2 October 2013

Afraid of CEED exam ? big mistakes that you should avoid during preparation

I have been interacting frequently with many CEED aspirants, because of which I came to understand one big thing (you may call it questions) that usually strike aspirants head. The questions are :

  • "Will I clear/crack CEED exam ?"
  • "Am I prepared for CEED ?"
  • "Is the time sufficient for CEED preparation ?"
  • "What questions or preparations, should I be going through ?"

These questions generally role in your mind and most of the times you may get confused as well as get frustrated. Well, friends trust me, there are no such things to fear. That's why I decided to write this post to explain in detail some general things that you should be noting; so as to bring some inspiration to you as well as boost your confidence level, without which your preparation may not go well. I will now clear the question "Will I clear/crack CEED exam ?" here (along with the big mistakes that you should be avoiding during preparation), while the remaining questions will be taken care in the coming posts.

Ok, as a beginning part, I will share a small story that I liked very much; found in one of my favorite books "Explore yourself". The story goes like this

Once a man was about to cross  the sea. A saint wrote 'have faith' on a leaf, tied it in a corner of the man's linen, which he wore on his shoulders and said to him; "Don't  be afraid. Have faith and walk on the water. But the moment you lose faith you will be drowned".
The man was walking easily on the water. Suddenly he had an intense desire to see what was tied in his linen. He opened it and found only a leaf with the words 'Have Faith' written on it. "What is this?" he thought, "Just the words 'Have Faith'". As soon as doubt entered his mind he sank under the sea.

Moral of the story :
  • Faith once lost is lost forever.
  • Our Faith in what we do gives us strength.
  • Suspicion drowns us.

Nice isn't it. The Sea mentioned above seems to be your CEED Exam. We should be comparing this story with our actual life as well as career. By now you should be noting that "there are no special requirements for things like seed or talisman that best work or helps us". It's your inner confidence, belief or faith that makes you excel in life. Impossible things can be easily done with the power of your self-confidence. The more you fear and get doubts (about your proceedings) more will be your problems and thus your achievements will ultimately drop down. Doubts should be erased from your minds and your concentration should be totally on the focused part. 

In our case; focus should be on gathering adequate information for preparation as well as developing our thinking or observation skills minding sketching. I remind you once again that "every one is creative by birth". Un-knowingly you did many creative works during your child-age; you have been developing creative thoughts through-out your education and you will be developing the thoughts in the future also. The big thing is you need to wake it up, wake the creator in you as it is the right time to do so. 

Most of the issues or problems that even great learned people (like scientists) feel difficulty in solving, can be easily solved by people applying common sense. It's the common sense that works most of the time and not your technical or artistic skills. Professionals will agree with me, because they might have experienced the same. 

Elders say that children are more creative and get more ideas compared to them. it's true, but did you ever thought why? that's because children think in impossible ways; and if you hear their thoughts you might be wondering "what rubbish is this? had he/she gone crazy?". Yes definitely he/she is crazy and that is what required for idea generation.

'Necessity is the mother of creativity', the more you feel like "something is missing and this should be included to make it better", the greater will be your creative power.

Think like a child, apply your common sense and find problems for things around you (even though there is no problem !!!). Don't have fear like 'If I tell this idea to my friends or any others, they might laugh at me', Let them laugh to the full, thinking for silly problems is far better than not thinking. Silly ideas group up to a greater invention. My definition for Designer is "one who search for problems or even creates problems and find a solution for that". You are using a mobile phone right and even though you are satisfied with that, the companies or marketers always look for Re-designing their products by creating or finding problems with the existing. 

So, what I'm saying is you should always be a problem finder. You try to identify problems on whatever things you see. Say while you are Travelling in a car, you think for the comfort of the interior, analyze the design, think for the sitting arrangements, positioning etc. Say if you are standing in a public bus; think how the top hand-support could be more comfort, height of the steps and more. 

Say you are washing your hands, think on what could be the best height of the basin, what type of tap is best for easy operating and so on. I will give you one more example to make you more clear; say you are sitting in your office in front of a computer, try to analyze for a desk that will hold all the accessories required during your work. 

