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How to Prepare for Group Discussions

Group Discussions (GDs) are convened by schools and commercial institutes to screen candidates. Educational institutes hold GDs to admit the eligible candidates into their various programs. In India, the premier management and engineering institutes conduct GDs for admitting pupils. On the other hand, companies may conduct GDs are part of their selection process for any vacancies.

Both entrance exams and GDs are part of the admission process of schools and colleges. The entrance exams help to evaluate the applicant’s academic knowledge while GDs assess their soft skills. As part of a GD, several participants have a discussion on a specific topic and reach a conclusion.

To conduct GDs, different groups having 6-12 members are formed and each group is given a topic to discuss. The members have a couple of times to prepare, following which they can start their discussion. Different institutes have varying durations for the GDs. Moreover, assessors are assigned to supervise 2-3 candidates.

Generally, Group Discussions are conducted to judge a candidate’s personality, leadership skills, presence of mind, problem-solving ability, team skills, and other behavioral traits.

Group Discussions: Preparation Tips

  • The GD topics are not disclosed beforehand, so make sure that you are updated on topics such as Current Affairs, History, Literature, Sports, and Arts. To prepare for Current Affairs, ensure to read newspapers to be aware of the recent developments in India and globally. Watching documentaries is advised as well. Also, study the history of India and other countries. You should, also, know about the world’s famous leaders and their contribution to society.
  • During the GD, when the topic is divulged, take few minutes to understand the topic. Also, clarify doubts if you have any. Note that to perform well in the GD, having clarity of the topic is important.
  • Put forth relevant views in a precise manner for an impressive performance. More so, communicate only as much as needed and do not go overboard.
  • In a GD, you are tested for your communication skills. Now, to hone your communication skills, you must practice by standing in front of a mirror and talking on any chosen topic. Also, analyze the questions that the audience may ask and try to reply accordingly. In short, during the GD, collect your thoughts and, then, put forth your views in a structured manner.
  • Take the initiative in a GD. By doing so, you direct the way in which the discussion will proceed. However, take the lead only if you are well-versed with the topic or your initiative could backfire.
  • Choose your points of the given topic, so as to convey your knowledge on the subject. Try to cite suitable examples to further articulate your thoughts.
  • Try to control the discussion as much as possible. For doing so, you must pitch in whenever you can with relevant points for steering the discussion. Further, if there is a different point of view, give valid points to counter them. However, do not force your points or become aggressive. Let everybody have their say and motivate a person if they have are not speaking. This shows that you are an effective team player.
  • Speak clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear.
  • Listen to others and try to understand their perspective.
  • Stick to your viewpoint and use supporting arguments for greater impact.
  • Appear confident and not overconfident.
  • Do not talk if you are not sure about any subject.
  • Express your views without aggression.
  • Use simple words that are easy to understand.
  • If you can, be the first and last to speak.
  • Contribute as much as possible to the discussion.
  • At the end of the discussion, gather all the points and make your conclusion. This will portray your analytical skills and thinking process.
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