XAT 2019: Last month preparation strategy
Sreetama Datta, 17 Dec 2018, #XAT
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XAT 2019: Last month preparation tips – XAT or the Xavier Aptitude Test is taken by approximately 90,000 candidates who aim to take admission in the prestigious XLRI Jamshedpur or  150 other B-schools across India. Scheduled on January 6, 2019, the XAT 2019 exam pattern has undergone some major changes this year. With less than a month to go for the XAT exam, Careers360 brings to you the XAT 2019 last month preparation strategy from toppers. 

Before going through the XAT 2019 last month preparation strategy, let us take a look at the XAT 2019 exam pattern. This year, XLRI has scrapped the essay writing section and the total duration of XAT 2019 has reduced from 3.5 hours to 3 hours. 

XAT 2019 Exam Pattern

Latest: [Download free Question Papers and Sample Paper of XAT, Click here]

Section

No. of Questions

Duration

Verbal and Logical Ability (VA & LR)

74

180 minutes/ 3 hours

Decision Making (DM)

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)

General Knowledge (GK)

25


Each question will carry 1 mark and for each wrong answer, 1/4th of the total marks allotted to a question will be deducted. There is negative marking of 0.05 marks also involved for unattempted questions as well, beyond eight.

XAT Sample Paper

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XAT 2019: Last month preparation strategy

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Mock tests: Candidates must have started taking mocks since the initial stages of preparation. At this stage, they have to continue taking the test and analyse the performance thoroughly to diagnose the persisting problem areas. In the last month before XAT 2019, along with taking full-length mock tests, candidates should ensure that they take sectional mock tests as well for the weaker sections. Aditi Srivastava, XAT 2018 topper with 97.88 percentile and XLRI Jamshedpur student shares, “I brushed up all my concepts and continued taking mocks. Three four days before the exam I stopped studying anything new and continued with sectional mocks.”

Solve past years’ question papers: XLRI has released the past year’s question papers for the candidates. Test takers should follow the pattern and question types of previous years’ papers in order to get insights into what to expect on the exam day. Ideally, one should solve the question paper in a proctored environment to get used to the actual exam day situation. 


Revise: Now that the aspirants have completed the XAT syllabus, they should focus on revising the topics. The weak areas or topics should be focused on as compared to the stronger areas. However, the strength areas should not be completely left out as well and one can brush up the topics a few days before the exam. The point is to maintain a balance between the strong and weak areas.  Aditya Kompella, who got 97.2 percentile in XAT 2018 and studying in XLRI says, “My last minute strategy was to revise the tricks I had learnt and practised for quantitative ability as well as brushing up my vocabulary from word cards.” Deepansh Gupta, another XLRI student mentions, “One month out, revise all your concepts. Go back to basics, and run through the concepts of each chapter. This will cement your preparation, and give you the reassurance that you will be able to solve any question on the test day.” 


Don’t start new topics: With less than a month to go, one should not start any new topics. It would be too late to start afresh, let alone revise them. Moreover, it is high time to decide which topics to leave out. Candidates who find some of the areas to be the toughest or beyond improvement should leave those out those areas. However, they should decide the topics also on the basis of the areas covered in XAT based on past years’ question papers. Anuj Sasikumar, 99.21 percentiler in XAT 2018 shares, “One month before the exam, I stopped learning new concepts and worked harder on the concepts I was good at.” 


Finalise exam day strategy: Candidates appearing for XAT 2019 should finalise the test taking strategy based on the mock tests they have taken so far. By now, they must have identified which strategy works best for them and stick by it. Ideally, one should start with the strong sections and topics and then move towards the tougher areas. Before attempting the exam, test takers should browse through the questions to select those which s/he is confident about and the order. Abhishek Gupte, 97.112 percentiler in XAT 2018 says, “In the last month, I tried to find various ways of solving those questions and planned on implementing the one that I am most comfortable with. This crucial measure helped a lot during the actual XAT.” Reiterating similar thoughts, Arya Balial, 99.63 perentiler says, “I focused more on the techniques, formulas and shortcuts for the quants, logical ability section as well as speed reading techniques for the verbal section.”