If you similarly practice the above concepts for every day things, you will be noting the awesome designer in you, and clearing CEED or NID will in no way be a problem for you (of course with some revisions on awareness). Designers should have good observation as well as analyzing skills. 

Design should be your all-time passion and if not nothing to worry, make it your passion right now; because without which you won't taste the sweetness of it. If you dig deeply into design, you will definitely enjoy it and even technical things won't entertain you like design did !!!

OK, as we had gone through some inspirational quotes for making us realize, I will now discuss some major mistakes that I hope most of us were doing until now. These mistakes might be drowning your confidence and also act as obstacle to your preparation. Please go through it.

1. Prepare for CEED and not for M.Des

The big mistake (I think so) that many of you might be doing is 'Preparation for M.Des and not for CEED'. Yes you should be targeting for CEED. M.Des is the later part of CEED exam, where you will be developing your designer skills while CEED only tests your basic design thinking skills, it's just an entrance exam.

Most of you might be making a heavy artistic sketch works thinking that design is all about art. Well, may be you are right but at least not now !!! You will be given two years of time (during your masters) to develop your design skills and right now your limit should be up to Portfolio level. Even after writing CEED, you will be getting more than one month time; during which you may plan for portfolio. So, friends right now focus only on basic sketching level (with time constraint !!), giving more priority to idea/concept generation and awareness. 
(Friends don't fear for GK as I had given a good guide for the same in my other posts - you may check that in resource section of this blog)

2. Concentrate only on a particular Design stream?

I had seen many people concentrating on a particular stream (say animation) as part of preparation. Well friends, it's a kind of bad idea and i'm really sorry to say this. Because if you observe the pattern of CEED Part-A, questions were asked from different fields like Product design, animation, VC, interaction and even fashion design (of course with some basic aptitude and awareness). 

And if you prepare only for say Animation design, then you will be in big trouble and will have to face difficulty in solving other questions. Even Part-B is a mix of questions. Think what happens if animation question went difficult or time consuming?. Then you are forced to attempt other question, which you had failed to practice !! Friend's don't let this happen and focus on overall structure and pattern. You got my point right ?

3. Facebook forums or Groups

Social networks? Yes, its a good place where similar minded people share their knowledge. You even got advantage of getting useful resources from social networks. Well, it's true up to a limit only and the fact is you are even being distracted because of social networks; especially so called Facebook forums. 

The thing what I noted is some of the CEED aspirants seems to be great artists. Facebook is a place where every individual likes to get highlighted (I too do), so all the great artists will be competing with one another by posting their great artistic works. But because of these works, ordinary people like me are getting confused. For the first time when I happened to see these groups, I was struck and my confidence level dropped - like some one falling from a hill, because i'm average in sketching. But slowly by re-organizing my mind, I satisfied myself by assuming that this much skills can be developed later; but for now my basic skills are enough. 

So, if you are a good artists, then well, it's great but please at least leave a comment something like "not for CEED preparation" or "my time pass works" on your uploads. It will give great relief to people.

To confirm some doubts, I had gone through some of the IIT'ians as well as design pass-outs Facebook page and to my surprise I had not seen many sketching or art works in their album section (which I didn't expected), and whatever few sketches I saw in their albums were time-pass works.  Instead they uploaded something on digital sketching and creative works. Time to think about it !!!

4. Portrait Sketching 

I had not seen a single question on human portrait sketching in CEED previous question papers (I'm not sure about NID). But I wonder why most of the people concentrate and practice only portrait sketching. Is portrait sketching really useful for your CEED preparation ?. Think it yourself.

As part of my preparation I will give less importance to portrait sketching. You decide your own style if you don't agree with me !

5. Portfolio works

It's true that Portfolio is the most important part of your selection process, to any of the design institutions as well as for your design career. Portfolio show case your creative and design aptitude works that you did. But friends, people do mistake of concentrating on portfolio generation before attempting CEED. Until CEED exam, your portfolio works is little or in no way useful. Portfolio works are time consuming, and if you concentrate on that during your preparation, then your other preparations gets affected.

