Group Discussion

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What is a Group Discussion?

“Group” is a collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction and who work together to achieve a common set of goals. “Discussion” is the process whereby two or more people exchange information or ideas in a face-to-face situation to achieve a goal. The goal, or end product, maybe increased knowledge, agreement leading to action, disagreement leading to competition or resolution or perhaps only a clearing of the air or a continuation of the status-quo.

Who holds a Group Discussion?

“Group Discussion”, popularly labeled as GD, is a popular methodology used by an many organizations (company, institute, business school, etc.) these days to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits such as interpersonal communication skills, confidence in public speaking, team spirit, leadership abilities, social behaviour and problem-solving skills. GDs form an important part of the short-listing process for recruitment or admission in a company or institution.

Group Discussion Preparation

How is a GD Conducted?

In this methodology, there are usually 7-12 participants in a group. The the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation which could be either factual, abstract or case based, and typically given some time to think and make notes about the same. After this, the group of candidates is, and then asked to discuss it the topic among themselves for a specific duration ranging between 10-40 minutes (which may vary from one organization to another). While the group discusses the pertaining issue at hand, the Moderators/ Panelists silently observe each candidate on various pre-determined parameters. The Panelists assign scores to every candidate based on his/her individual performance as well as how he performed within the group.

As in a football game, where you play like a team, passing the ball to each team member and aim for a common goal, GD is also based on teamwork, incorporating views of different team members to reach a common goal. So, a group discussion refers to a communicative situation that allows its participants to share their views and opinions with other participants. It is a systematic exchange of information, views and opinions about a topic, problem, issue or situation among the members of a group who share some common objectives. 

Why is a “GD” conducted?

Over the recent years, Group Discussion became a popular method of assessing a candidate’s soft skills. The contenders who are shortlisted on basis of written exams have qualified with their intelligence quotient, i.e., aptitude and knowledge. However, since the significance of emotional quotient arose, new tools such as GD were devised to gauge candidates’ social and interpersonal skills. Organizations conduct GDs to find out whether you possess the critical qualities/skills to contribute effectively to the goal accomplishment process. Group discussion tips to avoid mistakesGroup of Women Having a Meeting

Why GD is important?

  • It helps evaluate whether a candidate is the right fit for the organisation.
  • It helps assess how a participant performs under different situations in a group.
  • It helps to judge how one conceptualizes and manoeuvres his ideas through the discussion.
  • It helps in analysing the candidate’s attitude towards fellow members through one’s communication and interpersonal skills, listening ability, humility and tolerance to others ideas.
  • It helps in shedding light on candidate’s leadership and managerial skills, problem-solving aptitude, creative thinking and knowledge on diverse topics.

Since, team work is an essential element of business management and corporate work-sphere, a person’s ability to perform well in a GD is very critical for a successful career. A GD helps to achieve group goals as well as individual goals. The examiner can evaluate both the personality traits and group skills of candidates participating in a G.D. It is basically a situation test wherein a sample of a candidate’s group worthiness and potential as a worker comes out quite explicitly.

How to prepare for group discussion


A group discussion is a group of individuals, gather at one place in the form of a circle with similar interest to share the ideas, solve problems or give comments. In simple terms, a group discussion is well known as GD. Generally, the group discussions are performed to assess the skill set of a person which includes communication skills, leadership skills, managing skills, team building skills, social skills, problem-solving skills and presence of mind. At last, the rating is given on a scale of 1 to 10.

Why GD became mandatory?

Before GD the candidate has to undergo the written exam which covers different subject levels such as quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, general English and computer-based questions. Based on the cut-off, after qualifying the first round the candidate has to undergo the second round i.e group discussion. Group discussion became mandatory to filter the candidate’s soft skills and whether the candidate has the ability to cope up with different scenarios.

how to prepare for group discussion

Who conducts a group discussion?

Generally, group discussion is conducted by large bodies such as universities, top-rated b-schools, management institutions & colleges and even by MNC’s. To get admission in top B-schools GD round is one of the most important & crucial rounds. This round is conducted to analyze the skills from different parameters and to select the right candidate for the right position so that it meets the company’s requirement.

Why do students fail to perform well in GD?

In today’s scenario most of the students fail to perform well in a group discussion because of the below three reasons:

1. Due to the fear of speaking in public.
2. Lack of knowledge on the topic.
3. No proper command on language.

The process followed in GD:

In any B-schools or MNC’s, the selectors will select the students randomly based on the number. For a group usually, 8-10 members were selected. A topic is given and around 3-5 minutes of time is given to prepare. The duration of the discussion is based on the group, topic, college to college and organization to organization. Only on a few parameters, the assessment is done. The parameters such as content, supporting others point, giving relevant examples, latest updates or news, eye-contact, conclusion and behavioral traits.

There is no secret or any rules for preparing GD. Before going for GD one has to consider a few points.
1. Be up-to-date on the latest information such as news and trending topics in the market.
2. Make a habit of reading newspapers, books and magazines so that in-detail information is provided.
3. The simple way to remember the content for a longer period is to watch videos for 2-3 times.
4. Later on, select a topic and speak for yourself in front of the mirror. (Make assessment for yourself).
5. Even be aware of different topics such as sports, political news, technology news, economics and market-related news.

How to perform GD?

When a topic is given just think over it; under which category the topic is. It might be related to life, current affairs, technology, political news and any other trending topic in the market. So, think about the topic and frame the sentence in your own words to speak. When you are speaking you need to agree or disagree with the other points and you need to give a proper reason to it. But, don’t deviate/ mislead from the topic. Make others also speak & give chance to them to put the points into the discussion.

For suppose if you are leading the group:
1. Introduce yourself & give a brief note on the topic.
2. Make a start on a positive note.
3. Discuss the pros and cons of the topic and how to overcome them.
4. Make everyone speak.
5. Support other points.
6. If the group members are deviating from the topic it is your responsibility to bring them back.
As you are leading the group you need to conclude by summarizing all the points which were discussed.

Few tips for GD:

1. Grooming (appearance)
2. Be a good listener & support or add to the other points. (But don’t interrupt in middle)
3. Speak loudly and clearly.
4. Try to be the first and the last speaker of the discussion.
5. Be confident while speaking (analyze with numbers if you know & it has to be fact).

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