30 September 2018

How to start and what to practice for NID-DAT exam

DAT Prelims covers the following (syllabus and pattern/markings listed in the official website is the same for both BDes and MDes)
  • Knowledge
  • Analysis
  • Visualization
  • Comprehension
  • Creativity

Part A - MCQ for 70 points
Part B - Subjective for 30 points

Though Part A accounts to 70% of total marks compared to part B, the later (part B) needs ample amount of time for preparation. Because, as you know, sketching/drawing cannot be learned in a night. You cannot schedule it on the last week or on the last day unless you're skilled enough (above average or an artist by nature - with full confidence of making sketches in the stipulated time during the exam. In fact, this is not just about sketching, this is also about design/creative ideas. Your creative thoughts need to be refined by the time you reach the exam date. For that, you better practice on more design questions. So, assuming that you have a sufficient amount of time for preparation, start with sketching and practice on creative questions.
If your exam is around two months, then start your GK practice. GK here also includes general design aptitude like idea about famous designers, personalities, products etc. (You can check the suggested list of syllabus here

Imagination/creativity plays a major role in your performance, esp. for NID. So, you better prioritize it. Below, I'm giving a few points as strategizes.


Start with basic sketches and then move on to making sketches minding details like texture, shadows, and, by giving importance to the shape of the object/human, size/proportion, view etc. In parallel, you can choose to study 'English' or 'comprehension'' part of Part A. 

Observe through existing sketches/drawings and understand 
  • Details (shading, shadows, proportion of objects/human)
  • Perspective and view
  • Picturization
  • Imagination of the artist - what is he trying to portray or communicate?
  • Simplicity etc.

Set a weekly timetable - Based on your time and availability, plan for the preparation. You can choose to do weekly, bi-weekly or even every day. Spare some time for your preparation. If you've time and have good memory power too, dedicate some time for GK study too. Latest GK topics would be helpful to you apart from general knowledge questions including those studied during school days. 
If you are a beginner or average at sketching, then you need to do more work. Start by simply copy-sketching and after you improve on copy sketching, move to the next level of drawing those sketches in some other view/direction. This calls for your imagination skills. Once you do sufficient amount of practice on this, move on to the next level of creating your own sketches out of your imagination. You can consider some real-life examples or if you are out of questions, you can refer to this page on subjective questions for practice. 

Practice first on object sketching (drawing objects, humans/animals in a particular situation or in a particular instant - like an infant playing with a toy etc.) Practice lesser on scenarios or keep it as secondary practice giving priority to object sketching.

As you approach near to the exam (say only a few weeks are left for the exam), alter the preparation schedule. Give more time for general studies and comparatively less time for sketching. By then you should be able to do perform well on subjective questions. Regardless, keep working on your creative ideas because the more you think of creative solutions for problems, the more you will be benefited - both for the exam and for your career as well. You don't need to draw/sketch every time you think of some idea. Just that draw mentally in your mind and imagine how your IMAGINED idea would look like or make a rough sketch. This exercise would be fun btw.

Other than the above, you can have variations in your study pattern. No timetable can suit everyone. So, have your own. But, I would recommend you to go through a weekly timetable that I prepared keeping in mind everyone (student, working profession etc.) You can have a look at it and either follow it as it is (if you find it workable to you) or alter to as per your timing. 

Last but not least - it's your confidence that takes you to greater heights. All the best :) 


  1. Heyyyyyy plz tell how to prepare for m.des(nift) ... specially for cat portion

  2. Hello Bhanu Sir.
    Good to see this blog for the upcoming NID 2019, its really very helpful. Can you please prepare a blog that is in accordance with the new patten of NID 2019, that might include guidelines on how to write Statement of Purpose and other relevant stuffs related to duration of exams, etc. It would be really very helpful if you assist us with the former :)

    1. I;m considering ur suggestions. I've collected materials and timetable inaccordance to the new pattern though. I will work on SOP also. But, I guess by now, this year students like u would've already done with that. My bad the comments got hidden for quite a few months :|

  3. Hello! I hope you read this! I am planning to attend both NID-DAT as well as CEED. Do i need different strategies to prepare for both respectively?

    1. Fortunately, some topics are common for both. You can advantage of that. For other topics, yes, u need to manage ur time to cover both.

  4. Sir, the pattern is more or less the same as 2018 right?! Just having some doubt. Plz help!


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