XAT Syllabus Exam Pattern | Eligibility Criteria - Apex

Are you gearing up to embark on the thrilling journey of pursuing a management degree? Well, then you must be familiar with one of the most coveted entrance exams in India – the Xavier Aptitude Test, or XAT. With its rigorous yet rewarding format, XAT is the gateway to some of the top B-schools in the country, including XLRI, XIMB, and many more. So, let’s dive into the intricacies of XAT paper pattern and gear you up for your XAT 2025 preparation journey!

XAT or Xavier Aptitude Test is a national-level Management Entrance Exam conducted by one of the most prestigious B-schools in India namely XLRI (Xavier Labor Relations Institute), Jamshedpur on behalf of the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). XAT scores are accepted for admission into MBA/PGDM programs at 11 XAMI member institutes, 83 associate institutes and 600+ other B-schools making it one of the most prestigious and sought-after entrance tests to gain admission into top B-schools in the country, especially XLRI, Jamshedpur and XIMB. It is usually conducted once, every year, on the first Sunday of January. The level of difficulty of XAT is similar to that of CAT and is more often than not considered to be more difficult, challenging and demanding than CAT owing to its unique exam structure and marking pattern which we will discuss as we go further into the blog. Let’s look at the basic details every aspirant should be aware of regarding XAT. 

In this blog we will learn the following information:

  1. What is XAT
  2. XAT 2025: Basic details about the exam
  3. XAT 2025: Application Fee
  4. XAT 2025: Important Dates 
  5. XAT 2025: Eligibility Criteria
  6. XAT 2025: Paper Pattern & Exam Structure
  7. XAT 2025: Syllabus
  8. Selection process post exam (GD-PI-WAT process)
  9. Top B-schools that accept XAT score



Unlike most other entrance exams, XAT doesn’t have separate registration fees based on categories of candidates. Please do remember that along with exam application fees candidates are required to pay program fees separately as well.

  1. XAT Registration Fee (on time) - INR. 2100/-
  2. Candidates interested in the XLRI program(s) need to pay an additional fee of INR 200/- each



Based on information taken from previous years, the XAT eligibility criteria is as follows:

  1. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree that took three years or more to complete in any discipline from a recognized Institute.
  2. Candidates in the final year, who will graduate by June 2024 are also eligible to appear for the XAT exam.
  3. The XAT exam does not require a minimum pass percentage.
  4. NRI students can apply through the GMAT exam.
  5. There is no specific age limit to register for XAT

Please keep an eye on the official website to get notified of any changes in the future.



Let us first understand the different sections involved in the XAT exam and their respective syllabus. Although the conducting body has not mentioned any particular syllabus, analyzing the paper pattern and question types we can create a basic overview of what kind of chapters or topics are asked in each of the sections involved in the XAT paper. It is important to note that since the syllabus is not officially announced a candidate must be prepared to tackle any kind of question that might be asked on D-day in case of any surprises. The syllabus given below should be followed to approach your preparation on a priority basis. There are 5 major areas that a candidate will be questioned on, they are:

  1. General English: Verbal & Logical Ability
  2. Decision Making
  3. Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability
  4. General Knowledge
  5. Essay Writing

Understanding and clearly dividing your syllabus into smaller parts will help you gain clarity and prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the ambiguous nature of the exam. Let’s us now look into each of these sections in detail.

Candidates must note that decision making section is highly unpredictable and vague as there is no specific syllabus to prepare from. The best way to prepare for this section would be to solve as many mocks and previous year papers along with case based scenarios to learn how to tackle different kinds of situations and make the right decision.

For the Essay writing section, aspirants are advised to stay up-to-date with daily affairs both National and International and to form an opinion about them. For practice, previous year papers must be taken into consideration to get an overall idea of what kind of questions can be asked and how to tackle them under time pressure. The best way to start preparing for the essay writing section is to prioritize previous year papers and stay up-to-date with current affairs and major events happening around the world.

Please remember, everything mentioned in the syllabus above has not been announced by the exam conducting body directly but has been taken through keen observation and analysis of previous year papers and other relevant resources. Hence, an aspirant must make use of the given syllabus as an order of priority of topics and chapters to be covered in each section. Ensure that you solve mock tests and previous year papers to identify if there are gaps in your preparation. 

Preparing for XAT 2025:

Before starting you preparation journey it is important to have an overall idea of how to approach your preparation and certain basic things that are to be kept in mind.

