XAT 2016 is finally over!! If you were really expecting the test to get a lot easier than previous years with a substantial increase in the number of questions answered in each of the sections – I know how you must be feeling after having taken the test!! The test proved to be an anti-climax with students finding the Verbal Ability & Decision Making sections as easy or tough as previous years, the Quantitative Ability Section a tad bit easier and the General Knowledge section a bit too hot to handle. Read on to know what could be the expected cut-offs for the test that was conducted on 3rd Jan 2016.
Section A – Verbal and Logical Ability
The test setters, I believe, made no attempt to reduce the level of difficulty of this section to meet the set objectives as stated before the test. Students found this section as tough, if not tougher than previous year papers. I would not be surprised if test-takers found the passage based on experimentation and questions like the one based on a Poem to be the road-blocks in this section.
On an average, some of the potential “XAT crackers” I interacted with attempted 16-18 questions out of 26 in this section. And that too quite a few students marked a few questions extra only to avoid the negative marking for skipped questions. God save their accuracy!!
The cut-off for this section should be in the range of 8-9 for XLRI BM and 9-10 for XLRI HRM.
Section B – Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning
While the first take on this section was that it was as tough as previous years, a quick analysis of the average number of attempts in this section shows that test-takers have ended up attempting more questions than in previous years. Probably the nature of questions (especially the ones that were non-mathematical) and the length of the sets (all sets were short and easy to read) are major reasons for this increase. Accuracy would be a deciding factor in this section.
On an average students attempted 18-20 questions out of 23 in this section. So even with an 80% accuracy a score of 13-14 should have been achievable in this section.
The cut-off for this section should be in the range of 11-12 for both the XLRI BM and HRM programs.
Section C – Quantitative Ability
This was one section that was seemingly easier compared to previous years – giving a huge sigh of relief to all the non-engineers who expect XAT Math to be a nightmare. The questions were mainly from Arithmetic and Geometry – and this year there was NO question on probability. The section also had 1 incorrect question – which will certainly be left out of evaluation.
But some of the good work done by the test setters for the Quantitative Ability questions was undone by the Data Interpretation sets in this section. There were two sets and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could manage to solve only one of those sets and didn’t know what to do with the other one(on student salaries).
On an average students attempted 18-20 questions out of 29 in this section. The cut-off for this section should be in the range of 10-11 for XLRI BM and 8-9 for XLRI HRM.
All in all, XAT 2016 was an anti-climax to all student expectations. The dream of 100 students completing the paper and majority of the students having solved 75-80% of questions in the test remains unfulfilled perhaps. The extra time did not make too much of a difference. The negative marking for skipped, if at all, may have had only one impact – that of bringing down accuracy levels.
On an average students attempted 50-55 questions out of 78 overall. The overall cut off should be in the range of 34-36 for XLRI BM and 32-34 for XLRI HRM.
These cut offs are significantly lower than what I had predicted in one of my earlier posts XAT 2016: Expected Cut-offs, but as I had stated in that post – cut offs are best predicted after a test and therefore the change in estimates. Anyway, if you are expecting sectional and overall scores in the range that I had suggested earlier – you are in SAFE ZONE.
About the GK and Essay section
By the time students reached this section, they were already wondering if their number of attempts in the first three sections was sufficient enough for this section to have any significance in future (as the same is only used at the second stage of the selection process).
The GK questions were on the tougher side and required you to be very well read for you to have at least 50% genuine attempts. And in any case as this section did not have negative marking the rest of the questions should have been marked as well with intelligent or wild guesses. In my opinion even a score of 6-10 would be considered good enough for this section.
The essay topic was “Technology and Nature are natural enemies”. I would rate this topic easier compared to previous years. Again being well read would have enable to you to bring in a lot of perspectives with examples in this essay.
So, its time to stop thinking about the XAT and move your focus to other tests you maybe taking like TISS, CMAT and Maharashtra CET. And for those anxiously waiting for CAT 2015 results – ALL THE BEST!!