CAT Group Discussion, commonly referred to as GD has become an inseparable part of admission to IIMs and various MBA institutes. Group Discussions in CAT and IIMs play a main role in selecting the best among the best.
Having scored high marks in CAT and other competitive MBA entrance exams, students who get selected for Group Discussions are placed on a par – on equal footing – based on their percentile. It becomes necessary to conduct further screening for choosing a few among many.
It is here, the CAT Group Discussion plays an important part. It helps in choosing the candidate among all the academically superior achievers. Group Discussions for CAT is one of the best tools to study the behavioral and attitudinal responses of the participants.
As the term itself suggests, a GD is a discussion, but most students misconstrue it to be a debate. Consequently, you find a ‘fish market’ situation in most Group Discussion. What is actually expected in a Group Discussion is participation in a systematic way on a particular topic.
A Group Discussion (GD) is a simulated exercise, where you cannot suddenly put up a show, since the evaluators will see through you easily.
While Group Discussion reflects the inherent qualities of an individual, appearing for it unprepared may not augur well for you. These CAT Group Discussion Tips would help you prepare for a CAT Group Discussion:
This is the first and the most crucial step in preparation for a CAT Group Discussion. This is a never ending process and the more you read, the better you are in your thoughts. While you may read anything to everything, you must ensure that you are in good touch with current affairs, the debates and hot topics of discussion and also with the latest in the IT and ITES industry.
Chances are the topics of CAT Group Discussion would be around these. Read both for the thoughts as well as for data. Also read multiple view points on the same topic and then create your point of view with rationale. Also create answers for counter arguments for your point of view. The electronic media also will be of good use here.
Create an informal Group Discussion group and meet regularly to discuss and exchange feedback. This is the best way to prepare. This would give you a good idea about your thoughts and how well can you convince. Remember, it is important that you are able to express your thoughts well.
The better you perform in these mocks the better would be your chances to perform on the final day. Also try to interact and participate in other Group Discussion groups. This will develop in you a skill to discuss with unknown people as well.
Also remember the six C’s of effective communication that is required in a Group Discussion – Clarity, Completeness, Conciseness, Confidence, Correctness and Courtesy.
The list of some of the Group Discussion Topics in CAT and IIMs are discussed below. The CAT/IIM topics have been categorized under several heads like Contemporary topics for MBA/CAT Group Discussion, Group Discussion Topics on Management and Politics related topics for IIM/MBA Group Discussion.
Decision-making is what managers do. The decisions of managers directly influence revenues, costs, and profits of a business firm.
If you are to be successful manager, you must learn to be a good decision maker. You must develop the ability to apply classroom training in business and economics to so that you can learn how to
(1) make decision making easier,
(2) improve the analytical quality of decisions,
(3) reduce the time required to make decisions, and
(4) increase the frequency of correct decisions.
This is a specialized type of technique used mainly by IIMA and IIMI.
A short situation (usually a problem faced by an organization or a manager) is given in less than a page. Participants have to discuss the situation and recommend the appropriate course of action.
Here all the participants possess an equal level of information about the situation since the same case is given to everybody.
Remember the evaluators are testing the information processing and analytical skills of the participants as well as the group skills.
1. Read the case thoroughly.
2. Define the central issue.
3. Define the firm’s goals.
4. Identify the constraints to the problem.
5. Identify all the relevant alternatives.
6. Select the best alternative.
7. Develop an implementation plan.
1. In a company X, a woman is facing some problem as she is the only working member in her home. She takes frequent leaves and is quite insincere in her work. She is not able to deliver quality in her work.Her husband is idle and does not support her and asks her to continue her job.She does kitchen work, takes care of her kids and also work in the office.You are the manager of this company , so how will you solve her problem.(IIM Indore)
2. Ramu has been working with XYZ Co. Ltd. for the last six years and has been rated as one of the efficient in the job. One day he is caught with a stolen bulb leaving the duty. The management is in a predicament. What should it do?(IIM Indore)
3. A handloom company is running in heavy losses and its sales have gone down.You as a head of the team have to discuss various reasons for the same.The group also supposed to suggest possible solution to the identified problems.(IIM Ahmedabad)
4. The case was on a textile manufacturing co. established in 1984 having a global presence in the industry with its clientage consisting of big companies like Walmart etc.The comapny is presently managed by the son(MBA from Stanford) of the owner.The father doesn’t believe in recruiting MBAs while the son is of the converse opinion.Suggest arguments that the son can use to convince his father.(IIM Bangalore).
