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Group Discussion (GD) is essential part of MBA admission process. It is a personality assessment drive to assess candidates communication and general awareness skills. Though it is not the only test to screen candidates, it is generally followed by written ability test and personal interview before final selections are done.
Group Discussion in CAT
GD is one of the important phases of a CAT Selection Process. It is conducted to exchange the thoughts and ideas among the members of the group on a particular subject. GD is the best way to select the prospective candidates in a comparative perspective and is a useful tool to screen the candidate’s potential as well as their skills.
Usually, groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group and are given a specific topic to analyze and discuss within a given time limit. The time limit to discuss group discussion topics ranges from 12-15 minutes.
Group discussion is given importance because it helps to evaluate a candidate. GD, in fact, is a selection as well as elimination round before the final selection for the admission in B-school. It is important as it helps in:
To develop communication skills, you can choose a topic, stand before the mirror and start talking about it. apart from practicing in front of the mirror, one must also follow GD preparation tips as well as PI Preparation Tips, which will be the next round after GD.
Your criticism should suggest how to overcome the problem. The presentation must have a clear and coherent flow of ideas with the support of facts and figures at least to some extent.
If you are confident enough, you can take the lead, speak a minute or two and then take more clues from others put forward your analysis of problem/situation. This will give you an edge. More confident you are, more chances of selection await you.
A future manager must not only be a convincing speaker but also a good analyst of the situation. Hence, it is judged whether you can listen to others attentively and put forward your views when the person in front you have spoken or you don’t even allow them to speak.
If you shout on others– you may not be a good option to be offered a managerial position in future. If you are a broad-minded person then you will welcome others’ ideas OR after listening to them may politely but firmly place your viewpoint why they are not so beneficial.
When you begin speaking, your quotes, facts, figures coherent delivery of ideas, let them become the measuring points of subject knowledge and outstanding personality.
First, understand the topic and then decide whether it will be fine to speak for or against the topic. Of course, putting forward the points to make the delivery quite effective. It is suggested to go through the newspapers, watch TV news & discussions apart from reading important periodicals regularly to broaden the vision and form your viewpoint on important issues.
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You don’t have to keep speaking just to increase the time of your speaking. Your thoughts should always be very sensible and relevant and even if you are speaking very little, there is no need to worry too much about it as far as you are making sense in what you are saying. Maximize your speaking time and do what you think is right!
A Group Discussion checks how a candidate behaves, participates and contributes in a group. It also judges how much importance a candidate gives to the group objective as well as ones own, how well do you listen to viewpoints of others and how open-minded a candidate is in accepting views contrary to your own.
Major aspects which make up a GD are verbal communication, non-verbal behavior, and conformation to norms, decision-making ability, and cooperation. One must try to be as true as possible to these aspects. Given below are a few more aspects which a candidate should work on while preparing for GD in order to clear it:
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Below are jotted down some details you need to follow to ace yourself in preparing for GD.
Newspaper reading every day will help you in being updated with the current affairs is essential as most of the Group Discussion topics are picked up from news and updates from the business sector. The more you read the broader your vision and understanding of issues will become.
You should learn to speak English to enhance your vocal skills so that you don’t feel hesitant while speaking on the final day. It will also enhance your ability to express.
You can practice GD with your seniors, fellow applicants or friends who had appeared or will be appearing for GD, there are various coaching institutes that take GD sessions where you can develop your skills for group discussion.
How you dress among the judges could really make or break the situation. There is no need to take things casually. You have to dress formally. Make sure your shoes are clean and clothes well ironed. Your body language should be good and make sure to smell fresh that day.
There is no need for you to go into the details. Keep things short and simple! Always remember that you don’t have all the time in the world so you don’t have to be all that analytic. Just keep things simple and to the point. There are ways to convey your thoughts and you can always do it in a way that is simple and straightforward. There is no way to keep things complex. Otherwise, it would become too boring for the person to hear.
TIP: We think cracking CAT and scoring a high percentile is the most difficult part. But surprisingly, that is not so. At the time of GD or PI or even WAT, your individual performance comes to play. This is where you need to shine, no, over-shine others. So, the trick is, not to be opulent, but be direct and honest. Good Luck!
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Given below is a list of common Group Discussion Topics topics which have previously been analyzed upon in the GD rounds at IIMs. These topics are related to Business/Economy, Social Issues, Current Affairs, and International Current Affairs.
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