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CAT Preparation: Mastering Group Discussions

CAT Preparation: Mastering Group Discussions

Edited By Rahul Shrivastava | Updated on Nov 30, 2023 09:01 AM IST | #CAT

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is the gateway to India's prestigious business schools, including the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top management institutions. CAT is a highly competitive examination that assesses candidates on various parameters, including Quantitative Ability (QA), Data Interpretation (DI), Verbal Ability (VA), and Logical Reasoning (LR).

Among the multiple stages of the CAT selection process, Group Discussions (GDs) play a crucial role as they serve as a bridge between the written test and the final interview. GDs are designed to evaluate a candidate's communication skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, leadership qualities, and overall personality.

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Mastering CAT GDs is crucial for gaining admission to prestigious institutions. In this article, we will discuss how to excel in CAT GDs, but before moving on to it, let’s understand the GD format of the CAT exam first.

CAT GD Format

The GD format in CAT is meticulously designed to challenge candidates, pushing them to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. It plays a crucial role in assessing a candidate’s ability to communicate, think critically, and collaborate sensibly, all of which are essential skills for success in the world of management.

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Typically, a GD comprises a group of candidates, usually ranging from eight to 10 individuals, who are expected to discuss a given topic. The duration of the discussion usually lasts around 20 to 30 minutes. The topics for GDs can be diverse and cover a wide spectrum of subjects, including current affairs, business, economics, government policies, social issues, and more. These topics are carefully selected to test candidates on their knowledge and their ability to form well-structured arguments on a variety of subjects.

The GD process is usually facilitated by a moderator who observes and ensures that the discussion adheres to a set of rules and guidelines. The evaluation of the GDs is carried out based on various parameters, such as communication skills, content, teamwork, leadership qualities, and the ability to summarise and conclude the discussion effectively. Candidates are assessed not only on what they say but also on how they say it and how effectively they contribute to the group's overall objectives.

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Guide To Master CAT GDs

Improve Your Knowledge Base

CAT GDs are multifaceted, requiring candidates to discuss a wide range of topics, from business and economics to social issues and current affairs. Thus, improving your knowledge base is very important. A strong knowledge base equips participants with the confidence to engage effectively, contribute relevant & insightful points, and address counter-arguments with precision. A well-rounded knowledge base helps you view issues from diverse perspectives and think holistically, emphasising the quality and substance of contributions in the discussion.

In order to increase your knowledge base, you should read extensively, be it books, articles, or newspapers. Engage in discussions, debates, and attend seminars to broaden your perspective. Additionally, online courses, podcasts, and documentaries on diverse topics can be excellent sources of knowledge.

Develop Communication Skills

Developing communication skills is crucial for success in CAT GDs. In these discussions, the ability to express ideas clearly and coherently is extremely important. Effective communication ensures that your points are not only well understood but also persuasively presented. It boosts your confidence, allowing you to actively engage in discussions and respond to counter-arguments with clarity.

Developing effective communication skills is a gradual process that necessitates commitment and practice. To begin, listen to others with full attention and expand your vocabulary through regular reading. Familiarity with speaking in front of people is vital, so practise public speaking by participating in speaking clubs, or group discussions.

Practice Time Management

Practising time management is of utmost importance for success in CAT GDs. The allotted time for a GD is limited, so candidates must make the most of this timeframe to present their arguments, listen to others, and actively participate. Effective time management ensures that you can contribute substantively, address counter-arguments, and wrap up the discussion within the stipulated time, showcasing your ability to think on your feet and handle pressure.

To develop this skill, you should take part in mock GDs with strict time limits, employing techniques like allocating a set time for introductory remarks, maintaining a watchful eye on the clock during the discussion, and having a plan to summarise and conclude within the available time.

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Content Over Quantity

In a GD, prioritising content over quantity is a crucial strategy. Quality of content reigns supreme, as it brings forth your ability to contribute effectively. The moderators keep an eye on those candidates who offer well-reasoned arguments, insights, and relevant information. Emphasising content allows you to make a more significant impact in a limited time, presenting well-structured points, evidence, and concise explanations.

To develop this approach, you should focus on in-depth research and preparation on GD topics, cultivating the ability to think critically and express yourself properly.

