XAT 2020 Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

XAT Exam Pattern 2020 is expected to remain the same as the last year. In 2019, the paper pattern underwent a few changes. Certain additions, eliminations and revamping of the paper sections were done in the exam pattern. The essay-writing section was removed from the paper pattern. The candidates were asked questions under 4 sections in the exam in place of 5, as was the case earlier. 

  • XAT 2020 exam is tentatively scheduled for January 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in a single session. DownloadXAT Sample Papers
  • The exam includes 2 types of questions: Objective & Subjective.
  • The management exam is conducted in online (computer-based) mode. 
  • With the introduction of changes, one can expect changes in XAT Cutoff.
  • The paper is divided into 4 sections viz.
    • Verbal and Logical Ability
    • Decision Making
    • Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 
    • General Knowledge 
  • Candidates are allowed to submit test paper after 30 minutes of the test commencement time.

CheckToppers Tips to Crack XAT Exam

Read on to know more about XAT 2020 exam pattern such as marking scheme, test structure, important books and other such important details.

Highlights of XAT Exam Pattern

The following table gives quick information about the paper pattern of the exam. 

Exam ModeOnline (CBT)
Duration3 Hours
Total Questions100 questions
Medium of ExamEnglish only
Marking SchemeThere is a choice of not attempting 8 questions. Beyond this, any un-attempted question 0.05 mark will be deducted.

Changes in XAT Exam Pattern

  • One of the most surprising changes notified is the change in exam mode. For the past 60 years, XAT was being conducted in offline mode. There has not been any other change announced as yet.
  • Exam duration has also been reduced to three hours from earlier three & a half hours. 
  • XLRI will not consider the score of XAT exam for shortlisting the candidates for GD/ PI. However, the exam score will be taken into consideration for shortlisting the candidates’ final admissions.

Check Here: Latest Changes in XAT Exam Pattern


XAT 2020 Exam Pattern

  • As mentioned above, the paper is divided into 4 sections viz. Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge.
  • The exam is consists of 100 multiple choice questions.
  • The total time given to solve this section is 3 hours.

Section-wise Questions distribution: 

SECTION NAMEMAX. QUESTIONS
Verbal and Logical Ability26
Decision Making22
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation27
General Knowledge25
Total100 Questions

XAT Marking Scheme

  • +1 Mark for each Correct answer for MCQs
  • XAT Negative Marking: 0.25 (¼) mark deducted for MCQs 
  • MCQs in XAT GK section are free from Negative Marking

Read XAT 2019: Last Minute Preparation Tips


XAT Syllabus 2020

XAT Syllabus is prepared in order to check the quantitative, decision making and logical and verbal ability of applicants.

SubjectImportant Topics
Quantitative Ability & Data InterpretationGeometry, Tables, Graphs, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Statistics, Profit & Loss, Speed and Distance, Clocks
Verbal and Logical AbilityGrammar, Para Jumbles, Para Completion, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehensions
Decision MakingAnalytical Reasoning, Situational, Case lets, Data Arrangement Sets
General KnowledgePolitics, History, Sports, Nation and States, Business, Literature, Economics, International Relations, Society

Read:Top XAT Coaching Institutes to Boost your Preparation


XAT Preparation Books

XAT Recommended Books: English Books

XAT English Preparation Books
Book nameAuthor
Verbal Ability and Comprehension for XAT (2nd ed.)Bharat Patodi
MBA (XAT, IIFT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT)Gautam Puri

XAT Recommended Books: Quantitative Ability

XAT Quantitative Ability Books
Book nameAuthor
Quantitative Aptitude Simplified for XATDeepak Agarwal
Concepts of Numbers for XAT and Other Aptitude exams (Old Edition)Gajendra Kumar

Also, Check How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for XAT?

