Reason to keep Group Discussion as one of the selection process:
- Group Discussion are used to evaluate certain skills like reasoning ability, leadership ability, creativity/out-of-the box thinking, social skills, listening and articulation skills, interpersonal ability to function as team player, body language and attitude.
- It has become very important criteria for selection and rejection of candidates in top B-schools.
- It is also used by B-schools to gauge whether a candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its students.
Points to pursue for good GD preparation:
- GD topics can be from a wide range of issues-current events, business news, sports or anything in general. The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be to face the GD.
- Keep track of happenings around the world. Make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines, watch interesting documentaries and profiles on television to get a wider perspective on issues.
Some tips for effective participation in GD:
- Understand the topic before attempting to contribute
- Take the initiate to begin the discussion if possible, as he/she who does this takes up the presiding or leading role.
- If opportunity of initiating the discussion is missed, politely interfere giving evidence, opinions and related experiences relevant to the discussion. Quality of the discussion is dependent on the information generated out of the discussion.
- By stating one’s beliefs, attitudes and judgements, one can take up a main position in the discussion. Make your presence important by initiating group’s interpersonal relationship. Gain the leading position by encouraging those who might otherwise not speak while tackling those who tend to monopolize the discussion.
- Carefully listen to fellow participants thoughts and keep an argument, example or a supportive statement. Be assertive.
- Be creative and try to put points that might amaze the panel. Encourage out of the box thinking. Work continuously towards articulating ideas into meaningful sentences.
- Do not use high vocabulary or technical language while speaking. Do not try to bluff.
- Summarize the discussion effectively and structure it logically.
Group Discussion Expected topics
Not all GD’s are equal. B-schools use several types of GDs to test the applicants. GD topics can be classified into following types:
- Argumentative/Controversial topics
- Opinion based
- Current topics
- Case based topics
- Factual GD Topics: Based on the broad perspectives or facts. It requires familiarity with facts and information on static/dynamic components of the environment.
|Approach: Require substantial information about the topic. Support statements with facts and figures.
Examples: 1) Unique Identification Number
2) Globalization and Privatization
- Abstract Topics: These topics are meant to test student’s creative skills and imaginativeness. They are based on candidate’s perception and out of the box thinking.
|Approach: Require creative thinking and statements should be supported with examples. Comprehension skills and communication skills are put to test.
Examples: 1) 26 Alphabets
2) Infinite Numbers
- Argumentative/Controversial Topics: These can be generic or specific GD topics which involve arguments and controversies around them. They are meant to generate controversy and at the same time, judge the analytical skills of the participant to see if he/she can think rationally without any bias and arrive at a harmonious conclusion.
|Approach: Restrain from becoming too aggressive or strongly abiding by one opinion. It is better to take diplomatic stance in case of sensitive cases. Give the discussion a wider angle. Your convincing skills are tests.
Examples: 1) Reservation should be removed
2) Politics in India
- Opinion seeking Topics: In such GD topics, candidates are asked to put across their opinions or point of views. Panelists look for presentation and leadership skills.
|Approach: Be creative and try to put points that might amaze the panel. Work continuously towards articulating ideas into meaningful sentences.
Examples: 1) Love marriage or Arranged marriage
2) Women-boon to the society or bane to the society
- Current Topics: Based on current affairs, latest events-nationally and internationally. These topics are aimed to check candidate’s general awareness.
|Approach: Candidates should be update with current happenings across the world.
Examples: 1) Should Lokpal bill be passed?
2) Can social media be controlled?
- Case Based Topics: Under this, a situation or scenario is given for open discussion. These types of discussion are more management related. The panelist under the case based study, look for the decision making skills.
|Approach: Information about the situation will be provided, problem regarding the same situation will be given and candidates need to resolve the problem.
Examples: 1) Conversation/Argument between an employee and the boss.
A successful manager should not be just good with his quota of work, but he/she is expected to contribute as part of a team. Ability to work and contribute in teams is a must to succeed in the corporate sector. And that’s what GDs aim to test.