XAT 2020 Xavier Aptitude Test
Last Updated: 6th Jun, 2019
5th Jan 2020
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XAT 2020 Paper Analysis

By: R Chandrakala on October 12, 2018

XAT 2018: The D-day paper pattern

Part 1


Sections Number of questions Difficulty level
Verbal and Logical 24 Medium to difficult
Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning 21 Medium to difficult
Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability 27 Medium to difficult

Part 2

Sections Number of questions
General Knowledge 25
Essay Globalization and Jingoism always co-exist

Verbal section:

The total number of questions in the section were 24 out which half of them were based on Para jumbles, vocabulary, fill in the blanks, Grammar usage, and critical reasoning. The difficulty level of this section was low in comparison to last year. There were in total 4 sets of Reading Comprehension out of 3 were easily attemptable and a reasonable attempt of about 17-18 questions was considered on an overall required for this section.

Decision making and analytical reasoning:

The total number of questions from this section was about 21. Out of the total count of questions, 18 were situational based cases and one set comprised of 3 sections based on Mathematical calculations. The difficulty level of this section varies from easy to difficult. The level of difficulty was the same as last year.

Data interpretation and quantitative ability:

The total number of questions in this section were 27, with 17 from the quantitative section and 10 from Data Interpretation. Two sets out of three were of a difficult level. On an overall basis, there were 10 questions. About 17-18 questions on an overall basis in this section can be considered a good attempt.

General Knowledge and Essay:

About 25 questions were there in the General Knowledge Section. The majority of them were from static GK and only a few from the current GK. The section was of a medium difficulty level. The difficulty level on an overall basis was lower than that of the last year. The overall cutoff is expected to be around 32-34.

XAT 2017 Paper consisted of 2 parts:

Part1- Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, and, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Part 2- General Knowledge and Essay Writing

Analysis of Part- 1


Section Name

Number of Questions

Section- I

Verbal & Logical Ability


Section- II

Decision Making


Section- III

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation


Section I- Verbal & Logical Ability

According to the feedback's from the test takes, this section was considered to be as the tougher than expected. There were a total of 26 questions in this section: 12 Verbal Ability/Reasoning questions and 14 Reading Comprehension questions.


Number of Questions

Question Type

Level of Difficulty

Vocabulary & Grammar



Sentence analogous to proverb






Descriptive phrase


One phrase to describe a number of words






Verbal Reasoning



Essence of the poem


Critical Reasoning




Relation of 2 statements to each other




Para Completion




Para Jumbles


6 sentences with first and last sentence fixed


Reading Comprehension

Passage 1 – Two paragraphs on the limits of markets


All were inferential

1 Easy, 1 Medium, 1 Difficult

Passage 2 – One page long passage on game analogies for communication


1 word-based, 3 inferential

1 Easy, 1 Medium, 2 Difficult

Passage 3 – Two-thirds of a page passage on experimentation in science


All were inferential

1 Medium, 2 Difficult

Passage 4 – One-third of a page passage on the axioms as the base of knowledge


1 direct, 3 inferential

1 Easy, 2 Medium, 1 Difficult

A student should be able to attempt 18 of the questions in this section (with about 75-80% accuracy) in about 45-50 minutes.

Section II- Decision Making & Analytical Reasoning


Area/Questions Number of Questions Question Type Level of Difficulty
Case 1 – Single paragraph case on a taxis in a city 2 Strategy situation 2 Medium
Case 2 – Single paragraph case on an MLA and a businessman 2 Strategy situation 1 Easy, 1 Medium
Case 3 – Short passage on a research institute 3 Analytical reasoning 2 Medium, 1 Difficult
Case 4 – Single paragraph case on hairdressers. 2 Strategy situation & number-based business/revenue situation 2 Medium
Case 5 – Case involving tables real estate projects 3 Number-based 1 Easy, 2 Medium
Case 6 – Single paragraph case on a family-owned sweetshop 3 Analytical reasoning 1 Easy, 2 Medium
Case 7 – Single paragraph case on the harmful chemical found in   a food product 3 Strategy situation 3 Medium
Case 8 – Single paragraph case on unhappy employees 3 HR situation 3 Medium
Case 9 – Case on scheduling crop cultivation 2 Number-based 2 Medium

All of these were easy to read and short, and most of the questions were of the medium level of difficulty. In 40-45 minutes, students should have solved about 5 sets and attempted 14-15 questions confidently (about 75-80% accuracy), out of the 23 questions.

Section III- Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation

Questions on Quantitative Ability were dominated by Geometry and Arithmetic. At least two questions on Arithmetic also combined the concepts of Geometry. There were four questions on Numbers, out of which one question was incorrect. Further, there were three questions on Modern Mathematics. There was no question on Logarithms, Permutation-Combination or Probability. One question was on Logical Data Sufficiency.

There were two Data Interpretation sets, one with 4 questions and the other with 3 questions. The set with 4 questions on salaries involved a complex combination of a box plot and line graph with medium to difficult questions. The other set with 3 questions on crops had a table and was characterized by Easy to Medium level of difficult questions. The set on the table should have been attempted while the set on box plot should have been attempted at the end.

  Level of difficulty  
Topic Easy Medium Difficult Total
Geometry (Total 7 questions)
Quadrilaterals 0 3 0 3
Triangles 1 0 1 2
Circles 0 1 0 1
Triangles & Polygon 0 1 0 1
Arithmetic (Total 7 questions)
Time-Speed-Distance 0 2 1 3
Clocks 0 1 0 1
Profit & Loss 1 0 0 1
Ratio-Proportion 1 0 0 1
Work-Pipe-Cisterns 1 0 0 1
Number Theory (Total 4 questions)
Absolute Value 0 1 0 1
Base System 1 0 0 1
Divisibility 0 1 0 1
Properties of Numbers 0 1 0 1
Modern Mathematics (Total 3 questions)
Functions 0 1 0 1
Progressions 0 1 0 1
Set Theory 0 1 0 1
Logical Reasoning
Data Sufficiency 1 0 0 1
Total 6 14 2 22
Data Interpretation (Total 7 questions)
Box plot on salaries of students placed in campus interview over the years Total 4 questions.
Level of Difficulty: Medium to Difficult
Table on the percentage of shops of different types in the four regions of India Total 3 questions.
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Analysis of Part- II

General Knowledge

There were 25 questions in this section and there was almost an equal distribution of current and static questions and national and international news based questions.

There were hardly 2-3 easy questions. The section was such that it required the student to possess extremely good general knowledge ability in multiple areas to be able to score well. Secondly, the topics of the questions were very diverse encompassing subjects such as Geography, Business and Economy, the budget, names of personalities and new inventions such as the Rasberry PI.

Considering that students would spend 15-20 minutes on GK, and there was no negative marking all questions were to be attempted without fail. A score of 8-10 would be considered a good score in this section.

Essay Writing

Topic: “Technology and nature are natural enemies.”

Students were free to agree with the topic, disagree with it or give a balanced view of pros and cons from both sides. 

As usual, the essay should have been written in a structured manner – with an introduction, main body consisting of one or two paragraphs followed by an effective and forceful conclusion. Relevant examples would have resulted in more marks. 

Writing both for and against the topic was not advisable because of time constraints and the relative difficulty of being able to conclude effectively.


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