XAT 2021 section wise preparation strategy from experts and toppers - Xavier Aptitude Test popularly known as (XAT) conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur. It is a well known fact that XAT is a far cry from CAT. As per experts, it is one of the most difficult management entrance exams to crack. The XAT question paper consists of roughly 100 questions from Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation, English and Decision Making and General Awareness section. Till 2018, XAT exam is included with Essay writing and it is excluded from the XAT exam pattern. The total number of questions will be distributed into four sections and Quantitative Ability usually the larger section.

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XAT 2021 section wise preparation strategy from experts and toppers

High percentile in XAT can be achieved by knowing the section wise preparation strategy by previous year toppers and experts. By knowing what to study and how to handle various kinds of questions from different sections, can perform well in the Xavier Aptitude Test. During preparation, candidates must be clear about how much time they need to allot on every section. Here, we are going to discuss the XAT 2021 section wise preparation strategy, through this candidates can analyse how they can ace the XAT entrance test.

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Know the XAT Exam Pattern 2021

Be well versed with the XAT exam pattern before starting XAT exam preparation. Through this one will be able to manage their time and by knowing XAT paper patterns one will get to know his or her strong and weak areas. Apart from that candidates will get to know on which section they will have to focus more, so that they can score well and on which section they will need to work less.

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XAT 2021 Exam Pattern

Section name

Total marks alotted

Number of Questions

Negative marking

Total time

Verbal and Logical ability



0.25 marks will get deducted for every wrong answer

180 Minutes

Quantitative ability and Data Interpretation


Decision making


0.05 marks for more than 8 unattempted questions

General knowledge



XAT 2021 Marking Scheme:

Each question carries one mark and negative marking of 25% in case of wrong answer. There is no negative marking in the General Knowledge section.

XAT 2021 Section Wise Preparation Strategy: Topper’s Says

Here we have an opinion of previous year XAT topper Vandan Shah (99.704 percentile) says “This was my second attempt at XAT. Previously I scored 97.1 percentile. I had a call from XLRI BM but couldn’t convert it. So basically I started preparing for XAT 2020 from last year. But you have to be in constant touch and practice as the format and pattern of the test is quite challenging and different from other entrance exams”

Vandan added - I practice a lot from past year XAT question papers. Apart from that regularly giving the mocks helped me decide on how much time I need to dedicate to each section.

Another topper Satyam Sharma (98.123 Percentiler) shared his section wise and overall preparation strategy of XAT. Satyam Says - I started preparing for CAT and all other MBA entrance exams in May 2019. Both CAT and XAT have almost the same level of difficulty and syllabus (except for the Decision-making section in XAT). So I kept my focus on preparing for the Quants and Verbal Section of CAT which itself did the part for XAT. After the CAT was over, I started working on Decision Making questions and along with that, I kept revising the concepts of Quants which I had learned during CAT preparation.

XAT 2021 Preparation Strategy: English (Verbal Ability)

The first section of the XAT question paper is English and is divided into two subsections - Reading Comprehension and English Usage. While preparing one needs to do a lot of reading. While preparing, read at least two reading comprehension passages per day. Those who have good command over Grammar and Vocabulary can ace this section with ease, if not then take help from recommended books, newspapers, read journals and solve XAT sample papers. The Cracking Verbal section totally depends on one who can understand and use of English language.

Best Books for XAT 2020 English Section

Barron’s Dictionary

Word Power by Norman Lewis

High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren, Martin

For RCs, read fiction or nonfiction, different type of pieces, news or article followed by analytical introspection

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis

The Student’s Companion Book by Wilfred D. Best

XAT 2021 Preparation Strategy: Quantitative Ability

Quantitative Ability is one of the toughest sections of any management entrance exam. That is why it is important to get familiar with the type of questions asked in this section. The best part of QA section is the margin of error is little and sitters are rare. Candidates need to pick their questions wisely, because XAT demands one to attempt those questions which one can solve with 100 percent accuracy rate. Same applies for the Verbal Ability and Decision Making section.

