How To Ace Group Discussions For Selection To Undergrad Courses

Group Discussions (GDs) form an integral part for selection to several courses at the undergrad level. This is particularly true for business management and hospitality streams. There exist several myths and actual realities on how to crack open this round.

Starting off - high risk- high return strategy: In case the aspirant is confident of his / her content then starting off makes a great early impression. Panelists usually stay engaged the whole day moderating several such GDs so they often inadvertently lose interest in the middle phase, so it’s good to start off early. However in case, the student lacks content, starting off can prove to be a blunder as the weaknesses get highlighted early on.

Argue strongly, but not aggressively: Aspirants must be able to discuss points with vigour, but this must never translate to an aggression against team members.

GD is not a GK Test: One must remember that a GD or Interview is part of the round 2, thus the college has already checked out the content. While accuracy in facts quoted in necessary, stuffing too much information is not needed. A GD is there to test the personality and team ethics of an individual, not content alone.

Avoid Generalizations: Such generalizations of all types must be avoided, instead replaced by accurate facts whenever needed. Any fact quoted must be backed up by the reliable source of information. As an example, instead of stating that the older IIMs are amongst the best B-Schools in the country, one may simply quote the ranks in the Business World ranking that these colleges got.

Avoid Religion or Politics: The beauty of giving national level entrance exams for the most prestigious of colleges in India, is that there will be representation from almost every nook and corner of the country. Thus, avoid anything which could trigger some personal reactions. One may be free to speak about economy, business, sports, fashion, travel or technology, but religion and politics are to be avoided as far as possible.

Avoid Excess Jargon: One doesn’t appear smart by simply using a lot of big words, but by using them, at the right place. Any entrance exam in India is bound to throw up people from every walk of life. There will be aspirants from every corner of India as well as all possible academic streams. A true team leader must be understandable to all and not be remote.

Avoid one-on-one melees: There will be times when two or three members who are particularly dominant get into individual discussions. This must be avoided at all costs as the panel checks for team work and collaboration skills. In case one observes others getting involved in such fracas, just wait for the few seconds’ pause before storming in.

Let Everyone Speak: Everyone in the group must get an opportunity to speak. It works both ways, so those who are particularly quiet need to make an effort to speak in order to get recognized. The dominant ones on the other hand must involve everyone in the group, provided they show any inclination. This shows true team leadership.

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