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CAT GD-PI Preparation: Check Tips to Prepare for Group Discussion & Personal Interview
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Shekhar Suman

Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Jun 28, 2021

CAT GD-PI Preparation is very important for the candidates who are aiming to get admission in top IIMs. After appearing for WAT, candidates will have to appear for GD/ PI to make it to the final list of admission. The weightage of the Personal Interview round is around 30-40 in top IIMs like Bangalore, Calcutta etc. However, some of the B-Schools have scrapped GD and increased the weightage of PI round. Also Check WAT in IIMs

This aspect of the CAT Selection procedure involves the display of core management skills and personality characteristics. CAT Personal Interview involves the candidate being asked a few questions by a panel of eminent judges. Check CAT WAT & Personal Interview Experiences

CAT Latest Updates:

  • June 3: IIT Roorkee has released the 2nd list of candidates to offer admission in MBA and the last date to deposit the admission fee was May 24. Check Here
  • May 27: IIM Kashipur & Raipur have released the final admission lists on May 21, 2021. Check Here

Previously asked topics in the group discussion for CAT include Crypto Currency/ Bitcoin, banking Scams, etc. In CAT Group Discussions, aspirants are split into groups of 8-10 and given a topic for discussion. Check MBA GD Topics 2021

CAT Group Discussion

CAT Group Discussion

What is Gropu Discussion? In CAT Group Discussion, candidates will be split into groups of 8-10, and this group is given a topic based on which they have to have a sustained discussion for 12 to 15 minutes. Candidates will be judged based on their leadership skills, mediation, vision, decision-making skills, and so on. 

CAT Group Discussion Preparation

  • Leadership Skills: Candidates have to make sure that they work on their leadership skills properly. If the candidate is not used to taking charge of the situation, it reflects poorly on the candidate. Work on effectively leading the conversation (not dominating the conversation). Pay attention to the discussion and add your points when necessary. 
  • Personal Grooming: Candidates have to make sure they dress professionally. How you look reflects greatly on how you are perceived, and candidates that dress well are generally well received. Work the inherent biases in your favor. Do not wear anything too gaudy or too simple. A well ironed shirt with a pair of pants is good enough. Make sure the fitting is correct, that is not too loose or too tight. 
  • Work on your Body Language: Express open Body Language, as it makes people more receptive towards you. Do not fold your arms or put your arms back as it makes you appear closed off or reserved. Maintain eye contact with other individuals but do not stare. Do not appear too relaxed either, maintain professional decorum at all times.
  • Listening Skills: This is one of the most crucial areas which most candidates ignore while preparing for the group discussion stage. Candidates have to be excellent listeners to be effective leaders. Acknowledging some good points that the other candidates have made adds credence to your argument/point, and also improves cohesiveness in the group. To improve in this aspect, candidates have to practise, be non judgemental, leave their opinions aside, exercise empathy and, most importantly, pay attention. 
Particulars Details
How to Approach in GD?
  • GD is not about how much you know about an issue but it is about how you put forward your views.
  • Perspective on an issue will be judged.
  • Represent your views with a firm opinion.
Analyse your Topic
  • Analyse the topic first.
  • Make bullet points in your mind so that it becomes easy for your to express them. 
  • Flow of your ideas and opinions should not be negative. 

CAT Group Discussion Topics

Here are some commonly asked topics in CAT GD along with potential topics for CAT 2021: 

Previously Asked Topics
Topic IIM Branch
Case Study on Maggi Controversy IIM Ahmedabad
Comment on the decision of TRAI to ban Free Basics IIM Bangalore
Terrorism being a subject of monetary aspects and not of religion. IIM Kozhikode

CAT GD Important Topics for 2021

Farmers Protest - Reforms in Farm Laws COVID-19 Pandemic and effect on Businesses
Reddit vs Wall Street Effect of Banning Cryptocurrency on Indian Economy
Union Budget 2021 Rising Petrol Prices 
National Education Policy 2021 Indian Bank Scams
Privatization of Public Institutions Social Media in 2022
Reforms in Digital Media, Social Media - Regulation of OTT Platforms Data Privacy and its importance

Quick Links:

