Xat Exam 2024 - Exam Pattern, Notification, Exam Date, Registration

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  • 21 April 2023
xat exam

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XAT is one of the most popular and oldest MBA entrance exams in India. It is a national-level examination conducted once every year by the XLRI which is one of the best management schools in India. It is conducted in more than 80 cities across India. It is a moderate-level examination. 

It is a computer-based exam for admission to the two-year MBA Program from XLRI and other reputed Xavier Associate Management Institutes. Apart from these, the XAT scores are accepted by over 160 premium B-schools across the country. The tentative XAT exam date is on the first Sunday of January 2024 and the registration is expected to start in August 2023. 

What is XAT?

XAT stands for Xavier Aptitude Test, a national-level Entrance Exam for MBA and PGDM courses. It is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur every year in the month of January. Its scores are accepted by most of the top MBA Colleges in India including XLRI, S.P Jain, Mumbai, XIM Bhubhnesh and many other management institutes. 

XAT Exam provides a holistic view of the skills and abilities of MBA Aspirants as it is critical to assess their decision-making abilities. This assessment distinguishes XAT from other aptitude tests. 

XAT Eligibility Criteria 

The XAT eligibility criteria are given below, check it out to start your preparation now- 

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum three-year graduation degree in any stream from a recognised university. 
  • Aspirants who are in their final year of graduation are also eligible to apply. 

(Also read- https://sunstone.in/blog/xat-score-vs-percentile)

Expected XAT Exam Pattern 

The XAT question paper consists of two sections which are time bound. Each section contains about 22-30 questions and the total number of questions should not exceed 100-105 questions which include general knowledge questions as well. 

PART 1 consists of

  • Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning
  • Decision Making
  • Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation

PART 2 consists of 

  • General Knowledge 
  • Essay writing 

Here is the exam pattern for XAT:

Mode of Exam



180 minutes (3 hours)

Number of Sections


Type of Questions

Objective (Multiple Choice Questions) and Subjective (Essay Writing)

Total Number of Questions


Marking Scheme

a. For each correct answer: +1 mark

b. For each wrong answer: -0.25 marks (negative marking)

c. Unattempted questions: No negative marking

d. Essay Writing: No marks but used for the selection process

Section-wise Breakup

Section 1: Verbal and Logical Ability - 26 questions

Section 2: Decision Making - 21 questions

Section 3: Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation - 28 questions

Section 4: General Knowledge - 25 questions

Essay Writing

One topic

Note: The General Knowledge section is not considered for the calculation of the percentile score. However, it is used by some B-schools for the selection process.

XAT Syllabus

The XAT exam syllabus is divided into five prominent sections which are verbal and logical reasoning, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, Decision Making, General Knowledge and Essay writing. With a dedicated study plan, one can crack this exam in about 8-9 months of preparation. 

Here is the detailed syllabus of the XAT Exam mentioning the topics and sub-topics covered in it. 

Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning 

Sentence correction

Fill in the blanks 

Antonyms and Synonyms


Error Identification 

Reading comprehension 

Para Jumble and Word usage 

Contextual Vocabulary 

Sentence Completion 

Idioms and Phrases 

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 


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


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

Geometry and 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

General Knowledge 


Business Affairs 

National and International Affairs 

Sports News 

Modern History 

Books and Authors 

World Geography 

Static GK 

Decision Making

Analytical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning

Complex Arrangement 

Data Arrangement


Conditions and Grouping



Note: The essay writing section is not based on any particular topic or subject. Candidates will be required to write an essay on a given topic and will be evaluated on their ability to express their thoughts coherently and logically.

Important Dates for XAT Exam 

The given dates are tentative and subject to change. Candidates are advised to keep visiting the official website of XAT for the latest updates and notifications.

XAT Exam Dates 2024

Candidates who appeared for the XAT exam can check the important dates of the XAT exam forthcoming events from the table given below:

XAT Particulars

XAT Dates

Notification update of XAT 2024

August 8, 2023

XAT 2024 registration form date

August 10, 2023

XAT 2024 registration last date

December 11, 2023

XAT exam 2024 admit card date

December 26, 2023

XAT exam date 2024

January 8, 2024

Release of XAT 2024 answer key

January 10, 2024

Last date to file an objection against the XAT answer key

To be announced

XAT exam 2023 result date

January 2024

Registration Process for XAT 2024

The registration process for the XAT exam can be completed online by following the steps below:

  • Visit the official website of XAT and click on the registration link.
  • Fill in the registration form with personal details, academic qualifications, work experience (if any), and other relevant information.
  • Upload scanned copies of your passport-sized photograph and signature.
  • Select the XAT exam centre of your choice.
  • Pay the registration fee online using a debit card, credit card, or net banking. The registration fee for XAT 2023 is expected to be around Rs. 1800/- for Indian candidates and Rs. 5000/- for foreign candidates.
  • After successful payment of the registration fee, take a printout of the confirmation page for future reference.
  • Admit cards for the XAT exam will be available for download a few weeks before the exam date.

Note: Candidates are advised to read the instructions and guidelines carefully before filling up the registration form. Also, ensure that the details entered in the registration form are accurate and match the details in your photo identity proof.

