XAT Exam Date and Preparation Tips

  • By Riya Kashyap
  • 24 April 2023
xat exam date and preparation tips

5800 students unlocked their dream jobs with UG/PG programs in top colleges. Apply Now!

If you are an MBA Aspirant and are preparing for XAT Exam, then you have come to the right place. This blog is all about how the exam pattern for XAT is structured, What colleges accept XAT scores for admissions and what are the perfect strategies for cracking this competitive examination with ease. 

The XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is an important entrance exam for MBA programs in India. The XAT score is used by several top B-Schools such as XLRI, SPJIMR, and XIMB to shortlist candidates for their MBA programs

XAT Exam Pattern 

Exam Section 

No. of Questions 

Time Duration 

Negative Marking Scheme


Total MCQs- 75

165 minutes (2.75 hrs)

0.25 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer. 

Verbal and Logical Ability


No specific time limit 

A 0.10 mark will be deducted for more than 8 unattempted questions. 

Decision Making


No specific time limit 

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation 


No specific time limit 


Total MCQs- 25 and 

1 Essay Writing Topic

25 minutes

General Knowledge


15 minutes

Essay Writing 


10 minutes

Total No. of Questions (Part-1+ Part-2)


200 minutes 

Modifications to the XAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus in 2023

The major aspects of the XAT exam format and syllabus include keeping up with time and periodic modifications. Every year, there are certain changes to the XLRI XAT exam. Several of them are mentioned here- 

  • XAT Syllabus 2023 has 5 Sections instead of the earlier 4 Sections 
  • Subjective Question on Essay Writing has been restored to the XAT exam syllabus 2023 
  • All 5 subjects on Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning; Decision Making; Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; General Knowledge and Essay Writing Test, will form a single question paper in a single section
  • The total number of questions in the XAT test 2023 pattern cannot exceed 101.
  • All questions in the first four sections will be MCQs. 
  • The essay writing test will be descriptive.
  • There will be 75 questions with negative markings and 25 GK questions without negative markings.

Important Dates for XAT Exam 

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

MBA Colleges Accepting XAT Scores 

Here are some of the Top MBA Colleges in India which accept XAT scores for giving admission to the MBA Program-

Name of the College 

Cut off Percentile

Total Course Fees

Average Salary 

XLRI Jamshedpur


23 Lakhs

25 LPA

XIM University


21 Lakhs

17 LPA

IMT Ghaziabad


19.53 Lakhs

17.35 LPA

MICA Ahmedabad


21 Lakhs

13 LPA

GD Goenka University, Gurgaon

IMI New Delhi


19 Lakhs

12 LPA

SAGE University, Bhopal 

BITS Pilani


9 Lakhs

IMI Bhubaneswar


12 Lakhs

10 LPA

IMT Nagpur


14 Lakhs

10 LPA

How to prepare effectively for XAT Exam?

To effectively prepare for the XAT MBA exam, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Understand the exam pattern: The first step in preparing for any exam is to understand its pattern. XAT is a three-hour exam, which consists of multiple-choice questions from various sections such as Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge.
  2. Create a study plan: Based on your strengths and weaknesses, create a study plan that suits your needs. Allocate time to each section and make sure you cover all the topics. Try to solve a few mock tests to get an idea of how much time you need to allocate for each section.
  3. Practice regularly: Practice is the key to success in any exam. Try to solve previous year's question papers and take mock tests. This will help you to identify your weaknesses and work on them.
  4. Focus on time management: Time management is an essential skill that you need to develop to crack the XAT exam. Try to solve questions quickly, but also make sure that you don't make any mistakes. The more you practice, the better you will become at managing your time.
  5. Read newspapers and current affairs magazines: The General Knowledge section of the XAT exam is based on current affairs. So, it is important to read newspapers and current affairs magazines regularly to stay updated on the latest happenings.
  6. Take care of your health: Don't neglect your health while preparing for the XAT exam. Take breaks in between study sessions, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep. This will help you to stay focused and motivated throughout the preparation period.

By following these tips, you can effectively prepare for the XAT MBA exam and increase your chances of cracking it.

Why you should choose Sunstone for your MBA? 

Sunstone-powered colleges provide several benefits that can help students succeed in their job interviews. These benefits include access to over 70 sessions led by recruiters and industry experts, opportunities to work on capstone projects every semester, and the ability to create a professional portfolio that can catch the attention of recruiters. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn from highly experienced faculty members who have previously worked at prestigious institutions such as IIMs and IITs. Overall, these benefits offered by Sunstone-powered colleges can greatly enhance a student's chances of succeeding in their career.

FAQ- XAT Exam Pattern 

What is the XAT exam pattern?

The XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is a computer-based exam that is conducted once a year. It consists of two parts. Part I consists of three sections - Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. Part II consists of General Knowledge questions and an essay writing section. The total duration of the exam is three hours.

How many questions are there in the XAT exam?

A: The total number of questions in the XAT exam varies from year to year. However, generally, there are around 100 questions in Part I of the exam, with each section having around 20-30 questions. Part II of the exam consists of 25 questions on General Knowledge and one essay writing question.

What is the marking scheme for the XAT exam?

The marking scheme for the XAT exam varies from year to year. However, generally, one mark is awarded for every correct answer, and 0.25 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer. There is no negative marking for General Knowledge questions, and the essay writing section is not scored.

How much time is allotted for each section in the XAT exam?

The time allotted for each section in the XAT exam varies from year to year. However, generally, each section in Part I of the exam is allotted around 60 minutes. The General Knowledge section in Part II is allotted 15 minutes, and the essay writing section is allotted 20 minutes.

Is there a sectional cutoff in the XAT exam?

Yes, there is a sectional cutoff in the XAT exam. Candidates must clear the cutoff for each section to be considered for further selection rounds. However, the cutoff for each section may vary from year to year and from institute to institute.

Take the first step towards your dream job.

Enter a world of


Apply for graduate or postgraduate program and shape your career now!

Full Name
Mobile Number
I want to pursue