I will take you through the preparation strategy for XAT 2021 section wise and would try and provide you insights into the same which would help you to move forward with the preparation cycle of the exam.
One of the important sections for XAT preparation is the Decision Making (DM). Decision Making (DM) section in Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) tests you not on your ability to learn concepts or remember formulas, but on your ability to holistically view a situation and propose a solution to a problem. Decision making is that one section which can make or break your chances in cracking this exam- since there are no right or wrong answers here but more of one’s perception of what seems right at that moment. However, what may be correct for us may not necessarily be the right answer and hence can distort our expectations. DM also tests you on your ethical standing and asks you to take a decision in a conflicting situation which may be the correct thing to do as per the scenario.
There are 3 broad categories these questions can be divided into:
Data Based: Data given and the answer is to be based on analyses of the data,
Situation Based: A scenario wherein you will be tested on your ethical standing,
Mixture: A mixture of both of the types of questions.
- In general, the situations given in these questions set up interesting dilemmas for the parties involved, and most of the choices involve an analysis of the possible gains and losses with each course of action adopted.
- Different types of questions probed in these areas include: ethical dilemmas- which forms one of the majorly seen question types in the decision-making section, financial issues involving sales, revenues etc. of a company, employee management issues and general management scenarios.
- As far as what kind of decisions you should make, ensure that the decision taken is unbiased and does not favour one particular party. The solution reached should be balanced. Do not lose your objectivity in the entire process and do not let your own biases cloud your judgment. As I stated earlier also, this section is not a test of your opinions and judgements but of how objectively you can approach a problem and not be rigid about your opinions. Open your mind to possibilities and then probe appropriate solutions. The best way one can do this is to put yourself in the shoes of the main character and then engulf yourself in the situation. This might help you to arise on a concrete and unbiased judgement.
Verbal & Logical Ability
This section will require you to focus on English Grammar and Reading Comprehension (RC). Develop the habit of reading online. Read online books and newspapers. Most of the RC sections are based on literature and abstract topics, thus you also need to understand the gist without reading each word of the passage. RC’s in the XAT are comparatively complex and wordy and hence require utmost focus and clarity for answering the questions correctly.
There are a few things which need to be kept in mind while preparing for the verbal ability section:
- You may come across one or two poems as passages. Hence, it is quite important to up your game in poetry. Try picking up one or two poems occasionally and understand its essence and implications. Also, critical reasoning forms a big chunk of this section when it comes to questions which can be seen individually and also in the RC questions- strengthening, weakening author’s argument, weakening the main idea, conclusion of the passage are all major players and hence need to be well prepared.
- Vocab based questions are rarely asked and hence, do not waste your time mugging up vocabulary and antonyms synonyms. Instead, focus on reading more complex structures which would help in the RC section.
- Developing a suitable strategy for yourself can be done with the help of mocks- I strongly believe mocks are your battle fields where you can practice your moves to prepare your mind for the war. Trial and error in mocks can help you device a suitable strategy for yourself.
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
To crack this section of XAT, you need to be thorough with the concepts and theorems. So, practice well. After solving every question, it is crucial to compare your approach to another approach which might have been better especially in terms of data interpretation since it can be likely that you may have cracked it just by luck. Once, you know the concept and its application well, all you need is practice to improve speed and accuracy.
- Majority of the questions featured in this area have come from Geometry, Number Systems, Functions, P&C, Probability and Data Interpretation. Arithmetic is also a major portion with some significant number of questions
- Strong conceptual base in the above topics, with a good application orientation is the key to doing well since there is a high degree of correlation between the basic concepts of quants- averages, percentages etc in the DI questions and calculations.
GK has two broad categories- static and current affairs.
To study static GK, I would say you can read Manorama year book. For current affairs, be regular with your quota of newspapers and news channels. It is quite possible that GK questions turn out to be tricky since practically one cannot mug up possibly everything that is out there.
Put greater emphasis on economics and business related facts since they are the most common types- mergers, acquisitions, take overs, economic policies, budget of the year, financial policies etc can be noted. A sufficient knowledge about the events of the past 6 months will suffice and can help you clear the cut-off. In static GK part, focus on awards, books & authors, geography and a bit of basic years of important events.
Since XAT appears after all other exams are done, you might feel a bit exhausted and also anxious but there is also an added advantage to it- your mind would have accustomed itself with quite a lot of processes and it would become automated. Hence, keep up the hopes! It is the last of the bunch and let us give it all in for the last time!
All the best!!