How do you prepare for XAT? The Experts Speak
Now that a glorious New Year 2018 has dawned with positive vibes worldwide, let us hope for an excellent XAT 2018 performance. The qualifying scores would launch an academic career in MBA or PGDM in dozens of authentic institutions that would probably reward good performance with excellent internship training and placement facilities. While little time remains in terms of exam preparation, let us wrap up the essential features of a changed XAT 2018 with online testing for the first time ever. Enter the examination hall with positive thoughts, free from mental clutter, relaxed and well-nourished to fight the final battle!
Xavier Aptitude Test is a qualifying exam for management aspirant graduates. It is the second biggest such test that qualifies candidates for 11 member institutes and 125 associated institutes to join the 2018-2020 batch. Aim now to join the academic year 2018-19.
Presence of mind
Since XAT is an unconventional examination, in spite of all the laborious preparation, you need to be in an alert and positive frame of mind in the examination hall for the entire duration of the test. A lot of decision making is involved while writing the answers on the computer screen of course.
After 60 years of pen and paper testing, XAT finally decided to go online that calls for a different approach. Computerized testing should be an advantage but you need to get used to computer screens. Most youngsters possess digital computer skills nowadays. Each question requires some precise thinking to quickly arrive at the most relevant answer. Time is certainly important and working on rehearsed examinations with practice question papers must have made you familiar with the speed needed to complete all the questions. Yet, speed alone will not do since accuracy will count towards the higher scores. Beware of negative marking for wrong answers and unattempted questions.
Get familiar with the syllabus and exam pattern once again
In Part 1, you have 170 minutes to solve 24 questions in Verbal and Logical Ability, 21 questions in Decision Making, and 27 questions in Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation. These scores contribute towards the XAT percentile.
In Part 2, the time given is 35 minutes. You need to answer 25 General Knowledge questions and write an essay on an abstract, current affairs, or social topic.
Ample study materials would be available in the form of books and practice question papers, notes, and training in tutorial institutes. Downloaded materials are plenty but make sure that you work at the right level with authentic study materials.
A strategy for preparation, followed by revision
You need a clear vision and focused approach with regular study hours. Keep all the study materials in files as a portfolio, avoiding mess and clutter in the study desk or corner. If you have your own room with a computer and an internet connection, that would be a great advantage. Study sessions should not be longer than an hour since you need breaks to refresh your mind. Avoid listening to music or watching videos while studying since it distracts the mind. Early mornings are better for study rather than late nights with a tired brain. Have two trays so that you can conveniently place the finished lessons in one tray just like they have in offices.
In fact, official procedures need to be followed for any kind of sustained work and the XAT means a lot for the future. If you are attempting more than one entrance examination, the different syllabi and question patterns would be even more difficult to understand and remember. Yet, worry will not help and you need to get organized.
You should be taking up the examination topics, starting with those you find most difficult with ample practice with a timer. That is the only way, to improve with practice with questions and referring doubts to a teacher or senior. More important than learning theories would be practical answers to questions that will be delivered in the examination hall. Get practical with applications rather than theories.
The media game
Play the media game whether for study or jobs! Life nowadays cannot be imagined without media influence. Follow the media until the examination date and try to understand the trends and currents of thoughts and ideas not only regionally but globally too. The highly developed technology-based media that we possess is one of the greatest blessings of the generation.
Get familiar with the XAT pattern changes in 2018
Become acquainted with the computerized pattern and understand how to proceed with work on the screen. The 4 sections containing MCQs and the descriptive essay writing would all be computerized. The total number of questions is 72 and the time extends to 3 and ½ hours (210 minutes). The percentile calculation will not consider the scores in General Awareness and Essay Writing.
Sectional time restrictions do not exist and sections may be attempted according to preferences. One mark is awarded for each correct answer. Negative marking extends to ¼ mark for each wrong answer. You can leave 12 questions unattempted without penalty. Further, 0.05 marks will be deducted as a penalty for unattempted questions.