How to start XAT 2020 preparation

XAT 2020 is expected to be held in the first week of January 2020, so this is the right time to start preparing for the exam. Candidates who are already preparing for CAT 2019, need not worry much about the preparation. All you need to do is modify your preparation a bit to include Decision Making and GK in your study plan and practice XAT mock tests.

But those who are targeting XAT solely, should start the preparation now. Before making a XAT 2020 preparation plan, do the following:

  • Know the XAT syllabus
  • Understand XAT exam pattern and marking scheme
  • Select the best books for XATpreparation
  • Obtain XAT question papers and mock test series

XAT Syllabus:

Sections Important topics
Verbal and Logical Ability Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Fill in the blanks, Antonyms/Synonyms, Jumbled Paragraphs, Vocabulary, Error Correction, Word Usage, One Word Substitution, Sentence Completion, Paragraph Completion
Decision Making Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, Arithmetic, Data Arrangement, Caselets, Conditions and grouping, Situations, Assumptions, Decision making
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation Percentage, Tables and Caselets, Linear and Quadratics Equations, Profit and Loss, Probability, Surds and Indices, Ratio and Proportion, Critical Path, Inequalities, Variation, Averages and Partnerships, Logarithms, Time and Work, Alligations and Mixtures, Numbers, Time, Speed and Distance, Algebra, Mensuration, LCM and HCF, Simple and Compound Interest, Geometry, Pure Maths, Venn Diagram, Trigonometry, Data Tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Graphs, Pie Charts, Data analysis 
General Knowledge Awards and Winners, History and Geography, Business and Politics, Constitution of India, Personalities, Government  and Economy, World Events, Current Affairs, Static GK

XAT Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme:

Given below are the main points of XAT exam pattern and marking scheme

XAT exam structure Details
Language of paper English
Mode of examination Online
Number of sections 4
Number of questions 100
Total Marks 100
Number of answer choices 4
XAT Marking scheme +1 marks for correct answer and – 0.25 mark for incorrect answer.

0.5 marks will be deducted for more than 8 un-attempted questions.

No negative marking in GK section

Duration of exam 180 minutes

Best Books for XAT:

Check the table below for section-wise best books for XAT.

Books for XAT Author/Publisher
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests For Admission into IIMs Sarvesh K Verma


Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations Guha Abhijit
Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha/Arihant
Word Power made Easy Norman Lewis
Objective General English Dr RS Agarwal and Vikas Agarwal
High School English Grammar Wren & Martin
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning GautamPuri
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma

Best study material for General Knowledge:

To prepare for GK section of XAT exam, the candidates must read the following:

Newspapers and Journals
The Hindu Economic Times
Financial Express Hindu Business Line
Wall Street Journal The Financial Times
Business Today Business World
Competition Success Review Management Compass Career Launcher

XAT question Papers:

Previous year XAT question papers are the best source of practicing questions during XAT preparation. After completing the XAT syllabus, allot at least 2 months for practicing official question papers, sample papers and mock test series of XAT.

Solving XAT questions papers will not only help the candidate familiarize themselves with the pattern and types of questions but will also help them assess their weakness and strength viz XAT topics.

Solving XAT sample papers and mock test series will give the candidates enough practice of online test environment and help them improve speed and accuracy in solving the questions. The candidates must solve at least 24-30 online mock tests. The more the better.

Section-wise XAT preparation tips:

Decision Making:This section requires aptitude to solve questions related to ethical dilemmas, financial issues, general management scenarios, company management issues. Hence, it requires a lot of practice. Practice a variety of decision making questions to be prepared for any type of question in the exam.

Verbal and Logical Ability:This section will consist of Reading Comprehension, Grammar and Verbal Ability. Preparation of this section has to be a long-term plan. To develop speed in reading and comprehension of dense paras, start reading books and novels at the earliest. Add, newspapers editorials, online blogs, and data heavy reports in your daily to-do list. For Grammar, Wren & Martin is the best source to study from and Verbal Ability has can be conquered only if you have gotten your concepts cleared thoroughly, Practice tough verbal ability questions and dense RC passages to be on the safer side.

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation: This section of XAT exam is the most calculation heavy section as it comprises both Maths and Reasoning. To perform well in this section, be thorough with the concepts, theories and formulae. And to understand their application solve topic wise questions at least 3 times. Focus more on Mensuration, Geometry and Algebra in the Quant section. In the DI section be thorough with Tables and caselets, pie charts, graphs and charts, alligations and data analysis.

General Knowledge: This section of XAT exam is usually the easiest and can be completed within first 40 minutes. To prepare for this section stick to reading newspapers and current affairs magazines along with Manorama Year Book and Competition Success Review.

Check all information for XAT 2020 such as registration, application, admit card exam date and result at

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