XAT Exam Analysis 2018

Last Updated - March 10 2018

Analysis of XAT earlier years exam can be performed on the basis of yearly & section wise observations with respect to the number of questions & level of difficulty in various sections according to XAT Exam pattern. Find essay topics here which have been asked in various years & analyze your potential & prepare accordingly.

Every year the authorities add set of tricky questions and concepts in questions. Essay topics set a various trend in language aspects.The entrance test is organized by XAMI members on first Sunday of January.

General Observations

  • Method of the Test: Every year the test is organized in offline mode. This is helpful for those aspirants who are not familiar with attempting tests on the computer. It will affect alternatively their speed of attempting questions. The paper pen method also confirms that each & every student should be tested on the same type of questions, not on the basis of various scale.


  • Exam Structure (Yearly): The given bar chart represents the difficulty level in various years in various sections.

XAT EXAM Analysis

In 2013, the essay topic was: Corruption is the root cause of the economic slowdown in India (200 words). It was a direct topic students have plenty of thoughts to write on. This topic was various from 2011 & 2012 which were from economics & philosophy.

Below table cater you the whole scenario regarding a number of questions asked in various years & their level of difficulty. It will help you to interpret the trend of selection.

Sections askedQuestions askedDifficulty level
VA+LR, QA+DI, DM+AR, GA+ Essay writing28+23+33+30Moderate to tough
28+31+24+30 (113)
30+25+36+30 (121) -
VA+LR, QA+DI, DM+AR34+43+24 (101) -

Note: VA-Verbal ability, LR-Logical reasoning, DM-Judgement making, AR-Analytical reasoning, QA-Quantitative ability, DI-Data interpretation, GA- General Awareness.

Year wise Observations

Several changes have been implemented every year in XAT syllabus and the number of question asked in the entrance. The purpose of this exam is to test the presence of mind of students especially when they are bounded by a time limit. Logical ability and common sense are the things which are tested during the test.

  • You have to work on your judgment making ability, which questions are to be attempted first. You can prepare for the exam by attempting mock question papers.
  • Students have to avoid confusion by identifying their strengths and weakness to score with excellence.
  • The time limit is the main issue for most of the students. Practicing more questions will boost your pressure handling capability.


XAT Trend 2015 (Section wise analysis)

XAT 2015 was held on January 04, 2015. You can also find out the percentage division for questions asked. Questions about the higher level of difficulty were asked to form those topics which are out of trend and ignored.Note: Each pie chart represents the number of questions by various sections.

  1. Observations on Verbal & Logical Ability:
  • Cutoff: 7-8
  • Questions asked in this section were based on reading comprehension from moderate to difficult level.
  • Outstanding Score: 13-15
  • Questions on jumble words, premise, statement and conclusion were also asked.
  • Questions were based on grammar concepts mainly; verb-subject agreement, synonym, prepositions & parts of speech.
  • Good score: 7-10


2. Observations on Judgement Making

  • Good score: 7-10
  • Questions on judgment making were complex as well as time-consuming.
  • Questions on employee management issues, issues concerned sales and revenue.
  • Cutoff: 7-8
  • Outstanding: 13-15
  • Some responses had concerned options, it was purposely done to confuse the aspirants. Candidates who have opted for 12 to 15 questions may have fulfilled the cutoff criteria.

3. Observation of Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

This section was a bit difficult as compared to earlier years. Students needed to solve minimum 13 Questions. Most of the questions were asked from Algebra, Arithmetic, probability & Geometry.This section requires sufficient time management to solve minimum 18 questions to score well.

  • Good score: 8-10
  • Outstanding Score: 14-17
  • Cutoff: 9-10


4. Emphasis on General Awareness:

  • This section had 30 questions from Finance world, Business, National & International affairs, important dates, books, authors, and economics.
  • Students are strongly advised to keep a bird’s eye view on latest news affairs.

5. Essay Writing:

  • The essay word limit was around 350-400 words in 2015  & topic of the essay was: ‘’Listening is a dying art”.
  • Essay writing test was taken to test the writing skills of the students. Special emphasis was given to grammar and tenses. It should be prepared by regular and consistent efforts.
  • The topic of the essay was not so difficult. Those who have done this by making the proper outline of the subject matter were able to write a good piece of writing.

XAT 2014 Trend (Section wise analysis):

  1. Observations on Verbal & Logical Ability:

Questions asked from VA & RC are tough in comparison to grammar & sentence arrangement & completion.