After attempting CEED in December, you will get more than one month of time, during which you may specifically concentrate on portfolio works. So, I suggest you to concentrate on preparations rather than on portfolio, at least up to the exam. You may keep your exercises or any other sketching works (that you do during preparation as practice) with you. It could be helpful for your portfolio generation. 

6. Involvement

You got plenty of resources for better preparation. A number of websites, blogs and books were available for your preparation. But the question is 'are you really involved in the process ?'. Did you really practice sketching and observing things ?. Unless you don't practice and put pencil on paper, you won't make up in final minute. You may be getting suggestions from every corners like IIT'ians, seniors, designers, professors and web, but it's your practice (of say 1 or 2 hours everyday) that makes you succeed. Working professionals can also make it a habit. Spend greater part of the time on preparation rather than on social networking.   

7. Not reading questions

Most of you (I can say 98% of you) are very good at creating design problems but honestly speaking - you are very very poor at 'Reading the question and understanding the requirements'. That's very true, whenever someone drops a design/sketch to my mail, I find some mistakes - well, of course those are not mistakes but I can say - mismatch to the requirement. Yes, everybody will be in a hurry and so won't be sparing time for reading the question carefully. 

Let me clear this with an example. Last year I received many concepts from many people. I noticed that their works are great but interestingly they make unrelated concepts. For example, some one included a whistle, a stick and so many things in a multi-purpose torch design question. But the actual question says "Innovate and Design a multi-purpose torch that would effectively use the power source for alternative uses". 

The student missed the important word in the question 'incorporate the power source for alternate uses' and so did the mistake of including whistle etc, that in no way uses power source ! This is what happens when you don't understand the question. The whole answer will get wrong and your answer will be getting few marks as the examiner wouldn't find what actually he required !

Reading the same question twice or more will itself provides you with what you need to do. Develop the habit of observing the given question. You may use the below strategies
  1. Read the question until it's understood
  2. List - what is to be done with what ?
  3. Don't include the unnecessary concepts in the design
  4. Limit the ideas - without including 'n' numbers in the same concepts

Hope this helps !

I thought, the above tips could be an important concern for your best preparation plan, that's why I went frank. I expect you to clear the exam with good score. Do regular internet search for something on latest products and utilize social media only for knowledge gathering or sharing (at least up to CEED exam).

Here is my video guide on - "Big mistakes to avoid during CEED preparation"

All the best and happy ceeding . . . . . 

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  1. Woww.... What I said ?... Bhanu something for you in Punjabi. " Yaar tusi chagaye.... insa sona post... " Hatts Off to you dear. I rarely read this kind of blog or stuff having long length and words (yes because of my laziness). But I read each and every thing till from start to end. And In this I judge only 3 things.
    1. You are very Innovative
    2. You are very positive and motivating
    2. You are very helpful.

    keep going dude....

  2. best of ur blog.. I say first time I really like ur blog.. thnx dude....

  3. thanx a tonne sir,really v encouraging..even i m avg in sketching ur post motivated me a lot,thnx :)

    1. thank u very much, but why don't you at least leave your name in comments ?

  4. Bhanu, again a nicely written and motivating post :) Amazing stuff in stuffyoulook :)

    1. Thanks for that Chaitali,

      I write posts by getting ideas based on you people requests and suggestions. Thanks for inspiring me ..... :)

  5. To confirm some doubts, I had gone through some of the IIT'ians as well as design pass-outs Facebook page and to my surprise I had not seen many sketching or art works in their album section (which I didn't expected), and whatever few sketches I saw in their albums were time-pass works.
    Instead they uploaded something on digital sketching and creative works.

    Time to think about it right !!!

  6. truly encouraging .......thankz a lot but still some where in the corner of my heart i am afraid whether i will clear ceed or not....but inshallah i will try my best....

