Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is one of the most reputed national-level management entrance exams, conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur on behalf of Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI), for students aspiring to take admission in MBA/PGDM courses.
XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is the next big exam after CAT for MBA aspirants. But if you have already appeared or prepared for other management entrance tests like CAT, SNAP, IIFT, and performed as per your expectations, you can still not afford to take XAT lightly because of the nature of questions. And as there are some additional sections in XAT such as Essay Writing, General Awareness and Decision Making which you need to focus and prepare in order to get a good percentile.
XAT happens to be one of most sought-after entrance test, due to a number of reasons. First of all, it opens the gateway to top B-schools, like SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Institute of Rural Management, FORE School of Management, including the 11 XAT member institutes.
XLRI, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 colleges for PGDM courses, also enrolls students based on their XAT scores. This college has acquired accreditation from prestigious international bodies, such as AMBA and AACSB.
Another reason why aspirants prefer XAT? It is a single-slot exam. It takes place on the same day, at the same time across the country, which eliminates complexities. So, it is just the good old direct competition.
One uniqueness of XAT is that unlike a lot of other exams conducted in the country, XLRI releases the question paper along with the answer key. This provides an aspirant greater opportunity for self –analysis.
Through this article we bring to you the expert preparation tips from XAT toppers:
How toppers topped XAT?
- Anish Narula, who topped XAT 2017 Exam, believes that entrance tests are nothing but a test of one’s own temperament, and by simply keeping your cool on the exam day, everything else will be fine. He himself followed the same mantra and secured 99.6 percentile.
He got admission in XLRI, Jamshedpur and has begun the journey of his dream of studying in one of the finest management schools in the country.
His strategy during the exam was to solve as many questions as possible and keep calm. In order to prepare for XAT, he took a break from his job and directed all his focus on cracking XAT Exam. He believes solving past year question papers and mock tests was the real key to success for him.
He stated, “Previous Years’ question papers are your best bet.” He recommended solving CL’s or TIME’s test series and also taking Gejo Sir’s lectures. If you are weak at Verbal or RC or DM, you can also go through CL’s night classes.
Lastly, he said that the exam hugely depends on your exam temperament. So along with your preparation, make sure that you don’t panic and are able to keep your cool during those 3 hours of XAT 2018.
- Kunal Choudhary, a XAT topper, who scored 99.97 percentile, believes that the most important thing to remember during the exam is not to waste time on one question or section. He advised every aspirant to follow a ’10 second’ rule according to which, one should give only 10 seconds to a question. If you know the answer then mark it, or else move away to another question.
He believes the key to crack the exam is to work on basics of every section, mental calculations and ability to juggle with information. Give as many mock tests as you can and analyze your performance and learn from your mistakes.
- Preetam Modi, a 99.88 percentiler, shared that he used a reverse strategy by first selecting the questions to not attempt rather than the other way. He gave credit to systematic preparation and time management skills. He believes decision-making section is the most securing section, where you just have to be ethical while answering the questions.
Like all other toppers, he also believes that solving past year question papers and mock tests is really beneficial to get a grip over the pattern and time management strategy. He shared that while doing the exam, his strategy was to dedicate all his time to the questions, he was confident about solving. But at the end of the day, one has to solve maximum questions correctly to secure maximum marks.
- Reeka Choudhury, who secured 99.8 percentile in XAT exam, believes that solving past year question papers is the best way to crack the XAT exam. She shared that solving past year papers for all sections, made her acquainted with the pattern and types of question.
During the exam, her strategy was to start with the sections which were time-consuming, gradually moving to the other sections, which were easier. She advised the aspirants to practice a lot regularly and keep in touch with what is happening in the world, by reading newspapers. Lastly, she said that staying calm and confident during the test, is very important.
- V, a XAT topper, securing 99.2 percentile, believes that the trick to crack XAT is Logical Thinking. The XAT paper is all about testing a student’s decision making and risk-taking abilities. He advised aspirants to solve papers and mock test regularly and focus on learning the basics.
At the time of the test, he attempted easy questions first and kept the difficult questions for the end. The idea behind this was to not waste energy and time on a question. While attempting the decision-making section, he advised everyone to be logical and think for the greatest good, and not leave this particular section for the end.
All other toppers of XAT Exam believes that time management and working on the basics of each section is the key to crack the exam. In the examination hall, keep yourself calm and be confident. Don’t waste time on one question and try to attempt as many questions correctly as you can. Educated Guess can be helpful in the exam.
Preparation Tips to score 99 Percentile in XAT
- Brush up Basics
If your basics are strong, especially in English, then you will be able to crack the exam with required efforts. You have to have a good vocabulary & the ability to read comprehensions quickly, which can be easily attained by reading editorials every day for 30 minutes from newspapers like The Hindu, The Economist, Mint, WSJ, etc. and note down the new words and its synonyms and antonyms.
This may take some time to build, but once you have, half your work is done. The key is to concentrate on sharpening the basics of each section. With your basics clear you would be able to solve any type of questions, be it easy and direct or complex and sitter based.
- Speed Up & Stay Calm
During the exam, you have to solve 103 questions in 205 minutes (3 ½ hour), which is almost impossible to complete is you haven’t prepared. Each one of those questions is a 10-minute problem. So, your helpers in this area are Confidence, Speed Reading, and the ability to do the fast-mental math, especially approximations.
If you keep re-checking your answers to be sure, you won’t be able to complete the paper. Therefore, confidence is really important, it helps you to take risks. Eliminate options, and if it comes down to one out of two, make a guess. Attempt as many questions as you can for which, you will have to stay calm.
Fussing over one question or section will be harmful. If you don’t know the answer, make an educated guess and if you are clueless then leave it and move on to the next question. In the examination hall, make sure you’re attacking the test, not defending yourself.
- Focus on the exclusive areas
There are certain sections like General Knowledge, Essay Writing and Decision Making, for which you have to make special preparation strategy. Read newspaper regularly and follow the current trends. Consider Kaplan’s GMAT book for Quantitative Aptitude & Verbal Ability and “Handa Ka Funda” online course for brushing up your GK and decision-making abilities.
While attempting the decision-making section, remember to make the choice “for the greater good”. Be good, honest, look at both sides of any story before making up your mind. The situations and stories can be tricky, but always keep in mind to think for the best of the majority and you will be through the dreaded decision making.
Essay Writing is the section of Part B, which also consists of GK. 35 minutes will be given to complete both the sections, so you have to prepare for essay writing, by having a fair knowledge of the contemporary topics and practicing writing within the specific time duration. The evaluators not only look for language skills, but they also check the thought process, ideas, and knowledge pertaining to the topic.
- Take XAT Mock Tests and Last Year Papers
Solving last years’ papers and taking mock tests, will be really helpful in understanding the question types and difficulty levels and will also help in time management, which is an important factor in the test. Therefore, it is advised to take at least two mock tests in a week in order to review your preparations and have an idea of how actual exam would be. If you spend 4-5 focused hours daily, it is sufficient for completing the preparation effectively.
We hope these tips and tricks shared by XAT toppers would be beneficial to XAT aspirants. Also, we recommend you to customize them according to your level of expertise and caliber.