XAT 2023 Paper Analysis 

XAT paper analysis gives an idea of the difficulty level of the exam and the type of questions asked in each section. Here is a section-wise analysis of XAT 2023- 

  1. Verbal and Logical Ability
    The Verbal and Logical Ability section in XAT 2023 was moderate to difficult. The reading comprehension passages were long, and the questions were tricky. The English Usage questions were of moderate difficulty and covered a wide range of topics, including vocabulary, grammar, and sentence correction. 
  2. Decision Making
    The Decision Making section in XAT 2023 was of moderate difficulty. Most of the questions were straightforward, and the section could be attempted easily with a clear thought process.
  3. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
    The Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section in XAT 2023 was moderate to difficult. The section had a mix of questions from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, and data interpretation. Most of the questions were calculation intensive, and time management was crucial to attempt all the questions. 
  4. General Knowledge
    The General Knowledge section in XAT 2023 was moderate in terms of difficulty. The questions were based on current affairs, business and economics, history and culture, geography, politics and governance, sports, science and technology, and personalities. 

Overall, XAT 2023 was a moderately difficult exam, and candidates needed a well-rounded preparation to do well in all the sections. Time management and selection of the right questions were crucial to crack the exam.


XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) and CAT (Common Admission Test) are both national-level management entrance exams conducted in India. While XAT is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur, CAT is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Here are some key differences between XAT and CAT:




Exam Pattern

XAT has four sections - 

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

-General Knowledge.

CAT, on the other hand, has three sections-

- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, 

-Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning,

-Quantitative Ability.

Difficulty Level

XAT has a mix of objective and subjective questions, including essay writing, which requires a higher level of preparation and skill.

CAT, on the other hand, is more focused on analytical reasoning and calculation skills.


XAT also includes questions on general knowledge

CAT focuses more on data interpretation and logical reasoning.

Exam Conducting Authority

XAT is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur

CAT is conducted by the IIMs

Acceptance by B-Schools

Both XAT and CAT scores are accepted by several top B-Schools in India


Overall, while XAT and CAT have some differences, both exams are highly competitive and require a strong preparation strategy to crack. Candidates should choose the exam based on their strengths, weaknesses, and the admission criteria of the B-Schools they wish to apply to.

Best Books for XAT Preparation

Here are some books that you can refer to for your XAT exam preparation- 

Name of the Book

Book Description

Author (s)

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations

This book covers various topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, and provides numerous practice questions to help you improve your speed and accuracy.

R.S. Aggarwal

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT

This book is a comprehensive guide to verbal ability and reading comprehension and covers topics such as grammar, vocabulary, and critical reasoning.

Nishit Sinha

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT

This book provides a step-by-step approach to solving data interpretation problems and includes practice exercises and mock tests to help you prepare for the exam.

Arun Sharma 

XAT Solved Papers

This book contains solved papers from previous years' XAT exams, along with detailed explanations and strategies for solving the questions.

Gautam Puri 

Manorama Yearbook 2023

This book covers a wide range of topics such as current affairs, sports, politics, and the economy, and can help you stay updated with the latest events and trends.

XAT Exam Preparation Tips

  • Before you start preparing, it's essential to understand the exam pattern and the syllabus.
  • After understanding the exam pattern and syllabus, create a study plan that suits your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate time for each section and make sure you cover all the topics. Also, set a realistic goal and work towards achieving it.
  • Practising mock tests and previous years' papers is important for XAT exam preparation.
  • General Knowledge is an essential section of the XAT exam. Read newspapers, magazines, and books regularly to keep yourself updated on current affairs, politics, and other important topics.
  • XAT is a time-bound exam, so it's essential to focus on accuracy and speed. Work on improving your calculation speed and accuracy by practising regularly.
  • Don't forget to take breaks in between your study sessions. Taking regular breaks helps you stay focused and avoid burnout.
  • Lastly, stay positive and confident. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Keep a positive mindset and work towards achieving your goal.

Why you should choose Sunstone for the MBA Programs-

Following are the benefits you can get once you choose a Sunstone-powered College. These benefits can help you crack the interviews perfectly. With Sunstone, you can get-

  • 70+ sessions by recruiters and industry experts
  • Capstone projects every semester 
  • Professional Portfolio to get noticed by recruiters
  • Learn from expert faculty (ex-IIMs, IITs)


Does the XAT exam have negative markings?

Yes, Each correct answer carries one mark, and there is a penalty of 0.25 marks for each incorrect answer and 0.1 mark is deducted for every 8 unattempted questions. However, there is no negative marking for the General Knowledge section.

What is the XAT Exam 2023 cutoff?

The cut-off for XAT varies from institute to institute and depends on various factors such as the number of applicants, the difficulty level of the exam, etc. The XAT MBA cutoff score for 2023 was 34 marks and the highest percentile was 98. 

Is XAT Exam tougher than CAT Exam?

Some sections of the XAT exam are tougher than CAT such as The Verbal Ability and Decision Making questions. Otherwise, the difficulty level of XAT is Moderate. 

What is a good XAT Exam score? 

A score between 35-40 out of 75 is considered a good XAT score as it can enable candidates to achieve a percentile of 95-99. 

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