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NID FAQ's & other Design Entrance Exams

The National Institute of Design (NID) is a premiere design school located in Ahmedabad (main campus), Gandhinagar, Bangalore (R&D), Kurukshetra (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design) and Vijaywada (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design). Recently NID has opened centres in Andhra Pradesh (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design), Haryana (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design), Madhya Pradesh (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design) & Assam (Graduate Diploma Programs in Design) . NID Ahmedabad offers 4-year Bachelor of Design (B.Des) programs in faculties of Communication Design, Industrial Design and Textile, Apparel, Accessory and Lifestyle design. The Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Gandhinagar campuses also offers 2.5-year postgraduate Master of Design (M.Des) programs in 19 areas of specialisation.

For UG students, NID has two stages – DAT Prelims and DAT Mains. DAT Prelims evaluates candidates on abilities such as general knowledge, creativity, visualisation, analytical skills and comprehension skills. Based on the Prelims marks, a merit list for the Mains will be prepared. The DAT Prelims is out of 100 marks and has two parts- MCQs (70 marks) and subjective questions (30 marks).

For PG students, NID has two stages – DAT Prelims and DAT Mains. DAT Prelims evaluates candidates on abilities such as general knowledge, creativity, visualisation, analytical skills and comprehension skills. DAT Mains divided further into studio design and interview round. The studio design tests students using different formats – drawing, sketching, model making, group discussions etc. The marks allotted are 100 and the duration is 3 hours. The interviews will be conducted separately right after the studio test.

The questions are in English, all questions are compulsory and no negative marking.

NID is one of the best design institutes in India, which focuses on the development of a concept, design engineering, aesthetics, and product development and so on.

Whereas, NIFT focuses mainly on apparel – the fabrics, garment structure, styling etc.

NID offers courses like animation design, graphic design, product design, exhibition design etc. NIFT offers courses like fashion design, leather design, accessory design, fashion communication etc.

NID focuses on courses like animation film design, apparel design, ceramic and glass design, digital game design, communication design, furniture design, information design and so on. NIFT focuses on courses like leather design, accessory design, fashion communication and so on.

NID is a creative exam that requires observational skills. Try observing simple daily objects and work with it by sketching. Sketching will not only be a form of practice for the drawing aspect of the exam but also helps you improve your speed. Solving sample DAT papers, tentative papers will give you an idea about the exam. Be up to date with the current affairs and doing research on your area of design will give you an edge over the others. DQ Labs has various courses with flexible durations that focus on – sketch development, theory, and mock/tentative paper practice, constant feedback on your artworks, portfolio development and presentation. DQ Edge, the online help tool also gives you the access to hundreds of questions, papers and videos for preparation.

There is no fixed pattern for the NID exam. Both the exams test the student’s potential in- drawing skills (proportions, perspective, composition etc), design sense (design problem solving, visual design, colour arrangement), observational skills (conceptualization, visualisation), general mental abilities and communication skills.

Applicants applying for B.Des, M.Des and GDPD must fulfill the age and education criteria.


Age limit: The age limit for candidates (general category and overseas) is 20 years (as on 30 June 2019) are eligible to apply. For Indian National in Reserved Category, the age limit is 23 years, for PWD category the age limit is 25 years. Educational Qualification: Applications for academic year 2019–20 are open to applicants who have passed or will appear for higher secondary (10+2) qualifying examinations in the academic year 2018–19 in any stream (Science, Arts, Commerce, etc.) from any recognised board of education such as CBSE, IB, ICSE or their equivalent.


Age limit: The age limit for candidates (general category and overseas) is up to 30 years of age (as on 30 June 2019). For Indian National in Reserved Category, the age limit is 33 years, for PWD category the age limit is 35 years. Educational Qualifications: Applications are open to applicants who have appeared/will appear/passed degree examinations – Bachelor degree minimum 4 year specialisation OR Bachelor degree minimum 3 year specialisation OR Full time diploma of 4 year duration in design/applied arts/fine arts/architecture.

