XAT once again stood out with its high quality paper. On one hand where it stood firm on the declared test pattern, unlike CAT where there were hidden surprises, on the other hand where it claimed on easy paper…Hmm…that understandably didn’t happen much. One should note that XAT had already declared the pattern with number of questions, time allotted and negative marking for wrong and not attempted questions. For the fact that CAT was easier and far less intensive, XAT turns out to be a redefinition of an uphill task. Quantitative Aptitude was time consuming, Verbal Ability was tough nut to crack with misleading options and Decision making was only saving grace and if that wasn’t enough, a beautiful essay writing topic and dynamic GK was staring at the aspirants’ face. All in all a welcome to the new year with a paper that made everyone realise the importance of a preparation.
Sections-wise analysis is as follows:
Verbal and Logical Ability Section:
This was the trickiest of all sections. It had 14 questions of Reading Comprehension and 12 questions of verbal ability. There were 4 sets of RCs, out of which 2 were easy to moderate and rest 2 were moderate to difficult. 2 of the RCs were around 150 words each and others were 200- 250 words and were easy to interpret and hence won’t be so time consuming. There was one RC that was dense and technical in nature and hence aspirants would have comfortably left it. Verbal Ability part had a nice mix of 2 Para jumbles, 3 vocabulary based questions, 1 logical continuations, 3 summary and 3 critical reasoning questions. An above average aspirant should be able to attempt up to 3 RCs and approximately 7 questions of verbal ability in an ideal time of 45 minutes. Given the scenario where he makes around 17 to 19 attempts, a score of around 11+ can be considered a good score and that means a percentile of around 98.
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:
This is one of the doable sections and could have shocked many with some of its really easy questions. Like last year this year too there were 2 sets of Data Interpretation which in total had 7 Qs. In addition to DI there were 20 questions of quant and 2 questions of data sufficiency. Data interpretation was trickier than previous year and a reasonably well prepared aspirant would have left one set considering it calculative . As far as quant is concerned, it was easier compared to XAT standards. Paper comprised of Arithmetic, Geometry and Advance mathematics with 6 questions each. Algebra was almost negligible with 1 question. Nearly all of them were easy to medium. All in all, the difficulty level in comparison to last year is same. Careful selection of questions would have given an above average aspirant around 18+ attempts and a score of 14+ which can be classified as a good score and a good score means a percentile of around 98.
This section would for sure be a delighter to most students. There were two sets with 8 questions based on Analytical Reasoning and 3 questions with ethical reasoning and rest 12 questions were on decision making that could have tested managerial acumen. Thus there was a notable change in this section as compared to last year as XAT 2015 was predominantly Decision Making with just one set which was an application of Set theory & Data Interpretation skills. Almost all sets were doable for an aspirant who can sit patiently and solve them. Considering the presence of about 10 easy to moderate questions, in an ideal time of 45 minutes, an above average aspirant would have managed good 20-22 attempts in this section and a score of 15+ can be considered a good score.
This section was dominated by current affairs and news discussed in newspapers of last year. There were about 7 questions related to national and international on-going issues like Syrian politics, Takata Corporation etc. Geography and History had a share of 7 questions. Identifying the recently famous personalities contributed to 5 questions. 4 questions were business or economy related and rest questions were mostly random questions about India. Overall, a well-read aspirant should be able to get a net score of 10+ in this section.
“Technology and nature are natural enemies”. With the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference held in December at Paris, this topic is extremely contemporary. While global society is witnessing unprecedented economic growth owing primarily to large-scale industrialization the growing degradation of the natural environment is becoming a main threat .In such a scenario, a major challenge confronting businesses is being able to reconcile economic imperatives with social and environmental sustainability. Nice-sounding phrases such as ‘environmental excellence’, ‘sustainable development’ and ‘minimum harm to the environment’, ‘triple bottom line’ etc are important talk of town in developed nations. Feels great that XAT creators raised this issue of which many Indian industries will take note of.
A sectional score of around 5 in verbal, around 10 in Decision making & 8 in quant will be good enough for a sectional cutoff. This means a total of around 28 would take care of a 93-94 percentile. However for an aspirant to sit comfortable, he would have to sit with a score of around 36+ for him to reach a score of 98+ percentile so that he can cash in during the final admissions stage.