Types of Group Discussion
GDs can be topic-based or case-based.
1. TOPIC BASED GDs
Topic based GDs can be classified into 3, they are as below:
– Factual Topics
– Controversial Topics
– Abstract Topic
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.
Examples: The education policy of India, Tourism in India, State of the aged in the nation.
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.
Examples: Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers
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.
Examples: A is an alphabet, Twinkle twinkle little star, The number 10
2. CASE-BASED GDs
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.
To give you more information – IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures.
In topic based group discussions, the group members are given a topic to discuss. A topic is typically in the form of a statement (some times, the statement may not be complete. for example, the topic could be worded “The biggest problem faced by our country is………”). By the end of the discussion, the group should strive to arrive at a consensus on the issue that is covered by the topic.In case studies, a short description of a situation (called a “case”) is given to all the participants. The case will typically be a problem situation that requires a solution. The participants have to study the case, analyze the problem and then discuss various situations to the problem.Article-based GD cover wide range of areas, like current affairs, politics, economics, technology etc………….
The participants are given 4-5 minutes to read the article and are then asked to hold a regular group discussion of around 10-15 minutes on the article.
In this type of topics, you should be very strong in content. In order to exhibit good knowledge, you should be thorough with facts and figures about the national economy. You should be familiar with critical economic indicators such as GDP, the plan outlay, sectoral allocations from the budget, trade and fiscal balances, export and import items and values, banking concepts and interest rates, stock indices, etc..Eg: “India should slow down the pace of liberalization””The economics of technology driven systems do not help developing nations”When you are discussing social topics, you should be clear about both the ‘generic’ nature of the topics and the specific ‘manifestations of the social issue.Eg: “Dowry continues to haunt Indian brides”
“Education should become a fundamental right”Topics with politics as the basic content frequently feature in group discussions. These topics can easily drag the not-very-careful participant into a trap of emotional expressions.
Eg: “Coalition on politics in a poor country like India is a drain on the national economy””Plans to attract foreign investment”
Topics concerning films or sports are also common in number of GDs. Recently included tournaments like the world cup or thr Olympics games can be the subject matter for a number of GD topics.
Eg: “Should India announce a sports holiday?” ” Cricket is like opium to India masses?In this era of the information technology revolution, it is natural that topics based on IT or IT enabled service like BPO feature prominently amongst the list of topics for discussion.
Eg: we need more money to Fertilize crops rather than to increase band width”
The BPO bubble will also burst the way the dot-com bubble did”Common, day-to -day knowledge is sufficient to do a good job of talking about such topics
Abstract topics are those about which the interpretation itself can vary from person to person. Here you don’t need need any formal knowledge to discuss such topics and your worldly knowledge is sufficient.
Eg: “The farther we look the closer we are”
“Green is better than red”