About GD

The concept of Group Discussion has not been a part of the regular academic curriculum in Colleges and Universities. So, students usually face a lot of problem in this area of the Selection Process. Let us first understand why Group Discussion is conducted.

Most institutes today are very clear about the skills and knowledge that they look for in a student while screening. This was not the case a couple of years ago. Group Discussion has been a part of the Selection process for admission into most of the top Business Schools.

The skills that are usually assessed in a Group Discussion are:

  • Communication Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Motivational Skills
  • Team Building Skills
  • Tolerance
  • Clarity over Ambiguity
  • Divergent Thinking
  • Listening skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Analytical / Logical skills

So, it's important to assess your current strengths in all these areas and accordingly put efforts to strengthen your weaknesses.

GDs are used to assess certain group skills that cannot be evaluated in an interview. These include reasoning ability, leadership ability, Inspiring ability, flexibility, creativity/out-of-the-box thinking, social skills, listening and articulation skills, situational handling ability, interpersonal ability to function as a team player, body language and attitude. These are the skills which are very much required to become a successful professional which in turn works as an asset for the institutes at time of campus placements.

Another important reason for institutes to keep GD as an elimination round is because of the crowd factor. At the peak time of admissions, an institute has to deal with 1000s of aspiring students. In a GD, they can analyze upto 15 aspirants in 10 minutes.

Most of the institutes use Group Discussions as the next step in the selection process after written examination. That is the reason why Group Discussion has become so very important criteria for selection and rejection of candidates in institutes as well as during campus placements. GD is basically a methodology used by an institution to gauge whether a candidate has certainpersonality traits and/or skills that it desires in its students. Normally, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for some time. Topics can be from a wide range of issues. It could be a topic on current events, business news, sports or anything very general. The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be to face the group discussion. A Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team.

Here are some tips for effective participation in a GD:

  • Understand - Understand the topic before attempting to contribute.
  • Speak - Try and get a chance to speak. If you can't get a chance to speak make your chance.
  • Initiate - Take the initiative to begin the discussion, if possible.
  • Structure - Structure arguments logically - justify your stand.
  • Summaries- Summaries the discussion effectively.
  • Involve- Take active part throughout the GD.
  • Assert- Be assertive.
  • Articulate- Work continuously towards articulating your ideas into meaningful sentences to make the best impact. Be clear in your speech.
  • Emphasize.-Use non-verbal communication to emphasize points.
  • Listen- Be an attentive listener.
  • Quality, not quantity matters- it's not 'how much' you say, but 'what' you say that's important.

To prepare for a group discussion, keep track of happenings around the world. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings, which affect our lives, however remotely, shows a well-rounded personality. Make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines, watch interesting documentaries and profiles on television to get a wider perspective on issues. As an individual, your intelligence, general knowledge and core competencies are measured through the aptitude test. As a team player, your ability to lead and play in team is measured in the GD.

You will have to pursue the following points if you want to be successful in a group discussion. The points are as follows:

  • Make sure that you read as much news as possible. Generally the topic is chosen from some of the current happenings. Hence you should make sure that you have a look at all of them.
  • Make sure that you speak loudly and clearly. This is one of the most important things and you could find yourself in difficulty if you do not speak loudly and clearly in a GD.
  • You should know that you are not really bounded to think in one way. You are free to think on your own and put forward some new ideas. It is good for your chances and also for the GD since new ideas will definitely make it interesting.
  • You should know what the topic is really about. If you have some confusion then you should wait for some time and let the other speak at first. When the matter is quiet clear and the GD is in midst then you should start speaking with new ideas in mind.

Tips for Group Discussion DO's and Don'ts

  • Group strength is usually 8 to 12 members
  • When the group discussion topic is announced and if you do not get the topic properly, just request to repeat the topic. Do not show surprises.
  • Correctly saying what you want to say- speaking effectively and efficiently is very important.
  • General Principles
  • Be a good listener
  • Do not use high vocabulary
  • Never use technical language while speaking
  • Not knowing is not a problem , do not try to bluff
  • Things to avoid
  • Do not criticize on religion
  • Do not get personal with anyone
  • Do not criticize foreign policy of India
  • Never ever try to bluff


> Argument is - exchange of ignorance

> Discussion is - exchange of knowledge