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NID DAT: Everything aspiring designers need to know

By Pallavi Kanungo,

Registration for this design aptitude test will begin from January next year.

NID DAT is conducted in three levels, aptitude test, studio test and personal interview.

Design is an almost indispensable aspect of every product and service that we come across, starting from clothes and jewellery to cars, websites and even food packaging. That is why designing is a lucrative career option for youngsters in the modern context. However, to get admission into good design institutes, candidates have to qualify their entrance exam. Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is one such national entrance exam conducted by the National Institute of Design for admission to its undergraduate design courses like B. Des (4 years) and GDPD (Graduate Diploma Programme in Design for 8 semesters). This entrance test allows candidates to get admission in any of the five campuses of the National Institute of Design located in Hyderabad, Gujarat, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Kurukshetra. The courses offered are industrial design, communication design and textile design, all of which have several branches. This year the test happened in March 2021. Registration for NID DAT 2022 will commence from January 2022. Here’s everything aspiring candidates need to know.  

Eligibility criteria 

  • Candidates of general category must not be more than 20 years of age during the time of admission. The reserved category candidates are given a 3 years relaxation. 
  • Candidates should have successfully passed their class XII board exams from any recognised board with minimum 45% for general category and 40% for reserved categories. 
  • Candidates who have successfully passed from the National Institute of Open Schooling with at least 5 subjects are also eligible. 
  • Overseas students who have cleared GCE (General Certificate Education) Exam with (A) level, or International Baccalaureate Diploma of the Cambridge University are also eligible.   

Exam pattern  
NID DAT is conducted in three rounds, namely, the aptitude test (Prelims), a studio test (Mains) and personal interview sessions.  

The prelims aptitude test has a single paper with 2 sections, A and B. The first section has 70 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and the second section has 4 subjective type questions out of which only 3 need to be attempted. The syllabus will mainly focus on designing and communication skills (English) apart from general logical reasoning and current affairs. 

Those who clear the prelims stage have to appear for the mains exam (studio test) that comprises of practical tests including drawing or sketching, making handicrafts and models, participating in group discussions and delivering presentations.  

Marking scheme  
The total marks of the aptitude test are 100. 70 marks is for the objective questions and 30 marks is for the subjective questions. There is no negative marking. The studio test and the interview also have another 100 marks. 

Mode and duration  
NID DAT is an offline exam conducted in pen and paper mode. Candidates can answer their papers in English only. The duration for the aptitude test is 3 hours.