XAT continued its tradition to end the MBA exam season (for many candidates) on a low note with the toughest paper of the year. Apart from some difficult verbal questions and some really tricky DM questions, the exam didn’t throw up any surprises. The new venture XAT took, this year, was eliminating essay writing section and throwing a curve ball by not introducing non MCQ type of questions even though the sample paper released 3 days before the exam, stated so.
Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2019 was conducted on January 6, 2019 from 10 am to 1:00 pm.
The test was divided into two parts. The first part was the usual XAT paper which had questions divided into three sections Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, and Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. As stated by the XAT authorities earlier, the total time allotted for attempting these questions was 165 minutes.
The second part consisted of General Awareness questions. The total time allotted to this section was 15 minutes.
The Verbal and Logical Ability Section had 26 questions, same as last year. The section on Decision Making comprised 21 questions and the Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section had 27 questions. Each question in Part A, carried 1 mark each and attracted -0.25 marks for every incorrect attempt. Part B had no negative marking. Furthermore, from this year the penalty for un-attempted questions went beyond 8 such questions had been doubled to -0.10 from -0.05 marks.
The detailed analysis of all the sections is as follows:
XAT 2019 Analysis: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning:
Verbal ability and Logical reasoning was tougher than last year, mainly due to Verbal section. The section was dominated by Reading Comprehension with 4 passages of 3 questions each. There was one poem of 2 questions and that was very difficult. The 2 para jumble questions were easy. The FIB questions were difficult and some of the CR questions were really difficult. The vague reasoning used in some RC questions made life difficult for the candidates. The RC passages were from familiar areas of Psychology, Art and Social issues.
A serious candidate could have attempted 16-18 questions with 70% accuracy. It was definitely time consuming and a student could have taken around 50 minutes for the section.
The breakup was as follows:
XAT 2019 Analysis: Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning
The level of the Decision Making was similar to last year. There were no singlets and it made the task of reading easier. Situational decision making dominated the section with 18 questions. There were no questions from Mathematical/Analytical Reasoning, thus students might have attempted 2-3 more questions. However, there were more sequencing questions which lead to lesser attempts. There were 3 caselets (Raket, Limo, ice-cream = music) which were similar to those that were there in previous year papers.
The breakup was as follows:
XAT 2019 Analysis: Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation:
The section on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation was slightly tougher than last year’s. However, one of the DI sets was tricky. There were 21 questions of QA and most of them were from Geometry and Algebra (including co-ordinate and Trigonometry). Majority of the questions from Arithmetic were doable whereas the questions on Geometry were difficult in nature.
In Data Interpretation, there were 2 sets comprising 6 questions in total. There were a few questions which were a little ambiguous. 1 DI question on proportion of Economists and that of Engineers was incorrect. 1 Quant question on roots was incorrect since x was mentioned in the root.
In a nutshell, one could have attempted 2-3 DI questions and 13-15 Quant questions in about 65-70 minutes.
The break-up was as follows:
XAT 2019 Analysis: General Knowledge:
The level of difficulty of the General Knowledge section was similar to last year. This section comprised 25 questions. Most of the questions were single-statement based. Some of the questions having multiple-statements had more than one correct statement. The key areas from where the questions were asked were static GK (Economy, Geography, Science and Technology) and Current GK (Business economy, personalities, awards, sports and miscellaneous). Overall the difficulty level of the GK section lies in the “moderate-difficult” range. An attempt of 12-14 questions fetching a score of 7-8 can be considered good.
(Gautam Bawa is Group Product Head, Career Launcher. Views expressed here are personal.)