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B-school admissions: Real IIM GD topics

March 22, 2010 15:50 IST
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As the B-school admissions pick up steam, candidates are busy preparing for the nerve-wracking group discussion-personal interview phase. To assist aspiring management grads in their preparation, students at IIM Lucknow have come together to pool their experiences of the admissions process and present these tips.

IIM Lucknow's post-CAT selection process consists of three parts:
1. Written ability test (of 15 minutes duration)
2. Group discussion (on a given topic for 20 minutes)
3. Personal interview

Last year, the process began with the written ability test, which is typically an essay-writing exercise. Over the past three years, the topics for this test have been one line abstract topics and the time allotted for this is 15 minutes.

Evaluation of the essay is done on the parameters of perspective and communication. This is followed by a group discussion on the same topic. The maximum time allotted for the GD is 20 minutes.

GD topics for CAT 2008

  • He who knows how to be poor knows everything
  • Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to waste and destroy
  • A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years
  • You have to break a few eggs to make an omellette
  • When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail
  • If you want peace, prepare for war
  • Patience is a bitter plant but it bears sweet fruit
  • Cursing the weather is bad farming
  • It is better to be born lucky than rich
  • Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement
  • If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem
  • Rules are made to be broken

GD topics for CAT 2007

  • Business and Ethics do not go together
  • Performance enhancing drugs should be legalised in sports
  • The test of a successful man is not an ability to eliminate the problem before it exists, but to meet and resolve it whenever it arises
  • Good economics is bad politics
  • A successful man is not one who has ability to eliminate problems before they occur, but who can face the difficulties as they arise and solve them
  • Good things always arise from good thinking
  • A successful man is one who plans for the problems and avoids them and not one who faces problems as they come and solves them
  • Faith is to believe what you do not yet see, reward for faith is to see what you believe
  • Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative
  • When you find that you are on the side of majority, it is time to reform
  • Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind
  • Morality is the creation of the weak to deter and limit the strong
  • Winning is what matters, whatever may be the cost
  • Education is a progressive way of discovering your ignorance
  • Great spirits face violent opposition from mediocre minds
  • Helping hands are better than praying lips
  • Necessity is the mother of all invention
  • Thinking about the worst prepares you for the worst
  • A closed mouth catches no flies
  • You don't have to be different to be good; but you have to be good to be different
  • If you give a man a fish, he eats it once. You teach a man to fish, you lose a business opportunity
  • A man with words and no deeds is like a garden full of weeds
  • For an idea to be accepted it has to be advertised by a good salesman
  • Law is the creation of the strong to rule the weak
  • Happiness is a mystery like religion, and it should not be rationalised
  • Hope for ill gains is the beginning of loss
  • Education is what remains after one forgets what one has learnt in school

GD topics for CAT 2006

  • Life has become dangerous in this unipolar world
  • A permanent seat in the UN Security Council is neither necessary nor sufficient for India to become a world power
  • A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in teaching the students
  • In business, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield
  • True happiness can be got only when you make the others feel that they are responsible for it
  • A room without books is like a body without soul
  • Speculation is an art of life
  • The validity of science lies in its power to predict
  • Freedom is the freedom to say 2 + 2 = 4. Once that is granted, everything else follows
  • That so few people now dare to be eccentric, is the chief danger of our times

Personal interview

Typically personal interviews begin with the "Tell us about yourself" question. Candidates have to be well prepared for this question as the rest of the interview would be based on the answer they give to this question.

Candidates are also asked about their strengths, weaknesses, long-term and short-term goals. Candidates are asked questions on the core subjects of their academic stream and recent developments in that area.

Engineering students are expected to be well-versed with engineering maths as well as their final year projects. Those having prior work experience are questioned on their roles and responsibilities, their company and its competitors, recent performance, and industry trends.

The candidate is expected to have a sound reason for leaving his/her job and pursuing an MBA. Interviewers also ask questions on current affairs in the world of politics and business. Through this, they not only try and assess a student's knowledge and awareness but also his ability to think.

A candidate may also be asked to share details on his extra-curricular achievements and the hobbies that he has pursued.

While a candidate may not be questioned on all the above mentioned areas, it is always better to be prepared for them.

This is a compilation of student experiences and interaction with the faculty, and is not officially endorsed by IIM Lucknow.

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