Do's & Don'ts of Group Discussion Round of Top MBA Colleges

Do's & Don'ts of Group Discussion Round of Top MBA Colleges

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Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 29, 2024 15:28 IST

We know that on the list of GD etiquettes, the need to maintain a polite tone ranks higher than any other skill. What else? Check out the dos and don'ts of a group discussion for MBA admission.

group discussion preparation

Group Discussion (GD) is an important part of the selection process for admission to MBA programmes. Clearly, a winning performance at the GD stage is critical for making the final cut. GDs for MBA admission are based on a variety of topics ranging from economics, business, politics, science, society to current affairs. So, it is important to stay updated with the issues that affect all the aspects of our lives. This can be done by developing the habit of reading books, newspapers and magazines. A good grip on general knowledge and current affairs will give you the confidence to talk on any topic with facts and logic.

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But even though you have the subject knowledge and possess good communication skill, what if you don't get a chance to speak in a GD for MBA admission? How would you make yourself heard in a group discussion where everyone is trying to dominate the space?

Q:   What is the structure of CAT question paper?

The CAT question paper structure has remained unchanged since 2014 when there were only two sections. Quantitative Aptitude was clubbed with Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning was clubbed with Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. In 2015, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning were clubbed together and Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension made two individual sections. Since 2015, the sectional segregation has remained the same but the number of questions have come down from 100 to 66. The exam duration has also been reduced. Until 2019, the CAT exam was of 180 minutes and the total number of questions were 100. However, in 2020, the question paper structure was revised due to COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the total number of questions came down to 76. In 2021 and 2022, the number of questions were further lowered to 66. For the last two years, CAT is conducted for 2 hours, and the number of questions is 66. The latest CAT question paper structure is: Total questions: 66 Number of sections: 3 Order of sections - 1. VARC 2. DILR 3. Quantitative Aptitude Sectional time limit: 40 minutes VARC questions: 24 DILR questions: 20 Quantitative Aptitude questions: 22.

Q:   Which CAT slot has the toughest question paper?

There is no pattern to which CAT question paper can be the toughest. The CAT question paper of every slot has unique questions. The examination body strives to maintain the same difficulty level of the paper across all slots but it may happen that a question can be more difficult from another. It is seen that, to keep the uniqueness of the question paper intact, the examination authority also changes the topic wise weightage a little bit across the exam slots. In most of the previous years, it is seen that the morning slot of the CAT exam is tougher than the rest two. However, candidates must not worry about the difficulty level of the slots as, the scores of all the candidates are normalised on a common scale to root out the possibility of advantage or disadvantage to any student due to difference in difficulty level. To know how the CAT scores are normalised, read this article:

Q:   What are the important topics that usually dominate the SNAP question paper?


Candidates preparing for SNAP exam must study all the topics included in the SNAP syllabus i.e. General English and Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency and Analytical and Logical Reasoning.

Some of the important topics of SNAP General English section are Passages, Syllogisms, Analogies, Grammar, Antonym-Synonym, One Word Substitution, Similar Sounding Words, Parajumbles and Fill in the Blanks.

Some of the important topics of SNAP Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency section are Trigonometry, Geometry, Algebra, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Partnership, Time-Speed-Distance and Data Interpretation.

Some of the important topics of SNAP Analytical and Logical Reasoning are Column Graphs, Pie Chart, Coding and Decoding and Puzzles.

SNAP aspirants must focus on these topics during exam preparation to score well. Most of the questions will be asked from these topics only.

We know that on the list of GD etiquettes maintaining a polite tone ranks high even as you proceed to oppose a point raised by another team member. But how do you do that when the GD turns into a fish-market scene?

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Don’t get caught up in the chaos, because that’s where your leadership skill, team spirit and critical thinking will be tested by way of how you manage to perform even amid a chaotic environment.

Also Read: Top 20 MBA Entrance Exams You Can Take in 2024

Q:   Which section of CMAT question paper has the maximum weightage?

All the five sections of CMAT question paper has equal weightage of 20 questions. Each question carries four marks for correct attempt. One mark is deducted per incorrect entry. There is no marks deduction for unanswered question. Therefore, each section of CMAT will have equal weightage of 80 marks. Given below is the sectional weightage of CMAT exam. 1. English Comprehension: 20 questions, 80 marks 2. General Knowledge: 20 questions, 80 marks 3. Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation: 20 questions, 80 marks 4. Data Interpretation and Reasoning: 20 questions, 80 marks 5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: 20 questions, 80 marks Since, all the sections of CMAT have same weightage, it is important for candidates to prepare for each section well. If you will score equally will in every section, only then will your overall score will be good. Also, many colleges consider sectional scores as well for admission shortlist so it is important to perform equally well in all sections of CMAT.

