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Group Planning Exercise also known as Military Planning Exercise is the second task in the GTO task series. In this test the candidates are put under a series of stressful situations and their ability to grasp the essentials of the given situation and their reaction to the situation is checked along with Planning and Organizing qualities , Effective Intelligence , Reasoning Ability, Social Adaptability , Co-operation and Power of Expression.

GPE is conducted in 5 stages –

Stage 1 :  The GTO presents a model made on a wooden plank and explains the details of the model like directions , roads ( metallic or non metallic ) , water bodies , direction of water current , railway lines , settlement , establishments etc  to the candidates . After the explanation is over candidates are allowed to clear their doubts, if any .

Stage 2 : The GTO reads a story connected with the model from a card . The story goes like this – a group of students were going to xyz place for some work , on  the way they encountered some problems which they needed to solve with the resources and manpower available at their disposal and then continued on the original task . Candidates need to pay  attention and listen to the story carefully.

Stage 3 : After the GTO is done with reading the story he allows the candidates to read the story for 5 minutes from the card . While reading from the card candidates must try to co- relate it with the model and make a mental picture of it . The cards are taken away after 5 minutes.

Stage 4 : Now the candidates are asked to write their solutions to the given problems on a sheet of paper. Time allowed is 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the written sheets are taken away . Stage 5 : The GTO then asks the group to discuss the solutions among themselves and arrive at a common group plan . Time allowed is 15 minutes. Then the GTO asks the group to nominate a person to narrate the group plan with the help of the pointer and the model.

Nature of the Problems and What to do in GPE?

Generally there are 4 problems to be addressed . One problem is of serious nature like a person is badly injured and bleeding profusely , an unconscious man etc these problems should be given first priority.

Second type of problem is also of serious nature where large numbers of lives are at stake but very less time is available for arrangements like goons have planted a bomb on the railway track, anti-social elements removed fish plates etc . Such problems must be given second priority.

Third type of problem involves one individual like kidnapping a boy and asking for ransom . Normally there will be sufficient time to solve this problem and must be assigned third priority. There will also be a silly problem like a cow is lost. These must be given last priority however don’t ignore it and solve it too along with the rest of the problems. Further the GTO increases the difficulty level by saying that there is no mobile connectivity.

Action Plan- Winning Strategy for GPE

  1. Identify the problems.
  2. Prioritize the problems : Number the problems 1- 4 according to their nature . Give number 1 to the most serious one number 2 to the next one and so on .
  3. Identify the resources available like vehicles, motorboats etc . Also look for hidden resources like if there is a village, carts will be available there or else in some cases the villagers can be mobilised to fight the goons with axes and laathis .
  4. Divide the manpower and resources judiciously and solve the problems .

Don’t forget your original task for which you were going . After solving the problems assemble at one place and proceed to complete your original task

Golden Tips for GPE

  1. Try to initiate the discussion if not enter early into the discussion .
  2. Give logic and reason to strengthen your points .
  3. If you feel someone else’s point is better than yours, support them . You can also add something of your own to it . This shows you are co-operative and open to ideas.
  4. If someone disagrees with your point and you feel you are right, convince them with logic and reason .
  5. Give chances to other candidates who want to speak but aren’t heard .