This post focuses on how the verbal section of CAT might be structured. To get our thoughts on the quants section, and on caveats, check out this post .
We break-down the verbal section also into 3 segments
Reading Comprehension - 9-12 questions: This section's importance should go up slightly in the newer format. Usually, we see 9-10 questions, this could creep up to 12 questions in some papers.
Sentence Correction, Sentence Rearrangement, Sentence Completion: 9-10 questions: Traditional verbal sections. These can be done reasonably quickly, but error rate could be higher. Pick the best ones and have a go. The crucial take-away here is - Do NOT be in a mad rush to run through your RC passages. Take time over RC. This is not a speed-reading exam.
Newer type questions: They are saying Logical Reasoning, we think it is more likely to be what is termed as critical reasoning or analytical reasoning: First up, let us clarify the definitions.
An LR question will usually be of the type - 4 houses - blue, red, green, yellow with four residents - engineer, doctor, teacher, painter, with 4 cars - Santro, Innova, i10, BMW. The engineer does not drive a santro and does not stay next to the doctor etc
The critical reasoning question will be usually a mini-case study with an inference-type question at the end of it. Example
Sachin Tendulkar's test average in matches India loses is 15 runs lower than when India wins a match. This clearly demonstrates that Sachin's performance clearly drives India's performance. Which of the following, if true could undermine above argument
A. Average of most batsmen is lower in losing causes than winning causes
B. India has won most of its matches at home
C. India wins only high-scoring matches, etc
These used to be called Analytical Reasoning questions and were fairly common in the CAT exams of late 90's early 00's.
The big difference of the change in format could be the fact that these kind of questions make a comeback.
The final 9-10 questions could easily be 3-4 LR, 3-4 CR, 1-2 Fact, Inference, Judgement type questions.
So, while preparing for this section, focus on sentence construction and error-types, get some practice for analytical reasoning questions and remember to read slowly.