How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

Group Discussion or the GD have become a commonplace in today’s selection process whether it is for a job selection or for getting admission to a top rated college or university. If you have applied to organizations and institutions that conduct a GD as a part of their selection process then it would important for you to prepare yourself to face a GD apart from preparing yourself to face the interview.

To be true, an interview isn’t as challenging as a GD because in a personal interview, you would be evaluated solely on your performance. When it comes to a GD however, your evaluation is comparative and based on other candidates’ performance as well. GD helps the evaluators compare and select their ideal candidates. Also, a GD majorly shows your team building skills which are absolutely essential in any organization.

To brief it all up, a GD is conducted with about 8 to 10 candidates for about 20 to 40 minutes. Sometimes, it can be just for about 15 minutes too. The topic is given to the group a few minutes before the GD begins. Typically, a GD reflects the inherent skills of the candidates as the topic leaves them with not much time to prepare. That being said, if you are keen on performing well at a GD, it does call for some preparation. While you cannot definitely get to know the topic of the GD beforehand, you definitely can hone your inherent skills. Here is what you can do to prepare yourself to face a GD –

  1. Read:

This is the first and perhaps the most crucial step in preparing yourself for the GD. The more you read, the better acquainted you would be to deal with the various topics that can be presented to you for the GD. You can read anything and everything across various subjects and industries but make sure that you are well versed with the current affairs as most often, the topics for GDs are based on recent happenings.

  1. Participate in Mock GDs:

Create an informal group with your friends or colleagues. You can even find like minded people with similar interests and qualifications through social media. Meet regularly with your group members and conduct mock GDs. This will benefit you all.

  1. Improve your communications skills:

Practice listening and speaking skills. These skills are essential to express yourself in the right tone and manner. Being assertive is important but being too aggressive will run down your chances of getting selected. So, practice well. You can try speaking to yourself in the mirror. This is a great way to evaluate yourself, your body language as well as boost your self-confidence.

While preparing yourself for the GD, keep in mind what the evaluators will be looking at – leadership skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills and persuasive skills. Also, the panellists will test your ability think and make your point to the group. Your clarity of thought, how you handle a conflict of opinion, your individual understanding of the subject, how flexible you are towards new ideas and opinions and your ability to create a consensus with the others in the group.

Of course, you may not be able to reflect all the above characteristics in the short time allotted for the GD. But whenever you do get a chance, make sure that you reflect your confident self and bear in mind the above aspects that the panellists would be looking out for. If you are able to generate a positive response, you are good to go!

Shakuntala Devi – The Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi – The Human Computer

India, a land popular for it’s contribution in the field of mathematics has always been proud of it’s mathematical prodigies and one such prodigy in recent times of modern India was Shakuntala Devi who was world renowned & referred to as “Human Computer”.

Born in 1929 in a poor family in Bangalore (India), Shakuntala Devi dropped out of school because her father, a circus worker, could not afford the monthly school fee of Rs 2. She grew up in a slum and at a very young age, her mathematical abilities were recognized by her father. There is an interesting anecdote about how he recognized it. At the age of 3, when she started playing cards with her father, he was surprised to find that she was winning all the games against him everyday. Suspecting some foul play, he began his “investigation” during which he realized that she was memorizing all the card numbers and their sequence as the game progressed in the initial rounds and with her memory power, she was able to predict the sequence of cards in the subsequent rounds in the same game and thus wait to pick cards strategically to help her win.

Her father taught her mathematical operations like multiplication, division & square root and took her to his circus to demonstrate her quick calculation abilities & memory power to the crowds. As the word about her skills spread, she started doing road shows as well across the city. At the age of 6, she gave her first major show at Mysore University and there was no turning back after that.

shakuntala_devi_young

In her early 20s, she toured Europe extensively to demonstrate her skills. During an interview on BBC, she was given a complicated mathematical calculation which she solved within seconds but her answer was different from what the interviewer & his team had calculated. When she insisted that her answer was right, the interviewer & his team of math experts reexamined their calculations for several minutes and finally admitted that their initial calculations were wrong. That incident spread like wildfire across the world after which she was being popularly referred to as “The Human Computer”. During her Europe tour, she was invited by several reputed Universities including the University of Rome.

Here is a short video clip from her 1951 Europe tour where she solves a complex math problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYPB6KcBgY8
In 1977, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she calculated the 23rd root of a 201-digit number. It had taken four minutes for a professor to write the problem on the board, and it took more than a minute for a Univac computer to figure out the answer. Shakuntala Devi got it in 50 seconds. Here is a newspaper excerpt of the same:

shakuntala_devi

Her father taught her mathematical operations like multiplication, division & square root and took her to his circus to demonstrate her quick calculation abilities & memory power to the crowds. As the word about her skills spread, she started doing road shows as well across the city. At the age of 6, she gave her first major show at Mysore University and there was no turning back after that.

shakuntala_devi2-660x436

Not only was she a genius & mathematical magician but also a role model for students and math enthusiasts. She played a great role in making mathematics an interesting subject for millions of students due to her practical, fast & efficient approach towards problem solving. She had authored several books for children to help them develop interest in maths and help them understand the subject better.

When shakunthala devi meets albert Einstein Here the things happen

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