XAT 2023 Syllabus - Section wise Weightage, Important Books, Preparation Strategy

By: Shubh Sood on 2022-06-23 10:20:08

XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is a national-level management entrance examination conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes. Apart from XLRI and 10 other XAMI member colleges, over 1,000 B-schools accept XAT scores for admission to their post-graduate management programmes. Nearly 95,000 aspirants attempt this exam every year in about 72 cities across the country. 

Many students aim to get admission to XLRI and pursue management courses. XLRI is considered one of the top B-schools and lately, it has also added many executive and certificate programmes to meet the emerging demands of the business sector. XLRI has a host of courses to offer namely, PGDM HRM, PGDM BM (Full-time residential programmes), Exec- FPM, and BM (Part-time Programmes for Working Executives), to name a few.

Since XLRI Jamshedpur does not define any official XAT 2023 syllabus, the conducting body has flexibility in setting the XAT paper. The sections from which XAT questions have been asked in the past were Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge. Aspirants can prepare for the XAT syllabus 2023 by studying the syllabus of other management exams such as the CAT.

XAT Syllabus Overview

According to exam analysis, the XAT Exam syllabus 2023 is divided into two time-bound parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 includes three crucial sections: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude, and Data Interpretation. General Knowledge and Essay questions make up Part 2 of the XAT Syllabus. According to the most recent updates, the Essay section will be evaluated if the candidates are shortlisted for the Personal Interview. There are no official updates to the XAT Syllabus because XLRI does not prescribe it.

XAT Syllabus

Important Topics

Verbal and Logical Ability

Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Analogy, Para jumble, Grammar, Critical Reasoning, Fill in the Blanks, etc.

Decision Making

Data Arrangement, Conditioning, Grouping, Complex Arrangement, Caselets, Assumptions, Premises, Conclusions, etc.

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation

Arithmetic, Geometry, Mensuration, Percentage, Surds and Indices, Algebra, Mensuration, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Tables, Data Interpretation, etc.

General Knowledge

Science, Economy, Business, Politics, Static GK, Sports, Prize and Award, World, Government, Constitution of India, etc.

XAT Section-Wise Syllabus

Verbal and Logical Ability

According to the previous year's trend, the XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section will include 26 questions. The majority of the questions will be from Reading Comprehension. A few verbal ability/verbal reading questions will be asked. Each question will carry one mark. There will be a deduction of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer. Candidates can refer to the topics listed below to see which questions will be asked in this section.

Analogy-Based on Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks

Critical Reasoning/ Inference

Sentence Correction

Reading Comprehension

Para Jumble


Para Completion




Paragraph Formation Questions

Cloze Test, etc.



Recommended Books for XAT Verbal and Logical Ability

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension - Ajay Singh
  • Analytical Reasoning - MK Pandey
  • High School English Grammar & Comprehension - Wren & Martin
  • Word Power Made Easy - Norman Lewis
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning - RS Aggarwal

Decision Making

This section is exclusively for XAT Exam, neither CAT nor any other MBA Entrance Exam has a section on decision making. This section will consist of 21 questions. There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer. Candidates will have to read specific passages to answer Decision Making questions. Through this section, candidates are examined for their way of making decisions, how they will react to a particular situation, etc. Candidates can practice the following topics to ace the XAT Decision Making section.

  • Situational
  • Arithmetic
  • Analytical Reasoning etc.

Recommended Books for Decision Making

  • Jabbing the XAT (with solved papers) - RK Jha
  • Target XAT (Past papers and mock tests) - Disha Publication
  • Analytical and Logical Reasoning - Arihant Publications

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The majority of the questions will be from the Quantitative Ability section, with the remainder from the Data Interpretation section. According to previous year's trends, a total of 28 questions will be asked. There will be few logic-based questions. Candidates must be able to solve numerical and mathematical calculations.