Practice to ensure accuracy and speed: XAT is a test of high speed and accuracy. There is a negative marking scheme for not just wrong answers but for unattempted questions beyond eight. As per the negative marking scheme of XAT, for each wrong answer, there is negative marking of 0.25, and for unattempted questions beyond eight, 0.05 marks negative marking is involved. Hence, not only would candidates have to ensure answering correctly, but also attempt as many questions as possible within the duration of three hours. Harshika Agrawal, 99.87 percentiler in XAT 2018 mentions, “Towards the last two months, I was focusing majorly on my accuracy and speed because exams like XAT required your in-depth knowledge and its application at the right time and the right pace. My last minute strategy was to attempt the questions correctly rather than attempting many questions with low accuracy.”

Sectional preparation tips

Take a look at the section wise preparation tips for XAT 2019 last month preparation strategy.

Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning – In the last month before XAT, one has to ensure that they have conceptual clarity on grammar and have a stronghold over the vocabulary. Practice and revision are the keys for the last month before the exam. Some of the basic points to follow for preparing the Verbal Ability part as suggested by Dehit Gupta of XLRI Jamshedpur are, “I would read editorials from good newspapers and then would summarise them in my own words. I started working on my vocabulary from an early stage of preparation with the help of ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis. I worked on other areas under this section using the coaching material I had mainly. For RC, I took the help of many online sources and GMAT material to practice. I would practice three to four RCs every day during the last four months of my preparation.”


Decision Making – This is one section which is unique to XAT. There is no fixed formula or syllabus to follow in order to crack the section. One has to select the most ethical solution among the options provided with the question in the form of caselet. Debrup Dutta Gupta shares, “Decision Making is one section that doesn’t come in any other MBA entrance examination and most students tend to leave out this section. But in XAT, this section becomes the make or break section at times and it is important you practice enough DM sets to be able to comprehend the same during the exam.” For this section, it is best to solve previous years’ question papers and sectional mock tests to get the hang of it. Dhrumeel Dutia, 98.37 percentiler in XAT says, “In DM, the options are of importance. Weigh each option logically, and being XAT, ethically. Many people have a knack for it, but those who don’t, solve as many questions you can and understand what kind of decision you are expected to take.”


Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation – This section would also require regular practice at this stage. XAT applicants who are facing accuracy issues must identify whether the issues are due to lack of understanding concepts or silly mistakes. While for the former there is not much time left to work upon as not even 30 days are left for the test, but one can give it a shot for few days with the help of mentors. If there is still no improvement, it is recommended to leave out those topics. In the case of the latter, practice is the way out. Akash Senapati of XIMB mentions, “I would recommend remembering the squares and cubes of first 30 natural numbers, as they come really handy when you are running short on time. Also, one can also take help from sites like ‘PagalGuy’ and ‘Lofoya’, if the study material provided by the institutes is exhausted.” Sharing the practice plan for this section, Rebecca Yesuvadian, another XIMB student with 97.26 percentile says, “ I took sectional tests on alternate days. Revised all formulas once a week.”   

General Knowledge – General Knowledge or General Awareness is one section where the more aware one is with the current affairs is, more s/he would be able to excel in the section. For XAT, along with the current affairs, static GK is also necessary. For preparing this section, Sukumar Padhy, XIMB student suggests, “For GK, it is always advisable to go through news feed in the last half an hour just before sleeping. I used to go through the Times of India app, In-shorts, Quirus among all others, which immensely helped me to enrich my current affairs.”

Maintain composure: Last but not least, maintaining a calm mind and composure during the last month before XAT 2019 is equally important along with preparation. If one is not mentally or emotionally at peace, the impact would definitely be on the final exam despite all efforts. Isha Parasramka, XAT 2018 93.3 percentiler and XIMB student says, “This is the time when you have to showcase your mental strength. All other entrance exams are over and it’s the last leg of the journey. People make two kinds of mistakes here. Either they get disheartened because of not performing up to their expectations in CAT, or they lose focus. You need to know that you still have a very big opportunity in front of you to make it to one of the best MBA colleges of the country, and thus work harder for this last few days. Keeping that in mind, it won’t be a bad idea to take a vacation for two to three days and rejuvenate yourself.”

XAT 2019 is scheduled on the first Sunday of January, from 10 AM to 1 PM. The admit card of XAT 2019 will be released on December 20, 2018, which will carry the details about the XAT 2019 exam centres. The XAT 2019 result will be declared on January 31, 2019. 

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