XAT 2016: Expected Cut offs (Pre test)

XLRI campus

Edit: If you are reading this post after taking XAT 2016, visit https://vkpedia.in/2016/01/04/xat-2016-expected-cut-offs-post-test/ to view my post on XAT 2016 cut offs prediction after the test.

“What are the expected cut-offs for XLRI programs through XAT 2016? “; ” What score should I target in each section and overall for XAT 2016?” ; “What is the minimum number of questions that I should attempt in XAT 2016? ”  Same questions but asked differently  by a whole lot of XAT aspirants over the last few days. In this post, I will attempt to answer these questions.

First things first, I would like to state in all humility that cut-offs and good scores are better predicted “after a test” and not “before the test”.  Since the cut-offs are based on the relative performance of test-takers in a given test – the same can only be predicted once we have a close look at the level of difficulty of test this year and based on our understanding of the how difficult or easy the test was vis-à-vis tests in the previous year. However, since most of you are looking at benchmarks to know whether or not you are on the right track with regards to your XAT preparation – here goes my attempt to predict a good score in XAT 2016.

What do we know?

The overall percentile cut-offs for the various XLRI programs have been more or less constant for the last 3 years – so we could probably assume that the percentile cut-offs will remain more or less the same this year as well. Find below some data on the overall percentile cut-offs for the various XLRI programs:


* Based on information as available on the XLRI website

Further, XLRI has always had sectional cut-offs and the data for last year is given below for your reference:

XAT cutoffs1

* Based on information provided by past IMS students

Given that there is no change in the number of seats in each of these programs and the number of students expected to be called for the second stage of the selection process will more or less remain the same, we could predict the overall and sectional percentile cut-offs to be in the same range as above. So, we should look at scoring 95+ percentile overall, 90+ percentile in QADI, 80+ percentile in DM and 85+ percentile in VALR to secure calls for both BM and PMIR programs. The all important question now would be to know what score would correspond to the required percentile range – given the various changes incorporated in the XAT this year.

What has changed this year?

  1. The time duration of the test has been increased from 140 minutes to 170 minutes – this will lead to an increase in number of attempts for all test-takers who would traditionally miss out on some questions due to lack of time. If one does not factor in the change in level of difficulty, one should be able to solve 10-15 additionally in the extra time available.
  2. The level of difficulty of the test will be watered down to ensure that at least 100 students would be able to complete the test in the extended time duration –on an average students would only attempt around 50% of the questions in the given time-limits. We could expect this average to go up to about 70-80% of the questions. However the actual scores will be lower due to the accuracy parameter.

Based on these changes, I believe that the sectional and overall cut-offs will move upwards by a margin that will account for increase in time duration as well as the drop in level of difficulty. Accordingly, my guesstimates for a good score in each of the sections as well as overall to secure calls for the BM and PMIR programs of XLRI would be as follows:

XAT cutoffs2

I have not factored in the implication of the negative marking for skipped questions, because I believe that this factor won’t matter to those who are looking to clear the cut-offs. Click here to read my opinion on the negative marking for skipped questions.

So, if you are scoring in this range in the mock tests that you are taking – you should be in the safe zone. Having said this, DO NOT be content on achieving this score. As in any test, the mantra is always to maximise your score – sectional and overall. After all the level of difficulty of the test can only be judged on the day of the test. So, if you find the test to be on the easier side, push up your target and if it is as tough as or tougher than previous year XAT papers, then you can do well with a lower target. Don’t get too hassled at any point during the test and just focus on maximising your potential score.

I sign off with a few good posts (by my colleague Tony Xavier) that can make a difference to your XAT preparation  :

  1. How to crack XAT Decision Making- Part-I
  2. How to crack XAT Decision-Making Part-II
  3. How to crack XAT Decision-Making Part-III
  4. How-to-ace-XAT-essay-writing

All the Best for XAT 2016!!


10 thoughts on “XAT 2016: Expected Cut offs (Pre test)

  1. Hi Sir…very good analysis…in last year XAT2015…my percentile was VA : 94.15 DM : 91.11 and QA : 59.18…Overall : 91.26…QA as you can see is my weak area…This year with expected difficulty level being low…What should be my bare minimum Target QA score just to qualify for BM(any strategy) and how much time should i allocate.


    • The target is simply to maximise your score in each of the sections….the bare minimum score is mentioned in the blog – you must anyway try to surpass it by a margin. And for time allocation, 50-50-60 should be a good split with 10 minutes as buffer.


    • no point worrying…check if there are small things you can do to push up your score – like effective time management and selection of right questions…go and give it your best shot…who knows, your best may just be enough:-)


  2. Pingback: 7 things to do on XAT day - IMS Chennai

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