XAT 2014: Interview - Prof. Vishwa Ballabh, Admission Chairperson of XLRI Jamshedpur
Ashish Jha, 06 Aug 2014, #XAT
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XAT registration for academic session 2014-16 ended on December 2. Likewise CAT numbers, XAT registration number also went south as compared to last year. In this interview with Careers360, Prof. Vishwa Ballabh, Admission Chairperson of XLRI Jamshedpur, the institute which conducts XAT,  shares his insights on declining registrations and related aspects of MBA education domain.

To prepare for XAT 2014 click here

He also speaks on XAT 2014 exam pattern, XAT 2014 exam format, XAT accepting institutes and other dimensions of XAT 2014. He also explains why XAT continues to be a one-day test in paper-pencil format.

For any doubts and questions related to the exam pattern, preparation and other related queries, students can call the XAT Exam Helpline at 011-40360360.


Interview Excerpts:

Prof-BallabhProf Vishwa Ballabh

This year, we are increasing difficulty level of the exam.I will advice that candidates should not spend too much time on a particular question. If they are not able to crack it in average allotted time, they should move forward. They need to be very careful in selecting and choosing the questions.

Careers360.com:   XAT 2014 registration has closed. How was the response?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: Yes, the registration process ended on December 2. We recorded about 89,400 registrations.

Careers360.com:   CAT registration this year witnessed a significant decline. How is XAT registration number in comparison to last year?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: We had around 92,000 registrations for XAT last year. This year, the number of candidates registering for XAT is merely 3% less than the last year.  We however expect the actual test takers to be nearly the same as last year’s number.

Careers360.com:  The registration numbers for CAT and XAT indicate to waning interest in MBA education. Do you see this as a definitive trend?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: First of all, I would again emphasize that our number has not declined significantly. Secondly, I think that candidates are today guided by current economic and market scenario and news and information related to the same is overwhelmingly occupying their mind. They are more governed by the circumstances and short term insights instead of long-term prospect which an MBA degree presents to them. 
I personally believe that it is fortune time to go for an MBA. By the time, students of 2014-16 batch pass out, market would be robust and there will be enough job opportunities. I feel that the economy will definitely bounce back before next one and a half years.

Careers360.com:  You argue that economy will bounce back and there will be bright opportunities for those students who enter into MBA programmes now. Why don’t candidates understand this long-term prospect? Is there a communication gap?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: Yes. There is a combination of factors. We have not been able to put this thought in right way.

All media organization and news channels have portrayed a gloomy picture of current economic scenario and that must have led many candidates to drop their plans to pursue an MBA degree. 

I think there need to be more intellectual level communication, but we have not been able to project the true picture on the bright career opportunities and possibilities.  There might have been some lapse on our part as well.

Careers360.com:  How many B-schools will be accepting XAT score this year?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: This year a total of 116 B-schools have registered with us for XAT scores. The number has increased as compared to last year when a total of 110 management institutes had associated with us for using XAT scores.
Besides XLRI Jamshedpur, many other top B-schools including XIMB, XISS Ranchi,  XIME Bengaluru, LIBA Chennai, SPJIMR Mumbai, MICA, IMT, We School- Mumbai, TAPMI Manipal, VIT Business School accept XAT score to shortlist candidates for their admission process.

Careers360.com:   How will be the exam pattern of XAT this year?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh:  This year, we are increasing difficulty level of the exam which is scheduled to be held on January 5, 2014 across India in a Paper-Pencil format.
The exam pattern for XAT 2014 has also undergone changes as compared to XAT 2013.  The exam will now consist of two parts, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 is objective paper with multiple choice questions. The sections of this paper are Verbal Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude and General Awareness.
The Part 2 of XAT will be subjective in nature. It will consist of the Essay Writing section. The duration of the Essay Writing question will be around 20 minutes.
There will be around 80 to 90 questions in paper 1. The total duration of XAT 2014 exam will be 2 hours 40 to 45 minutes.  Each question will carry 1 mark for right answer and the wrong answer will invite negative marking of 0.25 marks.


