XAT 2017 Preparation Tips : XAT or the Xaviers Aptitude Test can be considered as one of the gatekeepers to a good to exceptional MBA college as its one of the examination scores a majority of the highest ranked b-schools fall back upon. Its not majorly different from the CAT it just requires a different mindset and its normal for students to break into a cold sweat at the mention of the XAT exam. Students try various “mantras” to crack the XAT trying a variety of strategies , cramming and almost losing their mind. Cracking the XAT isn’t that tedious to lose your mind over..it just necessitates that you be familiar with the test and study as per a plan, supplemented by enough XAT practice tests. Your XAT preparation plan will depend on familiarity, time and learning speed. Actually, how to prepare for XAT is a subjective question as the preparation for XAT has to be customized in each case.
XAT 2017 Exam basics
To crack any exam its imperative to know the basics of the examination which could be likened to awareness of your landscape prior to waging war. The sole reason for this being that it heightens your odds for scoring well in the examination.
The XAT 2017 exam features two sections namely (1) objective (2) subjective. The subjective portion of the exam constitutes of an essay writing section and the total time allotted for this exam is 180 minutes. The areas that students are tested on are as follows (i) Verbal and Logical Ability (ii) Decision Making (iii) Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (iv) General Knowledge. This particular exam is pen and paper based and thus doesn’t have any sectional time limit. Do keep in mind that the marks obtained in the General Knowledge section wont be used for the determination of the percentile and cut-off in the first stage of selection.
How to prepare for XAT 2017 Exam section-wise
In this particular section the XAT preparation necessitates that you will have to be fairly comfortable with the four major test domains: Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation and Decision Making.
Quantitative Ability consists of questions on numbers, algebra, geometry, sets, functions, algebraic equations, trigonometry, coordinate geometry, mensuration, probability, profit-loss, simple interest, time-calendar, surds and indices, linear equations, quadrilaterals and polygons, progressions – A.P., G.P., H.P.
In order to ace this section students will have to pay a visit to their old books from classes 5 to 10 and review all the basics and solve the problems. Its also advisable to work to work on tables, fractions-decimal conversions, squares, cubes for fast mental calculations as it will help you save time.
Verbal Ability consists of questions that are based on on Reading Comprehension passages, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, Verbal Analogies, Fill in the Blanks and Vocabulary Usage. Students can ace this section via the help of extensive good reading.
In order to score in this section it pays off to brush up on your grammar skills and be a grammar nazi! Read extensively be it books, newspapers or magazines and make a note of new words.
Data Interpretation consists of questions on graphs, charts and tables.
The Decision making section will be comprising a mix of questions on Tables and Caselets, Probability, Linear Arrangements, Puzzles, Blocks, Sequential Arrangements etc.
Candidates are advised to extensively practice their Decision making skills with the help of puzzle books and solve the problems that are found in other books
General awareness is a segment that will consist of 30 questions that are based on current events and static GK. The GK questions in the XAT may be based on the given topics Awards and winners, Government and Politics, Science, Famous Personalities and Business Economy.
This section consists of the essay question and relying on the previous trends we can hope to find abstract topics for this question. The topic is most likely to be based on a common Phrase or an idiom with an implied philosophical hint. It’s rare to come across a straight forward essay topic for the XAT exam pattern and thus you have to brace yourself for various types of essays. The duration of the essay is only 20 minutes thus you have to practice gathering your thoughts and putting them down on paper in a time bound manner.
Basic Preparation Tips to crack XAT 2017 Exam
Here are some overall tips to prepare for the XAT and keep your mind boggle free
- Prepare section wise:
Many students make this error of devoting more effort and time to a particular section and less for the rest. You got to keep in mind that each section is of equal importance as the exam is highly competitive. Make a proper study plan where you allot sufficient time for all the sections.
- Brush up on your Verbal Ability and General Awareness:
This is highly important thus to do this you will be required to read newspapers, magazines and books which will help you build on your vocabulary skills and make use of them whenever necessary. Also be very clear with the basics of your English grammar and also engage in group discussions. Keep updated with the current affairs by watching the news channel and browsing the internet.
- Elect a crash course:
Its good to opt for a crash course as the institutes that offer them enables you in getting acquainted with the format of the exams. Regularly taking mock tests will be of immense help too.
- Refine your mathematical skills:
Its important to keep practicising the basics of mathematics and solving problems on a daily basisas once the concepts are clear you can then apply conventional methods while solving different problems. Later you can also improvise to use shortcuts when you have established a stronghold on the subject thus acquiring speed.
- Keep practicing decision making skills:
The keys to the success in aceing decision making is quick thinking and extensive practice. As this particular topic is fairly new you will be required to familiarize with the topic well and the only way to do this is via solving sample papers from the previous years.
- Keep solving question papers:
This can help vastly as you get familiarized with the format of the question paper . Also the sections of on Verbal & Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation are very similar to those of the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) and thus you can also practice from these papers. There are also many websites that provide practice tests on Data Interpretation, Verbal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Mathematics. There are also specialized question banks for the XAT and students should make avail of them in order to improve on their skills.
- Staying calm:
This advice is an oldie but a goldie. Nothing messes up your mind more than stress and anxiety. Thus its always preferable to reach the examination hall earlier than scheduled and settle down comfortably. Have confidence in yourself and your preparation and remain calm and composed during the exam as unnecessary nervousness is bound to spoil your preparation which is highly undesirable.
- Stay away from negative marking:
Nothing can reduce marks more than negative marking and as this exam contains it my advice is to steer clear from it. Do not attempt many questions on guesswork and if you are in a dire situation and desperately need to its then advisable to apply the process of elimination (PoE) to eliminate the less probable choices to zero-in on the correct one.
- Time management:
This is another oldie but goldie..Time management is one of the most crucial things in almost all aspects of life but especially in this one as the exam is quite lengthy. Its advisable to give the paper a once over and then answer the easier questions first and opt for the others later as this will help you save time and improve your score and confidence.
- Read the questions carefully:
Many students act overconfident and start answering without carefully reading the question thus causing misinterpretation and loss of marks. The questions in the paper are meant to confuse you and any silly mistake can render your efforts useless thus it pays to put in abit of effort in reading and understanding the questions and then solve it . If you finish earlier its better to have a once over of your paper and then hand it in.
Some useful books for XAT 2017 Preparation
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr. R.S. Agarwal
The Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency by Ananta Ashisha
Important Links for XAT 2017