Master the Basics:

  • Brush up on your fundamentals in quantitative aptitude, verbal ability, reading comprehension, grammar, logical reasoning, and data interpretation. Strengthening your basics will serve as a solid foundation for tackling more complex questions. For sections like decision making, general knowledge and essay writing that have a vast range of topics involved and no specific syllabus, please ensure you go through previous year papers thoroughly to understand what kind of questions can be asked and how to tackle them.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

  • Practice is the key to cracking XAT. Solve a variety of questions from previous years’ papers and take plenty of mock tests to get a feel for the exam pattern and enhance your problem-solving skills. Don’t wait until the end to start giving mocks. Once you’re done with atleast 30% of the syllabus you can start taking mocks and sectionals to see if you’re able to identify questions coming from the chapters you’ve covered so far and whether your preparation has been up to the mark so far or not. Taking mocks will help you adapt to the time pressure and will enable you to come up with different test taking strategies that work for you.

Work on Time Management:

  • Since time management is crucial in XAT, practice solving questions under time constraints. Develop strategies to allocate time to each section effectively, ensuring you don’t get bogged down by any particular section. Time management should be applied to both your test taking strategy as well as your preparation period. Ensure that you allot sufficient amount of time to all areas of the syllabus. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating areas that you assume to be your strengths and don’t run away from areas you’re scared of.

Stay Updated with Current Affairs:

  • General Knowledge is a significant section in XAT. Stay updated with current affairs, both national and international, and focus on topics related to business, economics, politics, and social issues amongst others. Don’t take the risk of leaving current affairs until the end as this might cost you not just your entrance exams like XAT that have a separate section for GK but also your interviews that tend to be highly unpredictable and require candidates to be thoroughly prepared and well informed.

Mock Tests and Analysis:

  • Again, this section requires reiteration! Take regular mock tests to simulate the exam environment and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Thoroughly analyze your performance after each test to understand where you need improvement and adjust your preparation accordingly.

Stay Calm and Confident:

  • Last but not least, maintain a positive attitude and stay calm during your preparation journey. Confidence plays a pivotal role in tackling any exam, so believe in yourself and your abilities. The last thing you want is to ruin you exam just because you could not control your nerves. This concept often gets overlooked and is assumed to be unnecessary as it is non-technical, however the first thing you might want to learn is to understand the power of your mind and learn to have control over your thoughts or atleast be able to tackle them when required. Getting nervous and anxious will stop you from focusing 100 % of your attention on highly challenging questions that not only require intellect but mental strength as well to be able to sustain the entire duration of the exam successfully. Hence, you must incorporate a daily routine from the beginning of your preparation itself which should include practices like meditation and exercise to stay on top of your game!

Institutes that consider XAT scores for admissions typically have their own unique admission procedures. XLRI Jamshedpur's admission process through XAT generally consists of three main steps:

Step 1: Candidate Shortlisting

To progress further in the admission process, candidates must meet the XAT cutoffs set by XLRI. Hence, the entrance exam is just the first step of the process. 

Step 2: Group Discussion and Interview

Shortlisted candidates are required to participate in group discussions and interviews. These sessions will be conducted in various centres across several cities and candidates will be allowed to select their preferred venues from the given options.

Step 3: Final Selection

The final selection of candidates is based on various factors, including XAT scores, performance in group discussions and interviews, and academic background. Upon selection, candidates are notified to complete the necessary admission formalities.

Top B-schools that accept XAT scores

The XAT 2025 Exam, similar to CAT, serves as a gateway for aspiring candidates aiming for admission to top B-schools across India. Upon meeting the XAT cutoffs, candidates proceed to clear the GD-PI rounds for securing admission to MBA and PGDM programs. Among the prestigious B-Schools that consider XAT scores for admission are:

- XLRI, Jamshedpur





- IMT Ghaziabad

- IMI New Delhi

XLRI Jamshedpur holds particular prominence among these institutions as it serves as the convener of the XAT Exam. Renowned for its HR program, XLRI's Business Management course is highly regarded in India and across Asia, often being compared to esteemed institutions like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, and IIM Calcutta.

For an extensive list of colleges accepting XAT scores, candidates can refer to the official XAT 2025 website.

You now have all the basic and important details about the XAT exam. Please ensure you keep an eye on the official website to get notified of any major announcements on time! We at APEX, truly hope you found this blog useful! Wishing you all the very best! If you need any further details or any help with regards to your preparation journey or further details about the exam, please feel free to reach out to us through the contact information provided on our website!