XAT Exam Pattern 2023: Important Topics, Marking Scheme & More

XAT Exam Pattern 2023 will be released by XLRI Jamshedpur. For the XAT 2022 exam, XLRI revised the exam pattern and reintroduced the essay writing section in part 2 of the question paper. The changes will be followed in the XAT exam 2023 as well.

Here in this post, we will discuss the XAT exam pattern in detail.

XAT Exam Pattern Overview

  • The XAT question paper will have 101 questions out of which 100 will be MCQs divided into 4 sections:
    • Decision Making: 21 questions
    • Verbal & Logical reasoning: 26 questions
    • Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation: 28 questions
    • General Awareness: 25 questions
    • The remaining one question will be subjective-type.
  • The total time duration for the exam is 190 minutes:
    • 165 minutes for Part 1 (DM, VALR, and QADI), and
    • 25 minutes are allotted for Part 2 (GK and Essay).
  • 0.10 mark per question will be deducted after 8 unattempted questions.
  • All the PwD candidates will get 60 minutes extra to answer all the questions in part 1 and part 2.
  • The XAT exam dates 2023 are yet to be released. However, the exam will be conducted in the first week of January 2023.
  • The candidates need to check the updated exam pattern and syllabus before preparing for the exam. Moreover, the candidates should also solve XAT previous year question papers and mock tests.

Key Changes Made In XAT Exam Pattern 2023

The XAT exam pattern has been updated. According to the new exam pattern, the question paper will have 5 sections. Here are some of the key changes made in the XAT Exam pattern 2022 which are likely to be followed this year as well:

  • Part 2 of the question paper now includes both GK and essay writing. The candidates will be given 10 minutes to write a 250-word essay.
  • All the questions except for the essay will be multiple-choice questions. 
  • Marks obtained in the general knowledge section will not be considered while calculating the final XAT score.
  • The total time duration to answer the questions has been increased from 180 minutes to 190 minutes.

XAT Exam Pattern 2023 Highlights

Feature Details
XAT Exam Mode Computer Based Test
Total Number of Questions 101
Total Marks 100 (the essay writing section will be included only if the candidates are shortlisted for the interview round.)
Number of Sections
XAT Exam Sections Part 1:

  • Verbal and Logical Ability
  • Decision Making
  • Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Part 2:

  • General Knowledge
  • Essay Writing
Duration of XAT Exam 190 minutes (3.10 hours)
Sectional Time Limit No
Medium of XAT Exam English
Type of Questions MCQs
Number of Answer Choices 5
XAT Marking Pattern
  • +1 mark for a correct answer
  • – 0.25 mark for an incorrect answer
  • 0.05 marks will be deducted for each unanswered question after 8 unanswered questions.
Questions without Negative Marking No Negative Marking for GK Section
XAT Exam Sections Included in Percentile Calculation 3 sections only: GK is not considered while calculating the XAT final marks.

XAT Sectional Exam Pattern 2023

The XAT question paper 2023 will be divided into 5 sections (two parts):

  • Candidates need to complete part 1 of the question paper in the first 165 minutes to attempt the GK questions.
  • There is no sectional limit for the part 1 questions. However, the general knowledge section needs to be completed in 15 minutes.
  • Candidates can switch between part 1 and part 2.
  • Candidates belonging to the PwD section get an additional 60 minutes to complete the paper.

The sectional XAT exam pattern is given below including the number of questions and the time duration:

Part Section Name Max. Questions Max. Marks Time Limit
Part 1 Verbal and Logical Ability 26 26 165 minutes
Decision Making 21 21
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 28 28
Part 2 General Knowledge 25 25 25 minutes


Essay Writing 1 The essay will be evaluated after the candidates are shortlisted for the PI round.
Total 101 100 190 minutes

XAT Verbal and Logical Ability Exam Pattern

This section of the XAT question paper includes 26 MCQs. Here are some of the important things you need to know about the XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section:

  • Some of the important topics in this section are reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and critical reasoning.
  • The exam paper includes 4 RC passages with 3 questions each. 8 to 10 questions are asked in the verbal ability section.
  • The difficulty level of this section varies from moderate to difficult.
  • Some of the important topics for VARC & LR are Para Jumbles, Analogy, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Para Completion, Statements and Assumptions, and Critical Reasoning

XAT Decision Making Exam Pattern

XAT decision making is one of the most important sections. The candidates should score good marks to clear the exam. Here are a few things you need to know about the XAT DM section:

  • This section includes 21 questions divided into 7 sets with 3 questions in each set.
  • This section is moderately difficult.
  • Some of the important topics in this section are Business Decision Making, Situational sets, Analytical Reasoning, Data Arrangement Sets, and Short caselets.

