XAT Syllabus

6 minute read
XAT Syllabus

XAT or Xavier Aptitude Test is a national level entrance exam for various management courses. The exam is conducted by the country’s prestigious institute Xavier School of Management, formerly Xavier Labor Relations Institute. Founded in 1949 is one of the best management institutes in the country. XLRI has been conducting the exam for more than 60 years. Other business schools in the country have partnered with the institution, accepting XAT scores to offer admissions. Around 700 business schools in the country accept XAT scores for admissions to their postgraduate exams. In this blog, we will have a look at the XAT syllabus. 


Like any other management entrance exam, XAT is designed to test the student’s ability in various sections for the admission. With the surging growth in the business sector of the country, the students at an unprecedented level are taking up management courses like MBA and PGDM. To screen out the best candidates for the admission, the universities ask candidates to go through exams like GMAT and GRE. One such nationally accepted exam is XAT. 

The XAT syllabus’s core themes are listed in the table below. Questions from these categories often make up the majority of the XAT question paper. 

XAT Syllabus Important Topics
Verbal and Logical Ability Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Analogy, Parajumble, Grammar, Critical Reasoning, Fill in the Blanks, etc.
Decision Making Data Arrangement, Conditioning, Grouping, Complex Arrangement, Caselets, Assumptions, Premises, Conclusions, etc.
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation Arithmetic, Geometry, Mensuration, Percentage, Surds and Indices, Algebra, Mensuration, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Tables, Data Interpretation, etc.
General Knowledge Science, Economy, Business, Politics, Static GK, Sports, Prize and Award, World, Government, Constitution of India, etc.

Important Changes to the XAT 2023 Syllabus

To acquire up-to-date information on the major changes in the XAT Syllabus 2023, take note of the points below.

  • There are five sections in all (Including Essay Writing)
  • 101 total questions were posed.
  • Only if you are selected for the GD-PI round will the Essay Writing portion be reviewed.

XAT Syllabus 

XAT syllabus is vast and has a spectrum of topics. Every year significant changes are made in the syllabus to make it more competitive. If you want to stay ahead in the exam, It is important to go through the latest syllabus for the exam and not relying on the previous one. Despite the changes in the syllabus every year, the core pattern remains the same. The syllabus for XAT 2023 is divided into 4 sections which are Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude and General Awareness.

Let’s have a look at them in detail:

Section 1

The first section is designed to test the aptitude of the candidate in  Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning. The section is multiple-choice based and 26 questions are asked in the section. Below are the components of the section. 

Verbal and Logical Ability

The verbal ability section of the exam is to evaluate the ability of the candidate to express the ideas verbally. The section covers the considerable portion of the exam. Here are the topics covered in the section:

  • Vocabulary based questions 
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Passages
  • Sentence Completion 
  • Paragraph Completion

Reading Comprehension

The scoring part in the first section in XAT syllabus, reading comprehension is to test the candidate’s ability to understand the text. In this section, abstract passages are given out of which the candidate has to deduce logical answers. The section is MCQ based and can include topics from a wide range of subjects like Economics, History, Sociology etc. 

Logical Reasoning

This section deals with testing the non-verbal aptitude of the candidate through diagrams, images, patterns etc. Some of the topics on which the questions are asked include Analogy, Clocks, Judgement, blood relations, logical sequence, assumption, premise, calendars, Fact, Inference, binary logic, seating arrangement. Logical Reasoning forms the essential component of the exam and can be scoring one. 

Section 2

The section of the XAT syllabus covers the questions on decision making where you will be given data to analyze. Based on the data, you will answer the questions. There are 21 multiple choice questions in this section. Some of the core topics in the section are:

  • Data Arrangement Test
  • Complex Arrangement
  • Decision Making in a situation
  • Conditions and Grouping Test
  • Case lets 

Section 3

The final section of the XAT syllabus consists of 27 MCQs on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, both of which deals with the numerical and graphical data which needs to be interpreted to answer the questions. 

Quantitative Ability

Forming the important part of the exam, quantitative ability tests the numerical ability and problem-solving skills of a candidate. Some of the main topics covered in the section are:

Data Interpretation

The questions in this section are based on the charts, graphs and diagrams which a candidate has to read and interpret the data given in them. Some of the components of this section are: 

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

XAT Exam Pattern 2023

Mentioned below are XAT sections, number of questions in each section and marks allotted to them:

Sections Number of questions Marks allotted
Decision Making 21 21
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 26
Quantitative Ability & Data  Interpretation 28 28
General Knowledge 25 25
Essay Writing 2 topics (candidates could choose one) To be assessed for PI shortlisting
Total 100 100

XAT Exam Registration 2023

The registration for the exam is an online process which can be done on the official website of XLRI.  After visiting the website, you need to fill in the details and submit the application. It is important that you fill out the form carefully as the portal does not allow any changes after the application is submitted. The registration fee for the exam is ₹1700/- which is to be paid at the time of application.

Best Books for XAT Preparation

XAT is one of the toughest MBA entrance exams and the candidates must ensure that they prepare XAT syllabus from only those books and study material which are recommended by experts and past years’ toppers. Shiksha has compiled best books for XAT preparation for the benefit of candidates. Take a look below:

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) & Data Interpretation (DI)

Books for XAT Author/Publisher
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests For Admission into IIMs Sarvesh K Verma
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations Guha Abhijit
Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha/Arihant

Verbal Ability

Books for XAT Author/Publisher
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
Objective General English Dr RS Agarwal and Vikas Agarwal
High School English Grammar Wren & Martin
The Students’ Companion Book D Best

Decision Making

Books for XAT Author Name/Publisher
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma

General Knowledge

To strengthen Current Affairs and General Knowledge, aspirants must subscribe to the following newspapers and journals:

Newspapers and Journals
The Hindu Economic Times
Financial Express Hindu Business Line
Wall Street Journal The Financial Times
Business Today Business World
Competition Success Review Management Compass Career Launcher


Is XAT tougher than CAT?

Compared to other MBA entry examinations, the XAT and CAT are both more difficult. Which exam is harder, however, depends on the candidate. When deciding between the two exams, keep in mind which universities accept the XAT and CAT scores.

Is syllabus for XAT and CAT same?

The different subjects and parts are one of the main distinctions between the CAT and XAT syllabuses. Decision Making and General Knowledge portions are absent from the CAT exam, although they are present on the XAT. The XAT Vs CAT difficulty level is another significant distinction. XAT is thought to be a little more challenging than CAT.

Is XAT has negative marking?

The XAT will provide one mark for each correct response. Each incorrect response will result in a 0.25 point deduction. If there are more than eight unanswered questions, 0.10 marks will be removed. The General Knowledge section will not receive any deficient marks.

Is there separate time for essay writing in XAT?

In the computer-based, online XAT, there is no additional time allotted for the essay writing test. The applicant must finish the essay writing test within the allotted 25 minutes. The ideal word count for the XAT 2023 essay writing test is 150–200.

Acing the XAT exam requires you to study the XAT syllabus in detail. Strategizing study plan for each section will make it easy for you to achieve the goal. If you need assistance on exams and career-related guidance, Leverage Edu can be your partner. To know more, book your free 30-minute session with us. 

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