XAT - SPLessons


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shape Introduction

Understanding the difference between the top MBA Entrance Exams is helpful to candidates to choose better universities. XAT vs CAT section covers the details about XAT, CAT and the comparison between XAT & CAT.

shape Comparison



XAT remains for Xaviers’ Aptitude Test. It is a national level test directed by XLRI consistently to select the most suitable candidates for management education. Furthermore, more than 100 different colleges will accept XAT exam scores to consider students for the administration programs.


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test held in India. The test scores a candidate on the bases of Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIMs based on a policy of rotation.

XAT Vs CAT – Comparative Analysis

  • CAT is conducted by IIMs and is the MBA entrance test for 20 IIMs, FMS, IITs’ MBA, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IMT and 3000 other MBA colleges.

  • XAT is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur and is the MBA entrance test for XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT, XIMB and 150 other MBA colleges.

  • One of the key differences between CAT and XAT syllabus is the varying topics and sections. CAT does not have Decision Making section and GK section but XAT exam has DM and GK as separate sections.

  • Another key difference is the XAT Vs CAT difficulty level. XAT is considered a bit more difficult than CAT exam.

  • Which one is better CAT or XAT?
    The answer to this query depends upon your preferences. If you wish to seek admission opportunity in XLRI you should appear in XAT but if your interest is to do MBA from IIMs, you should appear in CAT exam.

Component XLRI – XAT IIMs CAT
Exam Date January 6, 2019 November 25, 2018
When to Apply August 3rd week to December 2nd week August 1st week to September Last week
Exam Conducted by Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur Indian Institutes of Management (IIM)
Testing Mode Computer Based Test Computer Based Test
Total Questions 100 (Since 2017, earlier 98)
99 Questions in 2019
100 (Since 2014, Earlier 60)
Overall Time Limit to Attempt the Exam 3 hours 3 hours
ype of Questions 99 MCQs 72-75 questions are MCQs, rest Non-MCQs
Answer Options for MCQs 5 4
Marks Awarded for each Correct Answer 1 3
Negative Marking 74 MCQs with 1/4 negative marking; No negative marking for 25 MCQs on GK MCQs with 1/3 negative marking; No negative marking for Non-MCQs
CAT Vs XAT Difficulty Difficulty level is higher Moderately Difficult
Difference Between XAT & CAT Syllabus:
Total Sections 3 (Main sections)
1 (GK)
Section-1 Verbal and Logical Ability – 26 questions Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension – 34 questions
Section-2 Decision Making – 21 questions Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning – 32 questions
Section-3 Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation – 27 questions Quantitative Ability – 34 questions
Section-4 General Awareness – 25 questions Not Applicable, only 3 Sections
Facility to Choose Order of Sections Yes, Any question from any section within overall time limit No, has to follow pre defined sectional order
Individual Sectional Time Limit No Sectional Limit Each section with 1 hour time limit
Top MBA Colleges Accepting Exam Score XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT, TAPMI, XIMB and 145 other MBA colleges 20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IMT, IITs, TAPMI, XIMB and hundreds of other B-schools.