Why should you apply and appear for XAT 2017?

MBA aspirants should not miss out on the perfect insurance policy, called Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT). In this article we try to debunk several myths associated with XAT, and make a strong case for you to apply for and appear in the XAT 2017!

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is one of the most popular management entrance tests in India (you can read: All about Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2017), and is second only to the Common Admission Test (CAT) in popularity. However, contrary to the obvious conclusion, number of XAT test-takers is only about half of that of CAT test takers. While, close to 2 Lakh students apply for CAT every year, only about 85-90,000 students apply for XAT!


Why is that? Are students missing out on potentially good opportunity by skipping XAT? Let us find out.


Top reasons (myths) why so many MBA aspirants skip applying to XAT –


XAT is not accepted by big brand b-schools


One of the biggest reasons why so many students simply skip applying for XAT is because of the acceptance of the test score. If we have a look at the B-Schools that accept ONLY CAT scores for admission to their MBA/PGDM programs, we see several strong brands, including the 19 IIMs, MDI, FMS, NITIE and IITs. On the other hand, the top B-School that accepts ONLY XAT score for admission to its MBA program is XLRI, Jamshedpur. It is therefore obvious that many students think that they will not miss out on much, if they skip applying for XAT.


XAT is difficult 


The second in the list of the biggest reasons why so many students simply skip applying for XAT is because of the exam itself. While CAT has just three sections – Logical Reasoning, Data interpretation, Aptitude and verbal ability, the XAT tops it up with Decision Making, General Knowledge and Essay Writing. That means, the test-takers need to invest heavily in preparation, with seemingly low return on that investment.


Not interested in Human Resource Management


The third in the list of the top reasons is XLRI’s strong association with Human Resource Management (HRM) as an MBA specialization. Only a small number of MBA aspirants are motivated to pursue HRM as their MBA major.


So you see, at the first glance, it appears as if applying for XAT is really wastage of time and money, with potentially low success outcome. However, this conclusion can’t be more far from truth!


Why should MBA aspirants apply for XAT?




Thinking that XAT opens doors only to XLRI is the biggest pitfall that MBA aspirants must avoid. XAT is accepted by more than 150 B-Schools in India, and many of them are strong brand-names in management education.


Yes it is true that most of these B-Schools also accept CAT and therefore, the reasons for writing XAT can be argued. However, consider this possibility – if a good test-taker does not perform well in CAT, would they not want another opportunity to improve their performance? And also save one full year of preparation and waiting? XAT provides THAT perfect opportunity to improve their performance and get into one of their dream B-Schools!


It is not uncommon to find students who did not perform well in CAT, but performed exceedingly well in XAT and secured a seat in the top-30 B-Schools!


Here is the list of top B-Schools in India that accept both CAT and XAT scores for admission to their MBA programs –


S. No.
Institutes accepting XAT score for admission


XLRI, Jamshedpur


MICA, Ahmedabad


S.P.Jain (SPJIMR), Mumbai


XIMB, Bhubaneshwar (BM and HRM)


FORE, Delhi


GIM, Panaji


Great Lakes PGPM and PGDM


IMT Ghaziabad, IMT Nagpur and IMT Hyderabad


IRMA, Anand


IIFM, Bhopal


K J Somaiya, Mumbai


WeSchool, Mumbai


LIBA, Chennai




XISS, Ranchi


TAPMI, Manipal


XIME, Bangalore


IFMR, Chennai


IIRM, Jaipur


Alliance, Bangalore


Amity, Noida


IPE, Hyderabad


Christ, Bangalore


Praxis, Kolkata


ITM, Navi Mumbai


MET, Mumbai


ISB&M, Pune




IMDR, Pune


SDMIMD, Mysore





Several MBA aspirants mistakenly associate XAT with XLRI (a myth that we just debunked) and XLRI with HR specialisation. While there is hardly any doubt that the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (PGDM-HRM) program at XLRI is the best in India, its Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) program is equally well reputed and is amongst the top-5 MBA programs for General management.


The perfect fall-back option


As explained earlier too, XAT can be considered as the perfect fall back option for those MBA aspirants who are aiming at top-30 MBA institutes in India, but have fallen short in CAT. CAT 2016 is on 4th December this year, while XAT 2017 will take place in the first week of January 2017. An MBA aspirant will get a minimum 30 days before they appear for XAT 2017 and can work on a lot of their weak areas and fine-tune their test-taking strategies.


All this could result in good performance in XAT and sufficiently higher percentile. Also, for some reason, if an MBA aspirant has missed the CAT application deadline, and is not taking the CAT 2016, they can still apply for XAT 2017 to stand an opportunity to be in the top 30 B-Schools in India.


Applying for XAT opens up more opportunities for your career aspirations. Even if you appear for both Cat and XAT, you can secure more interview calls based on the better score, thereby increasing your success rate.


Lastly, a few words about XAT Essay Writing section


A lot of test-takers skip applying for XAT or even appearing for the test, because of the Essay Writing section. It must be understood that the essay section score is considered only by XLRI, and that too only at the second stage of the selection process. None of the affiliate institutes consider it for their selection process. So, if you performed badly in Essay Writing in XAT, you might probably lose out on admission in XLRI programs.


Having said that, if you are really weak at writing good, analytical essays, please work on that area – simply because IIMs also have WAT (Written Ability Test) in their admission process.


If you have not applied for XAT 2017 yet, you must hurry and register for XAT 2017.  The last date to register for XAT is 30th Nov 2016 (without late fee) and 11th December 2016 (with late fee). XAT gives you the perfect advantage to improve your opportunity of securing a seat in the top-30 B-schools! Don't miss that!