How to prepare for XAT exam 2022?

Cracking XAT will help you to get admission into one of the top leading B-schools of India. Usually conducted in the first week of January every year, XAT is taken by approximately 1 Lakh candidates all over India. It is an online Computer-Based test of 3 hours. It consists of four sections, namely Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. XAT exam also becomes the last hope for MBA aspirants whose other MBA entrance exams did not go well as per their expectations. So, candidates need to shift their focus on preparing for XAT and give in their best to nail the exam. 

When it comes to comparing the difficulty levels of Indian MBA entrance exams, XAT is considered to be the toughest MBA entrance exam. However, a strategic XAT preparation plan is the key to crack the XAT exam. In this article about How to prepare for XAT 2022, we will walk you through the XAT preparation strategies, which will cover the entire aspect of the exam. But before we answer your question on how to prepare for XAT, let us walk you through the XAT exam pattern. 

XAT exam pattern

In the XAT exam, there will be 99 questions, and the time duration will be 3 hours. For every correct answer, one mark will be awarded. For every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. There is no negative marking for leaving eight questions unattempted. However, after that, there will be a negative marking of 0.05 marks per unattempted question. There is no sectional time limit. The candidates will get 15 minutes to attempt the General Knowledge section. There will be three main sections, namely Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation in the first part. In the second part, there will General Knowledge. You will get 165 minutes for part 1 and 15 minutes for part 2. There is no sectional time limit. The following table will give you an idea about the number of questions per section- 


No. of Questions

Time allotted (in minutes)

Quantitative Ability and DI



Decision Making


Verbal and Logical Ability


General Knowledge






How to prepare for XAT? 

Now that you are clear about the XAT exam pattern let’s begin with the XAT preparation strategy and tips one by one- 

  1. Take a previous year's XAT exam to get an idea about where you stand. Moreover, it will help you to have an idea about your strong and weak areas. 
  2. Brush up all your basics so that you are able to solve more number of questions. Sections like Quantitative Ability will be entirely based on your concepts. Having a good hold on basics or concepts will help you to solve the desired number of questions. 
  3. Try to take as many mocks as you can. Mocks will help you to experiment with your test-taking strategies. Moreover, you will learn how to stay calm while encountering tough questions in the exam. 
  4. Practice by solving all past year question papers of XAT. This way, you will get a better idea about the type of questions asked in the XAT exam. 

Now, let us give the preparation tips section by section. 

XAT Verbal and Logical Ability

XAT throws a comparatively tougher VA section for the candidates. It particularly focuses on testing a candidate’s complete language proficiency by throwing questions related to Reading Comprehension, Assumptions, Critical Reasoning, Para jumbles, and much more. Here are the tips for improving XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section-

  1. Do not attempt all the questions- Since XAT has gative marking for unattempted questions, candidates get tempted to attempt them all. However, if you observe the past year score vs. percentile trend, a total score of 35 will fetch you 95 percentile overall. So, correctly answering 13-15 questions in the verbal section will help you get the desired percentile. Your main focus should be on accuracy. 
  2. Read a lot- XAT tests your language proficiency. So, you need to be well versed in the English Language. For that, you need to read a lot. Read English newspapers and books. While reading, try to keep an eye on the grammatical structures of sentences and vocabulary.
  3. Improve your grammar and vocabulary- Having a good hold over grammar and vocabulary will help you to understand the tough sentences of the RC and CR passages. 

XAT Decision Making

The Decision-Making section of XAT is the make or break section. If you perform well in this section, then half of your job is done. It is the scoring section of the XAT exam. But not many practice questions are available for this section, which makes it a bit difficult to crack. Here are the tips for scoring well in the XAT Decision Making section-

  1. Practice past year questions- Since not many questions are available for this section, previous year questions become the most reliable source to practice for this section. 
  2. Remember, the most ethical decision is correct- the decision making questions can be trickier. However, you need to remember that the most ethical decision will always be correct. So, while solving questions, try thinking about ethical solutions to the problems.
  3. Carefully read the questions- Sometimes, missing out on the essential information can lead to an incorrect answer. Therefore, try to read the questions carefully. 

XAT Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

This section requires you to get a good hold of your concepts. Moreover, you need to be good with your calculations since the DI questions make a significant chunk of this section. Also, there is no on-screen calculator available in XAT. Here are some of the tips which can help you guide your way for XAT Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation preparation-

  1. Practice a lot- Practising a lot of questions will help you to get a better hold of your concepts and concept application skills. The more questions you practice, the better you become at this section.
  2. Improve your weak areas- While practicing, you need to keep an eye on the questions which you mostly answer incorrectly. Brush up your concepts on those topics and make sure you do not get those questions incorrect the next time you attempt them. 
  3. Take mocks- Take as many mocks as you can. Mocks will help you to answer the questions in a timed manner. Keep on practicing and improving your calculation speed as well. 

XAT General Awareness 

This particular section is not taken into account during the selection of candidates for the second stage. However, this section’s marks are taken into account in the final selection of candidates. So, it is also an important section. In order to excel at XAT General Awareness, you need to read newspapers daily. Keep an eye on all the current affairs happening around the world. Moreover, you can daily spend some time on general awareness questions related to Awards, Books, Literature, Recent Happenings, Science, Films, International Affairs, Banking, Economics, History, Geography, etc. Past year questions are also a way to understand the type of questions asked in the exam.

You should keep in mind that the XAT has quite a stringent marking scheme, and the level of difficulty is also higher. Moreover, it has a completely new section named Decision Making. Therefore, proper preparation will help you to nail the exam and get an admit to your dream B-school. 

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