XAT 2020 Preparation Tips, Section Wise Tips, Important Topics, Study Material and Mock Test

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By Anam Shams - Content Writer Dec 27 2019 Share this blog

XAT is an online management aptitude test conducted by XLRI. It is a highly accredited exam with scores being used by more than 150 management institutes across India. XAT 2020 Preparation Tips will be beneficial for the aspirants to get a high score and take admission into the prestigious Management institutions. The XAT 2020 preparation of the aspirants should be related to the syllabus and exam pattern. Better, they should go for multiple rounds of mock tests and quizzes. It will be helpful to build up the confidence level of the candidates by minimising the occurrence of error. 

In order to crack a highly competitive exam like XAT 2020 candidates have to sharpen their critical thinking, language skills, reasoning and intellectuality.

XAT 2020 Exam Pattern can be understood in three parts- 

  • Basic concept based sections that are Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and few topics from Verbal and Logical Ability.
  • Then there are sections which involve a lot of practice to know various ways in which questions can be put up like Decision making and Analytical Reasoning.
  •  And lastly there is the general awareness and environment sensitive section.

XAT 2020 Preparation Tips is dependent upon three factors and these are time management, accuracy and speed. Apart from the XAT 2020 preparation tips, the aspirants should know about the following information:

  • The XAT 2020 exam does not allow the students to use on-screen calculator facilities.
  • The aspirants will have eligibility to complete the sections as per their own needs, since there will be no sectional time limitation. You can attempt the questions of any sections at any time.
  • Only 8 questions can be left as unanswered. After that, you will get a negative marking of 0.05 per each unanswered question. 
  • Two sections, decision making and general knowledge have been added in the syllabus of XAT exam. 

XAT 2020 Key Features

XAT 2020 is scheduled to be held on January 5 in online mode. In 2019 there was a major change in the exam pattern, XLRI removed the Essay writing section, leaving only four sections for the candidates to attempt. XAT has got two additional sections as compared to CAT- Decision Making and General Knowledge. Decision making is one of the most important areas where the students must give additional effort. 

  • There is no on screen calculator available in XAT exam.
  • Time duration for the test is 3 hours and candidates can attempt the paper in any order as per their preference, there is no sectional time limit.
  • In terms of marking scheme, candidates can leave 12 questions unanswered, after which a penalty of -0.05 marks will be there.
  • XAT comprises sections like Decision making and General Awareness unlike other management entrance tests. 

XAT is conducted annually and students having a bachelor's degree of minimum three years from any recognized institutes or are in the final year of their bachelor's degree, can appear for this exam. 

XAT 2020 Exam Pattern

The exam consists of four sections - Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and General Knowledge. Considering the notable changes and at length composition of XAT paper pattern, a comprehensive preparation strategy should be undertaken by candidates.

XAT 2020 Section Wise Preparation Tips

Section 1: XAT 2020 Preparation Tips for Verbal and Logical Ability 

This section includes topics such as Fill in the blanks, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning. This section is considered to be tougher than that of CAT. This section is classified into three broad subsections which are, reading comprehension, verbal ability and logical reasoning. They put much weight into the verbal section so students must also prepare accordingly. Total number of questions in this section is 26. Acquaint yourself with reading as many articles as possible, this will enrich your knowledge of words. Practice more and more vocabulary, the figure of speech and basic grammar. Also practicing and solving question papers would help you gain a grip over the language.

Important Topics for Verbal and Logical Ability
Reading ComprehensionFill in the blanksAntonyms/Synonyms
Jumbled ParagraphsContextual usage of vocabularyCorrection of errors in sentence
Word usageSentence completionParagraph completion In Reading Comprehension section, passages will be from literature, socioeconomic essays, science and culture and abstract topics.

For the logical ability section, it is very important to have the basic knowledge and based on that you would be able to solve the problems. This section can only be conquered by ample amount of practicing and solving mock tests. Try to give as many mock tests as possible and analyze your weak points and try not to repeat the same mistakes in the next mock test. Only this can help you gain confidence and succeed in the final XAT2020 exam.

