XAT 2017 Topper Interview: Previous year papers are the best bet, says 99.96 percentiler Anish Narula
Tenzin pema, 29 Sep 2017, #XAT
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Anish Narula simply believes that entrance exam is nothing but the test of one's temperament. If you’re preparing for an exam, simply keep your cool on the exam day and everything else will be fine. He followed the same advice during his preparation journey and of course on the exam day as well. And, when the result of XAT 2017 was out, he was one of the XAT toppers securing 99.96 Percentile. He grabbed the admission offer from XLRI, Jamshedpur and has begun his dream journey of studying at one of the finest management schools in the country. Apart from XAT, Anish also appeared for CAT 2016 and scored 98.15 Percentile.

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Anish’s result in XAT 2017 shows that temperament along with other factor's such as previous year's papers was the real key for success at entrance exams like  CAT. In this interview with Careers360, he tells us how he kept his cool during the entire preparation journey and other preparation tips.


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Read the full interview here:


Careers360: Congratulations on your admission to XLRI. What was your overall and sectional score in XAT 2017? Did you appear for any other entrance exam? If yes, please share the score.

AnishThank you so much for your wishes. My overall percentile in XAT 2017 was 99.963. Here is my sectional score: Quantitative Ability (QA) – 98.898, Verbal and Logical Ability (VLA) - 99.646 and Decision Making (DM) - 99.686. 

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I also appeared for CAT. My overall percentile in CAT 2016 was 98.15.


Careers360: Apart from XLRI, which other B-schools made admission offers to you? Why did you decide to join XLRI? 

Anish: I was offered admissions from IIM-S, IIFT and NMIMS but I decided to join XLRI as it’s an old and very much established institute and recognised all over India.


Careers360: Please share your preparation journey. How did you strike a balance between your academic/professional life and preparation for an entrance exam? 

Anish: Entrance exams are a test of your temperament. It is very important to keep your cool during the preparation. I took a break from my job to prepare for entrance exams. So, it wasn’t an issue for me.


Careers360: What was your section-wise strategy for Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)? 

Anish: DM and verbal were my strong areas. So, I spent more time on solving all the easy and medium-level questions in these sections. During the exam, one thing I ensured was to solve as many questions as I could.


Careers360: How did you prepare for XAT’s exclusive sections - Decision Making and Essay Writing? 

Anish: DM is technically just a different type of RC (Reading Comprehension). If you are good at RC, DM shouldn’t be a problem. Solve previous years’ problems on DM to get a hang of it.


Careers360: Mention section-wise books and study materials you referred during XAT preparation. 

Anish: Previous years’ question papers are your best bet. Also, solve CL's or TIME's test series if you feel the need. If you are weak at verbal or RC or DM, go for CL's night classes. Gejo Sir’s lectures are very helpful. And, look at the way he solves the paper. He has a few videos on YouTube as well. Go through them as well.


Careers360: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary for aspirants to bag the top rank? 

Anish: It completely depends on an individual and how confident he/she is. In my opinion, test series are very important. I enrolled for XAT night classes by CL but hardly attended any lectures apart from Gejo’s sessions on Verbal and RC.


Careers360: What is the significance of mock tests in your success? When did you start taking mocks and what was the frequency? 

Anish: I think mocks help a lot in devising an exam strategy which is the key for cracking such exams. I started taking mocks a week after my CAT exam. This helped me analyse my weak areas and plan my preparation. I used to solve one mock test every week.


Careers360: What was your section-wise time management strategy on the exam day? 

Anish: I divided the exam time into three slots and kept a buffer of 10 mins. It all depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Try to capitalise on your strengths and ensure you get above 90 percentile in all sections.


Careers360: This year, XAT exam was computer-based for the first time. What are your thoughts on it? 

Anish: The mode of exam hardly makes any difference. Just keep your cool during the exam and practice a lot before that


Careers360: Apart from the regular classes, projects and assignments, what other non-academic activities you were involved in? Share your experiences about them. 

Anish: I was involved in organising the technical festival of my college. All these things don’t help you directly in cracking the interview but you have many instances which you can share with the panel during an interview. So, being involved gives you exposure which is always helpful. 


Careers360: How has your journey been at XLRI so far?

Anish: I am not sure about other B-schools but life at XLRI is no child’s play. The first term is the real test of your mettle. It makes you redefine your limits. It’s no bed of roses. It prepares you for what lies ahead, the corporate world. You do so many anyway things in such short time and get to learn a lot which I don’t think you can anywhere else. But all this while, there is the XL Culture, which ensures you make through. It gives you guidance. It doesn’t protect you but makes you stronger so that you are able to face any situation yourself. It's something worth working hard for.


Careers360: Any suggestion that you would like to share with aspirants?

Anish: These exams hugely depend on your exam temperament. Along with your preparation, make sure that you are not stressed and are able to keep your cool during those 3 odd hours of XAT 2018


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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.


how can I get a mba scholarships based on xat and mat entrance exams

Pranav Mishra 3rd Dec, 2019

Hello Aspirant,

You can easily get a scholarship if you get good marks in XAT and MAT exams from different colleges, As they offer scholarship in the form of fees reduction to those students who have got a good marks in different management entrance exam for example college like BIMTECH GREATER NOIDA offers scholarship to students who got more than 85 percentile in CAT, So you start finding those colleges who provides this scholarship than apply to that college and than should ask for the scholarship according to your marks or percentile.

I hope the above information is beneficial for you.

All the best.

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