XAT Recommended Books: Logical Reasoning

XAT Logical Resoning Books
Book nameAuthor
Koncepts of LR – Logical Reasoning for CAT, XAT, CMAT, Bank PO & Other Aptitude TestsGajendra Kumar
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT/XAT/IIFT/CMAT/MAT (Box Set)Gajendra Kumar

Recommended Magazines

  • Competition Success
  • India Today
  • Business World
  • Business Line by the Hindu Group

XAT Recommended Books: General Knowledge

Books play an important role in the life of students. It is very important to choose the right books for proper preparation. Given below are some recommended books for candidates preparing for XAT 2020:

XAT Preparation Books
Book nameAuthor
General Knowledge 2020Arihant
IIFT & XAT (GK Compendium) 2016-17Career Launcher
Target XAT 2020 (Past Papers 2005 – 2017 + 5 Mock Tests)Disha
XAT Solved Papers 2008-2016 Career Launcher
Jabbing The XATR.K Jha

XAT Exam Pattern Analysis

There were quite a few changes in the exam pattern of XAT 2019 paper. It is expected that those changes will be continued in this year’s XAT 2020 exam pattern. Certain topics were added and deleted whereas a few topics were revamped. Some of the major changes are mentioned below:

  1. Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions were added. 
  2. Duration of the exam was changed to 3 hours compared to last year’s 3½ hours. 
  3. Essay type questions were removed from the paper. 
  4. No negative marking for the wrong answer under General Knowledge section (Part – 2).

Check How to Crack XAT 2020 with XAT Topper Tips?

Read the below table to have a fair idea about XAT Exam Pattern 2020:

YEARTOTAL QUESTIONS & TIME DURATIONSECTION-WISE DIVISION OF QUESTIONSXAT MARKING SCHEMEPERCENTILE CALCULATIONLEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
XAT 2014113 MCQs
1 Essay topic
3 hours duration
VARC-28
DM-24
Quant-31
GK-30
Essay topic-1
1 mark for each correct answer; ¼ negative markingScore on 83 MCQs in 1st three sections accounted for percentile calculationModerate to difficult
XAT 2015114 MCQs
1 Essay topic
3 hours duration
VARC-28
DM-23
Quant-33
GK-30
Essay topic-1
1 mark for each correct answer; ¼ negative markingScore on 84 MCQs in 1st three sections accounted for percentile calculationModerate to highly difficult
XAT 2016103 MCQs
1 Essay topic
3½ hours duration
VARC-26
DM-23
Quant-29
GK-25
Essay topic-1
1 mark for each correct answer; ¼ negative marking for each wrong answer; penalty of 0.05 mark per question if more than 13 questions left unattemptedScore on 78 MCQs in 1st three sections accounted for percentile calculationModerate to highly difficult
XAT 201797 MCQs
1 Essay topic
3½ hours duration
VARC-24
DM-21
Quant-27
GK-25
Essay topic-1
1 mark for each correct answer; ¼ negative marking for each wrong answer; penalty of 0.05 mark per question if more than 12 questions left unattemptedScore on 72 MCQs in 1st three sections accounted for percentile calculationModerate to difficult
XAT 2018(Mode of exam changed to Online)97 MCQs
1 Essay topic
3½  hours duration
VARC-24
DM-21
Quant-27
GK-25
Essay topic-1
1 mark for each correct answer; ¼ negative marking for each wrong answer; penalty of 0.05 mark per question if more than 12 questions left unattemptedScore on 72 MCQs in 1st three sections accounted for percentile calculationModerate to difficult

XAT 2020 Model Test Paper

  • Practice the model test paper given on the XLRI’s official website a few days before the exam. 
  • The questions will give a fair idea about what can be expected in XAT 2020.
  • This paper will have a time duration of 2 hours. Actual XAT 2020 paper pattern will have a time duration of 3 hours.
  • The sections will include Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and General Knowledge. 
  • Practising XAT 2020 Model Paper, along with the sample papers, will help you enhance your speed and accuracy. 
  • They will help you manage your time properly.

XAT Exam Pattern FAQs

Ques. Any changes in the overall pattern compared to last year?

Ans. The overall exam pattern was changed last year. No new changes are expected this year. 

Ques. Will the candidates be able to choose the order of sections according to their choice?

Ans. Yes, the applicants can choose any section, to begin with.

Ques. What will be the duration of the exam?

Ans. The exam duration will be 3 hours.

Ques. Will there be any sectional time limit or overall time limit?

Ans. No, there are no sectional time limits, there will be only an overall time limit.

Ques. Will the candidates have access to an on-screen calculator?

Ans. No, the candidates will not be given access to the on-screen calculator

We hope this article will be helpful during your XAT Preparation. Once you are thorough with the exam pattern and syllabus, the preparation journey becomes a smooth-sail. We wish you luck for the exam