What is an Abstract GD topic:
Broadly, we can divide GD topics into 3 categories;
- Knowledge-based topics – Topics on the Indian Economy, World summits, International affairs, Supreme Court judgments ..etc.
- Opinionated topics – Should reservations be banned?, Small states or Large states, Is technology helping or harming human development? ..etc
- Abstract Topics – a>b>c, Drastic times call for drastic measures, Red, Pink pyjamas over the Red fort .. etc
Abstract topics are open to readers’ interpretation. They usually are single-line statements/phrases/idioms/quotes. The participants are required to understand the given statement, look for hidden messages & draw suitable inferences.
Why Abstract topics seem difficult:
Many students feel uncomfortable with abstract topics in group discussions. The main reason for this is abstract topics do not carry a concrete substance with them, unlike other types of GD topics.
As an abstract topic yields diverse interpretations, many students feel nervous to express their views on the topic, thinking it may not be what the interviewer is expecting. Sometimes, participants feel confused about which is the most relevant interpretation. Worst of all is when one doesn’t understand the given statement.
Purpose of giving Abstract topics:
To deal with abstract topics, it’s important to know the qualities that will be assessed during the discussion of abstract topics. Through them, interviewers will assess candidates’ creativity, application of knowledge, clarity of thought, ability to deal with uncertainty under stress, leadership qualities & negotiation skills.
One should have the confidence & clarity to present one’s view & to drive the discussion. In fact, an abstract topic is a golden opportunity to present one’s creative thinking & get noticed by interviewers, which will ease the next step in the process, i.e. interview.
How to deal with Abstract GD topics :
To be comfortable with abstract topics & nail them, there is no special mantra but to PREPARE for them & be ready for them psychologically. One advantage to dealing with many abstract topics is, that not much factual knowledge is needed, day-to-day worldly knowledge is sufficient (Ex: Every cloud has a silver lining, Zero).
Use your creativity to the maximum; there is no right or wrong interpretation as long as one can justify their perspective with clear reasoning. Take the lead, and present your view. If all the group members agree on one view, the discussion can be carried out on the same. Otherwise present different perspectives; in a 10-20 min GD present at least 2 diverse perspectives & lead the discussion.
Along with presenting your interpretations, do actively listen & participate in discussing others’ views. To get different perspectives, use the SPELT (Social, Political, Economic, Legal & Technological) approach, which enables one to look at a subject from a 360-degree angle.
To deal with abstract topics one needs to have the same preparation & confidence as dealing with other topics. Even when you feel your view is not outstanding, it’s important to speak out & express it in the best way. Subscribe to our blog to learn different perspectives on trending abstract topics.
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