XAT Syllabus

Every year, the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur conducts the Xavier Admission Test (XAT) for admission into the post graduate management programmes at XLRI and a host of premier institutes in India. Primarily developed as a screening test for MBA entrants into the Xavier institutes, XAT scores are now accepted by more than 30 B schools all over the country.

XAT Paper Pattern

XAT is usually scheduled for the first Sunday of January and is considered to be the toughest of all management entrance tests. XAT aspirants are never sure what to expect out of the paper. Some of the recent surprises have been:

  • The option of 5 instead of 4 answers per question
  • Introduction of ‘Management Decision Making’ questions involving Case studies
  • Certain questions in the Logical Reasoning section having true/false statements which effectively removed the elimination process

The main XAT exam is for 2 hours. This is followed by a 20 minutes essay writing test on any one topic.

Negative Marking & Scoring System

XAT awards 1 mark for each correct answer. But its negative marking schema is quite tough: 1/3rd marking for the first 5 wrong questions in each section & ½ for errors beyond 5 mistakes. Traditionally, the XAT paper can generally be segregated into three main sections commonly known as:

  • English
  • Reasoning & Quantitative Aptitude
  • General Awareness

A brief three year comparison of XAT test patterns is given below. As you will see, every year some innovation is introduced to the paper pattern.

Year Duration Break Up of Questions Questions Negative Marking
2007 120 mins (main exam) + 20 mins (essay)
  • Reasoning and Decision Making Ability – 16+ 24 questions
  • Verbal Ability – 41 questions
  • Quant and Data Interpretation – 49 questions
130 0.33 negative marking for the first 5 wrong answers, 0.5 for every wrong answer after that
2006 120 mins (main exam) + 20 mins (essay)
  • Quant and Data Interpretation – 85 questions
  • Verbal Ability – 40 questions
127 0.33 negative marking for the first 5 wrong answers, 0.5 for every wrong answer after that
2005 120 mins (main exam) + 20 mins (essay)
  • Quant and Data Interpretation – 75 questions
  • Gen Knowledge – 35 questions
  • Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning – 65 questions
175 - 1/3 for every incorrect answer
Eligibility Criteria for XAT

To be eligible for XAT, the candidate must be a graduate from a recognized institute. The minimum aggregate requirement is 50% for general category and 45% for OBC/ST/SC/Physically Handicapped candidates.

XAT Registration

You can get the XAT bulletin from the following sources:

  • Selected branches of State Bank of India
  • The XAT office at XLRI, Jamshedpur
  • Candidates can also fill up the form online by logging onto the website www.xlri.com

Note: you have to apply separately for the all the colleges including XLRI.

Some Dos and Don’ts for XAT
  • Do solve as many sample tests as possible. This will give you a clear picture of your strengths and weakness.
  • Do start your paper with the section which is your strongpoint. It will give you the psychological edge.
  • Do time yourself. Time management is crucial for XAT as there is no sectional time limit.
  • Do be prepared for changes in the paper pattern. It won’t be XAT if there were no surprising elements in the package.
  • Do have a strategy but don’t be rigid about it. If the paper doesn’t come according to your own predictions, don’t lose hope.
  • Don’t try to take wild guesses. The penalty for negative marking in XAT is very heavy and may cost you a seat in your college of choice.
  • Don’t focus only on one section. Just because there are no sectional cutoffs, it doesn’t mean that you can leave out any section altogether.
  • Don’t take your essay paper lightly. It will prove decisive in your GD and PI round.
  • Don’t panic while giving the exam. More than being a test of your knowledge base, it’s a test of how you handle pressure.
Dates and Deadlines
  • Date of issuing forms: September
  • Date for receipt of forms: November to early December
  • Date of Entrance Exam: January

74 thoughts on “XAT Syllabus

  1. the sectional breakup above does not give the essay.Is there a essay section separately every year?

  2. i m very concerned about my xat exam…i have got 48.88% in my gradution……….one of my friend told me that i m elegible for mat , xat and for atma ……i gave the dec mat exam and got only 67% now preparing for xat but now have seen that xat eligibilty critria is 50% ……can you please tell me what option for me? and also tell me about other exams ?????

  3. It seems XLRI, XIMB consider sectional cut-off. It’s uncertain with remaining institutes.
    Essays more on social issues.

  4. hi i m doing btek & in 2nd year & i wanna be part of xlri or other best b school i m in c.s.e so plz help me to make me known what to do for that…


  6. I am very thankful towards the information.but one thing i want to know about the top colleges coming under xat.also i wanna know the type of essay coming in exam?

  7. Hi,

    I competed my graduation in 2009 with only 41%. Is there a possibility passed my 12th standad in 2004 with 81%(ISC board). However, I opted correspondence course from DU, in B.A.
    I of getting into a good XAT college because I took 5 years to compete my graduation and kept working?

  8. hi thanks for giving information on how the xat pattern is and i vil try my level best to get good score in the test……

  9. I am giving Xat 2010..Other institutes participating in Xat consider sectional cutoffs or not??

  10. Please send me the complete syllabus for xat.Also list of some good books to prepare for it,& how to prepare for the essay section?

  11. plz send me the syllabus,questions & solutions of previous 3 years papers.
    give me the guidance for help to crack the entrance exam.

  12. i want full syllabes of xat or a student scored 54% marks in 12th would he take admission in xlri jameshdpur

  13. hi…thanks 4 info
    plz send me complete syllabus,n practice papers with soln if possible…

  14. hi i m a 3rdd yr bcom student i want to appear this year itself but as your criteria says i need to be a graduate for filling up and i will graduate nxt yr plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz suggest wat im suppose 2 do

  15. the information is not correct .xat does not required any percentile but just simple graduation from any recognised university or equivalent to it.

  16. reshmi u r quite eligible for xat just try to make sure u have tu make a provisional admission

  17. hi i am planning 2 give the 2011 xat… i have 3 q
    1. heard that xat maths would be tough is that true??
    2. is xat tougher that CAT?
    3.do v have 2 apply separately fo all the collages that accept the cat score?

  18. Hi there

    Am taking XAT in Jan 2011

    Could someone please mail me past XAT papers
    - especially for Verbal Ability

    And also share some experiences about having taken the test

    Would be appreciated

    Thanks and regards

    Best regards


  19. Hai,
    Can someone send the XAT 2011 questions paper & complete syllabus of XAT 2012.

    And also share some experiences about having taken the test would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards Best regards


    Email Id: manish.ku061985@gmail.com

  20. dear sir, xat complete syllabus @ providing reasoning,english,math & gk books(writer name)
    to inform me….


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