XAT Exam: Strategy for decision making
Decision Making (DM) is a section unique to XAT and consists of a mix of behavioral, managerial and mathematical questions. Decision Making is not really a test of theoretical knowledge but challenges the basic assumptions of your thinking and whether you are able to understand real-world problems that are presented as cases in these questions.
The motive behind having a dedicated decision making section in an MBA entrance test is that, many times in our professional as well as personal lives, we are faced with a challenging situation. As a professional business manager, one is expected to be level-headed in such circumstances and act in a fair and unbiased manner. The XAT Decision Making Section is aimed at testing this quality among the candidates.
Types of Decision Making Questions:
- Mathematical Question
- Behavioral and Managerial Questions
Common Mistakes made by students
A very common mistake that a lot of students make is that they neglect this section. They believe, which is often not supported by data, that Decision Making is something that they would do on the spot. They write four to five mock XATs and that is the end of their preparation for the Decision Making section. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Like any other topic, Decision Making also requires effort if you wish to excel in it. Especially in an exam like XAT, which is a low scoring exam, one set of questions can make a difference between a 98 percentile and an 89 percentile.
What is assed in the Decision Making Questions?
In the field of psychology, decision making is the cognitive process that results in a belief or a course of action among many other possibilities. Decision making in business and management is not very different. It consists of three components –
- Choices: Choosing the best solution for solving the problem.
- Alternatives:Select the best one from two or more alternatives.
- Objective Oriented:Make a decision to achieve a certain objective or goal.
Guidelines to ace Decision Making:
1) Identify the question: Questions asked in Decision Making usually ask you to choose the correct decision. A situation will be given to you that will involve a number of situations and factors. Your job is to evaluate all the situations and factors, and based on this, take the appropriate decision.
Another type of question is where you will have to choose the appropriate reason that led to a particular situation.
2) XAT decision making syllabus: The passages/sets that are asked in this section can be broadly grouped into types.
- Business/Financial situations
- Situations involving strategies
- Situations related to Corporate/Human Resources
- Analytical Reasoning
Most of the sets will belong to any of the above mentioned types.
3) Approaching the set: Any activity done with the right approach will bear fruits. The same holds true for decision making questions. You have to follow a logical approach while making a decision for a particular question. DO NOT make EMOTIONAL decisions.
4) Approaching the options: As mentioned earlier, a lot of questions will have options that are pretty close to each other. A lot of students get confused between two or more options .Now, here is where, again, the way you approach the answers, comes into play. Instead of trying to find the right answer, focus on eliminating the wrong ones. The quicker you eliminate options, the faster you can zero in on the correct choice. So, when practising, focus on eliminating the wrong/incorrect options.
5) Past Papers: Practice Makes Perfect. And the best material to practice for Decision Making is the previous years’ papers for XAT. Get your hands on the questions and solutions of previous years’ papers of XAT. Try out the decision making questions from XAT 2019 question paper. You will get a good idea about how the questions are asked. These question papers have all XAT solutions required.
6) Practice: The final tip will be practice. Practice all the mock questions and previous years’ questions. The more you solve, the better you’ll get at tackling Decision Making questions.