    1. Jameel,
      After going through this lengthy kind of essay, you still doubt yourself ?
      You shouldn't be doing that friend. That's why I took two nights to frame the above concepts.
      Believe in yourself and practice to the full. Then you will definitely win.
      Hope you understood ......... cheers :)

  7. It was very inspirational talk...thank you Bhanu..!!!

    1. Awesome effort Bhanu...Thanks a lot for Sharing your knowledge!!!

  8. Hi Utkarsh,

    Unfortunately I'm not having NID previous papers complete set, that's why I'm unable to analyze its pattern. So, I didn't posted about NID. Unlike CEED (where some technical design aspects were included), I hope NID exam pattern is totally of sketch nature - mean one has to put or show his total sketching skills in the exam. It's a kind of artistic exam and i'm not good at that !!!

    Anyway I will try and find some useful links or guides as a reference to NID in free time. But I cannot assure you 100% !

  9. Thanks for your information Sir, it is very helpful for the preparation for CEED exam. And the tutorials related problem solving are awesome. Sir, if possible please post solutions for previous paper i.e 2006 to 2010. Thank You :)

    1. Hi Chnadraprakash,
      Thanks for your comments. Regarding solutions to CEED 2006 to 2010, as you can see that there were very less Part-A questions. Questions were asked more on Design problem solving, creativity and most importantly sketching, For that reason only I included sketch practice as well solutions to some previous questions. You may check Problem Analysis and Design Practice for related details. Anyway I will look forward to give more similar solutions to previous ceed papers in the coming days. Hope that helps you :)

  10. Hello sir,I like this lines frm ur post & the words inspired me very much.
    "something is missing and this should be included to make it better", the greater will be your creative power.

    1. Hi Phaneendra,

      Thanks for your comments. That lines are true and is required for improving creative power. Like I said above, a designer should be a good PROBLEM FINDER.

      All the best and thanks again :)

  11. hi....im Ankita. im preparing for ceed 2015 can you help me out how can i concentrate and what to practice in part b

    1. Hello Ankita,

      For Part - B, you should work on the following topics :

      1. Sketching
      2. Analysis of given scenario - Observation skill
      3. problem Identification
      4. Creative concept/idea generation
      5. Story framing and writing skills
      6. Comic strips and more to mention.

      Remember, these requires your involvement and exposure to similar questions and so you need to practice a lot - taking day to day activities. Solving previous year question papers would give you an overall idea on what is to be studied and how !

      Regarding your question on "How to concentrate and practice for CEED". The following sections of this blog will help you (following the order !)

      1. Creativity
      2. Practice

      Before going through the above sections, I would suggest you to go through this post as well as the video (included in that link) for initial tips.

      Tips for CEED exam Design-part preparation

      Hope this helps. Good luck !

    2. Hii... your post is quiet motivating!!!! I'm preparing for U-CEED exam.Can you suggest something that will boost & encourage me because the fear of "will i be able to crack u-ceed?" is lowering my confidence.so will you please help me?

    3. This post itself should give you some inspiration, let me tell you that UCEED is quite easy than CEED, so, nothing to worry. It's your call, you can either make or break things! It's just based on your thinking and belief - even if your preparation went worst, then also with confidence you can crack any exam with exam. So, stay focused and prepare well. All the best :)

    4. Sir according to the sample questions on their facebook page the level seems to be higher than CEED.

    5. I don't think so, UCEED has some reduced features than CEED, anyway take it for granted that UCEED is for UG and CEED is for PG! So, definitely there's a gap!

    6. indeed there is but the questions raised in CEED were easy after i went through your blog but after looking at the sample questions we gotta study in deep.

    7. Most of the sample IIT questions that they released were indeed taken from CEED previous questions! you gotta check that ........... they did so to give idea on the broad range of topics that they are going to cover

  12. please sir help me out as my target is to get admissions in M.Des.As I am preparing for GATE I would like to prepare for CEED exam also and I would give only 3hrs per day for CEED preparation could I manage that much as preparation of both exams could give me admissions to M.Des. Sir should I join coaching for CEED or not....
    Please help me and give your valuable information to my Email ID:paauradkar92@gmail.com
    or please call me on 9404835249 or send me your mobile no.