CAT PI Preparation

CAT Personal Interview Preparation

  • CAT Personal Interview will consist of a panel of judges asking questions to the candidate based on their profile and cross questioning them based on their answers. 
  • Improve confidence and improve your presentation skills. Candidates have to make sure that they appear confident in their answers. 
  • One way to improve confidence is to know what you are talking about. Candidates will mostly be asked questions about themselves, such as why did they choose their major and so on. So it is a question of how they will present their answers. 
  • Most of the candidates are asked to say something about yourself. This is one of the most basic questions and candidates must have an effective answer beforehand. 
  • The questions asked in the personal interview stage are largely unpredictable as the panel of judges will be different in every CAT Participating IIM, and they will vary year by year as well. 
  • Therefore, it is prudent for the candidate to be well read and aware of a large number of latest occurrences in current affairs, politics, business, economy and so on. 
  • Candidates can also potentially be asked questions about politics. Therefore, if you feel you have a very polarising or controversial answer, present it in a palatable way. 
  • If candidates have work experience they will be asked about their experience with the previous employer. It is important to not speak of them negatively. 
  • Do not be flustered if asked a strange or abstract question. Be mentally prepared to answer strange questions such as “Sing a Song” or “Recruitment for ISIS” and so on. 
Particulars Details
Right Approach in Interview
  • Do not panic.
  • Answer the questions only if your know the answers.
  • Do not speak lie this will you will lose track of the question.
  • Panel is there to judge you based on your answers and personality. 
  • Stay calm and be optimistic as the interviewers are observing you.

Must Read:


IIM Bangalore GD WAT PI Experience

Candidates’ Profile:

Class X - 95.00

Class XII - 89.6

Graduation - 81.6%, Electrical and electronics (BIT Mesra)

Work ex. - 30 months (Automotive R&D)

Date of WAT/PI: March 12, 2016

Venue: Delhi

WAT Topic: Comment on the decision of TRAI to ban Free Basics

IIM Bangalore Personal Interview Questions

The panel asked the candidate following questions:

  • Tell us about the production facilities of Maruti
  • What was the issue in the Gujarat plant?
  • What is a wiring harness?
  • What do you design?
  • Which is safer, a heavy car Or lighter car?
  • Which is a more stable, short height or low height man?
  • Volkswagen diesel scandal - Candidate went too much into detail.
  • Opinion on Sharapova drug abuse case
  • Discussion about had Serena Williams had done the same thing
  • Discussion on Tiger Woods and Shane Warne Affairs

For more such experiences, check CAT Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) Experiences

CAT GD-PI Prep Books

CAT GD-PI Preparation Books

Subject Name of Book
A Complete Kit for Group Discussion S. Hundiwala 
Group Discussion on Current Topics P. N. Joshi
Master the Group Discussion & Personal Interview: Complete Discussion on the topics asked by reputed B-schools & IIMs Sheetal Desarda
Mastering Interviews And Group Discussions 4ed (Pb 2018) Mathur D
Group Discussions And Interviews Anand Ganguly & RPH Editorial Board
Group Discussion: More Than 100 Topics Covered Universal
Complete Start-to-Finish MBA Admissions Guide Jeremy Shinewald
How to Interview Like a Top MBA: Job-Winning Strategies From Headhunters, Fortune 100 Recruiters, and Career Counselors Shel Leanne
How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People By Public Speaking Dale Carnegie
Marketing Chronicles: A Compendium of Global and Local Marketing Insights From the Pre-Smartphone and Post-Smartphone Eras Nimish V. Dwivedi
Universal Interview And Group Discussion Book Manoj kumar sharma

Must Read 

Frequently Asked Questions

CAT GD PI Preparation FAQ’s

Ques. What are the different types of CAT Group Discussions topics?

Ans.There could be different types of Group Discussion topics which we have classified below under four broad fields:

  • Business & Economy
  • Current Affairs 
  • Social Issues
  • Abstract 

Ques: How should I prepare for the GK section for MBA entrance exams?

Ans: Do not invest a lot of time in GK, because it will give you very little output. Study the most important topics like sports - Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Sports awards, National sports awards, International Sports Awards, Banking terms and their changes and banking news, Noble, Oscar, National Awards, and Gallantry Awards, etc. business news, mergers and acquisitions, and new products, civics.

Ques.How to conclude a GD?

Ans. Concluding a GD should be with summarisation of all the points discussed in a Group Discussion, in a nutshell.

  • While concluding a GD, avoid raising new points.
  • Do not emphasise on your individual viewpoint while summarising a GD.
  • Keep the conclusion of a GD concise.

Ques: Which IIM offers a maximum number of sears?

Ans: Though the number of seats offered by the IIMs may vary but depend upon the analysis, IIMs offering maximum seats into its management program are listed below:

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Bangalore
  • IIM Calcutta
  • IIM Lucknow
  • IIM Indore

Ques: On what basis do candidates are shortlisted for WAT/GD in IIMs?