Q:   What is the total number of questions in MAT exam?


MAT exam has 150 multiple-choice questions equally divided into five sections - Language Comprehension, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills and Indian and Global Environment. Each section of the exam has 30 questions. The questions are in MCQ format with four options to choose the correct options from. Given below is the sectional break up of MAT question paper. All three modes of exam have the same weightage. 

Language Comprehension: 30 questions 

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning: 30 questions 

Data Analysis and Sufficiency: 30 questions 

Mathematical Skills: 30 questions 

Indian and Global Environment: 30 questions 

Since there is no sectional time limit in MAT candidates can divide time between all the five sections according to their own exam strategy and target score. The score of Indian and Global Environment section is not taken into consideration for percentile calculation, thus candidates should not spend more than 10-15 minutes on it.

Q:   What is the benefit of solving official CMAT question papers?

Solving previous year CMAT question papers is very important for optimising your performance in the exam. There are several benefits of practicing the official CMAT question paper but one of the most important benefits is that the candidate will know the latest exam pattern and difficulty level. The CMA question papers are set by the examination authority on the basis of questions asked in last 10 years or so. Thus, if you practice CMAT previous year papers, you will be familiar with all types of questions asked in the exam in the last few years. Since, MBA entrance exams are all about speed and accuracy, it is very important to be familiar with the types of questions. CMAT question papers help you in time management skills as well as the skill to choose the right questions to ask. Candidates must solve CAT question papers of at least last five years for best results.

Q:   Are the question papers of all SNAP sessions same?


The question papers of all SNAP sessions are same but the questions are different. The pattern, structure, difficulty level and marking scheme are the same for all SNAP sessions but every question paper has unique questions. This is done so that no candidate has any advantage or disadvantage when they appear for the next attempt. Candidates preparing for the SNAP exam, must keep in mind that the different sessions could be of different difficulty level. If their first attempt was easy, the second attempt may not be easy. So, it is important continue to prepare and practice during the gap between two SNAP sessions. The best score of all the sessions will be taken into consideration for SIU personal interview shortlisting.

Q:   What are the important topics of MAT exam?

MAT exam has five important sections - Mathematical Skills, Language Comprehension, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills and Indian and Global Environment. Each section carries 40 questions each. Given below are the important topics from which questions are asked in MAT. Language Comprehension - Verb, Noun, Pronoun, Adjective, Adverb, Antonyms and Synonyms, Reading Comprehension, Parts of Speech, One Word Substitution, Vocabulary, Sentence Correction, Idioms/Phrases, Grammar, Fill in the Blanks, Para Jumbles and Verbal Ability Intelligence and Critical Reasoning - Family Tree, Strong Arguments and Weak Arguments, Multi-Dimensional Arrangements, Course of Action, Puzzles, Visual Reasoning, Arrangement, Series, Numeric Grid, Pie Chart, Blood Relations, Critical Reasoning, Calendars, Coding and Decoding, Syllogisms, Statement Conclusions, Column Graphs and Graphs Representing Area Data Analysis and Sufficiency - Tables, Pie Charts, Caselet-based Data Charts, Graphs - Line X-Y Graphs, Venn Diagram, Bar Diagrams, Data Analysis and Data Comparison and Data Sufficiency Mathematical Skills- LCM and HCF, Commercial Maths Complex Numbers, Percentages, Permutation and Combinations, Binomial Theorem, Profit and Loss, Sequence and Series Surds and Indices, Simple and Compound Interest, Heights and Distance, Inequalities, Speed, Time and Distance, Triangles Set Theory, Number System Circles, Mixtures and Alligations, Elementary Mathematics, Geometry, Venn Diagrams, Trigonometry Equations and Linear Programming Indian and Global Environment Current Affairs World Records, Business, CEOs, Awards and Winners, Books and Authors, Company Punchlines, History, International Organisation, Statements and Quotations, Social issues, Geography, Sports, Finance, Corporate News, Science, Entertainment and Politics.

