How to Prepare for CAT GDPI 2024? Group Discussion & Personal Interview Preparation

10 April, 2024
Radhika Joshi

Planning to crack CAT 2024 for your dream MBA? Start preparing for the CAT GDPI early, as it will play an important role in the final selection process. Candidates should pay close attention to their communication skills during the CAT GDPI rounds, as they subtly impact the assessment. Usually, most colleges give GDPI calls to three times more candidates than there are seats available, giving final admission offers to only 1 in 3 candidates. And the GDPI round is given significant weightage in the final tally. To say the least, the GDPI round is a crucial round for final selection. Aspirants must understand the concepts applicable to the CAT GDPI along with effective communication skills. In this article, you will find a list of books and topics for the CAT GDPI preparation. We have also included some of the best tips from our experienced mentors to help you crack all your GDPI calls.


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CAT Exam Group Discussion (GD) 


The CAT GDPI preparation process includes crucial group discussions that evaluate critical thinking, communication, and teamwork. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you ace your CAT GD preparation.


  • Stay Informed and Analytical 


Explore Varied Reading: In addition to newspapers, read magazines, journals, and research reports to obtain a broad understanding of what is going on in the globe and the most recent advancements in the business industry. These numerous sources offer a variety of perspectives and deep insights, allowing you to stay updated and knowledgeable about current events and business trends. Reading outside of newspapers broadens your perspective, provides a more diverse knowledge base for discussions, and allows you to remain current on your topic of interest.


Enhance Analytical Thinking: Break down complex problems into smaller parts to better understand them. Create strong and well-thought-out opinions, and practise critical thinking. This entails identifying and making sense of logical grounds underlying arguments.




  • Effective Communication 


Organised Communication: Improve your ability to express yourself systematically. Begin by clearly introducing your ideas. Then, to back up your claims, give well-organised reasoning. Finally, provide a concise and clear summary of your main ideas. This method ensures that your communication is successful and simple for your audience to understand.


Art of Persuasion: Develop the ability to express your ideas convincingly. Use real-life examples, facts, and statistics to support and strengthen your arguments. This means giving facts and examples that assist others in understanding and agreeing with what you are saying. It is similar to creating an engaging narrative with data to back up your points of view.




  • Collaborative Skills 


Engaged Listening: In a group discussion, it is not just important to talk; listening is equally crucial. Actively listening means paying attention to what others say, understanding their viewpoints, and responding positively and helpfully. This helps create a more productive and collaborative discussion where everyone’s ideas are considered. So, in a group discussion, express your thoughts and actively engage with and appreciate what others are contributing. 


Collaborative Team Player:


  1. Aim to find a middle ground by guiding discussions when necessary and allowing others to express their thoughts.
  2. Create a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels supported, appreciated, and valued different opinions.
  3. In other words, be a team player who leads when required and listens to others, promoting an inclusive and respectful environment for diverse perspectives. 


How to prepare for GDPI in the CAT exam?


Preparation Tips for CAT GD:


Create a GD Study Group: Form or join a study group with friends or classmates to discuss current affairs and business topics. Conduct regular mock GD sessions on various subjects.


Participate in Online Forums: Engage in online GD forums or communities for feedback from peers and experts, enhancing your GD skills.


Analyse GD Videos: Study recorded GD sessions to gain insights into the conduct, successful strategies, and areas of improvement in GDs.



Access online sessions for GD-GE-WAT practice, including institute-specific group discussions, group exercises, and WAT. Additionally, offline Foundation Series Sessions will cover the basics of GD-WAT-PI.


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CAT Exam Personal Interview (PI) 


The Personal Interview allows institutions to understand you better. Here is how to excel:


  • Thorough Research


B-school Insight: Learn about the B-school’s history, culture, distinctive offerings, and relevance to your career goals.


Program Alignment: Explain why the MBA program is vital for your goals and enhances your skills.




  • Effective Self-Presentation


Detailed Resume: Discuss academic achievements, work, and extracurriculars. Moreover, emphasise critical accomplishments and skills you have acquired.


Real-World Connection: Thrive to relate and explain your experiences to real-world scenarios, showcasing your value as a candidate.




  • Interview Etiquette


Professional Appearance: Dress appropriately and be punctual, as it will reflect your professionalism.


Politeness and Respect: Maintaining a courteous attitude will demonstrate your ability to handle pressure professionally.


Sharpen your skills with up to 5 mock personal interviews featuring detailed feedback from top B-school alumni, industry experts, and IMS mentors.



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How to do CAT GDPI Preparation online?


Preparation Tips for CAT PI:


Self-Reflection: Create a complete list of strengths, weaknesses, and notable achievements. Practice as much as possible to confidently answer questions about yourself.