  1. Solving sample papers: Looking at past DAT papers, tentative papers will give you an insight on the types of questions and the pattern. Different packages involving the types of papers and the number of questions are available online. DQEdge, the online portal, offers mock DAT papers, tentative papers and questions.
  2. Plan your schedule: Striking a balance between school and entrance exams (for UG students) will be on track with a timetable. Planning a schedule will get you halfway through the journey.
  3. Signing up in a coaching institute or an app: Self-study does not involve feedback but coaching centres provide this privilege of helping you work on your errors. According to your convenience, DQ labs offer different packages with flexible price ranges.
  4. General knowledge and research: Follow newspapers, blogs, web journals to keep yourself updated on the current affairs. Do research on your field of specialisation and the contributions to the field.
  5. Drawing: With average drawing skills, practice using the specific mediums and prescribed sheets (A4), will make you extremely comfortable. To avoid erasing and re-drawing, use a light hand.
NID branches in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Kurukshetra, Vijayawada, Bhopal, and Jorhat.
The two exams are for national institutes- The DAT exam is specifically for NID and CEED is for IITs, NID DAT is for both UG and PG whereas CEED is for PG only. There is no significant difference between them other than automotive design.
There is no specific good score since the cut-off varies from year to year. The cut-off depends on the availability of seats and the number of applicants.
Manasvini, came first in the NID PG category under the Toy & Game design specialisation.
Design professionals from IIT- Delhi, NID-Ahmedabad, University of Genoa, Brera Academy and NIFT head DQ Labs and they are committed to spread awareness and the importance of design. The faculty provide counselling, online as well as physical classes, seminars, workshops, and study materials, study tours for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The faculty updates teaching methods and approaches according to the changes in technology and the education scenario. DQ labs assures high quality mentoring and individual attention to the students.
According to the NID annual report, in 2017, 10909 applicants (UG) appeared for the DAT Prelims for a vacancy of 100 seats. In the postgraduate section, 7654 applied and 4766 appeared for the exam (for a vacancy of 275 seats).
Once you clear the NID exam, you get to pursue an education in design. Jobs in the field of industrial, communication, textile, apparel and lifestyle design are available once you have completed your respected course.
Studio test at the second stage is conducted in the campus and it mainly involves- material handling, audio-visual test, doodling test, group discussions etc. The marks allotted are out of 100 and the duration will be three hours. Studio test exam has weightage of 50% and this phase is important deciding factor as they select 3 times of total number of students seats available for admission.
  1. Use reference books : (Arihant NIFT/NIFD/NID Entrance Exam Self Study Guide) Online exam help tools (DQ Edge)
  2. DQ Edge is the test and exam tool (with mock and tentative papers, content) where you can also discuss with experts and other aspirants and apply to colleges.
  3. Plan your schedule by creating timetables (jot down the number of hours dedicated to solving papers and sketching)
There is no specific good score since the cut-off varies from year to year. The cut-off depends on the availability of seats and the number of applicants.
Mock papers, questions and other study material are available on DQ Edge (study tool) to get you through NID preparation. Sign into DQEdge using Gmail/Facebook and complete the registration process. Test scores will be available to you immediately along with the answers (with explanations). The faculty will evaluate your sketches and give feedback (upload your sketches by scanning). DQEdge will give you access to more mock papers and questions at an additional cost.
The right kind of preparation will help you get through the exam no matter how difficult. If you have creativity within you with average sketching skills, try to practice building sketches and designs on simple objects. Practice will enhance your observational skills, visual skills and analytical skills. Keep up with the current news and research about your field by looking at designers and their works. Enrolling yourself at a coaching institute will put you under a mentor who will constantly keep track of your work and give feedback. (Depending on the duration, DQ Labs offers packages/courses to the students).

The portfolio is used to assess a candidate’s talent, interest, prior training, self-exploration and so on. A minimum of five up to ten works are usually included in the portfolio. Pick out the most important works that reflects your style and filter it out constantly so that your portfolio is crisp. Label your works and give introduction (one-line intros) regarding the project. If you have the time, carry models because they give an insight about the thinking process behind the model. Most importantly, presenting you portfolio is extremely important.

(In DQ Labs, the module makes sure seventy hours are for the studio test and portfolio, mainly for PG students, by the design faculty and alumni).

Activities conducted at DQ Labs

Fashion Draping workshop at LISAA School of Design, Bangalore


    For more pictures on LISAA School of Design visit Click Here

    Design Exploration Program Summer Workshop Inauguration at Rangoli Metro Arts Centre, MG Road Bangalore

      DEP- 2.jpg

      For more pictures on Design Exploration Program Summer Workshop Click Here

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