XAT 2013 Paper Pattern


XAT 2013 was administered as two parts as usual. However, the second part, which used to be only an Essay Writing part has now become two section (part) paper with General Awareness also getting added. However, this was no surprise as the broad pattern of XAT 2013 was announced quite early and students were aware of the impending change.

Part I

No of Questions          : 91

Time available            : 140 minutes

No of Marks               : 91

No of Sections            : 3 (Cutoffs exist for each section)

Marking                     : All questions carry equal marks (unlike in the past)

Negative marking       : ¼ th of the mark (may be deducted)

Part II

No of parts                  : 2 (A and B)

Time available              : 40 minutes

Part A                          : General Awareness

Part B                          : Essay – To be written in NOT more than 200 words

“Corruption is the root cause of economic slowdown in India”

Test Pattern

  Section Area No. Of Questions Marks
PART ONE Section -A Verbal and Logical Ability 30 30
  Section – B Decision Making 25 25
  Section – C Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 36 36
  Total   91 91
PART TWO Part A General Awareness 30 30
  Part B Essay   30



XAT 2013 Analysis

XAT is the probably the second most important exam for management entrances. If not for anything other thing, the fact that XLRI takes XAT scores for its selection criteria makes it the No 2 exam to be cracked.

XAT 2011 and XAT 2012 shocked the wits out of students with differential marking as well as the difficulty level of the exams themselves. XAT 2013, in that light, would have been a welcome change for all students who have written this exam today on the 6th of Jan.

In fact, the very fact that there is no differential marking would have been a sigh of relief for students.

The paper was a mix of relatively easy to quite difficult questions. But a careful observation of the same reveals that XAT remains as ingenious and inscrutable as it has always been.

Verbal and Logical Ability

The verbal question was a nasty surprise with 4 RC passages, which ranged from medium to difficult with hardly 2-3 easy questions. While the passages were not lengthy, they were difficult to comprehend and were followed by inference-based questions. The questions on grammar (best alternative) and Para jumbles were solvable. The FIB questions using articles were not as easy as they seemed at first glance. Overall a difficult section, where patience and perseverance was required, a Rahul Dravid kind of innings was required.

A quick view of the pattern of this section will clarify what is meant above

Sno Question Type No of Questions Difficulty Level
1 Verbal Logic 3 High
2 Grammar based -Fill in the blanks with Articles 3 Medium
3 Grammar 3 Easy – Medium
4 Para Jumbles 3 Easy – Med
5 Reading Comprehension (4 sets) 18 Medium to High
  Total 30 Medium to High


There were solvable questions in RC as well as Para Jumbles that a student could have scored marks in. A good student could have attempted around 20/23 questions in about 35 minutes and get a score of around 14.

Cutoff for the section – 10


Decision Making

Decision Making has been a regular feature of XAT for quite a number of years now. There were 4 individual questions and 7 case lets for 21 questions to make up the 25 questions in this section.

Out of the 7 case lets, one set was more of Analytical Ability and understanding probability but the rest of them were very apt cases for decision making in real life situation. One case let had an uncanny resemblance to the corruption issue plaguing the country, the success of Anna Hazare‘s campaign against corruption and the subsequent fizzling out of the campaign without any positive outcome. XAT had made a beautiful decision making case out of the same.

The questions were very much doable and a person who has been reading and has real managerial insights could have solved many of the 25 questions given in the section.

A good student could have attempted around 18 questions in around 35 minutes in this section and get around 11/12 marks.

Cutoff for the section  – 9


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

For once QA and DI were not as difficult as the trend has been for XAT over the years. Infact, XAT Quant and DI is considered the toughest among all MBA entrances and as said earlier, this year’s paper was a welcome break from such an ordeal.

The QA questions were, by XAT standards, quite easy though there were a few toughies. DI, however was quite lengthy and hence, selecting the right set and

The breakup of the section is as follows

S no   No of questions
  Quantitative Ability  
  Arithmetic 8
1 Averages and Mixtures 1
2 Time and Distance 3
3 Time and Work 3
4 Simple Interest, Compound Interest 1
  Algebra 10
5 Numbers and Number Theory 6
6 Indices, Logs, Surds 2
7 Polynomials 1
8 Venn Diagram 1
  Pure Math 7
9 Functions and Graphs 1
10 Statistics 1
11 Probability 1
12 Geometry 3
13 Misc 1
  Data Interpretation 10
Set 1 Tournament & Games 4
Set 2 Line Graphs – Railway train chart 3
Set 3 Table – GDP and other parameters 3


The arithmetic area was probably easier than the other areas. The questions on Time & Distance and Time & Work were easily doable. Questions on Statistics as well as some questions on Numbers and Geometry were very much solvable for a student whose quant fundaes are strong.

DI also, though appeared lengthy, was solvable.

A good student could have attempted around 17/18 questions in around 45 minutes to get around 12 marks

Cutoff for this section – 9

Overall Cutoff

XLRI has two programs, the HRM and the BM program. The HRM program typically has a lower cutoff than the BM program.

There is a high likelihood that Interview calls will be given as per the scores in the above three sections only. The Genereal Awareness and Essay part will be evaluated post the Interview Calls. This also means that all other institutes which take the XAT scores for their written test portion of selection will only take the scores from these three sections and the overall scores from these three sections.

Expected Overall Cutoff for XLRI (HRM)       –  35

Expected Overall Cutoff for XLRI (BM)          –  38

Expected cutoff for XIM Bhubaneshwar        –  33


General Awareness & Essay

One of the most important areas for a would-be manager but alas a bête noire for a aspiring management student, General Awareness has come back into XLRI’s test after quite a while. In the 1990s, one full section was always earmarked for General Awareness section out of the three sections that appeared in the XLRI exam.

The GA paper in XAT 2013 was not very difficult for a student who is regular in reading newspapers and is in touch with the current affairs. However, in many cases a student needed to eliminate options and work his/her way to the answer.

The weightage given to GA and Essay is the same. In other words, unless the Essay is evaluated, the total marks for this part of the paper cannot be given. It is therefore unlikely that any other Institute, which takes the XAT score expect XLRI, will use this part of the paper. For XLRI, we believe that only in the case of candidates who clear a certain cutoff in Part I will have part II evaluated.

Given the fact that there are 30 questions in the General Awareness part, the total marks could be for 30 or for 15. This depends on how XLRI is evaluating XAT component (3 sections) and the GA/Essay Component for its overall written test assessment.


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