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After having five years of experience as an engineer, Kunal Choudhary, took a leap of faith, appeared in XAT and secured a high percentile of 99.97. In this interview with Careers360, Kunal shares his detailed preparation strategy and advice for XAT 2017 test takers.
According to Kunal, the most important factor to remember during the test is not to waste time on a question. One must follow a ‘10 second’ rule which states, give only 10 seconds to a question, mark an answer if you are confident, else move away to another question. This will help test takers to not only save time but stay calm. He further shares benefits of mental calculations for Reasoning and Data Interpretation section.
Read interview excerpts below.
Careers360: How was your experience of XAT?
Kunal: After appearing for all the other competitive examinations (CAT, SNAP, IIFT, NMAT) before XAT, I knew well how to hold my nerve in the pressure moments. XAT 2016 was a well-balanced paper, however, there were controversies related to few questions. Luckily, all the questions went in my favour when the official answer keys were released by XAT admin team. I knew I have my chances for an interview call.
Careers360: What made you pursue MBA, and why XLRI over other B-schools?
Kunal: I have been working as a Software engineer for the last five years. I wanted to scale up my skills so that I could become a part of the team where I get involved in taking management and strategic decisions and execution. Having already obtained a technical degree, an MBA expands the horizon and is the first step to understand the nuances of wide areas of management. XLRI and its legacy, being the oldest and one of the esteemed B-School in our country can surely help me to chase and achieve my goals quickly in life.
Careers360: Please share your sectional wise preparation strategy?
Kunal: My tips for QA section are:
Make sure your basics are clear. Make continuous notes in coaching classes.
Appear for mocks.
Analyse the solution well for the correct attempts and look if there is a better time-saving method.
Try to solve the incorrect question and then look into the solution and analyse the gap.
For un-attempted questions, check whether the concept is missing or you had a shortage of time.
Learn the new concepts which you find.
LR-DI DM: Work on your mental calculation and ability to juggle with information. It is important to look for information from the data provided. A good amount of practice is required to approach different kind of sets. Learn different tabular/Tick Cross methods etc. Mock analyses approach should be same as QA.
VA: This was my weakest section. I used to read newspapers on a regular basis, and for vocabulary, I read Word power Made Easy, English Made Easy. To avoid incorrect attempts, I attempted RC and inference based questions, vocabulary and avoided Grammar questions.
Careers360: How did you manage your time during the test?
Kunal: XAT 2016 was 150-minute test for the main paper. I allotted 45 minutes for each section and remaining 15 minutes to maximise my score. In the initial 45 minutes for each section, I made sure that the number of attempts can push the sectional marks above the past sectional cut-offs.
Most Importantly, read the question quickly and make your decision whether you want to go for it or not. I used to attempt the question in which I was absolutely sure. However, I took some chances in VA section.
Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you tackle your weak area of the test?
Kunal: QA has always been my strength and I started my test with this section only. VA was a challenge for me and was the last section which I attempted. Enough practice on inference based question and RCs can help you sail through if VA is your troubled area.
Careers360: Your message for this year’s XAT aspirants?
Kunal: With a few days to XAT, I would say just keep your strategy in place and learn from your mistakes. At the end of the day, things are relative. Read the question, leave the question, do not waste your time over it.
XAT Topper Interview
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No iit accepts XAT score for mba mn doms programs. However nit Rourkela accepts XAT score.
Check complete list of colleges accepting cat score
There is no caste based reservation in XAT but there is quota for girls.
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XAT examination has no reservation system for admission to its programme. All Candidates irrespective of their Category should score a minimum aggregate of 50% in their Bachleor's degree to be eligible for XAT. So, just to answer your question, EWS Category is not included in XAT examinaiton.
The practical value of a Bachelors or Master's degree is controversial for a Hadoop developer because few of the big data companies contracting for Hadoop developers demand a degree just to eliminate their pile of resumes. Companies believe that university educational plans are excessively focused on theoretical aspects however being a Hadoop developer requires real world problem unraveling capabilities. For some of the specialized big data roles like that of a data scientist, companies prefer candidates who have completed PhD in a measurable or numerical discipline. In this way, in the event that you are from a Statistics, Physics or business examination foundation - you can definitely create a meaningful benchmark as a Hadoop Developer in the workplace by mastering Hadoop skills with real time hands-on projects.
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