Ans: Depending upon the candidate’s performance in CAT exam, IIMs shortlists the candidates for WAT and GD

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

CAT 2021 : 4 answered questions


Ques. What would my score have to be to get a call from any of the top IIM or other B-Schools like FMS, SP Jain, XLRI, ISB, MDI, etc.?

● Top Answer By Udita Mishra on 05 Jul 21

Ans. My brother is a CAT aspirant and has done extensive research on the cutoff for reputed B-Schools. Here is what he had to say about it.  Most of the colleges mentioned above take admission through CAT. So, if you are a general category student then you will need to score around 90-95% in order to get accepted at MDI, IMI, TAPMI, Great Lakes, KJ Somiya, and new IIMs.  In order to get admission at top IIMs, FMS, or ISB you will have to score at least around 98.5 or above.  XLRI takes admission through XAT and the cutoff is similar and around 99 percentile.  Hope this gives you some idea about the cutoff required for admission at these B-Schools.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. How can a student with low academics get placed in B schools like XLRI, FMS, JBIMS, MDI, etc.?

● Top Answer By Damini Das on 28 Jun 21

Ans. It is important to know about the factors that might help you to get admission to B-schools. If you ask me, XLRI, MDI, JBIMS, and a few of the newer and baby IIMs have admission policies with distributed weight-age systems. Not only CAT cut off but also they do a selection on the profile basis. They check for job experience and other skill sets if any. You may face tough interrogation during the Interview process as you have low academic scores but it may also be overlooked if your CAT scores are high and your profile is good. Also, if you have any decent work-ex, it can make an impression on the selection committee. Moreover, you should score at least 60% in your academic career as most organizations require this. Exception cases are considered provided one is able to display significant tech skills/managerial qualities or a high score on the job requisite skills matrix. If in case you have less than 60%, you are already out of IIMs criteria and your chance to get into IIMs. Also, colleges like FMS give more weightage on CAT scores and less on academics.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What are my chances for IIM B,C or XLRI BM if I score 99.5%+ in CAT and XAT?

● Top Answer By Rahul Regi on 18 Jun 21

Ans. If you have a 99.5+ percentile in CAT, you have a good chance to get selected in IIM A, B, C, or XLRI. One of my friends was in a similar situation and these points helped him understand the proper requirements to get an interview call from these institutes. An overall good academic profile is definitely required. Mostly, the academics of college, 10th and 12th are considered.  In IIM interviews, there are several candidates with 90+ percentages in 10th and 12th, and 80+ percentages in engineering.  So, good academics can make a huge difference. Candidates in the SC category even get seats in IIM A, B, C, XLRI, etc with a 95+ percentile score in CAT and with some high academics.  So, the 99.5 percentile for an SC student is an excellent score. During the initial shortlisting, sports and other extracurricular activities don't matter much. But, in interviews, it can turn out to be an important point of discussion. For summer and final placements, extra-curricular definitely helps a lot. For the rest of IIMs, 90+ percentile is a sufficient score. There are several students with 91-92 percentile and got admission in IIM L, I, and K. So, the chances of new IIMs to shortlist such a candidate is very high. For XLRI, the score required for Business Management is 96 percentile, and for Human Resource Management, it is 93/ 94+ percentile in XAT. So, a student with a 99.5 percentile is sure to get shortlisted. Getting 99.5 percentile in CAT/ XAT is not an easy task, and requires a lot of hard work, dedication towards studies, and a never-give-up attitude. Such a score has good chances in all the top Business Schools in India.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What should be my CAT percentile and how can I get a call from IIM A/B/C/L/I/K, FMS and XLRI?

● Top Answer By Ajay Singh on 30 May 21

Ans. You will not get a call from IIM A or IIM B if your 12th marks are low. Neither IIM K will call you as they do not give weightage to 10th marks, but to 12th and graduation score. You can get a call from IIM-K if you have a percentile between 97-98. The percentile you need to get a call from other IIMs are as follows: IIM C- To get a call from IIM-C you need above 99.5 percentile, which is likely to decrease the increasing diversity. IIM L- You need above 99.2 percentile, which is likely to decrease the increasing diversity. FMS- You need 98.5 percentile and 99.5 percentile for conversion, XLRI- XAT score in BM should be 95 percentile for call and 99.2 percentile for conversion. And in HRM 90 percentile for getting a call, and 9 percentile for conversion.  Therefore, you need to work hard and get above 90 percentile to get a call from IIMs. Read more
1 Answer


shruti verma
What is the criteria for evaluation in GD round?
sinbad chongtham

CAT Group Discussion round is where your ethical and etiquette qualities. The evaluation will be based on your Personal Grooming, Body Language, Communication Skills, Leadership and Team Player Skills.