  • Good score:14+
  • Cutoff:9+


2. Observations on QA & DI:

  • Good score:8+
  • Cutoff:6+


3. Observations for General Awareness:

  • Good score:12+
  • Cutoff:8+

4. Essay Writing:

  • The essay topic was: “The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched with hands. They can only be felt with heart’’. (200 words)

XAT Trend 2013

According to test takers, XAT 2013 was quite difficult to crack. Judgment making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation sections are moderate as compared to earlier years. Just prepare smartly. XAT 2013 was classified by difficult Verbal Ability Section. According to faculty and experts, you required not to be a brilliant student in Mathematics & Aptitude.

  1. Observation of Verbal Logical Ability:
  • The verbal question surprised the candidates with four Reading Comprehensions.
  • The total number of questions 30: minimum 10 questions were difficult, 5 were at moderate level.
  • Time-consuming due to the difficulty level.
  • Reading Comprehension questions were a bit confusing and full of jargons & technical terms. There were 4 passages & they were very advanced for a graduate level aspirant.
  • Difficult as compared to earlier years question paper.

The quick view of the format of this section will clarify what we mean exactly:

Good Score: 20


2. Observations on Judgement Making Section:

  • Cut off for this section: 9
  • Illustrations concerned to recent news affairs were asked in this section.
  • Easy for the students who have prepared via mock tests and went via present affairs.

Observations for Quantitative Ability


The breakup of the section was on 11 marks.

  • Easier yet lengthy as compared to earlier years.
  • The cutoff for this section – 9
  • Students who had prepared well attempted 17-18 questions in 45 minutes.

XAT Trend 2012

In 2012 the exam was challenging as compared to earlier years. Questions asked in this year had increased the standard of the exam. There were 85 questions in total.

  1. Total 34 questions were asked from this section with the weight of 69 marks.Observation of Verbal ability Section:
  • Questions on para-jumble, reading comprehension were quite easy.
  • Poetry based questions were asked.
  1. Observation on Essay writing

In the essay (250 words) an argument was given and students were expected to write on that by providing suitable clarifications and examples.

Argument: The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what attitude they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate and which be nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to practice it.

  1. Observation of Analytical Reasoning & Judgement Making:

There were 24 questions of 57 marks. AR was very difficult & DM section was time-consuming.

  1. Observation of Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

There were total 43 questions of 117 marks. This section was very difficult.

XAT 2018 FAQs

Ques. Is it possible to crack XAT without coaching?

Ans. It is better to opt for a crash course to learn basic concepts. To score well, ample of mock test papers shall be solved. There are different books available for preparing the best shall be chosen to learn tricks and strategies.

Ques. Is it compulsory to attempt all the sections in XAT?

Ans. Yes, it is compulsory to attempt all the sections of XAT Exam.  Every section judges various skills of the candidates, so it is important for quality sake.

Ques. Can students from Humanities background appear for XAT?

Ans. Yes, students from Humanities background can apply for the exam. It is important for these students to learn concepts of mathematics and reasoning to meet the standard of other candidates. These students require well-polished skills as compared to other students, as they are changing their stream.

Ques. Is there any choice in essay writing section of XAT?

Ans. There are no internal choices in the essay section of XAT. Students need to frame their ideas in a proper pattern with the clarified approach. It is important to avoid haywire ideas and focus on the topic given.Ques. How many months shall one devote for preparation for XAT?

Ans. Several students prepare for other competitive exams as well most of the sections are similar and require similar preparation. This time duration comprises exercise of all sections along with mock test papers. 3 months preparation may yield the good result. If you are indulged in preparations already then XAT preparation will take less time.

Ques. How to decide the time to be allotted to each section?

Ans. The time allocation varies from person to person. This can be decided by person’s strengths and weaknesses. One shall work more on weaknesses so that they don’t undermine their strengths. A proper time allotment shall be done accordingly.

Ques. Does XAT have negative marking scheme?

Ans. Yes, for first six wrong response 1/4 or 0.25 mark & after that 0.5 marks will be deducted. So, it is advised not to attempt the question until you are very sure, otherwise, it can hamper your good score.

Ques. Give me the idea regarding XAT 2016 expected trend in terms of questions & difficulty level?

Ans. XAT test is considered among the best management exams, due to its good balance question structures & equal emphasis on various test areas.  The number of questions may be increased by 5 to 10 in total this year with the increased difficulty level. Essay topics will not change but GK questions may turn to be more.

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