How To Start Preparing For XAT 2023 (Sectional Strategy)

XAT 2023 Preparation Strategy

XAT 2023 Exam: Exam date, Latest pattern, Syllabus & cut off

XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is one of the most popular and national-level MBA entrance tests conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur. XLRI conducts the XAT exam on behalf of XAMI (Xavier Association of Management Institutes) to select the most eligible students for management education. for MBA programmes. More than 160 b-schools are accepting the XAT scores for the MBA programmes in the respective colleges. XAT exam is going to be conducted in the first week of January 2023. In this article, we will discuss how to prepare for the XAT 2023 exam using a preparation strategy and provide you with some information about online free resources that helps in acing the exam without taking the coaching.

Download XAT Previous papers for Free

Get 5 XAT Mocks for just Rs. 299

Before going to see the preparation strategy for XAT 2023, it is very essential to understand the XAT syllabus and the exam pattern 2023 thoroughly. Have a look at the below section that gives more detail about XAT 2023 exam pattern.

XAT 2023 Exam Pattern


Sections Number of questions Overall Time Duration
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 No Sectional Time Limit
Decision Making 21 No Sectional Time Limit
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 28 No Sectional Time Limit
75 Total MCQs


General Knowledge 25  Not Counted for Percentile Calculation
Essay Writing Test   1 Will be evaluated if you are shortlisted for the PI round
Total questions (Part 1 + Part 2) 101 190 Minutes


XAT 2023 Syllabus PDF

The XAT syllabus is given by XLRI Jamshedpur and covers themes such as decision making, verbal and logical ability, quantitative ability and data interpretation, and general knowledge. XAT 2023 syllabus as follows:

XAT 2023 exam consists of the following sections

  1. Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning
  2. Decision Making
  3. Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation
  4. General Knowledge
  5. Essay Writing

Now, let us Have a look at the topics from each section.

Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning

The first section consists of the following topics:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Para Jumbles
  • Para Completion
  • Vocabulary, Idioms and Phrases
  • Grammar and Sentence Correction
  • Sentence Completion
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Analogies
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Facts, Inference and Judgements
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Blood Relations
  • Statements, Assumptions and Inferences

Decision Making

The second section consists of the following topics:

  • Caselets
  • Decision Making in a given situation
  • Selection and Grouping according to conditions
  • Complex Arrangement

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

The third section consists of the following topics:

  • Geometry
  • Number Systems
  • Linear and Quadratic Equations
  • Profit and Loss
  • Time, Speed, Distance and Work
  • Permutations, Combinations and Probability
  • Progressions and Series
  • Logarithms and Surds
  • Inequalities
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Functions and Graphs
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Trigonometry
  • Data Interpretation – Line Charts, Bar Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, Caselets

General Knowledge

  • Current Affairs
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science and Technology
  • Economy and Business
  • Person and Awards
  • International Organizations
  • Currencies and capitals
  • Important days
  • And other important topics

Preparation Strategy For XAT 2023

As mentioned earlier the XAT 2023 exam is going to be held on the first week of January 2023. It is better to start your preparation early for the XAT 2023 examination. Aspirants must implement a proper strategy in the XAT preparation. Let us see, the best preparation strategy for XAT 2023 exam preparation.

Divide your study plan into two phases

  • The first phase of your preparation study plan should be to cover the Basics from all three sections. In any case, spend enough time learning the fundamental concepts, and make sure you thoroughly understand them. Without strong fundamentals in place, you are not going to improve your mock scores in the later stages of the preparation. Especially in the Quants section, one must be aware of the basics of the key concepts. In the Decision Making (DM) section, be thorough with the types of questions asked. After covering the basics of all topics, Practice a variety of questions.
  • In the second phase, it is imperative to take more XAT Mocks Tests. XAT online mock tests are one of the best sources for XAT exam preparation online. Remember that XAT is not a speed test (you would have slightly more than 2 mins per question). There is also no sectional time limit on the XAT exam. Therefore, aspirants must tweak the way they prepare for the exam to score well. Someone who has practised a large number of standard questions is likely to perform better in the exam. Hence, take more XAT Mocks to get used to this test-taking format. After the mock, analyse the time spent per section, and per each question. The candidates must focus on improving their accuracy.
  • Also, it is recommended to take the mocks during exam time only. This will prepare you better for the exam day.

