Preparation tips for XAT

XAT is the next entrance exam to be held after CAT. The entrance exam is conducted for seeking admissions to various b-schools in India. These b-schools include XLRI and XIMB. Apart from being a pen and paper exam (a fast vanishing medium of exam taking), XAT is one of the most difficult B-school in India among all other MBA Colleges Entrance exam and is difficult to crack.

The exam also has roughly 90 to 100 questions on English, quantative aptitude,  and Decision Making, General Awareness was also included last year. This year this part was supposed to be completed in 150 minutes. There also will the test on Essay writing also to b done in 20 minutes.

The number of questions is distributed fairly evenly between the sections, with the quantitative ability section usually carrying the slightly larger section of the pie. The distribution of questions in last year’s XAT is as follows the paper has sectional cut offs decided on the marks scored by all the students. The difficulty level is also at least a few notches higher than that of most exams. And with the inclusion of the general awareness section this year in the main examination unlike in the previous year when it was clubbed with the essay section for which the additional 30 minutes were allotted the first timers might feel overwhelmed. In north India the winter chill has no intentions of making it any easier for the students.

The marking scheme is most likely to be similar to that of the last year, with all questions carrying equal marks and a penalty of 25% of marks allotted to the questions of every wrong answer. Though XAT has gone with the differential marking scheme in the past there are little chances that it might be repeated this year.

However the picture is not all that dismal. There are ways to beat the examinations blues this winter. For cracking the Quantative ability section of XAT, frequently regarded as the one of the toughest quantitative ability sections in any B-school entrance examinations it is absolutely vital for you to get familiar with kind of questions which make their presence felt in XAT. Sitters are rare and the margin for error is little.

You need to pick the questions wisely for unlike some examinations where the imperative is on doing as much as possible, AT demands you to attempt the questions paper as efficiently as possible. Same is the case with the decision making and the verbal ability sections. It is very important that you rigorously solve the actual XAT examination papers at least from the previous five years. This will improve your ability to adapt to XAT type of questions. Moreover it will help if you try to attempt the examination papers with the timed approach this will help you gauge the level to which the time constraint multiples the difficulty, enabling you to make any changes in approach if required.

Decision Making

Another way to ensure that you do well in XAT is to lay the stress on the decision Making section that is unique to XAT. It carries the sectional cut off and also can be useful in improving the overall score. Apart from looking up the questions in the previous year’s papers you can go to the Harvard Business Review website and read sample cases to enhance the knowledge and also to arch the thinking in the way to facilitate better reasoning.

The General Awareness

Though the General Awareness section will not be included in determining the percentiles and the cut offs in the first stage of the selection process it still is paramount. This time the General Awarded section will eat into your main examination time unlike in the previous year’s wherein it was clubbed with the essay section following the main examination and was a separate 30-minute test.  Keeping abreast with the latest happenings in the business world will help your chances of scoring big in this section.

Essay:

Practicing essays are crucial to doing well in the essay section for writing a coherent ,crisp 200 word essay in 20 -30 minutes is by no means a cakewalk. The evaluators not only look for the language skills, but also for the thought process involved, the spectrum of ideas and your knowledge pertaining to the topic at the hand. Having the fair knowledge of the contemporary topics will give you an edge. So reading newspapers, especially the editorial columns, is highly advised.

To sum up, XAT surely is difficult but not impossible to crack. With only about a month to go for the D-day, paucity of time becomes the natural enemy. So, the next 20 odd days will decide who all get left out and who all emerge victorious.

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