Careers360.com:   This year CAT has drawn criticism for long testing windows and computer-based testing as it ran the risk of leaked questions on social media during the exam window. Are you going to stick with one-day paper-pencil format for XAT?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh:  Yes, we are going to stick with it and not going to change it as we believe that our country is digitally divided. The computer based testing brings disadvantage to those who are not well-familiar with such machines. But a paper-pencil test eliminates such discrimination.
Also, the one-day testing across India brings a lot of seriousness amongst candidates. This also keeps the testing free from technical glitches and skepticism on varied level of difficulty of the test paper.

Careers360.com:  Have you added any new centre for XAT this year?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: Yes. We have a new test centre in Udaipur this year in addition to all existing test centres.

Careers360.com:   What is your message to the XAT takers?

Prof Vishwa Ballabh: XAT takers should put in their honest effort during the exam. I will advice that candidates should not spend too much time on a particular question. If they are not able to crack it in average allotted time, they should move forward. They need to be very careful in selecting and choosing the questions.

The XAT 2014 Admit Card download will start from Tuesday, December 18, 2013 to Tuesday, December 31, 2013. The XAT 2014 results will be announced on Friday, January 31, 2014.


Also Read:

XAT Trends Over 10 Years and Preparation Tips

After CAT, XAT 2014 Registration Number Declines


Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on XAT and MBA admissions.

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Questions related to XAT

Showing 734 out of 734 Questions

If I apply with my CAT and XAT score, do they consider the better of the two or the average?

Bhaskar Nakkina Student Expert 12th Dec, 2019


CAT is a National level Common Admission Test to get admission in IIM's and Some Business Schools to pursue Post Graduation in Management i,e PGDM/MBA. XAT is also another National level exam Conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur for admission to MBA/PGDM Course. Some Business Schools offers CAT and some other XAT. I suggest you to apply CAT exam because you can get admission in IIM's through CAT but not XAT. If you have written Same exams, and the College accepts both you can apply through only One particular exam Score which is better.


Hello, my academic records is not at par. my 10th was 64 percent, 12th was 50 percent and grad ia 40 percent! 2nd division. i have very good profesional records in private sector with muktiole awards and associated with NGOs. could u tell me that if I prepare for XAT am i b able to get into XLRI?

Munish Chopra Expert 11th Dec, 2019

Hi Rishi,

For admission in XLRI  PGDM (BM) and PGDM (HRM), there is no minimum percentage of marks in graduation.

However, PGDM in General management requires a bachelor's degree and five years of managerial experience.

Fyi, last date to apply was December 10, 2019.


could you provide a link for last 5 year xat questions with answer key?

Pachigolla Hemanth 9th Dec, 2019

Hello Vindya Kumari,

Total time for exam is 180 mins and it contains Verbal and Logical Ability , Decision Making ,Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and General Knowledge (GK) questions and there is negative marks for very wrong answer i.e 0.25 and also 0.05 marks for very 8 unanswered questions.Below link gives the previous questions with answers ,you can download it.


Hope this helps you..


I have 59% in my 10th boards, but that was from other board, that was IGCSE(international board of England), then I got 60.04% in my 12th boards, and it was from CBSE, and in my engineering graduation, I get in my 60s aggregate, and now I am in third year, will I be eligible to sit for xat exam?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 6th Dec, 2019


xat stands for xaviours apptitude test, and there is no minimum marks criteria for appear in xat exam. a candidate need to have a bachelors degree or appearing in final year of bachelor degree program can apply for xat exam. the graduation degree duration should be atleast of 3 years course study in any discipline from a recognized university.

hope it would help.

1 View

What is the cutoff for OBC in CAT & XAT for IRMA ? What is the good percentile to get converted in IRMA for OBC NCL?

rishabh5978@gmail.com 5th Dec, 2019

Hello there. Hope you are doing good. I would like to tell you that the cutoff varies every year. There are several factors determining the cutoff such as:-

  • Number of candidates appearing in IRMASAT 2020 exam.
  • Level of difficulty of  IRMASAT exam.
  • Number of candidates passing IRMASAT 2020

However, based on previous years cutoffs, it is expected that the Cat and XAT cutoff for OBC NCL candidates will be somewhere around 70 percentile. For your reference, I am sharing a link with you which consists of all the necessary information of the exam along with the expected cutoff.


I hope you found this answer helpful. God luck for your future.

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