XAT 2018: Paper based essay writing despite computer based test

XAT-2018-pattern-remains_sameThe Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), which has been traditionally following a paper-pencil based mode, has taken a major shift and will be computer-based from 2018 onwards. Although the mode of test may have now changed to become computer-based, the exam pattern will remain the same as that of last year. However, the subjective part of the test, Essay Writing, has to be attempted in paper-pencil based mode itself. Talking about this pattern, Fr. Antony Uvari, the XAT 2018 Convenor says, “It will be very similar to the previous XAT. Candidates will also continue to write their essays on paper.”

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XLRI Jamshedpur, the conducting body of XAT, decided to convert the mode of exam to Computer Based Test (CBT) from 2018 onwards. While speaking on the rationale behind changing the mode of the exam, Fr. Uvari states, “The CBT eco-system has grown in the country in last two to three years. It has reached a level where it is possible for us to conduct XAT in a single seating.” SIFY will be the online testing partner for XAT 2018.


Till last year, XLRI's reason for not holding the test in a CBT mode was given as, “XAT ensures that all the candidates from varying backgrounds are at par. We believe that the paper-pencil mode with the same difficulty level will provide a level-playing field to all the test takers without any discrimination. XAT aims to select the most appropriate candidates who wish to pursue management education.”


XAT exam pattern to remain same


According to the Convenor, the XAT 2018 exam pattern will remain same as last year. Minor changes may be introduced, but that has not been specified yet. Talking about the continuation of the same exam pattern, Fr. Uvari mentions, “There will be no major changes in terms of exam pattern or structure, as XAT is a tried and tested method of assessing candidates’ ability.”


The following table brings to you XAT 2018 exam pattern which was followed last year.

XAT Exam Pattern



Number of Questions

Total Marks


Negative Marking

Paper 1

Decision Making



170 Min

  • 0.25 for any wrong answer

  • 0.05 for more than 13 unattempted questions

Verbal and Logical Ability



Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)



Paper 2

General Knowledge (GK)






35 Min

  • No Negative Marking

Essay Writing

1 essay



While all the objective-type sections have to be answered by clicking the correct option through the mouse, the essay has to be written on paper which will be provided by the exam authorities.


The three sections of Paper 1 are collectively of 170 minutes or 2 hours and 50 minutes duration. Paper 2 will begin after a break of five minutes. The total duration of Paper 2 is 35 minutes. The marking scheme will also remain the same as last year. The timing of the exam will be from 10 am to 1.30 pm.


The application process for XAT 2018 has started from August 16, 2017. The last date to apply without late fees is November 30 and that with the late fee is December 15, 2017. XAT 2018 will be conducted on January 7, 2018 in the CBT mode for the first time.


Also Read

XAT 2018: Application process begins on Aug 16; Online test on Jan 7

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First Published On : 06 Sep 2017 12:57 PM IST

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