XAT 2023 Preparation: Section-wise Strategy

The XAT exam is different from CAT. Though the topics are mostly the same, the nature of the exams is entirely different. Aspirants are advised to maintain a section-wise strategy which helps them to cover the complete XAT 2023 syllabus by maintaining balance in all the sections. The section-wise strategy is as follows.

How to prepare for XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section?

The Verbal section in XAT is a bit different from that of the VARC section in CAT. Though RCs are present here, they do not dominate as much as they do in the CAT VARC section. The questions are usually from a wide range of topics. Aspirants must refresh their basics in grammar, and vocabulary as questions from these topics are also tested.

This section of the exam had a few summary questions as well. An important thing to note is that the subject matter of the RCs is dense and often philosophical. XAT is also known for poems based on short passages. Therefore, aspirants must practice all the RCs from past year papers to get hold of the section.

How to prepare for XAT 2023 Quantitative Aptitude section?

The quants section is also slightly different from that of the CAT Quants section. Questions are slightly tougher 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 types of questions asked in this section. Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Number systems, P&C etc., are tested. 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 topics such as statistics. Therefore, aspirants must revise the basics of statistics too before the exam (basic Concepts such as variance, S.D.).

Quantitative Aptitude Formulas PDFs for the XAT exam

How to prepare for XAT 2023 Decision Making section?

This section is the deciding factor in the XAT Exam. Though most aspirants recognize the need to prepare for this section, very few aspirants prepare for this section. This section is one of its kind and is unique to the XAT exam. Therefore, aspirants must be careful while preparing for this section. This is not a very tough section to crack if you prepare well. A unique situation will be presented, and you have to make a decision. There can be questions on Business problems, Ethical Dilemma, etc.

XAT previous year papers are one of the best sources for XAT preparation for this section. Extensive practice 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.

Watch this Excellent video on XAT Decision Making, to learn everything about this section.

Also, remember that XAT has a penalty for skipping questions (over a limit). However, the penalty is minimal (1 mark per 10 skipped questions) and hence, one should not worry too much about this. Aspirants must continue to attempt the questions carefully and must not give in to such gimmicks.

How to prepare for the XAT GK section?

As we know, XLRI does not use the GK scores while giving out the calls (so, not included in the XAT percentile). But, they carry some undisclosed weightage in the final selection. Therefore, aspirants must prepare for this section too.

GK section does not have any penalty for wrong answers. Just like IIFT GK, prepare by going through recent happenings. Aspirants can refer to the GK compendiums for the Static GK part.

If you are already preparing for the CAT exam, one should mainly focus on decision-making and the GK sections.

Enroll for CAT 4 Months course

XAT 2023 Cut off for XLRI BM and HRM Programs

Based on XAT 2022, below are the cut off for the XLRI BM Program and the XLRI HRM Program. (remember that the cut-offs vary depending on the difficulty of the paper).

XAT Expected Cut off for XLRI BM
Sections Cut off for Male candidates Cut off for Female candidates
VALR 76 70
DM 74 70
QA 83 75
Overall 94 92


XAT Expected Cut off for XLRI HRM
Sections Male (Engg) Female (Engg) Male (Non-Engg) Female (Non-Engg)
VALR 80 75 80 75
DM 75 68 75 68
QA 80 74 73 64
Overall 93 90 90 87


Top Colleges accepting the XAT Scores

The top colleges accepting the XAT Scores are XLRI Jamshedpur, XLRI Delhi, XIMB, IMT Ghaziabad, XIME, TAPMI, GIM Goa, The Great Lakes Chennai, IRMA Anand, MICA, Welingkar Mumbai, BIMTECH Greater Noida, KJ Somaiya Mumbai, FORE New Delhi, etc. For detailed information on each college, candidates can go to the respective college websites and check the details of the courses offered, the fees and placements.

One can check out the list of all top MBA colleges in India with fee details, placements, admission process, entrance exams, cut-offs etc, on our official website.

Get 5 XAT Mocks for just Rs. 299

Free MBA preparation App

Candidates can Join our Telegram group of MBA aspirants for quick and regular exam updates.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here