XAT 2015 Answer Key and Analysis

OVERVIEW:

The overall structure of XAT-2015 was more or less similar to that of XAT-2014. The exam consisted of 2 Parts and Part 1 consisted of 3 sections having 28, 23 and 33 questions respectively (total 84 questions) to be attempted in 140 minutes. Further, Part 2 contained 30 GK questions and one essay-writing exercise, to be attempted in 40 minutes. The break-up of the sections of Part 1 was as follows:

Section Section Name Number of questions
Section-I Verbal and Logical Ability

28

Section-II Decision Making

23

Section-III Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

33

  Total

84

Section A – Verbal and Logical Ability

The XAT Verbal and Logical Ability section is usually tough, and this year was no exception. There were 18 RC questions, and 10 Verbal Ability/Reasoning questions. The exact question distribution was as follows:

Area/Questions No. of Qs. Question Type Level of Difficulty
Vocabulary & Grammar
Synonyms 1 Medium
Fill in the blanks (4 sentences) 1 Vocab-based Medium
Antonyms 1 Easy-medium
Fill in the blanks (Multiple blanks) 1 Vocab-based Difficult
Verbal Reasoning
Para Jumbles 2 1 with 5 sentences, 1 with first and last sentence fixed Medium-Difficult
Para Completion 2 Medium-Difficult
Critical Reasoning 1 Medium
Relation of 2 statements to each other 1 Difficult
Reading Comprehension
Passage 1 – A single paragraph on the interpretation of dreams 1 Inferential Medium
Passage 2 – Two-third of a page long passage on the neurological basis of learning 4 All were inferential 1 Easy, 3 Difficult
Passage 3 – About one page on genetic basis for two types of personality 4 All were inferential 3 Medium, 1 Difficult
Passage 4 – Two-third of a page of an extract from a novel describing a prisoner planning his escape 4 1 direct, 3 inferential 2 Easy, 2 Medium
Passage 5 – A two-paragraph passage on brainstorming 2 All were inferential 1 Easy, 1 Medium
Passage 6 – A two-paragraph passage on the market efficiency of public and private goods 3 All were inferential 3 Medium

A student should be able to attempt 20 of the questions in this section in about 40-45 minutes. The two most difficult RC passages (Passages 2 and 3) should have been avoided. About 15 confident attempts (with about 75-80% accuracy) would be considered good.

Section B – Decision Making and Analytical Reasoning

Area/Questions No. of Qs. Question Type Level of Difficulty
Case 1 – Single paragraph case on a political party 4 2 of the questions involved a paragraph each of additional information 3 Easy, 1 Difficult
Case 2 – Courses in a college 3 3 Medium
Case 3 – A short email to an unsatisfactory employee 3 2 of the questions involved a paragraph each of additional information 2 Easy, 1 Difficult
Case 4 – Single paragraph case on upgrading the technology of an oil refinery 3 All of the questions involved a paragraph each of additional information; one involved calculations 2 Easy, 1 Difficult
Case 5 – Single paragraph case on a pharmaceutical company 4 3 of the questions involved a paragraph each of additional information; one involved calculations 1 Easy, 3 Medium
Case 6 – Short passage on a family-owned fast food restaurant chain 3 All of the questions involved additional information 1 Medium, 2 Difficult
Case 7 – Single paragraph case on the entrance exam of a management school 2 1 of the questions involved a paragraph of additional information 1 Easy, 1 Medium
Case 8 – Single paragraph caselet on a college making the campus green 1 Difficult

The non-mathematical part of this section (18 questions) consisted of 6 sets and 1 individual question. All sets contained difficult questions, though they were easy to read and short. So, it made sense to attempt the sets with more questions and attempt as many easy questions as possible across sets. Unlike last year, there weren’t any long sets.  

The mathematical part of this section (5 questions) was characterized by easy to moderate level of difficulty. There was a set of 3 questions involving Venn diagrams. Remaining two questions were mathematical questions on two different sets, which also contained other non-mathematical questions.

In 40-45 minutes, students should have solved about 5 sets and attempted 12-13 questions confidently (about 75-80% accuracy), out of the 17 questions.

Section C – Quantitative Ability

The Quantitative Ability - Data Interpretation section was characterized by majorly easy to medium Quantitative Ability questions and difficult Data Interpretation questions. Quantitative Ability was dominated by Geometry, Modern Mathematics and Arithmetic questions. There was no question on Logarithms or Permutation and Combination. There was one question on Data Sufficiency. One question on Number Theory (factorials) was confusing.
Unlike in XAT-2014, there were two Data Interpretation sets of 4 questions each. One set on tables was significantly calculation-intensive while the other Data Interpretation set contained multiple graphs and was fairly complicated. Both the Data Interpretation sets were best left to be attempted at the end.

Overall, the level of difficulty of the section was lower as compared to XAT-2014. In 50-55 minutes, about 18-20 attempts with 80% accuracy will be considered good.

  Level of difficulty
Topic Easy Medium Difficult Total
Geometry
Mensuration 1 1 0 2
Triangles 0 1 1 2
Quadrilaterals 0 2 0 2
Trigonometry 0 1 0 1
Circles 1 0 0 1
Coordinate Geometry 0 1 0 1
Modern Mathematics
Functions 0 1 1 2
Sequences and Series 2 0 0 2
Probability 0 1 0 1
Statistics 0 1 0 1
Number Theory
Mixtures 0 1 0 1
Percentages 0 1 0 1
Profit and Loss 1 0 0 1
Simple and Compound Interest 0 1 0 1
Algebra
Equations of a curve 0 1 0 1
Simple equations 0 0 1 1
Maxima-Minima 0 1 0 1

Numbers

Properties of Numbers 0 0 1 1
Factorials 0 0 1 1
Divisibility 0 0 1 1
Total 5 14 6 25

General Knowledge

The 30 GK questions contained an almost equal distribution of current and static questions and national and international news based questions. There were hardly 5 easy questions. Many questions were tedious: they contained many statements which were to be classified as true/false or required arrangements of multiple entities etc. Considering that students would spend 15-20 minutes on GK, and there is only 1/4th negative marking, we expect them to attempt about 15-18 questions with about 50-60% accuracy.

Overall

Section wise and overall cut offs, for XLRI-BM and XLRI-HRM for a GD-PI CALL should be as follows

VA DM QA Overall
XLRI-BM 9 7 8 30-32
XLRI-HRM 8 6 7 28-30

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