XAT Exam Pattern 2020
Vikas Gaur, 19 Mar 2019, #XAT
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XAT Exam Pattern 2020 - XAT exam pattern lays down the complete information about XAT test. Candidates who wish to appear for the exam must possess good knowledge about the exam pattern of XAT 2020 as it will help them to structure their preparation. By knowing the XAT exam pattern 2020 beforehand, candidates would get familiar with the type of questions and other details pertaining to XAT 2020. The past year has witnessed certain changes in XAT 2020 exam pattern. Earlier the exam was of 3 hours 30 minutes and now it is merely three hours. According to new XAT exam pattern, there is no essay. In this article by Careers360, XAT aspirants can check all the relevant details related to exam pattern of XAT 2020, previous year trends, type of questions asked and sections.

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XAT 2020 Exam Pattern:

XAT exam pattern has undergone some changes in terms of duration and sections. Let's have a glance at the modified XAT 2020 exam pattern.

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Exam Pattern of XAT 2020 - Overview: 


Total Marks Allotted 

No. of Questions 

Negative Marking 

Total Time 

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 



0.25 marks for any wrong answers.

0.05 marks for more than 8 unattempted questions. 

180 Minutes

Verbal and Logical Ability (VA and LR)


Decision Making (DM) 


General Knowledge (GK)



XAT Exam Pattern 2020 - Marking Scheme

All the questions carry one mark each. XAT 2020 will have negative marking as well; 0.25 or ¼ will be deducted for every incorrect answer. Questions that are left unattempted would also have negative marking. Last year, if there were more than 8 unattempted questions, then there was a deduction of 0.1 marks for each unattempted question. Now the number has increased from 8 to 12 from 2018 onwards. 

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Sections: XAT 2020 is divided into 4 sections:

  • Verbal And Logical Ability

  • Decision Making

  • Data Interpretation

  • General Knowledge

Duration: The duration of the XAT 2020 will be of 3 hours (180 minutes).

Mode of exam: XAT 2020 will be conducted in a computer-based mode. Candidates will be assigned a computer where they will have to answer the questions that are displayed on the screen. They will have to choose the right answers from the given set of options given. Candidates will also be provided with rough sheets during the test. 

XAT Exam Pattern- Previous Year’s Trend


Total no. of questions and duration 

Marking Scheme 

XAT 2018

Essay Topic: 1 

Duration: 210 minutes 


GK: 25

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for each incorrect response

  • 1 mark will be awarded for each question answered correctly 

  • 0.05 marks will be deducted for a maximum of 8 questions that are left unanswered left unattempted 

XAT 2017

Essay Topic: 1 

Duration: 210 minutes 


GK: 25

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for each incorrect response

  • 1 mark will be given for each correct answer

  • 0.05 marks will be subtracted, for a maximum of 12 questions left unattempted left unattempted 

XAT 2016

Essay Topic: 1 

Duration: 210 minutes 


GK: 25

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for each incorrect response

  • 1 mark will be added for each correct response

  • 0.05 marks will be subtracted, for a maximum of 13 questions left unattempted             

XAT 2015

Duration: 140 minutes 

MCQ’s: 78

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for each incorrect response

  • 1 mark will be added for each correct response

XAT 2014

Essay Topic: 1 

Duration: 210 minutes

MCQ’s: 83 

GK: 20 

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for each incorrect response

  • 1 mark will be added for each correct response

Instructions for XAT 2020: 

Apart from the marking scheme and duration of the test, the other important aspects of XAT exam pattern are given below: 

  • While attempting XAT 2020, it is not mandatory for the candidate to answer all the questions at one go. 

  • As per the exam pattern of XAT 2020, while answering the questions, there will be a timer on the right-hand side corner of the computer screen to track of the time.

  • There is no specified sequence which the candidate has to follow while answering the questions. 

  • While responding to the questions, candidates will get to know how many questions they have answered and how many are still left unattempted. 

  • During XAT, candidates will have the option to change the response to a particular question if they feel it is incorrect. 

  • Candidates will have an opportunity within the given time frame to answer any question if they did not respond to it earlier.

  • According to XAT exam pattern, the candidate will get to see one question at a time 

  • On responding to the answer, the candidate will have to click on ‘next question’ or click ‘previous question’, if they want to go back. 

  •  Another aspect of the exam pattern of XAT is that the candidates would get an opportunity to change the response by using the ‘Erase’ button at the bottom of the screen.

  • On the bottom of the screen, candidates would get to see ‘Tag’ and ‘De-Tag’ tabs. By using these tabs, candidates will be able to review a particular question later on. They can use the ‘De-tag’ tab to remove the bookmark. 

  • In order to know the status of every question as per the XAT exam pattern, on the right hand of the computer screen, candidates would see a question palette. This palette has different colours and each of them indicates the status of every question. 




Purple colour represents that the question has been answered and marked for review 


Yellow colour represents that the question hasn't been answered and kept for review


 White colour represents that the question hasn't been answered 


Green colour represents that the question has been answered 


Note: The questions that are marked for review or attempted will be considered as attempted unless the candidate uses the ‘Erase’ button on the screen.

  • Whenever a candidate press on ‘previous question’ or ‘next question’ tab then the selected answers are saved automatically. 

  • ‘Preview Submit’ Button: When a candidate finishes the XAT exam within the allotted time, then they may click on ‘preview submit’ button. However, candidates are not allowed to exit from the examination hall. They can only leave the hall after the completion of stipulated time (3 hours) 

  • Most of the selections made by the candidates will be on an autosave mode. 

XAT 2020 Syllabus

XAT 2020 does not have a specific syllabus. Most of the interested candidates refer to the previous years' question papers and XAT sample papers. However, there is set of standard when it comes to XAT exam. The test will primarily be divided into four sections: 

  • Verbal And Logical Ability: This section includes questions on fill in the blanks, reading comprehension, vocabulary, sentence correction. 

  • Decision Making: This section comprises questions on analytical reasoning, arithmetic, situational 

  • Data Interpretation: Questions in this section will be from algebra, data analysis and interpretation, data sufficiency, table, bar charts, scatter plots, arithmetic, etc 

  • General Knowledge: In the general knowledge section of XAT 2020, candidates will get to answer questions from history, culture, books, films, philosophy, economics. 

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