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Group Discussion is a very important round in any selection process, be it for an MBA course, campus recruitment or for any graduate/post graduate degree. The selection committee conducts GD to determine whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members, say for example:

1. Ability to work in a team
2. Communication skills
3. Leadership skills
4. Reasoning ability
5. Assertiveness
6. Creativity
7. Flexibility
8. Ability to think and act independently

Normally group of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyze and discuss within a given time limit. The group may be given a Case Study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem. The group may be given a topic and asked to discuss on the same. A panel will observe the proceedings and evaluate the members of the group.

Let's discuss some few relevant points which one should remember while appearing for a GD. One needs to know what one's objective in the group is to be noticed by the panel and to contribute meaningfully in an attempt to help the group reach the right consensus.
  • The first thing is that the panel should notice you. Merely making a meaningful contribution and helping the group arrive at a consensus is not enough? You must ensure that the group hears you. If the group hears you, so will the evaluator. You need to be assertive. It depends on you how you steer the group in the right direction, once it gets stuck to something. This gives you the chance to showcase your leadership skills. Most importantly, you have to make your chances. Many group discussion participants often complain that they did not get a chance to speak. The fact is that in no group discussion will you get a chance to speak. There is nothing more unacceptable in a GD than keeping one's mouth shut or just murmuring things which are inaudible.
  • Your contribution to the group should be meaningful. For that you need to have a good knowledge base. You should be able to think logically and hence put forth you ideas cohesively. The quality of what you said is more valuable than the quantity. It doesn't help if you shout at the top of your voice and speak at great length, what matters most is what you speak and how it creates an impact on the group as well as the evaluators.
  • You must be clearly seen to be attempting to build a consensus. This shows your ability to work in a team, your ability to adjust yourself in new surroundings and help others in your team to reach a definite conclusion amidst difference of opinions. After all this is what all Group Discussions aim at: To be able to discuss and arrive at a consensus.
To be able to meet the above requirements during a Group Discussion, one should keep in mind the following basic mantras:
  • Be Yourself. Be as natural as possible and don't try to be someone you are not.
  • Take time to organize your thoughts. Don't suddenly jump to any conclusion. Think before you speak so that you don't speak anything irrelevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Don't make the mistake of looking at the panel while you are speaking. You are in a Group Discussion and you are expected to discuss among group members, so always look at your group members while you are speaking.
  • Seek clarifications if you have any doubts regarding the subject, before the discussion commences.
  • Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
  • Never try to show your dominance. Be assertive, speak yourself and let others speak as well.
  • Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion personally.
  • Show your leadership skills. Motivate the other members of the team to speak. Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
  • Remember, opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
  • Be the initiator and concluder of the GD then being a participant.
  • But if you are participant always try to be the most key participant.
  • Put points firmly and always try to get others support too.
  • If you find that the discussions is going off the track then never lose an opportunity to bring it back to stream. This is the best point to score max.
  • Try to keep latest information on the topic.
  • Be very polite, people may try to provoke you to get more points but try to keep cool.
  • Most important don't wait for your turn to speak when discussion is on. Interrupt politely if you want to put forward your points.
  • Keep a tab on the time given for discussion. Score points by wrapping up the discussion if you feel that the discussion is heating but the time is going to be over.
  • During conclusion, do end with the conclusion note that shows your leader ship quality.
  • Everybody jumping into software field - is it good or bad.
  • Whether impact of western culture on Indian culture is a boon or a bane.
  • Is internet suitable for Younger's?
  • IS MBA needed?
  • What Should India do to win a gold medal in the Olympics?
  • Will India need a Dictatorship / Democratic rule now?
  • Two solutions to improve engineering standard.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of Internet
  • Betting in cricket should legalize or not
  • Education system in India
  • A discussion on Iraq and America war
  • Is it necessary to ban Pepsi in India?
  • What is the effect of movies on youth?
  • a) Are studies more beneficial in India or in Abroad?
    b) Do u prefer Indian or abroad Education.
  • Should GD be a part of selection process or not
  • Should Sonia Gandhi be made a PM or not?
  • Whether the brand name is a way of life or not?
  • India gifted the World Cup to Australia or not?
  • Why is Indian Hockey Limping?
  • UN's peace activities
  • America's war on Iraq.
  • Who is responsible for the protection of the environment?
  • Values in an IT Industry
  • What should be the retirement age of politicians?
  • Should India play Against PAK?
  • Environment-Who's Responsibility.
  • Is China a threat to the Indian software industry?