Tip: Reading Comprehension has to be attempted, it will be difficult to score well in this section if RCs are left out. Para Jumbles, Fill Ups and Grammar questions should be taken up first followed by RC.

Key Strategies for XAT 2020 Preparation Tips to Get High Score in Verbal and Logical Ability Section

  • Rely on such tricky strategies for this section, so that the candidates can save their time to finish the section.
  • In order to solve the jumbled word puzzle, the candidates should first identify the connectors and then need to link it as per the context of the paragraph. 
  • You should improve your vocabulary skill, so that you do not need to waste much time in reading the passage. Instead, you can speed up and can uplift your comprehension skill. 
  • It is advisable to build up knowledge in the usage of words.
  • Study materials related to critical reasoning are not much present. Better you spend more time practicing. 

Section 2: XAT 2020 Preparation Tips for Decision Making and Analytical Skills 

This will test your skills on management and aptitude. This is a unique section which is present in the XAT 2020 exam. IT includes various case studies and situations on which the student would have to make a judgment and need to take the correct decision. The aspirants have to attempt 21 questions from this section. 

The problems mainly focus on ethical dilemmas, finance management issues, and other management issues. Try to solve more and more case studies as a part of the preparation. This would help you to get familiarized with the type of problems and eventually it would become easy to take an unbiased decision.

Important Topics for Decision Making and Analytical Skills
Analytical ReasoningLogical ReasoningArithmetic
Data ArrangementCaseletsConditions and grouping
SituationsAssumptionsDecision making

Strategies for Decision Making Section

  • In this section, it is important to keep your preference aside and make an unbiased decision which should not benefit either of the parties. The trick is to understand this ideal decision-making process and it can be improved only by practicing more and more problems. 
  • With more and more practice, the student will be able to improve their decision-making skills and be able to attempt the section with more confidence. For instance, the students should practice the sample papers from Harvard Business Review Website. 
Tip: Candidates should not be intimidated with the lengths and complexity of passages. Ideal answer choices should not be selected, options that compromise the least of the objectives should be looked for.

Section 3: XAT 2020 Preparation Tips for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 

This section is considered as difficult by some of the candidates as the topics included here are more vast and diverse as compared to the CAT exam. Geometry, P&C, Probability, and functions Coordinate Geometry along with Algebra and Arithmetic are some of the topics which must be dealt with more focus and hence can’t be neglected at any cost. Total number of questions in this section is 27. 

The preparation of data interpretation is comparatively easier than the preparation of quantitative ability. 

Important Topics for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
PercentageTables and CaseletsLinear and Quadratics Equations
Profit and LossProbabilitySurds and Indices
Ratio and ProportionCritical PathInequalities
VariationAverages and PartnershipsLogarithms
Time and WorkAlligations and MixturesNumbers
Time, Speed and DistanceAlgebraMensuration
LCM and HCFSimple and Compound InterestGeometry
Pure MathsVenn DiagramTrigonometry
Data TablesData chartsBar diagrams
GraphsPie chartsData analysis

Try to solve more and more previous year questions and mock tests this would give you an idea of the type of questions that are more common. Work on your strength so that you don’t make any mistakes when you get common questions on the final exam.

Tip: Questions in math are sure shot in nature. Clarity in concept and formula is necessary to attempt the. Hence DI questions should be picked up first and then quants.

Some Notable XAT 2020 Preparation Tips

  • The aspirants should have a clear basic concept.
  • It is advisable to practice and solve the previous year’s question papers and give mock tests as much as you can. 
  • Once you understand the question pattern, you should try to effectively practice much harder questions (in terms of difficulty level).
  • In order to save your exam time, try to learn shortcut methods to solve the questions.
  • Apart from this, the aspirants can read analytical articles from magazines and newspapers to build efficient interpersonal skills. 
  • Lastly, consistent practice is the one and only method of enhancing the question solving capability. 

Section 4: XAT 2020 Preparation Tips for General Knowledge 

This section includes current affairs, General Knowledge around the world and other recent happenings. The only way of keeping yourself updating is to maintain the constant touch with General Knowledge. In addition, brush up your knowledge more in the subjects like Science, History, Geography, technology and politics. This section contains approximately 25 questions in the entrance exam. 

