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A GD is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or s****s that it desires in its members.

In this methodology, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss the it among themselves for 15-20 minutes. Freshersworld.com brings you an elaborate section for GD as you had ever seen anywhere else.

Some of the personality traits the GD is trying to gauge may include :-

Ability to work in a team
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Reasoning ability
Leadership s****s
Ability to think on ones feet

Why GDs

The reason why institutes put you through a Group discussion and an interview, after testing your technical and conceptual s****s in an exam, is to get to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute.

The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a member or as a leader. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for your selection.
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Managers have to work in a team and get best results out of teamwork. That is the reason why management institutes include GD as a component of the selection procedure.

Company's Perspective:- Companies conduct group discussion after the written test so as to check on your interactive s****s and how good you are at communicating with other people.

The GD is to check how you behave, participate and contribute in a group, how much importance do you give to the group objective as well as your own, how well do you listen to viewpoints of others and how open-minded are you in accepting views contrary to your own.

The aspects which make up a GD are verbal communication, non-verbal behavior, conformation to norms, decision-making ability and cooperation. You should try to be as true as possible to these aspects.
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Types of GD

GDs can be topic-based or case-based.

Topic based Gds can be classified into three types :-

1. Factual Topics
2. Controversial Topics
3. Abstract Topics

Factual Topics:-

Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life. Typically these are about socio-economic topics.

These can be current, i.e. they may have been in the news lately, or could be unbound by time. A factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and sensitive to his environment.

E.g. The education policy of India, Tourism in India, State of the aged in the nation.

Controversial Topics:-

Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy. In GDs where these topics are given for discussion, the noise level is usually high, there may be tempers flying.

The idea behind giving a topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in check, by rationally and logically arguing his point of view without getting personal and emotional.
E.g. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers

Abstract Topics:-
Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given often for discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled out. These topics test your lateral thinking and creativity.

E.g. A is an alphabet, Twinkle twinkle little star, The number 10

Case-based Gd:-
Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic.
The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. Information about the situation will be given to you and you would be asked as a group to resolve the situation.
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Why do we have GD ?

Reasons for having a GD

* It helps you to understand a subject more deeply.
* It improves your ability to think critically.
* It helps in solving a particular problem.
* It helps the group to make a particular decision.
* It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas.
* It improves your listening s****s.
* It increases your confidence in speaking.
* It can change your attitudes.

Strategies for Improving GD S****s for Tutorials & Seminars

Asking questions and joining in discussions are important s****s for university study. If you find it difficult to speak or ask questions in tutorials, try the following strategies.


Attend as many seminars and tutorials as possible and notice what other students do. Ask yourself:


How do other students make critical comments?

How do they ask questions?

How do they disagree with or support arguments?

What special phrases do they use to show politeness even when they are voicing disagreement?

How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a point?


Start practicing your discussion s****s in an informal setting or with a small group. Start with asking questions of fellow students. Ask them about the course material. Ask for their opinions. Ask for information or ask for help.


Take every opportunity to take part in social/informal discussions as well as more structured/formal discussion. Start by making small contributions to tutorial discussions; prepare a question to ask, or agree with another speaker's remarks.

Discussion Etiquette (or minding your manners)



Speak pleasantly and politely to the group.

Respect the contribution of every speaker.

Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely.

Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?

Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information.

Be aware of your body language when you are speaking.

Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.



Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.

Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.

Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive.

Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute.

Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much.

Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.

Leading a Discussion

You may be in a seminar group that requires you to lead a group discussion, or lead a discussion after an oral presentation. You can demonstrate leadership by:


introducing yourself and the members of the group

stating the purpose of the discussion

inviting quiet group members to speak

being objective

summarizing the discussion

Chairing a Group Discussion

When chairing a discussion group you must communicate in a positive way to assist the speakers in accomplishing their objective.

There are at least four leadership s****s you can use to influence other people positively and help your group achieve its purpose. These s****s include:


introducing the topic and purpose of the discussion,

making sure all members have approximately the same time, (i.e. no one dominates the discussion by taking too much time)

thanking group members for their contribution

being objective in summarizing the group's discussion and achievements.
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