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Group Discussion for MBA Admissions: Mistakes which should be avoided

Feb 2, 2015 11:43 IST

    Most of the MBA entrance examinations for the 2015-16 academic session have been conducted and results have been declared as well. Now is the time for the Group Discussion and other stages of selection process. IIMs have moved away from Group Discuaaion. They have included WAT instead of Group Discussion. Never the less, Group Discussion remains an essential criteria and stage for further selection process in management colleges.

    One should know, what are the mistakes which should be avoided when sitting for a Group Discussion:

    Let us first know, what is a Group Discussion -

    As the name suggests, it is a way to discuss certain given topic among a group of people. The aim is to get many ideas around a ttopic and get different perspectives. A group of people are given a topic and a few minutes of time to think about it. Usually one person leads and begin the discussion. Rest of the people then participate in the discusion with their points. In the end a conclusion is made.

    Types of Group Discussions (GD):

    Factual Generic - These topics require a basic level of awareness w.r.t the various segments of the environment. They test you more on interpersonal skills and behavior,rather than discrete sectoral information.

    Examples:

    • Cricket and India.
    • Issues of managing diversity in a country like India.

    Factual Specific - These topics assess you on specific challenges in gathering and analyzing information on select areas.

    Examples:

    • WTO and its impact on the Indian Economy.
    • The Jasmine revolution and implications for the Arab world.

    Abstract: Such topics are based on your perception.

    Examples:

    • Pigs can fly
    • And the clock struck 13

    People are judged on the following in a Group Discussion:

    • Communication Skills
    • Thinking ability
    • Listening Skills
    • Leadership
    • Team Work

    Group Discussion is a good way to judge someone`s abilities in a short span.

    Don`ts of a Group Discussion:

    • Leading in spite of not being aware about the given topic - Leading is a good virtue but it is like putting your own foot on the axe if you have no knowledge about the topic. It is better to let some one start and take some clue from there and then participate. Usually it happens when it is topic where technical knowledge is required or if topic is on Sports and you have no information about it what so ever.
    • Hesitation - As is leading harmful if you are clueless about the topic, similarly it is wrong to stop yourself if you have a valid point to make. So go ahead and put your point across confidently.
    • Avoiding eye contact - It is very important to maintain eye contact with the group members (Not with the Panel) while you are part of the Discussion.
    • Don’t contradict your own points - It is important to stick to one train of thought. If you keep moving from one direction to another during a Group Discussion, it will not be seen as a good move.
    • Blindly following others or the herd - Instead of following a particular group or thought just because it is the popular idea, it is better to have your own ideas.
    • Avoid the Commotion - One will be heard only when, at one time only one person is speaking. If everybody starts speaking at once, no one will be heard.

    These are some of the points worth keeping in mind while you take part in the Group Discussion.

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