Career Vision: Understand your career goals effectively and assess how an MBA contributes to them. Clearly and objectively highlight your vision.


Simulated Interviews: Organize mock interviews with mentors or professionals for a realistic experience and, most importantly, constructive feedback.



Access 30+ live online sessions covering Weekly Current Affairs, Economics & Finance, and Specialization Series. Prepare for crucial topics, economy-related questions, and understand specialization-wise career options for interviews with us.


CAT Exam Written Ability Test (WAT) 


The Written Ability Test assesses writing and argumentation skills. Here is how to excel in WAT:


  • Broad Reading and Critical Thinking


Extensive Knowledge: Stay informed about what is happening around you ( i.e., Current Affairs), global issues, and social developments for addressing diverse topics in the Written Ability Test.


Critical Analysis: Develop skills to critically and factually correct arguments and perspectives. Practice articulating clear counter-arguments.




  • Essay Composition


Structured Writing: Make sure essays follow a clear format—start with an introduction, a logically organised body, and conclude with a summary.


Focused Content: Stay on topic to show a clear vision of your writing, addressing all aspects without digressions or irrelevant information.



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  • Time Management


Timed Practice: Practice properly to write under time constraints to refine time management skills and complete essays within the allotted time.



CAT WAT Preparation Tips


Prompt Understanding: Read WAT questions carefully to identify and understand the central theme and significant areas for addressing a relevant response.


Draft and Review: Start your content with an outline, then revise and proofread to eliminate errors and enhance clarity.


Feedback Loop: Take feedback from peers or mentors to identify areas for improvement and refine your writing style.


Get your 2 WATs & SOPs reviewed by top B-School alumni, industry experts, and IMS mentors. 



CAT GDPI Preparation Books For 2024

Preparation Books for GD and PI of the CAT Exam are tabulated below: 

Book NameSubject
Sheetal DesardaMaster the Group Discussion & Personal Interview: Complete Discussion on the topics which are asked by reputed B-schools & IIMs
Shel LeanneHow to Interview Like a Top MBA: Fortune 100 Recruiters, Job-Winning Strategies From Headhunters, and Career Counsellors
Nimish V. DwivediMarketing Chronicles: Compendium of Global and Local Marketing Insights from the Pre-Smartphone and Post-Smartphone Eras
Dale CarnegieHow to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking
Anand Ganguly & RPH Editorial BoardGroup Discussions And Interviews
Mathur DMastering Interviews And Group Discussions 4ed
S. HundiwalaA Complete Kit for Group Discussion
UniversalGroup Discussion: More Than 100 Topics Covered
P. N. JoshiGroup Discussion on Current Topics
Manoj Kumar SharmaUniversal Interview And Group Discussion Book
Jeremy ShinewaldComplete Start-to-Finish MBA Admissions Guide


Get exhaustive coverage at IMS with GD-WAT Bible, which covers 30 crucial topics, offering a strong base for your WAT & GDs, with suggested practice topics. PI Bible includes over 100 common PI questions across various categories, providing quick summaries of B-School processes and last year’s interview experiences. Nano MBA capsule explains vital concepts and terms for B-School interviews, including Economics and Finance.


CAT GDPI Preparation Tips from Toppers


Here are CAT toppers’ tips to excel in CAT 2024 GD/PI and WAT:


  1. Stay up with current affairs and prepare for CAT GD/PI questions.
  2.  Know yourself well; frame your answers correctly.
  3.  Prepare for 2-3 months; seek out strong mentors.
  4.  Always stay up with recent events and daily news.
  5.  Use the IIMs’ question banks to prepare effectively.
  6.  Review academic questions that are frequently posed in PIs.
  7.  Stay current on CV-related subjects.
  8.  Go over relevant topics from your UG course.
  9.  Determine your strengths and shortcomings to prepare thoroughly.


IMS is your ultimate guide for all GK needs! Stay informed with Weekly Current Affairs and General Knowledge to stay up-to-date on current affairs topics and understanding.


Important Tips to Handle Surprise Questions in GD Round 


A GD marks the initial step in the MBA admission process after CAT results. Success in this round requires understanding and utilising key tips for top B-school admission.


  1. Listen First: Prioritise listening to better understand others’ points of view, which will improve the depth of your responses.


  1. Be Polite: Showcase your leadership potential by demonstrating courtesy, patience, and a team-oriented approach.


  1. Stay Calm: Strive to lead without being forceful, taking advantage of the opportunity to start the GD.


  1. Avoid Interruptions: Avoid interrupting or imposing personal opinions; use phrases such as “Adding to your point” when necessary.