  13. It depends on your your level of sketching, if you have average sketch level, then you can skip taking a coaching, else better to look for sketch n design courses, since u r able to spare 3hr every day, I think it's more than sufficient for you to self study, practice CEED with a plan, better start with design ideas n sketching, you may want to chk this page before you start, everything was clearly explained on how to proceed for ceed

    How to plan and prepare for CEED systematically

    Hope this works for you.

  14. Hi Sir,

    Wanted to know when does the application to the universities begin. Is it after the results are announced or before .

    Your response will be highly appreciated

    Thank you

    1. Yes, applications will be open only after results. Most probably in the mid of Jan after the exam in Dec. Watch out for that after your exam. Also, between the period from Dec (exam) to interview, whether you got results or not, start working on portfolio!

    as ceed exam date is approaching am a little worried on what to practice more.. myself final yr mech student also preparing for gate..so i m a little out of time..do suggest some TO DO LIST...

    1. I've covered this issue in depth in this page as well as in my other pages, you probably haven't checked this post - What to practice for CEED - TO DO LIST

      Note the check-list at the end of the link's post. Anyway let me add some more points.......luckily ceed is much earlier than gate (dec). So, you can spare some time for ceed also apart from gate. But unfortunately CEED and GATE syllabus are mostly different, each being different scenario, so you need to be more careful. Spend at least 1-2 hrs a day for your ceed practice. Work more on design ideas and sketching. Go through the solutions shared by others and understand how they are utting their thoughts, once in a week brush part A topics, taking some bunch of topics every week. Rest to do list is available in the link above, gud luk

  16. Very Motivating & Encouraging Indeed !!! Thanks Bhanu for taking the pain to encourage the CEED aspirants. God Bless you !!.

  17. Hey I am in class 12 and preparing for NID for b.des and needed your help to give me tasks and daily routine to crack the examination .

    1. u probably have to check this page - https://stuffyoulook.blogspot.in/p/nid.html
      understand the syllabus and know on which topics u need more deliberation. Based on that you can start ur preparation. It's not a good idea to give dily task blindly without knowing ur other commitments like boards exams etc. So, better set ur timetable bbased on ur availability.

    2. Is that possible for you to provide your mail id

  18. This is the exact stuff that I was looking for.
    Thanks a lot Sir for your urge to motivate us.

  19. I am glad you considered the request. Really appreciate your effort by taking out time for us and creating a sitemap for your blog that has made it much easier for us to prepare for CEED 2018.

    Thank you Sir !

  20. Hello sir..thankyou for such encouraging words.. I was looking for the perfect guidance and here I came to your blog by searching for what I want for my ceed preparation. .sir I am a final year student pursing architecture. Can you suggest me any coaching classes for ceed preparation because I don't know much about m.des and ceed exam. I'm quit confused about the preparation I.e my next step after my graduation.. Please do guide me sir..thankyou :)

    1. I'm not aware of the coaching centers. I haven't come across their reviews yet for many told that some of the coaching institutes are not worth to be joined. Some said Rathod design is good to take. Anyway, the following post should help you more about this topic.

      Is Mdes suits you?

      Is coaching required for design exams?

      Understanding CEED process is not difficult, but there is no use if you try to give the exam without actually knowing what the exam is meant for. I hope you have clear idea what mdes is. Go thru say IIT Boombay website for mdes and check the contents/syllabus for the first/second year of mdes. That should help u tell what the course is about.
      For knowing more about CEED, take any one/two previous paper and solve it. That should help you give an idea. Anyway the following post is meant to give a step by step process of preparing for CEED.

      How to start and what to pracctice?

  21. Hlw sir, I am a student of mechanical engineering 3rd year and I want to clear the ceed exam and I do not understand how I start the preparation for ceed
    Plz sir give me some tips so that I can clear the ceed exam
    Because my handwriting and English are very bad

    1. Hi,
      there is nothing to worry much as you are starting you've decided to start your prep from this minute. Good to see people start their prep with a plan. Handwriting and english are not the major deciding factor of ur selection. Don't worry about them. Also, exam is online based and only sketching part is paper work, so just try your best. You can start here.

      For any queries, feel free to ask. Gud luk with ur start.


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