XAT Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation Exam Pattern

28 questions are asked from both QA and DI sections. Here are some of the key points about the XAT QA&DI section: 

  • This section includes 4 DI sets. According to the previous year’s exam trends, questions are mainly asked from charts, graphs, tables, and caselets. Moreover, each DI set has 3 questions.
  • It is one of the most difficult sections in the entire question paper.
  • In the QA section, questions are asked from the following topics: 
    • Geometry
    • Algebra
    • Arithmetic
    • Number System
    • Mensuration

XAT General Knowledge Exam Pattern

The XAT GK section is dynamic and there is no specific set of questions that will be asked in the exam. To clear this section, you need to prepare for the exam rigorously. Here are some key points you need to know about this section:

  • This section includes 25 questions with a sectional time limit of 25 minutes including the essay writing section.
  • You need to know that, the marks scored in this section are not taken into account while calculating the XAT final marks.
  • Some of the XAT GK important topics are International Relations, Politics, Business, History, Nation and States, Sports, Economics, Society. 

XAT Essay Writing Exam Pattern

In 219, the XLRI removed the essay writing section. However, it was reintroduced after 3 years in 2022. Here are some of the key points on this section: 

  • This section is combined with the GK section in part 2 of the paper.
  • Candidates have 25 minutes to attempt the GK section and write a short essay of 250 words.
  • The essays are asked from social & economic issues, current affairs, or topics that are thought-provoking.

XAT Marking Scheme 2023

As of now, there are no changes in the XAT marking scheme. Here are a few things you need to know about the XAT marking scheme 2023.

  • The question paper includes 100 multiple choice questions for 1 mark each.
  • The XAT general knowledge section does not have any negative marking for wrong answers.
  • The marks obtained in the GK section will not calculated for the XAT score.
Number of Questions 100
Marks awarded for every correct answer +1
Marks deducted for every wrong answer in XAT VALR, QADI, and DM sections -0.25
Marks deducted for unattempted questions -0.10 per question for 8 unattempted questions

XAT Exam Duration: Overall & Sectional Time Limit

  • The total time to answer all the question is 190 minutes. Candidates get 165 minutes for answering part 1 questions and 25 minutes for part 2. 
  • There is no sectional time limits for answering part 1 questions.
  • The PwD candidates will get additional 60 minutes extra to solve both part 1 and part 2. 
Part  Section Overall & Sectional Exam Duration Overall & Sectional Exam Duration for PwD candidates
1 Verbal & Logical Ability No Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation No Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Decision Making No Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Overall Part 1 165 minutes 220 minutes
2 General Knowledge No Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Essay Writing No Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Time Limit
Overall Part 2 25 minutes 30 minutes

XAT Syllabus 2023

The XLRI made changes in the XAT syllabus and exam pattern. Before you start preparin for the exam, it is very important to check the syllabus.

The XAT exam syllabus 2023 will help you understand the important topics which will make preparation easy. Here is the exam syllabus in detail:

Sections Important topics
Decision Making Grouping, Caselets, Arrangement of data, Premises, Complex Arrangement, Assumptions, Conclusions, etc.
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation Mensuration, Geometry, Mensuration, Data Interpretation, Percentage, Bar Diagrams, Surds and Indices, Arithmetic, Algebra, Number System, Pie Charts, Tables, etc.
Verbal and Logical Ability Analogy, Error Detection, Verbal reasoning, Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Fill in the Blanks, Vocabulary, Para jumbles
General Knowledge Important personalities, Static GK, Science & Technology, Economy, Politics, Sports, Management, World, Government, Constitution of India, Prizes and Awards, etc
Essay Writing A 250 word essay on any topics relating to social & economic affairs, current events around the world, decision making, business & management, and national policies.

Key Instructions For XAT Exam 2023

Here are a few instructions candidates need to follow while appearing for the XAT Exam. The instructions will help you attempt the XAT online exam easily.

  • A timer will be provided on the right-hand side corner of the screen which will help you in better time management.
  • If the candidates want to switch between questions, they need to select ‘Next Question’ or ‘Previous Question.’
  • While answering the questions, candidates will be provided with options to check the count of questions they have answered and not answered.
  • If the candidates want to review a question, candidates need to click on the ‘tag’ option which will help you bookmark the question. However, you can also ‘detag’ the same later, if required. 
  • The candidates are also allowed to change their answer to another option if they are unsure.
  • If  the candidates want to change their response, they should click on the ‘Erase’ button available at the bottom of the screen. 
  • The candidates can answer questions of their choice. This means there is no specific sequence for answering the questions. However, you will only see one question at a time on the screen.
  • After completing the exam, candidates can use the ‘Preview Submit’ button which will help you view all your answers.
  • Candidates will be allowed to leave the exam hall after 190 minutes.
  • Candidates can also check the status of each question with the color palette on the right-hand side of the screen.
On-Screen Feature Interpretation
Yellow The question hasn’t been answered and kept for review
Purple The question has been answered and marked for review
White The question hasn’t been answered
Green The question has been answered


To clear the XAT exam with good grades, the candidates need to know the exam pattern, syllabus, and marking scheme in detail. The XAT exam pattern 2023 is yet to be released. However, it is said that, there will not be much changes in the exam pattern for XAT exam 2023.

 Here in this post, we explained the XAT exam pattern 2023 in detail. We hope that the information helped you in the best way possible.

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Heena Khubchandani

I am a BSc Electronic Media graduate with experience of 2 years as a content writer. I work closely to provide content writing and SEO services that gain the attention of the readers and help to improve their search engine visibility. My prime focus is to provide a transparent approach and work perfectly to achieve my targets.

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