XAT 2020 Last Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines
Updated on Jan 16, 2020 - 4:54 p.m. IST by Sreetama Datta
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XAT 2020 Last Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines - The answer key of XAT 2020 has been released by XLRI on January 9, 2020. The exam scheduled on Sunday, January 5, 2020, is just a few days away. While candidates must have prepared well for the exam day, this article of Careers360 brings XAT 2020 last minute preparation tips and exam day guidelines to help them analyse which areas to focus on at this point of time.
Latest: Candidates can check the XAT 2020 answer key here. Also, check the cutoff of XAT 2020.

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XAT 2020 Last-Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines

For every exam, there are two aspects to give the best shot. The practical aspect and the exam taking methodology. We will first share with you the practical tips for XAT 2020 followed by last-minute preparation and exam day strategy.

Practical Tips for XAT 2020

  • Carry your Admit Card – Candidates have to carry 2 hard copies of the XAT 2020 admit card. Ensure that a recent passport size photograph is pasted in the space provided. Unless the photograph is pasted on the admit card, candidates will not be allowed to enter XAT 2020 exam centre. Test takers should not sign on the space provided before the exam day as it has to be done only in the presence of the invigilator.

  • Documents to carry – Along with the admit card, candidates have to carry your original Identity Card including PAN Card, Voter ID Card, Passport, Driving License etc.

  • Stationery items XAT 2020 was held in the computer-based mode for the second time. They provided rough sheets and pen in the exam centre/hall.

  • What not to carry – The items which will not be allowed inside the test centre include mobile phones, calculators or similar electronic equipment. Books, papers, notebooks, pen, pencil etc. are also included in the list of restricted items.

  • Reach exam centre on time – The test takers have to report to the exam centre one hour prior to the exam schedule. Since the exam will start from 10 AM, candidates have to report by 8.45 AM.

XAT 2020 Exam Day Guidelines

  • The duration of XAT 2020 was 3 hours, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The first three sections (Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Decision Making & Analytical Ability) will have 74 questions and GK section will have 25 questions.

  • Candidates have to take the seat in the test hall according to the CRN (Centre Registration Number).

  • All rough work has to be done in the margin of the test booklet. No extra rough sheet will be provided.

  • Test takers were not allowed to leave seat before the Invigilator personally collects the rough/essay sheet from you at the end of the Test and instructs you to leave the Test Hall.

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XAT taking instructions

  • Only one question will be displayed on the computer screen at a time. The candidates should click on 'Next Question' to go to the next question or on 'Previous Question' button provided at the bottom of the screen to go to the previous question.

  • The candidate should click on the correct choice, from the five options given. In case, the candidate does not wish to attempt the question, it can be left blank.

  • The timer is available on the TOP RIGHT-HAND CORNER of the screen; candidates have to keep a tab on it to complete the exam within the allocated time.

  • The candidate can choose to unmark his/her answer by clicking the 'Erase' button provided at the bottom of the screen.

  • The questions can be answered in any order within the given time frame.

  • The list of attempted and un-attempted questions is shown in the right side of the screen. Candidates can click on any of the attempted ones to revise the answers in case they wish so.

  • Candidates have the option to bookmark a question in case they want to review it at a later stage by clicking on the 'Tag' button available at the bottom of the screen. The Bookmark on a particular question can be removed by clicking on the 'De-Tag' button provided at the bottom of the screen.

  • The question palette at the right of the screen shows the following status of each of the questions numbered-

[Green] You have answered the question

[Yellow] You have not answered the question and marked for review

[Purple] You have answered the question but marked for review

[White] You have not answered the question

PS: Questions which are attempted and marked for review would be treated as attempted questions only as long as the candidate does not 'Erase' the option selected.

  • Candidates should use the 'Next Question' OR 'Previous Question' button or click on the question number displayed on the right side of the screen to move back and forth between questions.

  • The answers will be saved whenever the candidate goes to the next question, by clicking on 'Previous Question' OR 'Next Question' button. However, the last question will be saved automatically after answering.

  • If a candidate finishes the paper within the stipulated time, he/she can end the test by clicking the 'Preview Submit' button. However, candidates will not be allowed to leave the test hall until the end of the stipulated time.

  • On the completion of the test duration, even if the candidate does not click on an answer or does not click on the 'Preview Submit' button, the result will be saved automatically by the computer.

XAT 2020 Exam Taking Strategy

The structure of the exam is given in the table below:

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XAT 2020 Exam Pattern and Structure


No. of Questions

Negative Marking

Decision Making


  • 0.25 marks for any wrong answer

  • 0.05 marks for more than 8 unattempted questions

Verbal and Logical Ability


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)


General Knowledge (GK)


Time allocation

Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher suggests the time allocation for the three sections could be:

  • Verbal and Logical Ability - 40 minutes

  • Decision Making - 50 minutes

  • Quantitative Ability - 60 minutes

  • General Knowledge - 30 minutes

Puri further suggests the section wise strategy as given below.

XAT 2020 Last Minute Tips - Sectionwise

Verbal and Logical Ability

  • The questions in this section consist mainly of questions from Critical Reasoning, Para Jumbles, Sentence Completion (multiple blanks), Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension.

  • The passages in this section are usually not very lengthy but difficult to read. Candidates are advised to read a lot and focus on strengthening vocabulary.

  • It is advisable to first attempt Para Jumbles, Sentence Completion, Cloze test and Vocabulary before moving on to the difficult and time-consuming part - Critical Reasoning, RC and Sentence Correction. You can expect an equal number of specific detail based and inferential questions. Reading the questions and then skimming the passage is not advisable.

