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Group Discussion loses its mojo for IIM admissions

Published On: 15 Jan 2014 | Last Updated On: 16 Jan 2014

Eleven out of the thirteen Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have done away with Group Discussion (GD) as part of their selection process for admissions into the academic session of 2014-16. The focus now will be on Personal Interview (PI) and Written Ability Test (WAT), to help select candidates for admission. The Results of the Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT 2013), which is one of the most prestigious examinations in India for admission into the IIMs as well as other premier management institutes, were declared on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

Only IIM Kozhikode and IIM Lucknow have retained GD as part of their selection process. While all the IIMs have PI as a tool to select candidates, WAT is a part of selection procedure for all the IIMs, except for IIM-Shillong.

The IIMs are also expected to focus on few other parameters such as job experience, previous academic records, gender as well as academic diversity to select candidates. Earlier, business schools (B-schools) selected candidates on the basis of their performance in CAT or Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) examinations, GD, PI and WAT.

The IIMs will also put importance on essay writing skills of the candidates as eligibility criteria for selection, since superior writing skills are a prerequisite for good managers aspiring for top roles in the corporate sector. Good communication skills help employees manage situations better.

Although GD is a forum to express ideas and is a test of the candidates’ communication, logical thinking and analytical skills, it often Results in confusion with multiple candidates expressing their views in an inappropriate manner, which makes it difficult to judge individual candidates’ viewpoints. Writing skills, on the other hand, is the best facilitator of thought expression by individual candidates. It provides the opportunity to candidates to express themselves in a rational, coherent and clear manner.

A number of management schools design their GDs and PIs on the basis of what the candidates write in WAT. Hence, candidates need to be conversant of what they write during WAT, to clear the final rounds with flying colors. As per education experts, the students are expected to put forward their views in an overall effective and impressive way during the WAT. Repetitive, out-of-context, unclear and disorganized thoughts will be a negative for the students. Students who adopt an objective and methodical approach are expected to score over others.

More than 15,000 candidates are expected to receive calls from the older IIMs for the PI round. As per officials of IIM Tiruchirappalli, the six newly established IIMs are expected to invite applications from 10,000 candidates to take part in the combined PI and WAT process termed “Common Admission Process” (CAP). Altogether, there are 800 seats available in the new IIMs.

CAT 2013 was conducted over a 20 day period from Wednesday, October 16 to Monday, November 11, 2013. IIM Indore was the convener of CAT 2013. A total of 1, 94,516 candidates wrote CAT 2013, up from 1, 91,642 candidates who wrote the test last year. 115 more seats have been added in 2013 across the 13 IIMs. The total number of seats in all the IIMs is 3, 335 at present.

Source: India Today

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