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    Role of GD in Campus Placements...

    B. Kishore
    M.Tech., (Ph.D),
    TPO, GITAM University

         After clearing the written test the next step of selection process is the Group Discussion. In group discussion communication skills, thinking skill, body language, ability to work in group and accept others ideas is tested. Group Dynamics, Initiation and conclusion of a GD, Dos and Donts of Group Discussion, How to share ideas from various angles etc.

    can be learnt only by practice. Students have to motivate themselves to take every opportunity to participate in social/ informal discussions as well as more structured/ formal discussions. A group discussion gives them a chance to be more vocal, use proper gestures and mannerisms, improve language skills, can also improve alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity.

    A group discussion is a test of
    1. Communication Skills
    2. Knowledge and ideas regarding topic
    3. Capability to co-ordinate and lead
    4. Exchange of thoughts
    5. Addressing the group as a whole
    6. Thorough preparations
    GDs can be topic-based or case-based.


    Topic based GDs can be classified into three types:
    Factual Topics:
         Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life.
    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 under control. 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. In the case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. The objective in the case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles. IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures.
    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 skills.
    • It increases your confidence in speaking.
    • It can change your attitudes.
    Strategies for Improving GD Skills for Tutorials & Seminars
         Asking questions and joining in discussions are important skills for university study. If you find it difficult to speak or ask questions in tutorials, try the following strategies.
    Observe

         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?
    Practice
         Start practicing your discussion skills 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.
    Participate
         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.

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