Both the CAT and the XAT have been popular with the management students for seeking admission to MBA and PGDM courses.One of the key differences between the CAT and XAT syllabus is the varying topics and sections. CAT does not have the Decision Making (DM)section and General Knowledge (GK) section,but the XAT exam has DM and GK as separate sections.
Let us see in detail the syllabus for both the exams:
The XAT exam syllabus will have four major components which are:
Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
Section-1: Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension & Logical Reasoning
This section will be divided into three parts:
Verbal Ability– together with the Reading Comprehension section, there will be 26 MCQs or Multiple-Choice Questions.
The topics will cover English Vocabulary, Error correction, Completion of sentences andparagraphs, and jumbled paragraphs.
Reading Comprehension passages – Moderate to short paragraphs will be given for explanation of the words &phrases, True/false statements; Author’s view on various issues raised in the RC passage;main idea and purpose of the RC passage.
Logical Reasoning-Questions can be on any topic like Clocks, calendars, Fact, and Inference, Judgment, analogy, binary logic, seating arrangement, blood relations, logical sequence, conclusion, etc. , in the form of MCQs.
Section-2: Decision Making
This section is unique to the XAT exam,and these topics are not covered in any other exam. This will consist of 21 MCQs.
This section is presented to judge the problem or case solving skills of a candidate. The decision making is judged based on Conditions and Grouping, Data Arrangement, Complex Arrangement, Decision Making in a situation; and Case studies.
Section-3: Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
The Quantitative Ability (QA)section will consist of 27 MCQs covering topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Math, Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry,Set theory, and others.
The Data Interpretation (DI) section in the XAT exam is in the set of 4 questions. They will be MCQs based on interpretation and analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), and Venn diagrams.
Section-4: General Knowledge
This section will have 25 MCQs that will cover topics like Economics, finance, national and international current affairs, Indian Constitution, Business, etc.
Now let us have a look at the CAT syllabus.
The CAT exam question paper will consist of 100 questions carrying 300 marks to be done across 3 hours. The syllabus is divided into four parts:
Reading and Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logic Reasoning
Section 1- Reading and Comprehension (RA)
There will be 24 MCQ type questions with 1/3 negative marking for a penalty. There will be three long and two short passages for questions. Questions will cover an explanation of the words & phrases, True/false statements; the Author’s view on various issues raised in the RC passage; main idea,and purpose of the RC passage.
Topics will be contemporary like Genetics, Plastic Pollution, Elephant society; Consumer Behavior; Anthropology, etc.
Section 2 – Verbal Ability
There will be ten non-MCQ type questions
They will cover summary, jumbled Paragraphs, Out of Context Sentence, Error Correction, sentence sequence correction, reported speech, passive writing, Vocabulary usage, synonyms,and antonyms, Analogies, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Completion, Facts, Inference and Judgment, Irrelevant Statements and Phrasal Verbs Usage.
Section 3-Data Interpretation (DI) & Logical Reasoning (LR)
There will be 16 questions-MCQs and non-MCQs.
DI topics will cover Data Tables, Data charts, Bar diagrams & Charts (Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar and Pie), Line X-Y Graphs, Data analysis and comparison, and case lets.
LR topics will cover Calendars, Binary logic, Seating Arrangement, Family Tree, Logical Sequence, Assumption, Conclusion, Linear and matrix arrangement, Team Formation, Direction sense, and Decision Making
Section 4- Quantitative Ability
This section covers all aspects of modern mathematics with questions on different topics on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Venn Diagrams, Complex numbers, speed/Time/distance, number system, etc.
Students have to keep in mind that the syllabus keeps changing every year. They need to keep themselves updated with the latest changes.