  • About Hockey being the primary game in India.
  • Can America occupy Iraq
  • Cricket should be banned or not.
  • Whether BPO call centers have good impact on younger generation?
  • Position of Women in India compared to other nations.
  • Government contribution to IT
  • Pre-marital sex
  • India or Rest, which is the land of opportunities
  • Water resources should be nationalized
  • If both husband and wife are working in the same organization.
  • Coordination between educational institutions and companies.
  • Linux Vs Microsoft- Which will perish?
  • Do you think Indian IT people are overpaid.
Common Topics
  • How to deal with international terrorism.
  • Should we pursue our policy of dialogue with Pakistan?
  • Is peace and non-violence are outdated concepts?
  • Is Globalization Really Necessary?
  • What shall we do about our ever-increasing Population?
  • Corruption is the price we pay for Democracy.
  • Foreign Television Channels are destroying our culture.
  • What India needs is a Dictatorship.
  • With media publishing and telecasting trivia, censorship is the need of the hour.
  • Kaun Banega Krorepati is less about knowledge but more about money and personality.
  • Beauty contests degrade womanhood
  • The rise of regional blocs threatens independent nations like India
  • Six billion and one bronze!
  • Is dependence on computers a good thing?
  • Should the public sector be privatized?
  • China and India are similar nations with contrasting ways
  • Is India a Soft Nation?
  • Value based politics is the need of the hour
  • Religion should not be mixed with politics
  • How to deal with high oil prices
  • Our cricketers are not to blame for match fixing
  • Why can't we be world players in industry as we are in software?
  • Multinational corporations: Are they devils in disguise?
  • Should there be limits on artistic freedom (the controversy on Fire).
  • Should there be private universities?
  • Do banning fashion shows and New Year parties save our culture?
Social Topics
  • Are Big Dams Necessary?
  • Films are corrupting the Indian Youth
  • A Gandhian State selling liquor is an anomaly
  • Bride burning and dowry may look bad, but are an integral part of India.
  • Our Culture is Decaying
  • We are not serious about saving Wildlife/Environment
  • The education system needs serious reforms
  • The impact of MTV on our psyche
  • Showing Violence and Crimes should not be allowed in films and on television.
  • Let us legalize gambling. The Internet chains have come on the wings of science and technology but are no less restrictive for all that.
  • Secularism has become a tool to justify the wrongs done by the minorities.
  • Media is a mixed blessing/How ethical is media?
  • To fight AIDs, stop being coy about sex education.
  • What should India strive for- Westernization or modernization?
Management Topics
  • Is management an art or a science?
  • The Rush for MBA is really a rush for big money
  • Ethics in Business are just a passing fashion
  • The objective of Management is to maximize profits
  • Do professional managers have a chance in our family run businesses?
  • The Internet is an exercise in hype
  • Is an MBA necessary to succeed in life?
  • Family owned business vs professionally run businesses
  • Smaller businesses and start-ups have more scope for professional growth.
  • Dot com or doubt com?
  • Secularism has become a tool to justify the wrongs done by the minorities.
Creative Topics
  • The Wheel is Turning Round and Round
  • If I was the Finance Minister/Prime Minister
  • There is no right way to do a wrong thing
  • Group Task: How can we have Mount Everest in India?
  • Do Beauty and Brains Go Together?
  • When I woke up in the morning I saw.
  • A ship docked in harbor cannot face the storms
  • Up the Down Staircase
  • Just as we have smoke free zones, we should have child free zones
  • Marriage is a social trap.
Political Topics
  • Reserving seats for women in Panchayat has not only been a farce but has distracted from developing a more genuine voice of women.
  • Have the nuclear tests of 1998 benefited or harmed India?
  • Voters, not, political parties are responsible for the criminalization of politics.
  • The voters are required to be well informed and educated about their candidates so that they can elect the right aspirant by their own assessment.
  • India should go for the presidential form of democracy.
Economic Topics
  • Developing countries need trade, not aid.
  • Why do we lag behind China?
  • Capitalism is a very flawed system but the others are so much worse.
  • Flexibility of labor laws is the key to attracting more Foreign Direct Investment.
  • In our economic matters, there is an excessive tendency towards the thinking rather than doing.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Can the economy achieve an 8 percent growth rate?
  • Is disinvestment really that good for India or is a rethink in order?
  • Are co-operatives relevant in today's globalised environment?
  • Foreign aid is a dangerous drug that can stimulate in small doses but become fatally addictive in larger doses.
  • Modern day sport in industrialized society is an industry, as anything else.
  • Government should clean its own hands before pointing finger at the private sector for corruption.
  • Is the NPA ordinance too harsh?
  • Reforms have to grow up.
  • The future lies with globalization.
  • Is the consumer really the king in India?
  • Globalization versus nationalism
  • Conditional access system for cable TV watchers: boon or bane?
  • If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting, if not encouraging, corruption?
  • Commercialization of health care: Good or Bad?
  • For globalization to succeed in India people must be able to see what is in it for them.
  • Why can't we be world players in industry as we are in software?
  • Is the US economy headed the Japanese economy way?
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