XAT 2018, conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur for admission to their Business Management and Human Resource Management programmes, was conducted today on Jan 07 2018. XAT score is also used by many reputed institutes such as SP Jain, IMT Ghaziabad, XIM Bhuvaneshwar, GIM Goa, etc. as a part of their admission process
Keeping with the times, XAT 2018 was also conducted in the computer-based format for the first time. While the test was issue free for many students, the experience of a good number of test takers was not smooth. This was attributed to the technical glitches because of which the test did not even start at a couple of centres. At some centres, the students had to face problems due to the exam application shutting down because of which they had to change their systems multiple times. Many faced multiple restarts of their test systems due to which some had to type their essay all over again.
XAT authorities have informed the students who were not able to take their test that their test will be rescheduled.
Structure of the Exam
XAT 2018, in terms of the pattern, was exactly similar to the last year’s paper. The total number of questions this year was 74 as against 72 last year. The paper had two parts viz., Part-A and Part-B. Part-A comprised three sections
(i) Verbal and Logical Ability
(ii) Decision Making
(iii) Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and Part-B comprised
(iv) General Knowledge, and
The overall duration of the test was 170 minutes for the first part and 40 minutes for the second.
All questions carried equal marks with negative marking (one-fourth of a mark for a wrong answer). There was a negative marking of 0.05 for un-attempted questions, for such questions over and above 8.
The section on General Knowledge did not have any negative marking. General Awareness and Essay writing will be used for evaluation only after the initial screening, i.e., these will not be used for the shortlisting of candidates for the GDPI round.
The following is a snapshot of the question distribution:
|Section||No of Questions|
|Section-1: Verbal and Logical Ability||26|
|Section-2: Decision Making Ability||21|
|Section-3: Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability||27|
Essay: Can ethical values and sustainability coexist?
Section 1: Verbal and Logical Ability
The Verbal and Logical Ability section was very challenging, every bit at least as challenging as the ones in the recent XAT. As always, it is due to the sheer complexity of almost all the questions. The 4 RC passages were very demanding. Besides, as expected, many of the non-RC questions had very close answer-choices.
The breakup of the topics is as below
|Type||No. of Questions|
|RC based on labour and capital - 500 word ( Economics )||3|
|RC based on belief and doubt - 550 word ( Philosophy )||3|
|RC based on history - 550 word ( Learning from history )||3|
|RC based on consciousness - 600 word ( Philosophy )||4|
Since the questions following the RC passages were challenging because they were followed by very close options, the right thing to do would have been to try only 6 or 7 carefully selected questions.
The poetry was on transcendental love and the questions would have proved a handful for a student who is not used to finding hidden meanings in the text; although the poem was readable, the options were very close indeed. Attempting one of the two questions would have been a sensible thing for the student.
The five Critical Reasoning questions included one question each on a fallacy in the argument, basis of decision-making, redundancy of text, inference, and conclusion. These were followed by very close options and they might have tested the reasoning ability of the very best! The sensible course of action for the student would have been to attempt two well-chosen questions.
Of the two Para Formation questions, one was extremely complex and the other one was relatively simpler. The sensible student would have attempted only one of these two questions.
Of the two vocabulary based questions, one was of a medium difficulty level, enabling a well-prepared student to attempt at least this.
The two Grammar questions were of a medium difficulty level. This meant that a student who had worked hard would have been able to attempt both.
14-16 attempts can be considered to be good in this section. The cut-off is expected to be around 7.5 – 8.5.
Section 2: Decision Making
There were 21 questions in this section, from eight sets - Five sets of three questions each and three sets of two questions each. But for the set on courier service, the storylines for the remaining sets are very simple and easy to comprehend. The easier part, however, ended there. The questions were subjective and the answers choices were not too easy to eliminate.
As compared to last year, this year’s DM section is a shade tougher, mainly for the reason that a couple of sets (Four Kingdoms and Three persons living on hills) are quite vague. The set on courier services, based on calculations, was doable. Careful reading, however, was required for all the sets to avoid mistakes.
The answer choices were very close for the sets based on Microfinance, Lal & Sons and Ava CEO. The remaining sets can be said to be relatively doable.
A couple of sets were seemingly modeled on the recent Board crisis of Infosys (Lal & Sons) and CEO crisis at TATA (Ava CEO).
By spending about 30 to 35 minutes one would be able to attempt about 10-12 questions with 80% accuracy.
We expect the cutoff in this section to be around 7-8.
Section 3 : Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
The section was a mix of mostly easy and a few moderate-difficult questions. There were only a few questions which were tricky and required a thorough understanding of concepts.
The section was overall lower in difficulty level compared to last year’s Quant section. There were six questions from two DI sets and both these sets were of moderate difficulty level. The questions were easy to solve, however, the scrolling up and down to look at the data made it a little difficult for the students to comprehend the information given in the sets.
The topic wise break-up of the questions is as below:
|Topics||No of Questions|
|Time & Work||1|
|Geometry & Mensuration||4|
|Profit & Loss||1|
|Averages & Mixtures||1|
|Time & Distance||2|
|Ratio, Proportion and Variation||1|
|Tournaments, 6 teams (DI Set)||3|
|Professors (Arithmetic, Algebra, Calculus) (DI Set)||3|
With slightly easier section as compared to last year’s, the number of attempts is bound to go up. An attempt of 18-20 with an accuracy of about 80% can be considered to be a good bet. The cut-off is expected to be 12-13 in this section.
The GK section in XAT 2018 had a mix of questions from various areas, including history, geography, sports, business and Indian constitution.
The split of the questions in this section was as below
|Area||No. of Questions|
|Science & Technology||2|
|Entertainment & Sports||3|
As the section is not used for shortlisting, there will be no cut-off requirement for this section. However, those who attempted over 11-13 with about 80% accuracy can consider themselves to have done well.
Essay : The topic for the essay was "Can ethical values and sustainability coexist?".
The topic needed the students to see if these two important things are mutually exclusive. A student who could logically establish that they are not - and in simple, grammatically correct English and in about 200 words – would have given a good account of himself/herself. With about 25 minutes available on hand after the GK section, a well-prepared student was expected to devote about 20 minutes for the essay after spending around 5-8 minutes gathering the thoughts and refining the essay.
- The cutoffs this year are expected to be as below
- Verbal and Logical Ability: 7.5-8.5
- Decision Making: 7-8
- Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation: 12-13
XLRI BM: 33 - 35
XLRI HRM: 31 - 33