PaGaLGuY conducted a poll today to find out what MBA candidates prefer more—Written Ability Test (WAT) or Group Discussions (GD) as a selection and elimination process for gaining admissions into India’s top B-Schools. As of now, 159 CAT 2016 aspirants participated in the poll, out of which 112 candidates preferred a Written Ability Test whereas just 47 students were in favour of GDs.
This result shows how most Indians are, by nature, shy and low on confidence when it comes to putting forth their point of view before a large group of people. Most students believe that group discussions suddenly expose them to a direct threat of competition which is otherwise absent in the case of a written test. Speaking about his GDPI experience, former MBA student, Ashish Raut said, “There is always a difference between written tests and group discussions. In written tests, one can easily ignore the fact that he is competing with other students. However, in GDs one can easily get intimidated by other students, listening to their tone, ideas, opinions etc. I remember feeling overwhelmed during the entire discussion as I felt I couldn’t communicate my ideas well.”
Another MBA student and PaGaLGuY user, Rohit Rajen, said, “GD invariably turns into a fishmarket and can lead to a situation in which deserving candidates miss out.”
Perhaps that is why most IIMs have already removed GD from their admission process and replaced it with WATs.
IIM-Ahmedabad, in 2008, discontinued its GD rounds and replaced it with short essays. IIM-Bangalore replaced GD with essay-writing in 2010. In the following year, IIMs like Rohtak, Raipur, Tiruchirapalli, Ranchi, Kashipur and Udaipur, also substituted it with a written test. IIM Shillong on the other hand, is conducting a GD round this year after keeping WAT the previous year.
Though in the minority, there are a few students who prefer GD over a WAT. “I think GD is a better way to judge the candidates. A healthy discussion within a diverse panel will always help you perform to the best of your ability. It will also become easier for the evaluator to assess you and your opinions,” said Archit Garg, an MBA student in IIM Shillong.