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Gearing-up for the GD

Participants get more tips on acing group discussion along with reading suggestions at the concluding Mission MBA session

education Updated: Mar 30, 2011 09:46 IST
Garima Upadhyay
Garima Upadhyay
Hindustan Times

Organised in collaboration with, the final session in the HT Horizons’ Mission MBA series left students asking for more. From an insightful session on why B-schools conduct GD-PI, to an intensive mock GD, the session helped prospective students inch closer to their dream of acing the GD/PI round.

Helping students understand the reason behind conducting a GD/PI round was Dr R K Chakraborty, dean (academic) and chairperson, operations management, IMT Ghaziabad. During his interactive session with the students, he said that the premise of holding group discussions is to identify group behaviour, group participation and ability to contribute to a discussion.

After getting a sense of the concept and nuances of group discussions, participants got invaluable advice from Nishit Sinha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus, mentor and author. Elaborating on the points that students should keep in mind during a group discussion, he said, “In a fifteen-minute-long group discussion, devote two minutes to list down everything that comes to your mind about the topic and try giving it a structure.”

Besides offering smart tips on how to analyse a problem and how to conduct yourself during the group discussion, he advised students to ensure that their discussion reaches a conclusion. “Take these GDs as a real-life experience. Imagine you are in the boardroom discussing a critical issue facing the organisation and you can’t come up with a solution and a conclusion. How would it feel? Therefore, I would suggest that you should get an output from the discussion. Don’t waste yours and the examiner’s time in baseless discussion, structure it well, invite suggestions and conclude. Remember, it is not a debate -it is a team effort that must result in something noteworthy.”

Dos for a GD
. Active, dynamic participation
. Voice modulation for impact
. If you are not sure about the basis of the discussion, keep quiet
. Going through annual reports of Indian MNCs will help
. Going through annual reports of World Bank will also help
. Build recall value with names of people or reports that you might quote
. Use authentic sources to quote figures and facts during the discussion
. Be assertive, not offensive
. If you can manage to speak well for minimum 90 seconds your job is done
. Articulate your argument well
. Ensure that the discussion reaches a conclusion
. Refrain from taking sides in the discussion
. Be open and receptive to other ideas
. Make sure that you are not the only one talking, nudge others to speak