  • Out of the approximately 26 questions in this section, you should target attempting 18-20 questions. If this section is your strength area, then you can target up to 26 attempts. However, do not attempt for the sake of attempting, if you are not sure of the answer, especially in Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction, leave them unattempted.

Decision Making

  • This section is unique to XAT. It consists of Behavioral and Mathematical decision making questions. The behavioural questions typically give data in the form of a passage in which a situation is described. The protagonist in the passage typically has a dilemma and needs to take a decision. In the questions that follow, you have to suggest the right course of action to be taken by the protagonist. The questions might even check your understanding of the decision. This is almost like Critical Reasoning or RC. The best way of solving these questions is to eliminate choices based on the parameters of fairness, legality and the desired end result. It is extremely important that you be completely objective and do not let your personal biases influence the decision.

  • The mathematical decision making questions are easy to handle if you consider them as DI sets or mathematical reasoning sets. These are, however, time-consuming (mostly) and should be attempted after the behavioral questions.

  • Out of the 21 odd questions, one should target attempting about 17-18 questions.

Quantitative Ability

  • XAT has promised a lower level of difficulty of the paper but still, this section in XAT will possibly justify your hard work and the preparation of QA. Questions appear from all areas of QA - Arithmetic, Number System, Algebra and Geometry. Base System and Mathematical Reasoning are mainstay of this section but unlikely to contribute more than a couple of questions. For practice, use your CAT material and but do not go beyond the Advanced Level problems of Test Gym Adaptive. You can also use the sectional tests in Test Gym Classic to get a good feel of what each section is like. DI sets are usually simple and do not create any problems in terms of understanding or solving.

  • In the past, about half the questions in this section have been easy and If XAT is true to its word then the percentage of easy questions should increase. If QADI is your strong area, then you should target almost all questions. Average students should target 17-20 questions. The three-round approach and SQC techniques will work here.

General Knowledge

  • General Knowledge (25 questions): The GK compendiums & question banks, GK videos of IIFT/SNAP/XAT, Gyandhara etc. are sufficient preparation to get a decent score. A very low score in this section could eliminate you from the final list of XLRI, so do not ignore GK. As usual, do not waste time on any particular question, if in doubt, leave and move on to the next question. To ensure a good chance of final selection in XLRI target a score of at least 5-8 marks.

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Questions related to XAT

Showing 839 out of 839 Questions

I am a CAT aspirant & have appeared for CAT, XAT,& SNAP & scored 90%ile. With acads 10th-7.4CGPA, 12th-82% & in graduation(2018)-64% with no work experience due to family problem. Would I able to secure a seat in good college? I have been shortlisted for TAPMI, FORE, IIMV for round one till now.

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 17th Feb, 2020


its true that iims and some of other top ranked institute shortlisted candidates as per their academic record and  cat or any other management aptitude  test score. see right now which of institute name you have mentioned is also comes under tier 1 college. now you need to focus on your presentation skills, communication approach  to get shortlisted in final rounds. so keep calm and focus on your goal, I think you will surely crack it.


XAT percentile is 66.725 10th percentage 95% 12th percentage 87.4% b.tech percentage 66.18% which colleges can I get?

Shivika Tyagi 16th Feb, 2020
You can apply in some average colleges with this percentile.

1) VIT Business school - vellore
2) Jagan Institute of management studies - Delhi
3) Prestige Institute of management - Gwalior
4) Mount Carmel Institute of management - Banglore
5) IFIM - bangalore
6) Amity University Noida

Hope it helps you. Good luck

how is IMI bhubneshwar ? whats the cat/xat cutoffs ? Curriculum and placements ?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 15th Feb, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

IMI Bhubhneswar is a good college and you will be able to get a call letter from the college if you have secured 60 percentile in any of the mba entrance exam. However the college does not offer good ROI. The college placement scenario is good. companies like Outlook magazine, Byju's, Jaro Education, ICICI bank, Varite, Executive B. School visit the collge for final placement. Average placement package is 6.5lpa to 11 LPA. For SIP the range of stipend for SIP is 7,500 to 25000 p. m. The ambiance at IMI Bhubaneswar offers a unique and complete learning experience with good infrastructure facilities.

Good Luck


I got 99 percentile in cmat and 91 percentile in Xat which college should I eligible?

ayush mishra 14th Feb, 2020

Jaineel, you have secured a very good score in CMAT and XAT Examination and this score would probably fetch you the admission to some of the top B-schools in the country. Also, the cutoff or the chances of your selection to any institute may also depends on your graduation credentials, gender, category status etc. and since you have not elaborated about it, so I would answer your query in a generic way. Although, there are many colleges which you can apply for as your scores would clear most of the cutoffs, however, here is a list of some of the top colleges which you may consider:-















Also, if you want to predict what best colleges you would get based on your scores and graduation credentials, you can visit these links




How should I prepare for XAT ? How much time should I devote to it apart from my course studies ?

Manisha Gupta Expert 13th Feb, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

Here are some preparation tips to prepare for XAT, You can follow given below.

You require strong analytical application to handle reasoning based questions. You need to handle the test challenges more confidently for Preparing the decision making section and the essay writing. Do practise as much you can & join Mock test. Overall you need to focus more on time management, prioritization and striking a right balance between speed and accuracy.

The books you can prefer

Quantitative aptitude for XAT by Arun Sharma
Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma
Verbal ability and reading comprehension by Arun Sharma

You can also prefer Career Launcher, T.I.M.E & IMS material for the preparation.

Good Luck!

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