Published on February 22nd, 2011 In category Exam Strategy

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Group Discussion some essential tips

Group DiscussionGroup discussion are important part of selection process in MBA exams like CAT, XAT, MAT and and other entrance exams. This article include some important tips, do and don’t to get through easily in group discussions.

In most general cases examiners arrange the students in group of 8-10, a topic is then given sometime written or some time orally. Group is given 5 min to think on the subject and then group is left to discuss the topic for 20- 30 min. Points are given on (please note ) etiquettes, participation, critical thinking, discussion opening or closing.

Subject: The GD subject can be classified as general awareness (current affairs), Case Study (factual – explaining situation the topics normally are related to organisational aspect, structure, decisions and personality aspect) and  revenues related (dealing more with numbers)

Important characteistics to win GD

Clarity of thought and expression in voice, Assertive with politeness and mannerism

Some golden rules:

1. In the 5 minutes given to think and organise, think critically and try to arrive on the solutions.

2. Discussion opening: A good way to is summarise the subject and raise the question. Some times it is also a good idea to generate the consensus how the discussion will happen and form rules. Like opener may ask permission of group that every one will be given chance to speak once in line and then general discussion starts. Or it would be a good idea to raise the hand before speaking. Avoid false starts, do not present wrong data or facts or deviate from topic.

3. Avoid emotions & maintain etiquettes : Avoid bringing emotions, oppose to the points raised by other member(s) by pointing issues on their solutions rather than on member itself

4. Quality of thought: You can score a point if you speak less but make a valid point that is acceptable to the group. Don’t cook facts “like I recently read in newspaper, as per my facts in book… etc.). Most important is to digest the fact given in the case and its analysis and interpretation.

Avoid the following mistakes:

1. One to one discussion with any member

2. Pointing fingers, shouting or any other impolite behaviour

3. Don’t use slang

4. Negative body language like shaking legs, drumming table, swinging pens or pencil

What does the panelist or examiner looks for

1. Leadership skills : Ability to lead and inspire the team to achieve the group objective

2. Communication skills: Clarity of throught and expression, willingness to listen and accept the other’s views

3. Interpersonal Skills: Emotional maturity & balance

4. Persuasive Skills – The ability to analyze and persuade others to see the problem from other perspectives.

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