XAT Exam Pattern 2024: Marking Scheme, Negative Marking

Aug 17, 2023 | Management


XAT Exam Pattern 2024 includes total marks, marking scheme, mode, question type, and number of sections. The XLRI has released the XAT pattern 2024 on the official website. XAT exam will be held online as a computer-based test. The duration of the XAT 2024 will be 3 hours and 30 minutes (210 minutes).

XAT questions will check a candidate's understanding of Verbal and Logical Ability, Quants and Data Interpretation, General Awareness, and Decision-Making ability. The candidates need to go through the XAT paper pattern 2024 to understand the distribution of questions throughout the question paper and the XAT marking scheme.

Xat Exam Dates 2024 XAT Previous Years Question Papers

Table of Contents

XAT Exam Pattern 2024

XAT exam pattern 2024 is given below for your reference. If XLRI changes the XAT test pattern 2024, it will be updated in this section.

XAT Exam Pattern 2024
Particulars Details
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions
Total Questions 100
Maximum Marks 100
Medium of Question Paper English
Mode of Exam Online
Duration of the Test 3 hours 30 minutes

Section-wise XAT 2024 Exam Pattern

XAT section-wise exam pattern is tabulated below. Candidates can check the number of questions that will be asked from each section, the time allotted for those sections, and the XAT marks per question.

There are two sections overall. Part 1 contains subjects such as Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, whereas Part 2 contains questions from General Knowledge. Candidates must remember that no sectional time will be allotted for these subjects.

Section-wise XAT 2024 Exam Pattern
Sections XAT Question Pattern Overall Time Duration
Part-1 75 (Multiple-choice Questions) 175 Minutes
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 No Sectional Time Limit
Decision Making 21
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 28
Part-2 25 (Multiple-choice Questions) 35 Minutes
General Knowledge 25
Total Questions (Part 1 + Part 2) 100 210 Minutes

Important Note:

XAT 2024 is a Computer-based test (CBT). There is a negative marking for every incorrectly answered question. The candidate can leave 8 questions unanswered, after which 0.10 marks will be deducted for each unanswered question.

XAT Preparation in 1 Month XAT Exam Day Requirements

Knowing the XAT previous year question paper pattern will help the candidates devise an effective strategy for the exam day. By understanding the XAT marking scheme, the candidates can restrict their guesswork to where necessary.

  • The total number of questions has increased to 100 from 99.
  • Numerical Answer Type Questions: XLRI has introduced Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.
    • No marks will be deducted for these questions.
    • To answer the NAT questions, candidates must use the virtual keypad on the computer screen and enter the numerical answer.
  • There will be no essay writing test in XAT 2024.
  • MCQ specifications: Each MCQ will have five options. One of those options will be the correct answer.
  • Deduction of Marks for Unattempted Questions: Candidates must remember that they can only leave 8 questions unattempted. After that, a negative marking penalty of 0.10 will be applied for each unattempted question (except for the General Knowledge section).
  • Sectional Time Limit: NA
  • XAT negative marking will not be applicable for the General Knowledge section. This section will not be counted for percentile evaluation either.
  • Extra Time: For visually impaired candidates, XLRI shall offer 25 minutes to complete Part 1 of the question paper. No extra time will be given to any candidate to solve the GK section.

The XAT Exam Pattern 2024 for each section of XAT 2024 is as follows:

XAT Exam Pattern 2021 Details
Name of the Section Exam Pattern Details
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning
  • Total questions: 26
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • RC passages: 4
  • RC Based on questions: 14 to 16
  • VA questions: 8 to 10
  • VA topics: Vocabulary; Analogy; Para Jumbles, Para completion; Critical Reasoning; Statements-assumptions;
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to Very Difficult
Decision Making
  • Total questions: 21
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Question groups: 7 to 8 sets of decision-making problems followed by 2 and 3 questions each
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation
  • Total questions: 28
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Frequently asked topics in Quant & DI Section
General Knowledge
  • Total questions: 25
  • Type of questions: MCQs
  • Time Limit to Attempt: 25 minutes
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • Question topics: GK questions could be based on any topic including Current domestic and international affairs; Business; Economics; social issues, appointments; conventional GK; sports; Constitution of India among others.
  • Key highlight: Not taken into account for the calculation of percentile in the XAT exam.

XAT Section-wise weightage

XAT Essay Writing

After a three-year hiatus, the XAT Essay Writing part was reinstated in 2022. In 2019, XLRI eliminated the essay component.

  • XAT GK section and the XAT essay writing section are combined in the second segment of the paper. A brief essay of no more than 250 words and the General Knowledge (GK) component can be completed in 25 minutes.
  • Current events, social and economic challenges, and abstract and thought-provoking topics could all be included.

XAT essay themes from the previous 16 years are listed below:



XAT Exam Essay Topics


Capitalism and democracy follow a different logic

Candidates with stellar academic records are preferred by B-schools for admission but they make average managers


Ethical Practices and Sustainability: Do they co-exist?


Globalization and Jingoism always coexist


Technology and Nature are natural enemies


Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand. We only listen to refute or reply.


The most beautiful thing can neither be seen nor be touched but can only be felt


Corruption is the root cause of the economic slowdown in India


The government is not addressing the root cause of poverty, Government is not able to implement the policies properly due to the huge magnitude of poverty


The statesman who would attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.