Do's & Don’ts of a Group Discussion

Shiksha café experts highlight important points on the Do's & Don’ts of a Group Discussion round of MBA admission. Take a look.

1) Dress Formally

Dressing sense of a person helps making the first impression and determining one’s personality – so do not take it casually. Dress smartly in a formal outfit for the GD and PI round. It will add to your confidence and keep you comfortable while speaking in a group. Positive gestures and body language will make your work easier. 

2) Don’t Rush Into the GD

Initiating the GD is a big plus. But it works in your favour only when you understand the GD topic. If you are not sure about the topic, take your time, listen to others, take a cue from then and then frame your argument. It will help you appear more measured when you speak and bring out your analytical opinion.

3) Keep Eye Contact While Speaking

Stay relaxed and keep eye contact with every team member of the group discussion while speaking. Do not look at the evaluators only.

4) Allow Others to Speak

Do not interrupt others during the GD. Even if you don’t agree with their points do not stop them from speaking. Instead make a mental note and state your points when it’s your turn. This will show that you are mindful of other people’s opinion and not desperate to prove a point.

Also Read: Top GD-WAT topics for MBA admission 2024

5) Don’t be Aggressive

Speak politely and clearly. Use simple language to convey your thoughts without being irritable. Don’t be aggressive even if you disagree with someone. Express yourself calmly and politely.

6) Maintain Positive Attitude

GD is a team activity. Be confident but do not try to dominate anyone. Remember it’s a discussion and not a debate, so express your thoughts calmly and politely. Ensure a positive body language. Show interest in the group discussion when others are expressing their thoughts. This will make you appear as someone who is a team player.

7) Speak Sensibly

Do not speak just to hog the limelight. Don’t worry even if you speak less. It is always better to talk less but sensibly than talk more senselessly. Your thoughts should be sensible and relevant. Wasting the group’s time with your irrelevant speech or speaking without proper subject knowledge will only create a poor impression.

8) Listen Carefully to Others

Being a good listener is important to succeed in group discussions. Pay attention when others are speaking. This will help you form your argument better for a  coherent discussion and you will be able to get involved in the group positively. This way, others are also more likely to be receptive to your points.

9) Avoid Time-Consuming Details

A basic subject analysis is sufficient to put your point across. There’s no need to mention exact figures and statistics while making a reference. You get limited time in a GD, so be precise and convey your thoughts in a smart and crisp manner.

10) Keep the Discussion on Track

If you find the group is digressing from the GD topic, then simply take the initiative to bring the discussion back on track. Uphold and emphasize the group’s common objective to stick to the topic to arrive at some conclusion at the end of the group discussion. This will exhibit your leadership skills.

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Predict CAT Admission Calls

Check CAT Cut offs and predict calls from IIMs and other Top MBA Colleges, whether your CAT score is 70 percentile, 80 percentile or 90 percentile. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and eligibility of all MBA Colleges by clicking the link below:

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FAQs on Group Discussion Preparation

Q: How can I prepare for GD for MBA?

A: Public speaking is the most important aspect of succeeding in a GD. Candidates need to practice public speaking, reading current affairs topics to gain insights to formulate their argument, write essays for practice to be able to develop linear thinking.

Q: What are the GD topics for MBA?

A: Group Discussion topics can range from philosophy to politics to business to inventions to abstract topics. Most of the times, the MBA GD topics pertain to socio-economic issues, world events, Science and Technology, business ethics, etc.

Q: How can I crack GD rounds for MBA admission?

A: To succeed in candidates must dress formally, listen carefully, keep eye contact while speaking, allow others to speak, not be aggressive, maintain positive attitude, speak sensibly, don’t digress and keep your speech short and crisp.

Q: When is the Group Discussion round held in MBA colleges?

A: The Group Discussion round is held in MBA colleges at the time of admission. Most of the colleges conduct GD after the top MBA entrance exams have been conducted and result declared. The GDs are conducted between February and May.

Q: Do IIMs conduct Group Discussions for MBA admission?

A: Top IIMs have discontinued Group Discussion. Since the past few years Written Ability Test (WAT) is being conducted in place of GD at top IIMs along with Personal Interview (PI). The newer IIMs also discontinued GD and replaced it with WAT. During the COVID-19 pandemic era, only PI was conducted online for admission.
About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching crime drama series, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of dogs. ... Read Full Bio



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