XAT Syllabus: A Complete Guide

  • By Riya Kashyap
  • 24 April 2023
xat syllabus

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If you are also preparing for the XAT MBA exam and need a detailed exam pattern and syllabus analysis, this blog is for you. 

The MBA Program expects its aspiring students to be better decision-makers. Hence, the XAT Exam tests the students’ aptitude and decision-making abilities by assessing their verbal and logical reasoning. This MBA entrance exam also tests the Quantitative aptitude as well as the English speaking and writing skills of a student. 

In this blog, you will find how to manage your time effectively to cover the complete XAT syllabus. You will also learn about the marking scheme and the exam pattern. 

XAT Syllabus: Overview

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 

Note- Candidates are allowed to go to Part-2 only after completing 165 minutes of Part-1. 

Detailed XAT Syllabus 

To prepare well for the XAT examination you have to go through the detailed XAT syllabus. It is important to know all the topics of each section in depth so that you can identify your strength and weakness. This will help you to know which topics to cover first and which topics require extra attention. 

Topics in the Verbal and Logical Ability Section-

Percentage Weightage in XAT Exam

XAT Syllabus Topics 

35% weightage (26 questions out of 75)

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

  • Vocabulary
  • Fill in the blanks with the correct words
  • Synonyms/antonyms
  • Contextual usage
  • Jumbled Paragraphs
  • Correction of errors
  • Correct use of words
  • Completion of sentences
  • Completion of paragraphs

Reading Comprehensions based on

  • Abstract topics
  • Literature
  • Social and Economic issues
  • Science
  • Culture; history & fiction

Logical Reasoning 

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

Topics in the Decision-Making Section-

Percentage Weightage in XAT Exam

XAT Syllabus Topics 

28% weightage (21 Questions Out of 75)

  • Conditions and Grouping Test
  • Data Arrangement Test
  • Complex Arrangement
  • Decision Making in a situation
  • Case lets
  • Situational Questions 
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Arithmetics

XLRI XAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation-

Percentage Weightage in XAT Exam

XAT Syllabus Topics 

37% weightage (28 questions out of 75)

Quantitative Ability 

  • LCM and HCF
  • Percentages
  • Profit and Loss
  • Interest (Simple and Compound)
  • Speed
  • Time and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Averages
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Number System
  • Algebra
  • 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 Allegations
  • Trigonometry

Data Interpretation

  • Analysis of Comparative Data Tables
  • Data charts
  • Bar diagrams
  • Pie charts
  • Graphs 

Topics in the General Knowledge Section-

Percentage Weightage in XAT Exam

XAT Syllabus Topics 

No significant weightage 

(Not counted for XAT percentile calculation)

  • National and International current affairs
  • Conventional GK
  • Constitution of India
  • Company profiles, logos, Business &


  • Who’s who
  • Books & Authors
  • Capitals & Currencies

Essay Writing in XAT Exam-

Percentage Weightage in XAT Exam

Online Descriptive Test- No

weightage as not counted for

XAT percentile calculation

  • Essay writing in XAT is the test of the writing skill of an aspirant.
  • The essay topic can be contemporary or abstract like-
  • Technology and nature are natural enemies
  • Red is Blue

  • The test taker has to write an essay on one topic but sometimes

            there is a choice between 2 topics 

and sometimes there is no choice at all.

  • Essay Evaluation is done after shortlisting is over based on the score obtained in Part-1 sections 

Most Important Topics of XAT Syllabus 

The following are the most important topics from each section. It is advisable to not leave these topics at any cost. 

  •  Verbal and Logical Ability 

  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar 
  • Analogies
  • Paragraph Completion 
  • Critical Reasoning 
  •  Decision-Making

  • Conditions and Grouping Test;
  • Data Arrangement Test;
  • Complex Arrangement;
  • Decision Making in a situation;
  • Case lets
  • Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

  • Arithmetic 
  • Profit and Loss
  • Algebra 
  • Distance and Speed 
  • Linear and Quadratic Equations 
  • Data Interpretation- Data Tables, Data Analysis and Comparison
  • Geometry
  • Number System 
  • Trigonometry 
  • General Knowledge 

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • National and International current affairs
  • Static GK
  • Constitution of India
  • Company profiles, logos,
  • Books & Authors
  • Capitals & Currencies

Major Topics for Essay Writing 

Following are some of the major essay topics that have been asked in the previous XLRI XAT Exam. Have a look at the type of questions and prepare accordingly- 

  • Ethical Practices and Sustainability: Do they Co-exist?
  • Globalization and Jingoism always coexist
  • The most beautiful thing can neither be seen nor be touched but can only be felt
  • Corruption is the root cause of the economic slowdown in India
  • Earth provides enough to satisfy everybody's needs but not everybody's greed
  • Gender Imbalance would lead to Third World War
  • Economic growth without environmental damage – a mirage or a reality
  • India has one of the largest pools of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products
  • More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities
  • National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a good step
  • Covid Pandemic derailed Economic growth
  • Unity in Diversity is more relevant now in India
  • Society bears the burn of terrorism which has no religion
  • Democracy will lose meaning without social activism

Time Management Tips for XAT Exam 

Here are some time management tips for the XAT exam

  • Plan your studies in advance and allocate enough time for each section of the exam. This will help you to prioritise your studies and stay focused.
  • Solve past papers and mock tests to get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and the time required to solve them.
  • Read the instructions carefully before starting the exam and manage your time accordingly. Allocate time for each section of the exam based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Develop your reading speed by practising speed-reading techniques. This will help you to read and comprehend passages quickly, saving you time during the exam.
  • Learn shortcuts and tricks for solving mathematical problems and reasoning questions. This will help you to solve questions quickly and save time.
  • Divide your time equally between each section of the exam. This will help you to complete each section within the given time duration.

By following these tips, you can manage your time effectively and increase your chances of success.


XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) is a national-level entrance exam for admission to management programs in XLRI and other top B-schools in India. Choosing Sunstone-powered colleges can make your MBA Journey more Placement-oriented. With the interactive learning and career guidance by Sunstone, your chances of placements can increase up to 200%. You can learn through engaging in capstone projects at every step of the way and getting expert reviews. 

FAQ- XAT Syllabus 

Are CAT and XAT syllabi the same? 

The CAT and XAT syllabus have some similarities, as both exams cover topics like Verbal and Logical Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation. However, XAT has an additional section on Decision Making, while CAT has a section on Logical Reasoning. Overall, while there are some common topics, the two exams have different formats and syllabi.

 Is the XAT syllabus the same every year?

The XAT syllabus remains more or less the same every year, although there may be some changes in the number and type of questions asked in each section.

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