premier management institutes like XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, IIFM Bhopal and other top B-schools which accept XAT score. Below mentioned are some valuable tips on how to start XAT 2019 preparation.


Strategic Planning

"Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan." - Margaret Thatcher.


It is not a mere statement, but the only means to attain success. The overriding challenge of a candidate is to stay ahead of the curve and create his/her niche strategy to accomplish that will be required by students and executives in the future.


Planning might include several aspects, namely preparing the routine, planning the study hours and mock tests, time management to name a few. Strategic planning incorporates understanding of the exam structure, syllabus, and pattern, knowing the concepts, compiling of mock tests, taking timed tests, analysing the same (self-analysis or external analysis), and finally practice to remain calm and composed.


Be well-versed with Exam Pattern

According to the revised exam pattern, XAT question paper will carry objective-type questions pertaining to four sections mentioned below. The official exam pattern for XAT 2019 is yet to be released. Based on last year’s pattern, the following table explains the most probable exam pattern of XAT 2019.


XAT Exam Pattern

Name of Sections

No. of Questions


Verbal and Logical Ability (VA & LR)


180 minutes/ 3 hours


Decision Making (DM)

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)

General Knowledge (GK)


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.


Know the Syllabus

Since XLRI will not release its official XAT syllabus 2019, Careers360 has projected a list of sectional topics suggested by the experts for the exam based on the previous years’ test pattern. The table provided below will explain further-


XAT Syllabus



Verbal and Logical Ability (VA & LR)

Vocabulary, Analogy-based on vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Sentence correction, Grammar, Fill in the blanks, Paragraph Formation Questions, Poem, etc.

Decision-Making (DM)

Arithmetic, Analytical Reasoning, Situational, etc.

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)

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 (GK)

History, Currency, Invention, Geography, National Capital, Culture, Books and authors, Personalities, Important Dates, Films, Science and Business, Current affairs, etc.

Sectional Preparation

The best way to start preparing for XAT 2019 is to divide the study-schedule as per the XAT sections. One can choose to start from either his/her weak or strong section/s. The burden of XAT exam will never be felt if aspirants follow the strategy of sectional preparation clubbed with sectional mocks.


Verbal and Logical Ability (VA & LR) – Candidates should note that the preparation of Verbal and Logical Ability is not a matter of three months or six months. They need to inculcate a consistent habit of improving on their basic verbal skills pertaining to English language.Verbal section demands a lot of practice. For solving the Reading Comprehension, one needs to grasp the topic and then answer the RC questions. Two reading passages everyday will be enough to gain competence in the same. For vocabulary, one can keep “Word Power Made Easy” handy.


Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI) – For acing the Quant section, aspirants’ focus should be more on the concepts and the short-cuts. It’s more about knowing the shortest method possible rather than just trying to find out the answer. XAT Topper Kunal Choudhary, who scored 99.97 percentile shares his valuable tips for QA section, “Make sure your basics are clear and try solving the incorrect question and then look into the solution and analyse the gap.”


Decision-Making (DM) - Preetam Modi, after securing 99.88 in XAT 2016 comments, “Decision Making is the most scoring section if answered ethically.” To improve on this section, one should work on mental calculation and try to juggle with information. Also aspirants should hunt for information from the data provided in the question. Also learning different tabular/tick-cross methods would be helpful. Solving previous years’ question papers would prove to be of immense help as the speed of calculation speed will definitely increase with practice.


General Knowledge (GK) – The only way to gain proficiency in this section is to be aware of all the recent happenings pertaining to business, culture, education, politics, current affairs, to name a few. Knowledge of History, Geography, Films, Science, Inventions and Discoveries will aid in securing high scores in GK.


Availing Resources

As goes for all exams, practice is the key to success, XAT is no exception. All aspirants are advised to undergo sectional preparation and each section demands attention. Academic experts and XAT toppers and experts often suggest the names of most useful books related to Decision Making (DM), Quantitative Ability (QA) & Data Interpretation (DI), and Verbal & Logical Ability. Candidates can make good use of all the available online and offline XAT e-books, video tutorials and timed online mock tests as well. To cope with the General Knowledge (GK) section, one cannot fix his/her focus on specific prescribed books but rather prepare by reading daily newspapers and magazines, namely, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times, The Week, Frontline, Outlook, Business World, The Statesman to name a few. “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” by Arun Sharma is one of the most recommended books for Quantitative Ability. “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary” by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis can be a good choice for Verbal Ability section and “Logical Reasoning for the CAT” by Nishit K. Sinha can be referred for Logical Reasoning section.


Solving Mocks and XAT Question Papers

Akash Senapati, who obtained 91.4 percentile in XAT 2018 and presently a student of XIM Bhubaneswar, says, “Time management skills can only be developed after taking mock exams.” He adds, “ My preparation strategy for XAT boiled down to three basic principles, namely, clearing the basics, daily practice, and frequent mocks.” As per most of the experts and toppers, selection of questions is the key to score well in XAT; but how to select the right question? This proficiency will only come with rigorous practice of mock tests. Additionally, XAT officials do not release any syllabus, so test takers are advised to solve at least 10 years’ XAT papers to understand the question types and patterns. As Isha Parasramka, one of the XAT 2018 toppers who secured 93.3 percentile, rightly says, “Focus more on mastering the mocks and notes to have a tactical approach to crack XAT.” It is equally important to have variety of analysis done on the tests a candidate takes; sectional analysis, area-wise analysis, time spent, difficulty level, etc. to judge one’s preparation level.


Managing the Time

The sole importance of XAT is attributed to Time Management. No matter how well candidates prepare for XAT 2019, it will be acknowledged only if one reflects his/her preparation on the paper. Completing exam within time by maintaining accuracy is what examiners will look at and that calls for half the success. To attain the same, one has to undergo rigorous practice; to be precise timed practice. Before appearing for the test, one is advised to take at least 20-25 mock tests and last 10 years’ XAT question paper. Kunal Choudhary says, “The most important factor to remember during the test is not to waste time on a 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.” 


Stay Calm but Be Focused

Aspirants should try to keep it simple with XAT preparation. In actual terms, it’s all about concepts, accuracy and solving as many questions as possible within the stipulated duration. One should never forget to keep believing in himself/herself. It is the time to be the witness of one’s own actions. So staying calm, yet focused should be the mantra! A student of XIM Bhubaneswar, Kriti Sinha, XAT 2018 topper with 90.8 percentile, says, “Don’t give up on yourself ever. I have seen many losing their enthusiasm as they near the tests. Whenever you feel like giving up, just think once why you actually started, that will keep you going.”


Also Read,

How to crack XAT 2019 in first attempt?

How to prepare for XAT 2019 in 6 months

How Toppers prepared for XAT

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