Earth provides enough to satisfy everybody's needs but not everybody's greed


The Inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings and the inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of misery


Gender Imbalance would lead to Third World War


Economic growth without environmental damage – a mirage or a reality


India has one of the largest pools of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products


More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities


Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would choose as his masterpiece, Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect answered, "The next one"


To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or measured, like sincerity and integrity

Also Read: XAT Essay Topics

XAT 2024 Exam Pattern: Key Changes Introduced

TheXAT Exam Pattern 2024 has been revised, and the it will include 5 sections following the new paper pattern. XAT 2024 exam pattern has undergone the significant revisions listed below:

  • NAT Questions Introduced: XLRI has included a brand-new Numerical Answer Type (NAT) question category in the XAT pattern 2024. Candidates must input their numerical responses to the NAT questions using the virtual keypad on the computer screen.
  • Penalty for Un-attempted Questions: According to the updated XAT question paper pattern, there will be a 0.10 mark negative marking penalty for each question not attempted after 8 questions.
  • Essay Writing Test Restored: In the updated XAT pattern, the descriptive question from the Essay Writing test has been reinstated.
  • XAT Time Duration: Instead of the previous three hours, the XAT 2024 exam will last three hours and ten minutes.
  • 25 Minutes Extra for Visually Impaired Candidates: For the initial part of the XAT exam (the first three sections), the scribe will get an additional 25 minutes in 2024. For the GK section, there is no time allowance.

Also Read: How to Prepare for XAT Verbal?

XAT Marking Scheme 2024

The candidates must familiarize themselves with the XAT marking scheme. The conducting authorities have set a limit on the maximum number of XAT questions the candidates can leave unattempted.

Candidates will also end up losing certain marks for answering the questions incorrectly. The details of the XAT scoring pattern are given below:

Marking Scheme
XAT Marking Scheme 2024 Marks Awarded
For Every Correct Answer 1 mark will be awarded
Candidates can Leave 8 Questions Unattempted  After which, a 0.10 mark will be deducted for every unattempted question
 For Wrong Answers 1/4 mark will be deducted
For the GK Section (part 2) of the XAT Question Paper No negative marking 

XAT Marking Scheme

XAT 2024 Exam Duration: Overall & Sectional Time Limit

  • XAT 2024 exam will last 210 minutes, with part I taking 175 minutes and part II 35 minutes.
  • The VALR, QADI, and DM sections of part 1 of the question paper will not have sectional time limits.
  • PwD candidates will receive 20 more minutes each hour. Therefore, they will receive 55 additional minutes for Part 1 and 5 additional minutes for Part 2 of the XAT question paper.
XAT Exam Pattern Overall
Part 1


Overall & Sectional Exam Duration

Overall & Sectional Exam Duration for PwD candidates

Verbal & Logical Ability

No Sectional Time Limit

No Sectional Time Limit

Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation

No Sectional Time Limit

No Sectional Time Limit

Decision Making

No Sectional Time Limit

No Sectional Time Limit

Overall Part 1

210 minutes

210 minutes

Part 2

General Knowledge

No Sectional Time Limit

No Sectional Time Limit

Essay Writing

No Sectional Time Limit

No Sectional Time Limit

Overall Part 2

35 minutes

35 minutes

XAT Question Paper Pattern and Analysis 2023

The breakdown of the XAT 2022 question paper by section, the difficulty level of each question type, and the analysis are provided below. The past six years' worth of XAT exam papers is also listed below.

XAT Question Pattern


Difficulty Level

Good Attempts

Suggested Time (in minutes)

Verbal & Logical Ability




Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation




Decision Making




General Awareness








Verbal and Logical Ability

  • There were six passages and 15 questions on reading comprehension in the verbal and logical ability section.
  • There was a traditional poem with two questions, three passages with three questions each, and three passages with two questions each.
  • Questions about poetry and para jumbles were somewhat challenging, while questions about grammar were simple.

Decision-Making and Analytical Reasoning

  • The XAT 2022's Decision-Making part had a moderate difficulty level in terms of difficulty.
  • In this part of the XAT exam, singlets were not permitted.
  • Each of the seven scenarios had three questions. Four of the passages dealt with business decisions, and three of them dealt with ethical dilemmas.

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

  • There were 16 questions in the segment on quantitative ability and 12 questions in the portion on data interpretation.
  • Arithmetic, algebra, and geometry questions comprised most of the QA questions.
  • This segment of the XAT 2022 had four sets for the DI part.
  • The portion was generally not too challenging.

General Knowledge

  • The General Knowledge part was moderately challenging overall.
  • 25 questions from current GK (business, economy, personalities, and awards) and static GK were included in this section (Economy, Geography, Science and Technology)

Quick Links:

How to Prepare for XAT in 6 Months? How to Prepare for XAT Verbal?

XAT Syllabus

As far as XAT preparation 2024 is concerned, one can practice the XAT mock test 2024 and the previous year's papers. This will ideally help them to get familiar with the XAT Exam Pattern 2024. The XAT Syllabus 2024 is divided into four different sections. The essay writing section is removed. So the other sections are Data Interpretation & Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, and General Knowledge (GK).

There is no strict curriculum for the GK section. Students should be thorough with the current affairs to score well in this section. The other three subjects are taken into consideration for calculating the percentile. Some of the important topics for the XAT exam pattern are mentioned below.

Verbal and Logical Ability

  • Para jumbled
  • Grammar
  • Paragraph completion
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading comprehension

Decision Making

  • Situational events
  • Case studies
  • Data arrangement
  • Analytical reasoning

Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability

  • Tables, Graphs
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • Profit and Loss
  • Speed and Distance
  • Clocks

General Knowledge

  • News
  • History
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Society updates

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