Group Discussion

Group Discussion
What is a group discussion?

A group discussion is an admission process where you sit in a group of  7-8 to 15-16 members and discuss a given topic. It is one of the most common processes in recruitment or admission. It provides a very fair idea of the relative communication skills of aspirants.

Group discussions are important at the psychological level to understand the aspirants’ thoughts and emotions and how they are conveyed effectively through language and gestures, without taking into consideration the group they belong to and the people who surround them.

Who conducts group discussions?

Many colleges and organizations conduct group discussions as a part of their admission processes. They are conducted during campus recruitments in colleges and internal promotions in organizations too.

What are the different types of group discussions?

Group discussions are of various types depending on the type of topic of discussion.

General Content-based GDs: In such GDs a general topic is given and the participants need to discuss the specific aspects of it.

For example, for the topic ‘Honesty is the best policy,’  participants may talk about how is this applicable in areas like business, politics or arts with examples.

Specific Content-based GDs: In such GDs a very specific topic is given and the participants need to discuss the general aspects of it.

For example, for the topic ‘How does the US-China trade war affect India,’ participants may talk about the positive and negative effects of the US-China trade war on Indian economy and foreign policy.

Abstract GDs: In such GDs an abstract topic is given and the participants need to associate specific points and examples with the topic.

For example, for the topic ‘Blue is better than green,’ participants may talk about climate change affecting the seas and the forests or the cricket between India and Pakistan.

Case-based GDs: In such GDs a small case or incident is given and the participants need to try and solve the case and find a win-win solution.

Picture-based GDs: In such GDs a picture or a group of pictures are provided and the participants need to associate topics with the pictures and discuss those topics.

Article-based GDs: In such GDs an article is provided and the participants need to read the article and discuss the topics or things written in the article.

Film-based GDs: In such GDs a clip or a small film is shown and the participants need to discuss the topics or things shown in the film.

What is evaluated in group discussions?

Mainly five things are evaluated in group discussions:

    • Whether you are generally aware of things and can associate them with the topics at hand creatively.
    • Whether you can communicate your ideas in a group, both verbally and non-verbally.
    • Whether you know the etiquettes of group behaviour, i.e., how to sit, where to look etc.
    • Whether you can speak in English at the basic level and convey your ideas appropriately.
    • Whether you can show certain leadership and management traits if the situation arises.
Five Points to Remember
  1. The moderators of a GD are not part of the discussion. So, do not look at them during the discussion, unless they talk with you or ask you a questions.
  2. It’s important to look at everyone while talking and straight at the speaker while listening.
  3. Avoid one-on-one conversations, vengeful answers or pointing your finger or making faces at others.
  4. Remember a GD is an evaluation process – focus on what the moderators are getting  your performance and not on unavoidable troubles.
  5. Only lots of practice under the tutelage of experienced mentors can help you sail through a GD.
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