  • Percentage
  • Profit and Loss 
  • Ratio and Proportion 
  • Speed Distance Time 
  • Time and Work 
  • SI and CI 
  • Mixtures and Alligations


  • Progression (AP GP HP)
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Linear Equations 
  • Inequalities 
  • Logarithms 
  • Binomial Theorem
  •  Functions & Graphs 

Geometry & Mensuration 

  • Trigonometry
  • Coordinate Geometry 

Number System

  • Surds and Indices 
  • HCF and LCM

Modern Maths

  • Venn Diagrams 
  • Probability
  • Permutation & Combination 

Data Interpretation 

  • Tables
  • Pie Charts
  • Line Graph 
  • Bar Diagrams

Recommended Books for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

  • Quantitative Aptitude for competitive examination - Abhijit Guha
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive examination - RS Aggarwal
  • Data Interpretation for the CAT - Nishit K Sinha
  • How to prepare for Data Interpretation - Arun Sharma

General Knowledge

This year, no change is expected in the syllabus of the GK section of the XAT examination. Like the previous year, it will have a total of 25 questions. These questions will be divided into 2 groups i.e. Current affairs and Static GK questions. Most of the questions are asked from Science, History, Geography, Business, Books and Authors, Economy, etc. It is important to note that this is the only section with no negative marking.

General Knowledge

Current Affairs


Film & Television

National Capital





National Issues



Important dates

Ecosystem and Diversity



Books & Authors




The XAT 2023 Syllabus for the Essay section is not defined. After the year 2018, this section was reintroduced. The XAT Essay Syllabus includes one question. The candidate will be presented with two topics (Arguments) from which they will have to select one for the essay. Candidates should not write more than 250 words. The essay topics are usually based on abstract ideas. Candidates can expect essay topics related to the headings listed below.

  • Capitalism and Democracy can't co-exist
  • Stellar performance in academics is south by institutions but such people make average managers

Preparation strategy for XAT Syllabus

The candidates appearing for the upcoming exam are suggested to prepare all the related topics of the syllabus to ace this exam. Here are some preparation tips that you can follow to complete the syllabus comprehensively.

  • Before proceeding with the preparation, the candidates must check all the previous years' question papers to note the topics covered and the difficulty level of the exam.
  • Attempt XAT Mock Tests to check your understanding of the syllabus in full.
  • Give equal importance to all the chapters covered in XAT Syllabus.
  • For the GK section, keep yourself updated with both static and current happenings around the world. As per the trends, knowing about the past 6 months' news will be sufficient.

XAT Syllabus FAQs

Q1. What is the syllabus for the exam?

Ans. Based on the exam trends, XAT Syllabus 2023 consists of 4 sections and one essay writing part. The candidates must prepare for 2 parts-

  • Part 1: Verbal & Logical Ability, Decision Making, and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
  • Part 2: GK and Essay Writing (250 Words)

Q2. How many questions will be asked in XAT 2023?

Ans. The total number of questions varies every year, but as per past year trends, there will be a total of 100 MCQs and 1 descriptive question.

Q3. Where can I find study material for the Decision Making section of the exam?

Ans. Since Decision Making section is unique to XAT, study material for the same in not readily available, thus the best source is previous years' question papers of XAT exam.

Q4. Can I prepare for XAT with the help of CAT study material?

Ans. Yes, since the syllabus of XAT and CAT are similar, one can prepare for both exams from the same study material. The candidates will have to study separately only for Decision Making section of XAT as this section is not a part of CAT syllabus.

Q5. Does XAT provide official mock tests?

Ans. Yes, XAT offers official mock test. The official XAT mock test is released after the admit cards are issued and is accessible to registered candidates only.

Q6. Are Scatter Points included in the syllabus?

Ans. Yes, Scatter Plots are included in the XAT Syllabus 2023 for Quantitative ability and data interpretation. It is to be noted that there is no official format for the XAT syllabus. It is based on the past year's papers.

Q7. What is the duration of the exam?

Ans. Candidates will get a total of 180 minutes (3 hours) to solve the entire question paper of XAT 2023. For essay writing section, there will be additional 10 minutes.

Q8. Is CAT tougher or XAT?

Ans. Both the exams are considered to be one of the toughest entrance exams in India. They are tougher than any other MBA Entrance exams. However, it can be argued that XAT is moderately tougher than CAT.

Q9. How many months are required to complete the syllabus for XAT realistically?

Ans. Ideally, XAT preparation takes six to nine months, but if candidates have prepared for CAT too, XAT preparation be done in lesser time as one will have to only work on Decision Making and GK topics. Time required to complete the XAT syllabus is minimum three months.

Q10. Are the RC passages of XAT exam tough?

Ans. Yes, the RC passages of XAT exam are tougher than that of other MBA entrance exams, but if the candidate is in habit of reading English newspapers and journals, they can handle RC passages well.