Duration 20 – 25 minutes
Panel size : 3
1) Subject Knowledge
2) How could you describe your stream to a layman?
3) Questions based on that day’s Newspaper
4) Why some students did not ask for financial assistance
There is a bank robbery. A cashier violates the code of conduct but saves the bank’s money. What should the chief manager do with the cashier?
Kaveri Amma is a 40 yr old woman who has 2 daughters – 1 is married and the other is doing her 10th standard. She works in a cooperative where 35 other women support her. She makes ropes in the cooperative and earns Rs.600/ month. She was looking for alternative ways of making a little more money. She knew how to make a special kind of pickle. She bought the required stuff – tomatoes 8kg at a total cost of Rs.30, 1.5 l of oil at Rs.90, 40, 200 gm bottles at Rs.20, miscellaneous ingredients (ginger, garlic etc.) at Rs.57.
She had an earning of Rs.203 from this venture. She used to sell these bottles at Rs. 10/bottle when market price for such pickle was Rs.16. Since she was handpicking her tomatoes her quality was also maintained. A friend told her that if she did this exercise just 4 times a month then she would be able to earn more than what she is presently earning with her rope trade. A young graduate Sheela heard about Kaveri Amma’s business and offered her a loan of Rs.15000 to set up pickle making unit plus a Rs. 5000 grant. Should Kaveri accept this offer?
There was this man X who was a sweets vendor in India some 50 years ago during partition. He had two vendors – one who supplied milk-based raw materials and one who supplied non-milk based raw materials. He was very focused on quality and he would absorb the rising costs but be focused on his quality image. Therefore his profits began decreasing His son Amit was a Commerce graduate and was taking interest in his business He handed his business to his son completely just two months ago. Amit had a 7-year-old daughter, Nisha. When the son started taking charge he hired only one contractor who supplied him the raw materials. During Christmas his daughter asked him to supply sweets for her class. So on Christmas Eve there was a party whereby by 8 pm, 30 girls from her class including she was sick with diarrhoea and vomiting. At 9pm the teacher called up Amit and threatened him with legal action and adverse publicity. The parents of the students also demanded an explanation. Students of the other class who had not eaten the sweets and had cakes were not sick. Also two of Nisha’s classmates who had diabetes and had not eaten the sweets were not sick. What should Amit do?
In a psychology department of a college, the principal of the college announces in a function that Mrs Nair would be the next head of the department. Now this comes as a shock to Mrs Nair, because she was not taken into confidence and she just liked teaching. The retiring head Mrs Johnson was a capable head and although Mrs Nair did help her in her duties, yet she did not want to be tied to that position. The reason why Mrs Nair was made head was because there was a policy of the department that the senior most teachers are made the next head, which obviously Mrs Nair satisfied. Now Mrs Nair leaves the function and goes back to her house thinking about the whole thing. The question is what should Mrs Nair do?
Sahay is a management trainee at an organization that deals in supplying hardware to customers. Now his boss Mr Subhdeep has been thinking of a plan. A consignment, which was due to a superintendent police who has huge political clout, has not been delivered to him. It had been promised that it would be delivered in 30 days, but so far 45 days have lapsed. Mr Subhdeep is thinking that he would deliver an empty consignment to this client and since it is a company policy that he cannot open the box till somebody from this organization assists, he would take advantage of this policy. In the meanwhile he would substitute the box with the actual deliverable. Now Mr Sahay finds this unethical, and he asks Subhdeep but he says that everything is fair in war and business. So now what should he do:
a) Leave the company
b) Try to bring about a change