Tackling Decision Making Secion of XAT - Sadashiv Pradhan, XLRI Jamshedpur

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    Sadashiv Pradhan did his MBA in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He did his B.E in Electronics and Telecommunication from Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology and worked with Oracle financial services. He has published papers in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and International Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology.
    Honestly, when Zabeer asked me to write a ‘guideline’ on solving, Decision Making section of XAT, I was baffled; not because I did not perform well in the Decision Making section of XAT but because I had no clue as to what the right strategy to score a good percentile in Decision Making was. So, I inquired among my batch mates, here at XLRI about how they managed to score good percentile in Decision Making. It turns out, there is no one single way to achieve success in this section! Most of them had their own way of getting to an answer. Thus, before starting this article, I want to state one thing clearly that these methods worked for some of us, they may or may not work for all of you. Hence, if you think any of the method will not work, feel free to neglect it! In the end, it is important to devise a strategy that will work perfectly for YOU!
    Typically in the decision making section you will get a scenario in which the protagonist is in a dilemma, and you are supposed to choose the best possible decision for him/her. Generally, situations will come from almost all the background, such as Manufacturing, IT, Politics etc. Hence, people having some experience in these backgrounds will definitely have an advantage. Few questions will have resemblance to current scenarios, for instance, political alliance dilemma (something similar to situation of BJP, NCP, ShivSena in Maharashtra), a few years ago there was a question which had a situation similar to TATA NANO’s Singur scenario.
    One thing you should remember while solving DM section is that always go with the most ethical choice! It doesn’t matter whether you have an experience in the field or not, whenever you have a confusion between two choices, one giving you materialistic benefits and other being the right thing to do, without a shred of the doubt go with the option of the right thing to do! While solving question, ask yourself, “What would GOD do in this scenario?” or if you are an atheist, ask yourself, “what would Batman do in this case?”

    In most of the questions, you will get an option wherein, the protagonist is not doing anything. This is the option you should out rightly reject. No action is the worst possible decision! Eliminating this option would definitely leave you with three possible options.
    And the best possible way to improve yourself in the DM section is to solve as many mock papers as possible, preferably previous years’ XAT papers. However, while solving, don’t just understand why given answer key is correct; this may work in verbal section but in DM section analyze why other three options are incorrect! What is the rationale behind not choosing other three options? This strategy will improve your understanding of DM section, and will equip you with the ability to eliminate options!
    In the end, remember, XAT is not CAT, this is not just an aptitude test, XAT is also a test of your attitude! The difficulty level of the exam will be much higher than CAT. Last time, around 50 percentage marks in the DM section fetched around 97 percentile! And same is the case with the other two sections. So, if the difficulty level remains same, then attempt questions wisely. During the exam, it may happen that you will feel like this paper is unsolvable, confidence will start going down; in those scenarios, take a deep breath, lift yourself up, tell yourself that if it is difficult for me then it is difficult for others also! Keep calm and attempt wisely! All the best!
    I thank Zabeer for giving me an opportunity to help readers of MBAtious, I hope this article will help you and I will get to see some of you as my juniors next year!

    Special thanks to my mentor Ravi Handa, to my roommate at XLRI, a 99.99 percentiler in Decision Making section of XAT-2014, Siddharth Sharma and Aayush Raghuvanshi, a 99.93 percentiler in XAT-2014 for their invaluable contribution!

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