by Uday Kumar on January 11, 2011

What is Group Discussion?

It is a test to find out the leadership qualities in a person. It is a test of analyzing a person’s behavior in a team. We often find that when ever there are a group of friends or classmates one particular person dominates the whole group. That person takes most of the decisions and yet convinces you as if you were also a part of the decision making. These are the people with the best leadership qualities. In order to find out the leader among a group, a group discussion would be the easiest and most successful method to use.
How will this test be conducted?
A group of candidates will be asked to sit in a semi circle or a circle with or without a table (in SSBs there are no tables). The group will be given a topic for discussion sometimes before the discussion to facilitate preparation and often at the group discussion assembly itself to assess spontaneity. Sometimes interview panels give two or three topics to choose from so as to ensure that all members in a group are comfortable with the topic. The time given for the actual discussion may range from 15- 30 minutes. During the discussion, the interview panel assesses the following:

(a) Role behavior : it is believed that when individuals are placed in an undefined circumstance or environment they adopt roles that they are most comfortable in. Hence, in a group roles emerge- the role of a leader is an important one. IT IS OFTEN MISCONSTRUED IS THE ONE WHO TALKS THE MAXIMUM. I have seen groups where all the members are out-talking the others with no one listening! This approach is all wrong. The leader is the one who initiates the discussion if the group is frozen in the beginning. There is a misconception that who ever speaks the first will be judged the leader. This is wrong. The leader will initiate only when no one is volunteering to open the discussion. If there are members who initiate the discussion then the leader is the one who shows his stature through content and quality of his or her contribution to the discussion. The leader is one who listens just as much as he or she contributes. The leader also plays an important role in ensuring that everyone in the group gets a chance to speak. He or she will also help in maintaining the psychological and emotional health of the group in case of disagreements and arguments. The leader offers alternatives and solutions to differences.

(b) Communication skills: A group discussion throws up the individual’s ability to put forward ideas forcefully, articulately and logically. THE COMMAND OVER THE LANGUAGE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION. The ability to listen and integrate other viewpoints with one’s own is also assessed.

(c) Content: Very often group candidates feel that it is the quality of speaking which matters and not the qualitative content. They are mistaken because interview panels give a lot of importance to content. The content is measured by the depth of knowledge the individual has on the subject and how logically and clearly it is put forward. Bluffers can be detected immediately and are instantly rejected.

(d) Emotional stability: Candidates in a group are under quite a bit of pressure especially since all are aspiring to be selected. An immature group would build this pressure up by being inconsiderate to other group members. Some members become argumentative, dogmatic, over-bearing, biased or emotionally aroused and excited on one hand while others become insecure, quiet, withdrawn and nervous. Interviewers look for a balanced individual who is cool and composed, yet assertive enough to hold ones own point of discussion.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jitender kumar singh May 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

sir, i have to appear for tgc-113 entry centred at bhopal on 18 may,2011.
recently i am conference out from ues(pfy) from 17 ssb banglore on 26th oct,2010.
it is my second attempt…………….
from my past experience my rejection is due to g.d performance.actually i could not when should i start speaking,my pitch is slow &there is lots of pauses occured
while i am speaking ,does it hinders my chance of selection in army.

sir did i need to prepare various GD topics before going.
kindly give your timely suggestion…….so i can prepare better.


jitender kumar singh May 2, 2011 at 10:18 am



datta bankar May 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

sir i want to face the ssb interview but i have problem of English language can i try the ssb in Hindi. please inform to me on my mail id given upper side


piyush sharma July 7, 2011 at 7:35 am

i am screened out i spoke gd in favour as well as against of those who were wrong in their picture perception . kidly give me suggestion how can i make it in screening
give me some tips


prashast manglik March 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm

sir i want to know how can i clear ssb , i am an average student with average physique


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