December 20, 2010


    Dear Friends,
    The MBA entrance exams will over soon and most of you will be receiving your call letters from the relevant institute you applied for. There are many management institutes in India, but there are only few among them who are rated as top institutes of the country. Some institutes like IIMs, ISB, FMS are counted as best B-Schools of India. Most of the institutes follow the same procedure to select the aspiring managers of the country. The percentage of marks in different rounds and areas are divided by the institutes, the written test carries the weightage of 75% and the GD/PI section carries the weightage of 25%. There are some B-schools who ask you to write an easy on current topic in second round of selection or asks you to make some presentation on your future goals and areas of interest. Case studies are also used by the B-schools as a selection tool of candidates.
    Majority of institutes follow the GD/PI round for selecting the candidates. To enter in any good B-School you required to crack the nut shell of the GD/PI round. The group discussion round generally have ten participants in one batch. There are normally two or three people who lead the discussion and rest of them participate on average. It is always expected from each of the candidate that they will express their thoughts on the topics and actively participate in the discussion. It is always good for every candidate that they should have some hands on knowledge on most of the current topics, so that it will help them to put some concrete points during the discussion. The supervising panel never interferes in the discussion. They observe each candidate very minutely, they not only observe the way you speak and participate in the discussion, but they also observe their body language and facial expression. Here are some tips which you can follow during your GD/PI round.

    Cognitive skills and knowledge: The most important aspect of GD round is your knowledge on the given topic. The knowledge of the current topics and awareness about the happening all around us is really important for this round. The excellence in this round generally depends on how much quality knowledge you have about the topic. This will be shown in your points when you speak something on the topic. If you have enough ideas about the topic you will make all concrete points during the discussion. Your knowledge will give you an edge and the same will be shown in your points too.

    Always make relevant points with examples: You should always try to make relevant points during the discussion. Try to give relevant examples with your point so that it will further enforce your points. To be more content with examples read extensively. Try to read at least two to three different newspapers and magazines on various topics. Do not be area centered while reading. Try to read different features, news, discussions, stories, current affair and many more which will help you to gain more knowledge. Be more logical while talking. Always try to make relevant point and generate quality argument in relevance.

    Always be flexible: During the discussion one should always be open with other's idea too. You might not agree with the other's points but always oppose in a positive manner rather than being blunt or harsh in your conversation. Show flexibility and adaptive attitude in your thoughts so that you can lead the discussion at all possible directions.

    Body language and eye contact: Your body language can speak much more than spoken words. While entering the room be confident. Always show a positive body language. Your body language includes your way of talking style, your expressions and your facial and hand gestures. Try to make eye contact while speaking or making some point, this shows your confidence level. Here, in India we always try to avoid eye contact, but during GD it will be counted as a negative trait.
    Check List
  1.  Be prepared with a 15-20 second introduction which clearly states your name, the place you come from, the degree and the name of the university from which you are pursuing/pursued your degree. Most moderators ask students to introduce themselves to the rest of the group before starting the GD.
  2.  Carry a small notepad along with a pen to the GD to take down notes. You might be asked to summarise the GD verbally or in writing.
  3.  Do not address the moderator. Address the group. Once the GD starts, as far as you are concerned, the moderator ceases to exist.
  4.  Do not try to start the GD just for the sake of starting it. Start the GD only if you are sure that you are adding value to the topic straightway.
  5.  Do not repeat a point that you or someone may already have made in the GD. You get marks for each idea only once.
  6.  Make your points in crisp, short sentences. If you get into a long sentence, there is every possibility that you will be interrupted even before you come to the main idea.
  7.  Do not take a stance in a GD at the beginning. This, theoretically, halves the number of point you could possibly make.
  8.  Make it a point to come into GD at least 4-5 times.
  9.  Do not address a GD perticipant by name. You are not expected to remember their names.
  10.  Do not seek the assistance of moderator directly or indirectly at any time during the GD.
  11.  Always discuss the pros and cons of the topic given . Remember, it is a discussion and not an argument or a debate where you need to take sides.
  12.  You do not get points for proving other participants wrong. Make your point and move on.
  13.  Do not point fingers at your co-participants or get aggressive with them. It won’t endear you to them and certainly not to the moderator.
  14.  Do not use slang or vernacular.
  15.  Maintain eye contact with the group.
  16.  Do not show disappointment or disgust on your face in case you are not being allowed to speak.
  17.  Practice as often as possible with different groups, different topics, and in different situations.

  18. The GD/PI round is very important for your determining your seat in the B-School. The duration of the GD round could be 15 to 25 minutes. So on an average every students will be get 2-3 mints to express their thoughts and make their mark.



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