Group Exercises

Group Exercises in Practice

Whilst it relates to a non-law graduate job, here is an excellent video of a group exercise run by leading accountants PwC. It will give you a feel for what these exercises are like in practice and it also has some good feedback on the participants’ contributions to the exercise and tips on how to do well in these sorts of exercises:

Watch the video here (it can also be accessed via the Assessment Centre Media Library)

AC Observer’s Assessment Criteria For Group Exercises

Here are the sort of criteria on which your contribution to a group exercise at a selection centre might be assessed.


Participates enthusiastically in discussion

Spoken Expression

Expresses his/herself clearly and coherently

Originality of Ideas

  • Introduces new ideas
  • Builds constructively on the ideas of others
  • Brings a fresh approach to a problem

Quality of Thought

  • Analyses the problem well
  • Gets to the root of the problem

Influence on Others

  • Makes a point which is accepted
  • Influences the direction and nature of the discussion

Open Mindedness

  • Listens to carefully to other members views
  • Incorporates the points made by others into their own

Facilitation of the Discussion

  • Makes a direct attempt to help another person
  • Squashes a dominant interrupter to allow someone else to make a point


  • Discriminates clearly between the important and the trivial
  • Does not allow his/her feelings to sway decisions

Further Examples of Group Exercise Scenarios

Here are some additional examples of group exercises that students have reported at various companies (non-law but still good to see what might be assessed):

  • A discussion on who we would save given that X amount of people were in a cave, and the cave entrance had collapsed, so chances were that some people were going to die. We had to decide on the order of rescue. (Cable & Wireless)
  • Given 4 plastic cups, 4 plates, masking tape and 8 sheets of very large paper, construct a bridge capable of holding a stapler (the stapler isn’t seen until you’ve finished). (Cable & Wireless)
  • A choice of two possible factory buildings: have to make a decision as to which one you would choose. They give you info such as budget and details about each building. Don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, just have to justify what you value to be the most important criteria. (AXA)
  • We were a small start up company who were to create and organise an event for the launch of the 2012 Olympics. There are certain requirements such as budget and timescales but the rest is up to you to come up with something appropriate. 50 minutes to prepare and then 10 minutes to present it as a group. (ATOS Origin)