XAT 2018 Last Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines
Sreetama Datta, 05 Jan 2018, #XAT

XAT 2018 Last Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines - The final countdown for Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2018 has begun. The exam scheduled on Sunday, January 7, 2018, is just few hours away. While candidates must have prepared well for the exam day, this article of Careers360 brings XAT 2018 last minute tips and exam day guidelines help them analyse which areas to focus on at this point of time.

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XAT 2018 Last Minute Tips and Exam Day Guidelines


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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 2018 followed by last minute preparation and exam day strategy.


Practical Tips for XAT 2018

  • Carry your Admit Card – Candidates have to carry 2 hard copies of the XAT 2018 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 2018 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 2018 will be held in computer based mode for the first time. Unlike previous years, candidates need not bring stationary items like pen/pencil. They would be provided rough sheets and pen in the exam centre. 

  • What not to carry – The items which will not be allowed inside the test center include mobile phones, calculators or similar electronic equipments. 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 2018 Exam Day Guidelines

  • The duration of XAT 2018 will be 3.35 hours, from 10 AM to 1:35 PM. The duration of Paper 1 is first part is 170 minutes. This part will include 75 objective type questions from three sections, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Decision Making & Analytical Ability. Paper 2 will be of 35 minutes duration including GK and Essay writing sections.

  • The essay has to be written on paper, which will be provided by the exam centre authorities
  • Candidates have to take seat in the test hall according to the CRN (Centre Registration Number).

  • The demo test will be held from 9.30 AM to 10 AM.

  • Candidates have to complete Paper 1 by 12:50 PM and the Paper 2 by 1:35 PM.

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

  • Test takers will not be 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.

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 2018 Exam Taking Strategy


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


XAT 2018 Exam Pattern and Structure



No. of Questions (Tentative)

Total Marks

Total Time

Negative Marking

Part 1

Decision Making



170 Min

  • 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)


Part 2

General Knowledge (GK)



40 Min

  • No Negative Marking

Essay Writing

1 essay

Time allocation


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

  • Verbal and Logical Ability - 45 minutes

  • Decision Making - 55 minutes

  • Quantitative Ability - 70 minutes 

"An alternate approach would be to spend 45 minutes in each of the three sections and use the remaining 35 minutes in the section(s) in which you can maximize your score," he says.


Puri further suggests the section wise strategy as given below.


XAT 2018 Last Minute Tips


Let us now look at each section of Paper 1 separately


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. Vocab based questions have also appeared in this section.

  • Reading Comprehension contributed to over half the questions in this section, most of the earlier XAT papers had around one-third questions from RC. While the passages were not lengthy (500 - 600 words), they were difficult to read and about half of these questions were inferential.

  • In this section 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 25 questions in this section, you should target attempting 18-20 questions. If this section is your strength area, then you can target up to 25 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 behavioral 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. Till last year it was advisable not to spend too much time on these but with the extra time this year and also with the expected level of difficulty to be lower, these too should be attempted. 

  • In 55 minutes that you devote to this section, out of the 22 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 after the extremely simple QA section of CAT, 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 that were once the mainstay of this section are 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 could 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 and if QADI is your strong area, then you should target almost all questions in 70 minutes. Average students should target 17-20 questions. The three round approach and SQC techniques will work here. Check this out in the past XAT papers. 

Papar 2: Essay and General Knowledge - 35 minutes

  • General Knowledge (25 questions): Though the General Awareness section will not be included in determining the percentiles and the cut off in the first stage of the selection process, it still is paramount. Your SIS has sufficient resources for this section. 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 marks.

  • Essay: Like GK, essay is not used for short listing of candidates for the 2nd stage by XLRI, it is evaluated at the time of interview by the panel and unless it is very poorly written, you should not have any problem. Practise writing a coherent, crisp 250 word essay in 20 minutes on topics that XAT has asked in the past. The evaluators not only look for language skills, but also for the thought process involved, the spectrum of ideas, and your knowledge pertaining to the topic at hand. Having a fair knowledge of the contemporary topics will give you an edge. Reading the editorials from your daily newspaper will be useful not only for writing the essay but also for the group discussions and the interviews.= 

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