  1. Intervene Wisely: Maintain eye contact and look for pauses in other’s speeches to intervene when necessary.


  1. Moderate Speaking: Strike a balance in your speaking, ensuring engagement without overshadowing others and demonstrating consideration for differing points of view.


MBA students must constantly practise group discussions (GD). It does more than merely get admissions; it is crucial in adequately preparing students for MBA placements. Continuous GD practice helps students improve their communication and teamwork abilities, preparing them for the competitive job market after they complete their MBA. This ongoing practice guarantees they thrive in getting admission to a business school and shine professionally during placement interviews and discussions.


Important Tips to Handle Surprise Questions in PI Round


Following the GD, candidates enter the PI round, where a panel assesses their qualities individually. Essential points for success in PI sessions:


  1. Confidence Matters: Ensure that you are confident but avoid overconfidence. Confidence is crucial, but it should be adequately balanced with humility.


  1. General Preparedness: Get prepared with general questions on current affairs, academic pursuits, and work experiences. Stay well-prepared.


  1. Body Language and Posture: Your body language speaks volumes. Maintain a good posture to create a positive first impression, reflecting confidence and awareness.


  1. Be Calm: It is important to stay calm and be honest during interviews. Being composed means staying calm and collected while not becoming overly anxious. When it says “truthful,” it illustrates that you should tell the truth rather than give cosmetic advice. Make up or mention things that are not real in your resume or when answering queries. Being open and honest about what you know and have done is preferable. This helps you create trust with the persons interviewing and allows you to portray yourself honestly and consistently.


  1. Preparedness is Key: Expect challenging questions regarding your qualifications or job choices. Keep your cool and respond calmly. Remember that the personal interview prepares for MBA job interviews in the final semester.




  1. Collaborate with Others: When faced with unexpected questions during a group discussion, collaborate with other speakers. Creating likeability can help you gain leadership points.


  1. Support with Data: Use statistical facts to back up your points for unexpected topics. After presenting your statement, find an appropriate exit point.


  1. Recap Main Points: Summarise the primary points of the group debate, noting strong arguments made by others, especially in the event of unexpected topics. Correlate their points with yours.


  1. Summarise Effectively: Use important points mentioned during the discussion if asked to summarise. For an impactful conclusion, provide a vital point not previously discussed.




  1. Pause and Understand: Avoid giving impulsive responses to surprising questions in a GD. Consider the topic, recall information, organise your views, listen to others, and make your initial point.


  1. Avoid Over-Criticism: Avoid over-criticism of other members of the group. Counter their views strategically and concede valid arguments.


  1. Eye Contact: Avoid direct eye contact with the panel while making points since this may reflect insecurity.


  1. Refrain from Unrelated Points: Avoid making unrelated points to speak about if you are new to surprise themes. Instead, take ideas from others and make a valuable contribution.




Improve your CAT GDPI preparation by focusing on Group Discussions, Personal Interviews, and Written Ability Tests.


Stay up with current affairs, develop your critical thinking and communication abilities, look into business schools, and put your skills to the test. Increased practice improves confidence, ensuring a correct CAT GDPI preparation procedure.



Increase your chances of converting IIM calls with the IMS GDPI Program. Get access to 30+ live online sessions, 10+ recorded sessions, up to 5 mock interviews, GD-GE-WAT practice sessions, 40+ videos for PI, GD, SOP, and case study preparation, along with 3 e-books. Get ready to succeed in the GDPI process with our comprehensive program.


Remember that the CAT GDPI evaluates critical thinking, communication, and knowledge. Best of luck with your MBA CAT GDPI preparations!



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CAT GDPI Preparation 2024: FAQs


What are some important topics for CAT Group Discussion 2024?


Answer: Key GD topics for CAT 2024 include:

  1. Impact of Banning Cryptocurrency on Indian Economy
  2. Union Budget
  3. Escalating Petrol Prices
  4. National Education Policy


Which institutes give maximum admission to the students after qualifying for the CAT Exam along with GD and PI?


Answer: Leading institutes giving admissions after CAT Exam, GD, and PI include:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad
  2. IIM Indore
  3. IIM Bangalore
  4. IIM Calcutta
  5. IIM Lucknow


Which skills are to be prepared for the Group Discussion stage of the CAT Exam?


Answer: To excel in the CAT Exam Group Discussion, hone skills like Leadership, Personal Grooming, Body Language, Listening, Vision, Decision-making, and Mediation.


How to prepare for CAT 2024 GDPI?


Answer: For CAT GDPI preparation, candidates should:

  • Familiarise themselves with GD topics.
  • Cultivate active listening skills.
  • Practise speaking fluently in public.