Stay Calm Under Pressure

Staying calm under pressure is a vital attribute for excelling in GDs. The competitive and time-constrained nature of CAT GDs can lead to stress and anxiety, which may hinder your performance. However, remaining composed allows you to think clearly, speak coherently, and engage effectively with your peers. It showcases your ability to handle high-pressure situations and demonstrates confidence and leadership qualities.

You should practise deep breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques as they are very helpful in managing anxiety and staying focused during GDs, ultimately leading to better performance.

Mock GDs

Mock GDs are invaluable in preparing for the real GDs. They serve as a simulation of the actual GD experience, providing candidates with a platform to practise and refine their skills. Candidates can familiarise themselves with the format and the dynamics of group discussions, including time constraints and the competitive atmosphere. They enable individuals to assess their strengths and weaknesses, facilitating targeted improvement in areas like communication, content delivery, and staying calm under pressure. Additionally, they also aid in honing skills such as active listening, critical thinking, and articulating well-structured arguments, thereby boosting confidence and reducing anxiety in candidates.

Group Discussions are a critical element of the CAT selection process because they assess a wide range of skills and attributes that are essential for success in the field of management. Mastering CAT GDs requires a combination of knowledge, communication skills, and practice. By following the above mentioned strategies, you can surely perform well and secure your spot in a top business school. Remember, preparation and practice are the keys to success. Good luck!

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Questions related to CAT

Have a question related to CAT ?

Hello aspirant,
The CAT exam syllabus is not officially prescribed, but it generally includes topics from the following sections:

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
2. Data interpretation and logical reasoning
3. Quantitative ability

  • Arithmetic

  • Algebra

  • Geometry and Mensuration

  • Number System

  • Modern Math

It seems unlikely that you would be able to get admission in the BTech CS branch at BIT Sindri or Mesra with a CML rank of 2058 and category rank of 433.

Key points:

1. The search results indicate that a CML (Common Merit List) rank of 2058 is quite low for admission to premier engineering colleges like BIT Sindri or NIT Mesra.

2. The cutoff ranks for BTech CS branch at these institutes are usually much higher, often in the range of 1000-2000 for the general category.

3. With a category rank of 433, you may have a better chance of getting admission in the reserved category quota, but the competition is still quite high.

4. The search results do not provide specific cutoff details for BIT Sindri or NIT Mesra, but the general trend suggests your current ranks may not be sufficient for the CS branch in these institutes.

My advice would be to:

1. Check the latest cutoff ranks and admission criteria on the official websites of BIT Sindri and NIT Mesra.

2. Explore other options like state-level engineering colleges or NITs where your current ranks may have a better chance of securing admission.

3. Consider improving your performance in the next attempt of the entrance exam to increase your chances of getting into your desired BTech program.



For VARC, read daily from diverse sources (newspapers, novels, journals) to improve comprehension and vocabulary. Practice RC passages and verbal ability questions regularly. For DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) and QA (Quantitative Aptitude), solve previous years' papers and take mock tests to identify weak areas. Join a coaching institute or online courses for guidance and stay consistent with your study schedule. Review and analyze your performance in mocks to understand mistakes and improve. Maintain a positive mindset and stay disciplined in your preparation.

Hello aspirant,

Every year, IIMs conduct the Common Admission Test (CAT), a national MBA entrance exam, in rotation. For admission to over 1,200 institutions and premier B-schools in India, as well as PGDM, Executive MBA, PhD, and FPM programmes, the IIM CAT exam is regarded as one of the most difficult MBA entrance exams to pass. One of the best MBA schools in India, IIMs offers PGDM and MBA programmes for students who pass the CAT exam with scores in the 82nd to 99th percentiles.

For complete information you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

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Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Hello!

The educational qualification required for CAT exam is bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized university with minimum of 50% for the open category and 45% for the SC/ST/PwD category. Since you have secured more than the required percentage in your bachelor's degree, you are eligible for CAT exam.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-eligibility-criteria

I hope you will find this information helpful. Best wishes ahead!