Important Topics for General Awareness
Awards and winnersHistory and GeographyStatic GK
Business and PoliticsConstitution of IndiaPersonalities
Government and EconomyWorld EventsCurrent Affairs
  • This section is also unique to the XAT exam which can be tricky for some candidates, if not prepared accordingly. 
  • The common way to prepare for this part is to read the newspaper daily and have thorough knowledge about what is happening around you. All the recent topics whether it is social or political must be known. Apart from this a knowledge of Economy, Business, Geography, Sports, Personalities & Awards and news must be known.
  • Do not leave the section for last minute preparation. It will in turn reduce the immense pressure during practicing. 
  • You can watch effective videos, which are summing up current affairs and are easily accessible online. 
  • If the candidates put wrong answers, it would not be marked as negative marking. Hence, they do not leave any question unanswered. Lastly, the score of this section will not be added with the overall scores. 

XAT 2020 Mock Test

The mock tests for XAT 2020 will be released by the 3rd week of December 2019. This mock test series will be released by XLRI. The official mock test series is the best way to prepare for the final XAT exam. XLRI generally releases the mock tests a few days before the final exam so that the student can give the tests and evaluate their preparation accordingly. These mock tests will also help to give the last minute touch-ups for the students.

Apart from this, there are many institutes that are offering mock tests for the XAT 2020 aspirants. Some of them are paid programs and some of them are free. Students can opt for these programs as well in order to boost their preparation.


To get a good score in the XAT 2020 exam, it is necessary to gain accuracy. Hnce, mock tests are ideal to improve your accuracy and speed of solving the questions. Better, you should attempt 25 mock tests of different genres, so that it can build the confidence level. 

  • Better go for a sectional mock test, since the decision making section and general knowledge has been added in the XAT 2020 exam.
  • To improve the knowledge apart from getting ideas in critical thinking, you should practice previous years question papers and mock tests. 
  • Candidates can check the websites like oliveboard, testfunda and hitbullseye for appearing into online XAT mock tests. 
  • Attend audio-visual sessions apart from checking online news portals and current affairs for getting latest updates related to the exam. 

Best Books for XAT 2020 Preparation

To do complete preparation, the right study materials are very important for the students. Proper preparation strategy along with the right study material will automatically boost your preparation and will keep you one step ahead. So when it comes to choosing books one can go for the tried and tested choice of the toppers which includes the following:

SectionsBooks and authors
Verbal and Logical Ability
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma
XAT Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum Cat by Sarvesh Kumar
  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Analytical and Logical Reasoning by Arihant Publications
XAT Decision Making
  • Target XAT 2020 (Past papers & mock tests) by Disha experts
XAT General Knowledge
  • Recommended Magazines: Business Line by The Hindu Group, Business Today by India Today Group, Management Compass Career Launcher
  • Recommended Newspapers: The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times

The books mentioned above are some of the well-known books that help you in preparing for competitive exams. Students can try to go for these books and also focus on the mock tests series as much as possible.

XAT 2020 Preparation Tips in a Nutshell

The important points to be kept in mind in order to prepare for XAT are:

  • Section Wise Preparation: As all the sections are equally important, bring out some extra time for portions that seem difficult to you.
  • Start with Basics and Brush Up: Begin your preparation by examining your hold on the basics of each component. Involve yourself in discussions and be updated on current affairs.
  • Refine with Daily Practice: Practice the decision making and the quant section with more weight, as the only way to improve in these sections, is by practicing. 
  • Attempt Sample Papers: Solve as many mock tests as possible, and evaluate yourself. Keep the focus on the concepts and try to apply on your own in the problems.Solve previous year papers.
  • Try to read the newspaper daily to improve in the general knowledge section.

Lastly, students must keep in mind that keeping your head calm and applying what you have prepared on the day of the exam is the most important thing to be done. Try to solve more and more mock tests so that you gain confidence before the final exam.