Group Discussion (GD) replaced with Essay Writing

In last few years many MBA colleges including some of the IIMs have scrapped Group Discussion from their assessment process. In most of these cases MBA colleges have replaced GDs with essay writing. Students are given fixed amount of time to write essay on any topic. The essay topics are related to the current political, economic and business scenario or on topics such as sports and those that require more creative thinking. 

For instance people who got calls from IIM Bangalore in 2011 where alloted 30 minutes to write an essay. Out of these 30 mins, 10mins were alloted for preparation & organizing your thoughts and the remaining 20 mins were for writing the essasy. Though there was no world limit however only one side of paper was given to write the essays. The essay topics at IIM B where from  current affairs, economy, social responsibility, sports etc.

According to experts, the B-Schools have done this as writing skills are often an important part of the MBA course and it will allow them to analyse a student's thought process. The students will also be questioned on their essays during the interview. Written tests are a also big part of the selection process in most foreign B-schools. 
Below are some of the apparent reasons why written test is being preferred over GD:
a. In GDs, many students are not able to prove themselves because everyone tries to speak at the same time and score more than others. However, in essay writing, we come to know about an individual’s perspectives on important and varied issues. Here, everyone stands at par without being dominated by those who speak out loud.
b.The written essay test probes the candidate on various elements such as analytical skills, reasoning and decision-making abilities — all of which are critical skills in the repertoire of managers/leaders.

On the other hand a GD being totally dynamic & unpredictable has its advantages too. A Group discussion helps people in showcasing their logical and thinking ability and also in exhibiting their listening skills.  GDs are very much close to actual corporate world board meetings where a member has to constantly apply his brain to convince people and answer logically to their queries; both of which requires dynamic thought process and good listening ability. Though a GD can be biased and in favour of those who are aggressive but this can be avoided by improving the process instead of completely removing it.

Coming Up next...
=> How to tackle Essay writing for MBA schools
=> Past years essay topics & essay topics for practice
=> List of Colleges where Essay writing is part of assessment process 

Please post your comments/feedback below


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