CAT GD: How to Prepare For The Group Discussion?

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Preparing for the CAT GD is an essential component of the CAT exam preparation because academic brilliance is one of the requisites for getting into an IIM; it is not the only one. Your performance in a Group Discussion determines whether or not you will move forward and initiate your journey in a prestigious business school.

If you are working on enhancing your knowledge and communication skills to nail a CAT GD, you have arrived at the right place because we have the perfect guide to help you become good enough to stand out in a group discussion.

Categories of CAT GD Topics

Current Affairs
Social Issues
Abstract
Business
Education
Economy

Previous Year’s CAT GD Topics

Here’s a college-wise list of some of the last year’s Group Discussion topics:

TOPICINSTITUTION
Due to COVID-19, the education industry has seen many new startups. Discuss how this affected everyone in a positive or negative way?IIM Bangalore
Is introducing bullet trains in India a good ideaIIM Calcutta
Caste-based reservations are impediments on building a casteless societyIIM Kozhikode
Only 1% of India’s population pays income tax. As the tax base hasn’t grown over the years, should the government look to other sources of income? If yes, where?IIM Bangalore
An IITian working at Google has come up with an idea to make schooling onlineIIM Ahmedabad
Climate Change/PollutionIIM Bangalore, IIM Trichy

CAT GD 2021 Topics

Having a list of important topics streamlines your GD preparation, making your journey more focused and organized. 

Whether the topic is based on the country’s economy or revolves around a social issue, whether it’s a political matter or something abstract, familiarity, to some extent, makes things easier and boosts your confidence.

Here’s a list of some topics for the CAT Group Discussion 2021:

Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian Economy
Pros and Cons of E-learning
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan
Bad Bank in India
Union Budget 2021: Pros and Cons
Banks’ Merger in India
Gender based pay parity in workplaces
Fugitive Economic Offenders Act
Is Cryptocurrency just a fad?
Coal shortage in India
Social Media: Real v/s Reel
Is digital detox necessary every once in a while?
Celebrity obsession in India
Freedom of Press in India
Modi’s India

Important Skills

You will be judged on the following parameters in a CAT-GD: 

Confidence

It’s essential in a Group Discussion that you put forward your opinions with adequate confidence. Lack of confidence holds you back from giving your best, and regardless of how relevant your views on a given topic are, you cannot leave a good impression. To stand out in a GD, your voice should reflect confidence. If you fear public speaking, you should start working on it through active participation in mock group discussions.

Leadership

Taking the initiative, presenting your opinions in an impactful yet calm manner, letting others finish their sentences, and using phrases like “I agree”, wherever possible and felt necessary, are essential to ensure a remarkable performance in the group discussion round. Moreover, these are indicators of how effectively you can lead a team by setting a good example.

Knowledge and Awareness

You could be the most confident and impressive person in a room and yet, could fail to outshine if your views are not relevant enough and are not based on the factual understanding of the given subject. It is, therefore, mandatory to keep yourself updated with current affairs and the topics that have managed to grab attention in the recent past. When your opinions are the products of research and general awareness, you undoubtedly feel more confident to say them out loud and, thereby, stand out.

Communication Skills

Your vocabulary, command over the English language, pronunciation, sentence structure, fluency, and flow have a significant impact on your overall score. These are some of the most crucial determinants of your qualification status following the GD round, So, read, practice speaking fluently, take feedback from your mentors, and work on enhancing your communication skills. Talking to your friends and family formally in English can serve as an effective way of practicing on a regular basis.

Body Language

Pointing fingers, banging on the desk, touching your hair repeatedly, not maintaining eye contact, inappropriate gestures, etc., can conveniently steal away an incredible opportunity from you. It’s important to sit straight, maintain eye contact, and avoid the gestures that suggest apprehension or lack of regard for the other group members. How you conduct yourself while speaking plays a pivotal role in deciding whether or not you get to walk into a prestigious business school.

Team Player

Since it’s a group activity, you must pay attention to how your actions, words, and gestures impact the other participants. Interruptions, anguish, lack of listening skills etc., will lead to a negative impression. A team player values the opinions presented by others and appreciates the team as and when required. So, be courteous and display apt social behavior.

Other Traits

Time management, analytical and critical thinking, problem solving skills, overall attitude (open-mindedness/rigidness) are some of the other traits that are taken into consideration while judging a candidate during a CAT-GD.

CAT GD: Do’s and Don’ts

  • Listen to the topic carefully and utilize the preparation time well.
  • If you don’t understand something, be confident enough to request repetition.
  • Don’t interrupt others while they speak. Wait for them to finish talking and then present your views.
  • Contribute to the discussion in a relevant way. Don’t say things that are not related to the given topic.
  • Speak fluently and be grammatically correct. 
  • Avoid hand movements, repeated hair touching, long pauses, etc. 
  • Sit straight and maintain eye contact.
  • Be confident but be courteous.
  • Be audible. However, don’t raise your voice while expressing your opinions. 
  • Don’t be too rigid. It’s good to be opinionated. However, having an open mind during a discussion is also essential.
  • Wear formals. Appropriate dressing and grooming leave a good impression and make you feel confident.

We hope this helps you prepare effectively for the CAT Group Discussion round, and you stand out for all the right reasons. 

Steal the show with a stellar performance!

All the best!

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.