XAT Exam Pattern 2022: Question Paper Structure, Marking Scheme, Important Topics & more

  • By Bhavya Thakkar
  • 5 October 2021

The first step in starting your preparation is to become familiar with the XAT exam pattern. XAT exam pattern is quite unique and has undergone several changes over the years. The exam is often full of surprises and only candidates who are able to adapt can score well. 

It is important to know about the different types of questions that have been asked in the past and be ready if they reappear in a new avatar. Clearly, to get a good XAT result, you need a comprehensive understanding of the XAT exam pattern.

In short, it is a crucial part of your preparation, and the knowledge of it allows you to be methodical with it. We have covered all the details about the XAT exam pattern in this article, check it all out below!

XAT Exam Pattern- Highlights

XAT is a prestigious management entrance test conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur. Candidates need to be thoroughly familiar with the XAT exam pattern to ace it with a good percentile as the difficulty level of the exam is between moderate to difficult.

Knowing the details about the XAT exam pattern is essential to make your preparation thorough. You need to keep the exam day scenario in mind clearly as you prepare for the exam. You can find some quick details on the XAT exam pattern in the table below.

XAT exam pattern: At a glance

Date of Exam January 3 2021
Exam mode Computer-Based Test (CBT)
Total time of exam 3 hours
Number of questions 100
Question Type MCQs
Number of options per question
Number of sections
Sectional time limit NO

XAT 2022 will be held on 3 January 2022 and the registration process has started on August 10 2021. The last date of registration is 30th November 2021 till midnight. XAT exam pattern has been discussed in detail in the sections below. Read on to find out more about it.

XAT Question Paper Structure

XAT question paper is divided into two parts: Part I and Part II. Part I has three compulsory sections and the final percentile is calculated on the basis of the marks obtained in Part I. Part II has only the GK section which is optional and not taken into account in the final percentile calculation. 

It is natural for most aspirants to focus all their attention on Part I. However, certain specialisations might require a good score in GK as well. You can find out beforehand whether or not the specialisation you want to pursue requires GK marks and prepare for XAT accordingly.

We have simplified and broken down the parts in the XAT exam in the table given below. 

Part I breakdown

Section 1 Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning 26 questions
Section 2 Decision Making 21 questions
Section 3 Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 28 questions

Part II breakdown

Section 4 General Knowledge 25 questions

In the last 3 to 4 years, the XAT exam pattern has changed a lot. As a result, it is possible that the number of questions from each of the topics may vary in XAT 2022 exam. 

But the type of questions will remain the same and it is unlikely that there would be any drastic surprise in the XAT exam pattern. 

XAT syllabus & important topics

XAT is an aptitude test and a pinpointed XAT exam syllabus for the exam doesn’t exist. Over the years, different types of questions have been asked in XAT from each of the sections. It is possible to make an understanding of the type of questions that can be asked from each of the sections. 

A section-wise of questions that can be asked in the XAT exam pattern is given below. 

Section 1

Verbal Ability

Vocabulary/Word-based problems Jumbled Paragraphs
Sentence Completion Error correction in sentences
Paragraph Completion

Reading Comprehension

Fiction/Non-fiction Science & Technology
News report Culture, History, Politics
And any other type of passage

 Logical reasoning

Analogy Calendars
Clocks  Facts
Inference Judgement
Binary logic Seating arrangement
Blood relations Logical sequence
Assumption Premise-Conclusion

Section 2

Decision Making

Decision Making in a situation Complex Arrangement
Data Arrangement Test Case-based questions
Conditions and Grouping Test

Section 3

Quantitative Aptitude 

LCM and HCF Algebra
Speed, Time and Distance Number System
Percentages Interest (Simple and Compound)
Time and Work Averages;
Ratio and Proportion Percentages
Profit and Loss Geometry including Co-ordinate Geometry
Mensuration Pure Math
Venn diagrams Linear Equations
Quadratic Equations Complex Numbers
Logarithm Progressions
Binomial Theorem Surds and Indices
Inequalities Permutation and Combination
Probability Functions Set Theory
Mixtures and Alligations Trigonometry

Data Interpretation

Data Tables Pie charts
Data charts Graphs
Bar diagrams Data analysis and comparison

Section 4

 General Knowledge

Economics, finance Business & Economy
National and International current affairs Who’s who
Conventional GK Books & Authors
Constitution of India Capitals & Currencies
Company profiles & logos

XAT Exam Sectional Timings

There is no sectional timing for the first 3 sections that fall within Part I. You can distribute the total time in any order while attempting the test. However, for the XAT GK section, there is sectional timing of only 15 minutes, which makes it difficult to accurately answer questions.  

So, to put it simply, you will get a total of 3 hours to solve the first 3 sections of the XAT exam 2022. The XAT GK section will become active 15 minutes before the exam ends. 

XAT Sectional Timings At A Glance

Parts Sections Sectional TImings
Part I Sections 1, 2 & 3 Not applicable
Part II Section 4 15 minutes

XAT marking scheme

The marking scheme followed in the XAT exam pattern is the same for all the questions. It is important to keep the marking scheme in mind while preparing because XAT exam 2022 will have negative marking for every incorrect answer. 

Remember that you need to be careful while answering questions and take only calculated risks. We have summarised the marking scheme for XAT 2022 in the table below. 

Parts Sections For correct answer For wrong answer
Part I Sections 1, 2 & 3 1 Marks - 0.25 Marks
Part II Section 4 1 Marks No negative marking

FAQs related to the XAT exam pattern

What is the pattern of XAT?

XAT exam has 4 sections with a total of 100 questions. There is no sectional timing for the first three sections. The fourth section, consisting of only GK questions, has to be solved within 15 minutes. 

How many hours is the XAT exam?

The total time for the XAT exam is 3 hours.


Yes, all questions in the XAT exam are in MCQ format.

Is GK counted in XAT?

The GK section is not taken into account while calculating the final percentile in the XAT exam.


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