XAT 2022 Analysis

02 January, 2022
PG Team


XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) 2022 was conducted online on January 2, 2022, between 9:30 AM and 12:40 PM. The test had almost the same structure as last year except that the Essay Writing task was reintroduced after a gap of 3 years.Two topics were provided. The test-taker had to select one.


The structure of the test along with suggested time allocation, good attempts, and estimated cut-offs based on the feedback from IMS students and experts are in the table below:


The Question Paper consisted of two timed parts.


SectionNo. of QuestionsMarks per questionTotal marksSuggested time allocationGood Attempts
PART – A (165 minutes) No Sectional Timing within  Part – A
Verbal and Logical Ability2612655-6013-14
Decision Making2112150-5512-13
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation2812855-6016-18
PART – B  (25 minutes)  No Negative Marks
General Awareness25125No Negative Marks15
EssayThe essay will be assessed if the candidate is shortlisted for the interview.


Part A questions invited negative marks of – 0.25 for each incorrect response. In addition, there was a penalty of  -0.1 mark for every unattempted question after 8 unattempted questions.





Overall, XAT-2022 was similar in difficulty level to XAT 2021. The DM Section was on par with the same last year with a few questions in DM being difficult. The VALR section was slightly more challenging than the same section in XAT 2021.


Based on the inputs received from students and IMS mentors who appeared for the test and based on the actual cutoffs over the last two years, we estimate the following cut-offs for XLRI BM and HRM programs:


XLRI BM Program:

VA-LR SectionDM SectionQA-DI SectionOverall (Part A)
Male candidates6-75-69-1030-32
Female candidates5-6         4-58-928-30


XLRI HRM Program:

VA-LR SectionDM SectionQA-DI SectionOverall (Part A)
Male (Engineers)7-85-68-929-31
Female (Engineers)6-74-57-827-29
Male(Non Engineers)7-85-67-827-29
Female (Non Engineers)6-74-56-726-28




Note: For both BM and HRM programs of XLRI, the overall cutoff is significantly greater than the sum of the sectional cutoffs. Therefore, the number of good attempts for different sections has been estimated from the point of view of a student who wishes to maximize the score in that section.




Verbal and Logical Ability Section (26 questions)

The Verbal and Logical Ability section of XAT 2021 was at par with last year’s paper. There were 14 Reading Comprehension questions and 12 Verbal Ability/Reasoning questions. The Verbal ability/Verbal Reasoning questions were a fair mix of grammar, vocabulary, and reasoning-based questions (Critical Reasoning, Correct/Incorrect statements and Jumbled Paragraphs). The 14 RC questions were distributed among four passages and one poem. The poem-based RC was an abstract one and had 11 lines. The remaining four passages were of 300 – 450 words each approximately; they had a mixture of mostly medium to difficult questions. Many of the questions were inferential and application-based. The options were close and the directions emphasized choosing the ‘best’ one among them.

Area/QuestionsNo. of Qs.Level of Difficulty
Verbal Ability / Reasoning
Grammatically incorrect sentence22 Medium
Grammatically correct sentence11 Easy
Fill in the blanks (3 blanks)11 Medium
Jumbled Paragraphs22 Medium
Critical Reasoning (Conclusions)43 Medium, 1 Difficult
Poem-based Inference11 Medium
Cloze Passage (4 blanks) 11 Medium
Reading Comprehension
Passage 1 (How lying differs from bullshitting – 300 words)3Medium
Passage 2 (A psychologically rich life can be a good life – 450 words )3Medium
Passage 3 ( Stupidity as a cognitive failing – 350 words)3Medium
Passage 4 (Publicness is as important to progress as sociability or privacy – 350 words)3Difficult
Passage 5 (Poem – Immigrant by Tabish Khair)2Difficult

An attempt of about 13-14 questions in this section in about 55-60 minutes, with about 75-80% accuracy would be considered a good attempt.


Decision Making (21 questions)

This section consisted of 21 questions, and like last year, none of the questions were quantitative.

The section consisted of 7 sets of 3 questions each. Most of the questions were on Ethical Dilemma. The passages were short and easy to read. As usual, some questions had a fair deal of ambiguity – in that either no answer seemed correct or more than one option appeared correct. Overall, the questions were of medium difficulty. Therefore, the choice of sets/questions to attempt would have depended mainly on your personal preferences and strengths. Overall, the section was on par with last year’s test.

Area/QuestionsNo. of Qs.Level of Difficulty
Case 1 – Allotment of accommodation to scientists (of 3 different seniority levels) in a research institute3Medium
Case 2 – Regarding an individual’s use of a vehicle (diesel-based) that is non-compliant with pollution rules3Medium
Case 3 – Regarding recruitment and confirmation of faculty members in an engineering college3Medium
Case 4 – Running a dosa Stall in a hospital; business3Difficult
Case 5 – Regarding school fees payment by financially able parents during the pandemic3Medium
Case 6 – Regarding an assignment submission in a management college3Difficult
Case 7 – Regarding the concerns of residents of an island village about how a proposed new bridge connecting their island to the mainland might impact them, business and ethics3Difficult

In about 50-55 minutes, an attempt of about 12-13 questions with about 75-80% accuracy would be considered to be good.


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (28 questions)

This section was of moderate level of difficulty. As a whole, it was one notch easier than XAT-2021. Out of the 28 questions in the section, 16 were on Quantitative Ability and 12 were on Data Interpretation.

There were four sets of Data Interpretation with 3 questions each.  Two sets were somewhat logical in nature- one involved table and the other bar graph. LOD was medium though one question in each set was tricky.

The remaining two sets were based on Calculations and Observation. Out of these two sets, one was on candlestick and the other was on Line graph. LOD of these two sets was medium.


Following is the break-up of the questions in the section:

Quantitative Ability (16 questions)
Modern Maths1214
Data Interpretation (12 questions)
Bar Graph0213
Line Graph0303
Total DI010212
Total QA-DI716528

An attempt of about 16-18 questions (with about 80 percent accuracy) in about 55-60 minutes would be considered a good attempt.



There was no break between Part-A and Part-B.


General Knowledge

The 25 GK questions comprised 13 current affairs questions and 12 static GK questions. Overall, the GK section was of the same difficulty as last year’s test. 16 to 17 questions were based on national events, 7-8 questions were based on international events and miscellaneous topics As usual, the questions covered a wide range of areas and gave no special advantage to specialists in any one area.


To maximize the score in this section, one should have attempted 15 questions seriously. Additionally, as there was no negative marking in this section, all the remaining questions should also have been attempted. A score of 6 – 7 would be a good score in this section.


Essay Writing

Two topics were provided. The test-taker had to select one topic and write an essay in around 250 words.

The topics for the essay writing task were:

  1. Capitalism and democracy follow different logics: unequally distributed property rights on the one hand, equal civic and political rights on the other. debate, compromise and majority decision-making within democratic politics versus hierarchical decision-making by managers and capital owners. Therefore, Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist.
  2. In management we do not need people who have never experienced setbacks. Such people are highly risk averse. Because business schools mainly focus on stellar academic achievements during admissions, the selected students turn out to be average managers