View All

1-radian measures 600. (True/False)

Option: 1

True


Option: 2

False


$111111^2$ = 

Option: 1

123456654321


Option: 2

123454321


Option: 3

123454321


Option: 4

12345654321


1111112 =___________ 

Option: 1

 123456654321


Option: 2

1234554321


Option: 3

123454321


Option: 4

12345654321


159702 is divisible by

Option: 1

7


Option: 2

9


Option: 3

11


Option: 4

6


1600 satellites were sent up by a country for several purposes. The purposes are classified as broadcasting (B), communication (C), surveillance (S), and others (O). A satellite can serve multiple purposes; however a satellite serving either B, or C, or S does not serve O. 

The following facts are known about the satellites: 

1. The numbers of satellites serving B, C, and S (though may be not exclusively) are in the ratio 2: 1:1. 

2. The number of satellites serving all three of B, C, and S is 100. 

3. The number of satellites exclusively serving C is the same as the number of satellites exclusively serving S. This number is 30% of the number of satellites exclusively serving B. 

4. The number of satellites serving O is the same as the number of satellites serving both C and S but not B. 

Question:

What best can be said about the number of satellites serving C? 

Option: 1

Must be between 450 and 725 

 


Option: 2

Cannot be more than 800 
 


Option: 3

Must be between 400 and 800 

 


Option: 4

Must be at least 100 


1600 satellites were sent up by a country for several purposes. The purposes are classified as broadcasting (B), communication (C), surveillance (S), and others (O). A satellite can serve multiple purposes; however a satellite serving either B, or C, or S does not serve O. 

The following facts are known about the satellites: 

1. The numbers of satellites serving B, C, and S (though may be not exclusively) are in the ratio 2: 1:1. 

2. The number of satellites serving all three of B, C, and S is 100. 

3. The number of satellites exclusively serving C is the same as the number of satellites exclusively serving S. This number is 30% of the number of satellites exclusively serving B. 

4. The number of satellites serving O is the same as the number of satellites serving both C and S but not B. 

Question:

What is the minimum possible number of satellites serving B exclusively? 

Option: 1

100


Option: 2

200


Option: 3

500


Option: 4

250


1600 satellites were sent up by a country for several purposes. The purposes are classified as broadcasting (B), communication (C), surveillance (S), and others (O). A satellite can serve multiple purposes; however a satellite serving either B, or C, or S does not serve O. 

The following facts are known about the satellites: 

1. The numbers of satellites serving B, C, and S (though may be not exclusively) are in the ratio 2: 1:1. 

2. The number of satellites serving all three of B, C, and S is 100. 

3. The number of satellites exclusively serving C is the same as the number of satellites exclusively serving S. This number is 30% of the number of satellites exclusively serving B. 

4. The number of satellites serving O is the same as the number of satellites serving both C and S but not B. 

Question:

If at least 100 of the 1600 satellites were serving O, what can be said about the number of satellites serving S? 

Option: 1

At most 475 

 


Option: 2

Exactly 475 
 


Option: 3

At least 475 

 


Option: 4

No conclusion is possible based on the given information 


1600 satellites were sent up by a country for several purposes. The purposes are classified as broadcasting (B), communication (C), surveillance (S), and others (O). A satellite can serve multiple purposes; however a satellite serving either B, or C, or S does not serve O. 

The following facts are known about the satellites: 

1. The numbers of satellites serving B, C, and S (though may be not exclusively) are in the ratio 2: 1:1. 

2. The number of satellites serving all three of B, C, and S is 100. 

3. The number of satellites exclusively serving C is the same as the number of satellites exclusively serving S. This number is 30% of the number of satellites exclusively serving B. 

4. The number of satellites serving O is the same as the number of satellites serving both C and S but not B. 

Question:

 If the number of satellites serving at least two among B, C, and S is 1200, which of the following MUST be FALSE? 

Option: 1

The number of satellites serving C cannot be uniquely determined 

 


Option: 2

The number of satellites serving B is more than 1000 
 


Option: 3

All 1600 satellites serve B or C or S 

 


Option: 4

The number of satellites serving B exclusively is exactly 250 


2839155 is divisible by

Option: 1

2


Option: 2

7


Option: 3

55


Option: 4

None of the above


'a' for which x^{2}-ax+9= 0 can be written as square of a linear factor is

Option: 1

6


Option: 2

-6,6


Option: 3

\left ( 6,\infty \right )


Option: 4

\left ( -\infty,-6 \right )


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