Since, in QA section questions are many and time is less. So, it is very important that one should solve the previous years XAT question papers during preparations. Solve at least one XAT question paper and do its analysis and take online mock tests regularly. Through this candidates will improve their ability to the “kind of XAT questions”.

Recommended Books for XAT 2021: Quantitative Ability

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Test for Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K Verma

How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha

Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

XAT 2021 Preparation Strategy: Decision Making

Questions will be asked in the Decision making section mainly consisting of problems based on everyday situations and business and candidates may face delima while facing such questions. The best way to avoid such difficulty, candidates should practice from previous years question papers. Questions will be related to issues involving sales, ethical dilemmas and other financial conditions, scenarios of various management issues, revenue of a company and general management. While solving such questions, try to understand the logic behind the answer.

XAT 2021 Recommended Books for Decision Making

Target XAT 2020 (Past Year Papers & Mock Test); by Disha experts

Analytical and Logical Reasoning by Arihant Publications

Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers); by R.K. Jha

XAT Preparation Strategy 2021: General Awareness

The General Knowledge (GK) section mainly consists of questions based on Static GK and Current affairs. The Static GK will include topics like - Politics, Currency, Culture, Books and Authors, Economics, Environment and Ecology, Film and Television, etc. There are many online sources available online to prepare for the General Knowledge section. If one has a shortage of time for this section, then try to cover the topics through current affairs videos which are available online.

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Questions related to XAT

Showing 849 out of 849 Questions

Hello,Im preparing for XAT 2020. Could you please suggest a good online coaching for this exam?

Manish Singh 22nd Mar, 2020

There are a lot of online coaching institute that can help you clear XAT. I  am listing a few of them here:

Career launcher


Navigator Solutions


Global Tree Careers Pvt. Ltd.


Choose the one you find cost friendly and that feels good for you


I dont have CAT, MAT, XAT scorecard. Can I apply MBA at christ university for Phase II?

Sharon Rose Student Expert 17th Mar, 2020


To be eligible to get admission in Christ University you need to appear and qialify in any of CAT/MAT/XAT/CMAT/GMAT/GRE/ATMA along with 50% or above aggregate in bachelor's degree from a recognized board or university.If you do not have any of the above mentioned exams score then you are not eligible to get admission.

For other details on minimum requirement you can click the link below



Now Im studying in B.Tech 3rd year. How can I start preparing for various MBA Entrance exams? I am not taking any Tuition. How can I prepare myself for the exams?

Smrity 15th Mar, 2020


For MBA entrance exams start solving the past year question papers get thorough with the pattern of the paper.

Work on the logical Reasoning and quantitative aptitude as practice makes you perfect and try to grasp the necessary details and current affairs.

Even if you are not taking tuition, if you practice, solve as many sample papers as you can and be confident while giving the paper you can for sure get the best institution for you.

To get the sample papers for MBA Entrance exams Visit the link below:


I hope this helps.

All the Best!


So my situation is this, i have 47% in graduation and got 80 percentile in XAT, so this is limiting my options for admissions in mba colleges. What should i do?

Rehan Alam Student Expert 2nd Mar, 2020

Dear aspirant,

Yes this will limit your options for admission in MBA colleges as most of these MBA colleges look at past academic performance of the candidate. Your percentage will definitely be a hindrance in your admission into any top IIM college or XLRI.

You can always take admission in tier 2/3 management colleges.

Hope this helps. Thank you.


Can I apply in XISS without XAT score card??/

Mahima Bahl 2nd Mar, 2020

Hello candidate,

XISS admissions are ongoing, if you are desirous of seeking admission at Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi will have to appear in an all India level management admission test. XISS, Ranchi considers only the following three admission test scores for shortlisting the candidates i.e. XAT, CAT and CMAT.

If you have not given XAT 2020, you can apply through CAT, CMAT as well.

One last GDPI session is scheduled to be conducted on 3rd March, 2020 at Ranchi. For more information, please check XISS Ranchi Admission 2020 .

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