Decision making is always the distinguishing element in XAT and the most subjective. There were 25 questions in this section. 8 questions required Numerical & analytical reasoning. Out of these, 4 required calculations. The remaining 17 questions were pure decision making questions.
The Set on the Big & Colourful Company (which was actually more of Data Interpretation Set) on first impression looked like a tough set. However, once you have given 5 to 7 minutes reading and analyzing the question, calculation of profits (which was quite simple and on which 3 of the 4 questions were based ) for all firms could be done in 3-4 minutes and all questions could be easily answered. Quite a few students made the mistake of leaving out this set, which was actually the most straightforward. Out of the other 4 Analytical Reasoning questions; it would have been preferable to attempt the single questions on Data Sufficiency and Arrangement
Pure Decision Making:
Case I – Island of growth (2 questions): The case was almost a page long. It talked about a developing island where corruption had become rampant and the citizens were keeping quiet about it. Shambhu, a highly ethical gentleman took up the cause and initially enjoyed massive support. After a few months though, support for him seemed to decline. The questions asked for the most unlikely reason for his initial success and the most likely reason for the decline in support. The first question was easy; the second was difficult as the options presented completely hypothetical reasons that hadn’t been mentioned in the case at all.
Case II – Unethical bidding of public resources (3 questions): This case was more than half a page long. All three questions gave further information on the case. The first question had the media implicating the minister and he defended himself. The question was unclear. It asked for an appropriate inference, but it was actually asking the test takers to give their views on what is ethical or unethical. The second question had the minister accusing the media of being unfair. The test takers had to decide what an independent observer’s comment would be. The third question had the anti-corruption branch charge-sheeting some managers and ministers. The test takers had to decide who an independent observer would find guilty. 2 questions were quite subjective and confusing.
Caselets III and IV (2 questions): These were actually 2 critical reasoning questions that asked for the best explanations for two apparent paradoxes. They were very easy.
Case V – What to do with an employee who is over-bearing, unfriendly and a poor team player (3 questions): The case was half a page long. The first question gave 5 possible decisions and asked the test taker to rank their appropriateness. Two options here were very close. The second question gave new information and asked which decision would be weakened by this. This was very easy. The last question asked which of the 5 options, if true, would weaken a particular decision. Again, two options here were very difficult to choose between.
Caselet VI – The best performer is not taking interest in work (3 questions): This caselet was only 7 lines long. The first question asked for the most unlikely reason for the behaviour. It was very easy. The second question proposed 4 possible solutions and asked for the most appropriate ones. Here the options were confusing as the ideal answer was absent. The last question gave further information and asked for the best out of 5 decisions. This was easy.
Case VII – Inflation of grades by college students seeking placements (4 questions): This case was less than half a page long. The first question asked what the chairperson should do. This was easy. The second question asked for a third party’s reaction. Here, it was difficult to choose between 2 options. The third question gave a paragraph of new information and asked what a fourth party should do. Here also, it was difficult to choose between 2 options. The last question also gave a paragraph of new information and asked what the chairperson should do now. This was easy.