Group discussions are an important part of MBA admissions, job interview process or business meetings. In a group discussion, a set of individuals come together to achieve a common goal through the exchange of ideas. This has become a vital parameter to assess the performance and ability of an individual and how well they can perform under pressure. This activity gives a clear idea to the interviewer about your thought process and viewpoint. A person who is about to start a career should learn the intricacies of a group discussion. Like they say, “the first impression is the last impression”. To create a lasting impression you need to be well prepared and should be aware of the etiquettes needed for such discussions. In this blog, we will look at the details of how to prepare for group discussion.
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Why Group Discussions are Important?
If you are fetching for admission in top universities, you need to be well-prepared for a group discussion which is a part of the admission process. However, you don’t need to feel nervous about it. Entrance exams and personal interviews test the subjective knowledge and mental ability of a student while group discussions help to figure out the leadership qualities, critical thinking and team spirit of an applicant. Confidence is the key to qualify a group discussion but preparation is needed in case you don’t want to take any chances. Before we proceed to know about how to prepare for group discussion, let’s have a look at the format of a group discussion.
Format of a GD
Looking for how to prepare for group discussion? Before that, you need to know about the format of a Group Discussion. In a room, a group of panellists or jury would be sitting to monitor your every move, therefore, you need to ensure that you don’t twitch for a moment to give them a hint that you are nervous. A topic would be given to you sometime before the discussion and there may be more than 5 members depending upon the institute and the number of applicants. Apart from the jury, you might be monitored by the fellow candidates present in the room, so don’t give them a chance to dominate you.
How to Prepare for Group Discussion?
To be able to perform well at the group discussion, you need not always restrict yourself to a particular format, however, being prepared beforehand helps you develop confidence.
Here are a few points to consider on how to prepare for group discussion:
- Keep Yourself Informed: You are likely to get a topic on the relevant subject or current affairs in your group discussion. Thus, it is important that you are familiar with the latest topic in the field of History, Literature, Sports, Politics and the Arts. Having basic knowledge about everything will help you interrelate the topic and hence giving you an edge over other candidates.
- Make Notes: You can always frame notes of the content you read for quick reference.
- Dates are Facts: Quoting a wrong date about an event can lead to an embarrassment. So, make sure that you remember the important dates.
- Dress Formally: How you dress up speaks about a lot about you. Donning a formal suit in a group discussion leaves an impression of you being a gentleman. So make sure that you dress in your best and comfortable clothes.
During the Group Discussion
The first thing to do in a group discussion is to stay calm and composed. Once you manage to take control of the situation, your half of the job is done. Some important tips that you can incorporate in a group discussion are:
- Understand the Topic: Once you are given the topic, take your time to read and understand the topic and do not be in a hurry.
- Channelise your Thoughts: Once you’ve understood the topic, the next step is to think and channelise your thoughts. You may also make short notes about what you are going to speak.
- Take the Lead: Knowing the topic isn’t enough if you don’t know how to communicate your thoughts. Take a deep breath, sit upright, and start in a bold voice. Do not give the impression that you are nervous.
Quick Etiquettes to Remember
A group discussion is a systematic communicative process where people exchange their ideas to assess the individual potential, evaluate the performance of a person in a group, or come to a conclusion.
- Be on time and take your allotted seat.
- Be confident, not arrogant.
- Let others finish and pay attention to them.
- Talk in a bold voice but don’t shout or make noise.
- Apologize if you make a mistake.
- Respect the opinions of others.
- Stay calm and relaxed, even in the worst cases.
List of GD Topics
Good general knowledge and current affair are essential to perform well in GD. Given below are some of the common GD topics:
- Gender Sensitivity is gender equality concern?
- A.I. in work: how it is going to change the future of workspace?
- Cryptocurrency/ Bitcoin
- Discuss the quote by Mark Zuckerburg “We don’t make services to make more money, we make money to make better services”.
- What do you think about ‘ageing gracefully’? How can we change the trend of people going for cosmetic surgeries?
- Is Dependence on Computers a Good Thing?
- Terrorism in India
- How effective are Indian B-schools?
- Will E-Commerce will ruin the retail stores?
- Are Peace and Non-Violence Outdated Concepts?
Want some more Group discussion topics to practice? Here is a complete list of GD topics!
Group discussions are a vital part of any hiring or admission process, so make sure you follow the points mentioned in this blog on how to prepare for a group discussion. If you are planning to pursue an academic program abroad, get in touch with our counsellors at Leverage Edu and we’ll help you throughout the application process, from writing impressive SOPs and LORs to cracking international exams like IELTS and TOEFL.