How to Prepare for CAT GD PI

How to Prepare for CAT GD PI? The Common Admission Test (CAT) just got done with in November and the 1.9 lakh aspirants should now be gearing up for the crucial Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GD/PI) round.  Preparing for the GD/PI round is extremely important considering the competitiveness of CAT.  If you are preparing for CAT GD PI here are some pointers to ensure you start on the right foot –

Understanding GD/PI round  – 

A GD typically assesses your leadership, decision making, communication and group dynamic skills. It will be your ability to drive in a mutual consensus among a diverse, varied and competitive group within a fixed time which would help you score brownie points.  To build that confidence, one must be aware and must have begun practicing right when one joins a coaching class/ decides to take CAT.

Preparing pointers  – 

Like any competitive test, you need to know where you really stand in terms of your debating, interpersonal skills.  It is not enough to just join some leading coaching class blindly and imagine that you will be able to secure a seat in IIM. Smaller batches if not one-on-one interactions might be more effective due to the personal attention provided.  The importance of reading cannot be overemphasized since it will help build your awareness and this is the best ammunition you will have to combat in GD/PI. Read at least one pink paper and a daily. Practice as much as you can by forming support groups. For guidance, seek the opinions of faculty/colleague/friends who have cracked CAT and better still, have passed out from IIM.

Essentials – 

Prepare under a time limit since you will need to know how to articulate your thoughts and convey it effectively in the shortest time considering the short attention span. Also, it is wrong to assume that if you begin the GD or speak the most you will be perceived as a leader. This can backfire. Work on your vocabulary and diction by watching the news and by reciting news articles or novels loudly. Maintain an erect posture and eye contact with all participants. There is a subtle difference in being assertive and aggressive.

Interview tips –

Prepare well in advance for questions that will most likely be asked (Tell me about yourself). The interviewer will probe to assess your reasons for taking the test and opting for the course. As important it is to be enthusiastic, don’t strive to do over-the-top antics. Use open ended questions and steer the conversation to the ones you would want to and this takes practice.  Do not ramble and repeat much what has already been written in application and use any opportunity to showcase your skills, supplementary thoughts/defining moments you might not have mentioned. Remember, at IIM, faculty, admission personnel, alumni and even students conduct interviews. It will be foolish to underestimate anyone.

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