Not able to crack GDPI of top MBA Colleges? Watch out for these common mistakes

Once a candidate clears the written entrance examination, he/she is expected to sit for a Group Discussion (GD) round, which acts as an important selection and elimination round in the rat race to make it to the best B school. GD can be defined as a round of intense debate that takes place between several candidates without any external interference. One’s ability to put his/her point across smoothly amid a continuous exchange of ideas and opinions between a number of candidates is what determines his/her success in this round. However, it is easy to fall prey to some common mistakes that can be detrimental to how one is evaluated. Thus, ahead of the GDPI round scheduled to be conducted by most MBA colleges in the coming weeks and months, MBA expert, Sidharth Balakrishna shares some common mistakes that students often make during Group Discussions.

1. Talking too loudly

Just shouting louder than others is not a good strategy. Choose your timing carefully and put across your points in a steady and calm way. Remember, your personality is also being evaluated. Your verbal and non-verbal cues are being read.

2.Merely expressing opinions

Opinions without logic or rationale do not fetch you high points. In fact, it is very important for the candidate to be analytical, rather than just expressing opinions. This means that the candidate needs to put forth logical arguments in support of his/ her view or be able to justify what he/ she has said with facts and data.

3.Talking too much

Three or four interventions and well-presented points count more than speaking too often and dominating the discussion. Thus, avoid talking a lot unnecessarily. The mantra is to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. Remember, domination is always frowned upon.

4. Indulging in long one-on-one discussions or arguments with another participant

Make sure you address the group, and not just have discussions with one or two individuals. It defeats the purpose of having a group discussion.

5.Repeating points that have already been made before

While its good to be noticed, avoid it for the wrong reasons, one of which is by repeating someone else’s point, just to be heard. Your opinions reflect your individuality which is highly valued in a group discussion.

About Sidharth Balakrishna

An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Balakrishna has worked for some of the world’s leading marketing, management consultancy and energy firms. He has also written a number of books and articles for various reputed publications, and given guest lectures and appeared at seminars across the country.

He has also authored books, some of which include:

1. An Introduction to CAT: Tips from an IIM Alumnus

2. Reading Comprehension for the CAT: A Winning Approach by an IIM Alumnus

3. Case Studies in Marketing (Pearson Case Book series)

You can read about how to prepare for GDs and Interviews, sample GDs and Interview questions, Case Studies and Extempores and attend mock GDs and Interview sessions from our expert Sidharth Balakrishna’s GD/ PI preparation course that can be purchased from: