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The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is an all-India test conducted by Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI) as an entrance exam for admission to the post graduate programs in management courses of several management institutes all over India. It used to be a paper-pencil test till a couple of years ago. However, since 2018, it has also become an online-test.

Some of the top colleges accepting XAT scores (some of these institutes also accept CAT Scores) are:
XLRI Jamshedpur - Delhi Campus, XIMB, SPJIMR Mumbai, TAPMI Manipal, IMT Ghaziabad BIMTech, FLAME Pune, FORE Delhi, GIM Goa, GLIM, IRMA, KJ Somaiya, MICA, LIBA, XISS, XIME

Important dates
XAT 2021 Registration Starts on Sep 12, 2020 Saturday
XAT 2021 Registration End at 12:00 Midnight on Nov 30, 2020 Monday
Admit card download: Dec 20, 2020 onwards
XAT Exam : Jan 03, 2021, Sunday
XAT Timing : 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Mode of Examination: Online

Any eligible candidate, who aspires to join XLRI through XAT, is required to register online for XAT first and pay a fee of Rs. 1750. A separate fee of Rs. 300 per programme has to be paid to apply to each programme that the student is interested in.

To know about the procedure in detail, you can click on the link given below.

XAT 2021 Official Link

Similarly, if a candidate wants to apply to any other affiliated institute then s/he would need to pay the institute level application fee and fill the form as per guidelines mentioned HERE.

Essential academic qualifications:

A candidate must be a graduate from a recognized university or a deemed university. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree and awaiting results can also apply.

Age and number of attempts:

There is no age bar for taking XAT.

The selection procedure for XAT affiliated institutes is normally in 2 phases i.e. Online Examination (XAT) followed by WAT, GD, PI. After candidates take the entrance exam they will be shortlisted on the basis of marks obtained in XAT plus other criteria (which could include Academic background, Profile, Work Experience and so on) for the selection procedure. Post the exam, candidates will move to the next step where candidates will be called for the GD/ PI/ WAT rounds.

XAT is the only test to include a full-fledged section on decision making. This does not require specific technical knowledge and involves finding the most suitable response to business and HR decision making problems. It is the only test that penalizes students for unattempted questions. Beyond a certain count of unattempted questions, students start losing marks for every unattempted question. However, this count keeps changing every year and is typically revealed very close to the actual test. XAT has a GK section, which occassionally is not considered for percentile calculations and GDPI shortlists.

Phase-I: Online examination (XAT)

The XAT admission test is a three hour test with four sections. The test pattern keeps changing every year. Hence students are advised to regularly visit their website.
Part 1 Duration 165 mins
Part 2 Duration 15 mins
Marks awarded for every correct answer: +1 mark
Negative marks awarded for every incorrect answer: -0.25 marks
Negative marks awarded for every unattempted question after 8 unattempted questions: -0.10 mark
No negative marking for Part 2 - GK

XAT-2021 pattern

Part Section No. of questions Time Limit
1 Paper 1 75 Questions 165 minutes
1 Verbal and Logical Ability 26 No Sectional Time Limit
1 Decision Making 21 No Sectional Time Limit
1 Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 28 No Sectional Time Limit
2 Paper 2 25 Questions 15 minutes
2 General Knowledge 25
1+2 Total 100 Questions 180 minutes

In the past, the XAT Paper Pattern included a question on essay writing but it has been removed from the XAT Exam Pattern since 2018 when the XAT Paper went online. All the questions in the XAT Exam Pattern 2020 were MCQs with 5 options compared to the 4 options in CAT. However XAT Exam Pattern 2020 also included a new type of question called the Numerical Aptitude Type (NAT) (without negative marking) in which the candidates have to input the answer using the virtual keyboard on the screen. This type of question can be expected to remain in XAT Exam 2021.

Another unique aspect of the XAT Exam Pattern is the marking scheme. The MCQs if attempted correctly carry a reward of 1 mark each while an incorrect attempt carries a penalty of 0.25 marks. While this is fairly standard, the complication arises with the fact that the candidate cannot leave over 8 questions un-attempted. All questions (over 8) left un-attempted carry a penalty (expected) of 0.10 marks. The General Knowledge Section does not carry any negative marking due to which candidates tend to attempt the entire section.

This unique aspect of the XAT Exam Pattern makes the XAT Exam quite difficult because of the restriction in the number of questions that can be left un-attempted. Thus the XAT Exam Strategy becomes extremely important for the candidates. This can only be formed after several mocks attempted by the candidate.
Only 3 sections in XAT exam are taken into account to calculate the XAT percentile score and XAT merit list for written exam. GK will not be counted for percentile calculation in XAT exam pattern.

Phase – II: (WAT, GD, PI etc.)

A combination of activities is used to evaluate different aspects of a candidate's personality, communication skills and other skills.
XLRI: While preparing the short-listed candidates for the interview, in addition to XAT performance, XLRI may factor in academic background and the relevant work experience. Besides performance in the personal interviews (and/or group discussions - usually limited to interviews offlate), it also considers XAT performance, relevant work experience, academic background, extracurricular activities while preparing the final list

Final selection

Each participating management college will have its own XAT cutoff. Those who score marks above the set cutoff will be shortlisted for XAT selection process. Qualifying and eligible applicants will then have to apply separately to the institutes. Based on the candidate’s eligibility, marks/percentile score obtained in XAT 2021, academic history and work profile, they will be shortlisted for the respective college level selection procedure. The selection procedure holds the following process, Group Discussion, Personal Interview, and Written Ability Test. Not all the participating institutes have ALL these 3 selection criteria.

Candidates should realise that to perform in competitive exams such as XAT, they should be good at both concepts and application. Rather than going through concepts from various sources, one should concentrate on a single resource for conceptual clarity. Once concepts are clear, practicing regularly is key to performing well in competitive exams like these. We have provided playlists of important concept lectures below. Candidates can take help of these lectures from Meritshine to strengthen their fundamentals for this exam.

Our Free Resources (click on the links below for accessing the relevant content)

Lectures for Aptitude Building

Lectures for WAT

Lectures for Group Discussion & Interviews

Our Paid Programs
While we are yet to start with our XAT programme, our DEDICATED B-School Channel MERITSHINE FLARE is designed to help you ace XAT 2021 and we recommend the aspirants to follow this channel for the latest on XAT 2021 and also, to understand and implement techniques to crack the exam. Subscribe to the channel for a highly intensive preparation.

The cut offs are declared after the XAT exam result. Visit the XAT 2020 Cut-Off XLRI to get information about last year's (2020) Cut-off for XLRI.

TABLE: Expected XAT Median Percentiles 2021 (Other Institutes)

Range XAT affiliated B-Schools
93+, Profile & Post-XAT Selection Rounds' Performance XLRI - HRM, BM, SPJIMR
90+, Profile & Post-XAT Selection Rounds' Performance XIM B, IMT G
85+, Profile & Post-XAT Selection Rounds' Performance GIM Goa, KJ Somaiya
80+, Profile & Post-XAT Selection Rounds' Performance GLIM, TAPMI, IRMA, MICA, LIBA

P.S. If you still have a query, you may write to us at info@meritshine.com.