XAT, as an exam, is very different from CAT. Though the topics are mostly the same, the nature of the exams is entirely different. Aspirants must make some minor tweaks to their preparation style to crack XAT. In this article, let us see how to prepare for XAT 2019 by leveraging the preparation done so far.
Solving previous year papers of XAT can help aspirants know about the pattern of the paper and the types of questions that appear in the exam. Online preparation for XAT can help aspirants in the preparation process. Also, aspirants can take free GK tests to check their level of preparation.
XAT has gone online from last year. Though we do not know the pattern of the exam yet, we can expect the sections to remain the same. Practise questions in an online interface to familiarize yourself with the exam.
How to prepare for XAT 2019?
Before answering how to prepare for XAT 2019, let us start by exploring the various sections in the exam.
Verbal and Logical Ability:
This section is a bit different from the VARC section of CAT. RCs, though dominant, do not dominate as much as they do in CAT. The questions are usually from a wide range of topics. Aspirants must refresh their basics in grammar as a sizable number of questions are from this topic.
The paper had a few summary questions too. An important thing to note is that the subject matter of the RCs is dense and often philosophical. XAT is also known for poem RCs. Therefore, aspirants must practise all the RCs from past year papers to get hold of the section.
This section is usually tougher than that of CAT. Questions are often tough and demand conceptual clarity over anything else. Therefore, aspirants must focus on strengthening their basics. Also, solve all the quants questions from previous year papers to know about the section.
Number systems, functions, permutation and combinations and Geometry usually dominate this section. Therefore, aspirants must put in more effort while revising these topics.
The DI questions, though not as tough as those appearing in CAT, are a bit tough to crack. Also, certain DI questions can be from unfamiliar topics (such as statistics). Therefore, aspirants must revise the basics of statistics too before the exam (Concepts such as variance, S.D.).
This section is the elephant in the room for most aspirants. Though most aspirants recognize the need to prepare for this section, hardly a few prepare for this section. This section is one of its kind and is endemic to XAT. Therefore, aspirants must be careful while wading through these uncharted waters.
Past papers of XAT is one of the best sources for preparing for this section. Extensive practise is required in this section and hence, aspirants must try to complete all the past papers.
Rather than getting an answer right, the focus must be on finding out what makes an option right. Aspirants must analyse what makes an option better suited than the others. The thought process so developed will be of great use in the actual exam.
XLRI does not use the GK score while giving out calls. But, they carry some undisclosed weightage in the final selection. Therefore, aspirants must prepare for these sections too.
GK section did not have any penalty for wrong answers. Just like IIFT GK, prepare by going through recent happenings. Aspirants can refer GK compendiums for static GK part.
Last year, XAT had a penalty for skipping questions (over a limit). However, the penalty was minimal ( 1 mark per 20 skipped questions) and hence, should not be a factor at all. Aspirants must continue to be choosy while selecting the questions and must not give in to such gimmicks.
Change in the pattern:
XAT has removed the essay from the test. Instead, those who clear the exam will be tested on their written communication skills during the interview phase. The essay writing portion has been removed and XLRI has introduced WAT like the IIMs.
Essay topics can be abstract or based on current affairs. Going through the editorials of leading dailies can help aspirants form an opinion on recent issues. Also, it is important to hone the writing skills in this last 1 month to XAT. Practise writing an essay daily and get it reviewed by someone else for feedback. Ensure that your essay retains the coherence of your thoughts. Also, ensure that the structure of the essay remains intact.