XAT Topper Interview: Follow 10 second decision rule to save time, says Kunal Choudhary, 99.97 percentiler
Updated on Jan 6, 2017 - 10:44 a.m. IST by Urvashi Dalal
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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.


Also Read

XAT Topper Interview


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More like XAT

Questions related to XAT

Showing 814 out of 814 Questions

with 84 .114 %tile what are the chances of getting a call from goa institute ...as xat 2019 cutoff was 81%tile ...

Sudarshan kumar 21st Jan, 2020

Hi Janesha,

Yes there is a chance of getting call from GIM Goa by the reference of XAT score as the cut off for 2019 was 80+ percentile.So,there is a chance.You can also see for colleges like:-

  • XIME Bangalore
  • Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies
  • NDIM New Delhi
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • IFIM Business School Bangalore.

Hope this will help please feel free to ask if you have any further queries.

Thank You.


will Soil accepts 72 percentile in Xat for Admission ??? if not , suggest me some better college with higher sal package!

Sampriti Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020
With your XAT percentile you may not get a call from SOIL Gurgaon as they require a minimum of 80 percentile. But you can surely check out these colleges with your XAT scores
  • XIME Bangalore
  • XISS Ranchi
  • Praxis Kolkata
  • Alliance University Bangalore
  • Christ University Bangalore
  • IFMR Chennai
  • IMT Hyderabad
  • ITM Navi Mumbai

These are pretty decent colleges and you can easily get a good job in a reputed organization with an average compensation package of nearly 6-7 lakhs.

Good Luck

chances of bits pilani mba at xat 77.35 percentile

Soumya Kanta Sarkar 21st Jan, 2020

Hi Don Dev,

Congratulations on securing such a decent percentile in XAT, which is considered to be one of the toughest exams in India when it comes to management entrances. To answer your query, the cut off percentile of Bits Pilani (MBA) lies somewhat in the range of 75-80 percentile and it changes depending upon the number of applications and the relative percentile of the candidates. Depending on the trends, you have a high chance of getting a call for their GD/PI process which happens at the Pilani campus every year.

Now, there is something that you should know. Getting a call doesn’t ensure your admission into the college. Your chances of admission depends on the following factors:

  • CAT/XAT/GMAT score
  • Academic Profile
  • Relevant Work experience
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Extracurricular achievements
  • Your performance in the Group Discussion, Written Ability Test and Personal Interview

Now, the eligibility conditions to apply for an MBA in BITS, Pilani are:

  • Candidates should possess a BE/BTech degree or Masters Degree in engineering from any of the recognised universities or any integrated first degree of BITS
  • Should have minimum 60 percent marks in the qualifying degree
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of Bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification examination in the year 2020
  • Students in final year of Degree should share in the form their percentage up to the Second Year/Last completed semester
  • All candidates should have taken either CAT 2019; XAT 2020 or GMAT exam
  • In addition to these exams, they must buy the application form for applying into the college for a fee of Rs 3150 from BITS, Pilani website

Important dates that you should keep in mind are:



Start of application


End of application


GD/WAT/PI shortlist


GD/WAT/PI process

3 rd week of March-1 st week of April

Admission offer roll out

10-14 th April 2020

The placements statistics for the year 2019 is as follows:

  • Highest Package(in lakhs per annum)-17
  • Average Package(in lakhs per annum)-10
  • Companies visited for placements-36

I hope I have been able to solve your query. Do write to us in case of any doubts and we would be happy to help. All the best!!!


chances of converting liba chennai at xat 77.35 percentile ??(Gen catholic christian)Heard that liba provides reservation for Catholics.

Sampriti Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020
LIBA does have some reservations but for general category students the minimum percentile required is 86 in XAT. Only for the reserved category they require 70 percentile. But you can still get some good colleges like
  • IIFM Bhopal
  • XIME Bangalore
  • Alliance University Bangalore
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • Great Lakes Gurgaon
  • IFMR Chennai
  • ITM Navi Mumbai and others.

These are pretty decent colleges and offer good academics and placements. They also have good reputation among recruiters and you can easily get an average compensation package of 6-7 lakhs in a reputed organization.

Good Luck

With 82 percentile in XAT 2020 what are the chances of getting call from Great Lakes, GIM, K J Somaiya, BITS Pilani and Welingkar

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020


as per your xat score you have chances in

Goa Institute of Management

great lakes

kj soumya

T A Pai Management Institute

Institute of Rural Management

MICA Ahmedabad

FORE School of Management, New Delhi

Loyola Institute of Business Administration

IFMR Graduate School of Business at KREA University

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