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Know more in detail about the NID DAT – National Institute of Design - Design Aptitude Test

01 September,2022  |  By Brainwonders

Know more in detail about the NID DAT

Table of Contents:

–About NID DAT Exam

–NID DAT Exam Highlights

–Eligibility Criteria for 2023

–NID Entrance Exam Pattern

  • B.Des Exam Pattern
  • M.Des Exam Pattern

–NID DAT Syllabus 

  • B.Des Prelims Syllabus
  • B.Des Mains Syllabus
  • M.Des Prelims Syllabus
  • M.Des Mains Syllabus

–NID DAT Reservation 

About NID DAT Exam

NID Design Aptitude Test is a National Institute of Design; national-level entrance exam conducted to provide candidates for the Bachelor of Design and Master of Design courses. The DAT (Design Aptitude Test) comprises two steps:

  1. DAT Prelims - The individual first appears in prelim exams
  2. DAT Mains -  The DAT Prelims score is used to shortlist candidates for DAT Mains.

In order to get admission to the B.Des or M.Des, it is compulsory to appear in both DAT Prelims and DAT Mains. Candidates are required to qualify for both Prelims and Mains in order to gain admission into NIDs. 

NID DAT Exam Highlights

Features Details
Exam name National Institute of Design - Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT)
Conducting body NID
Exam frequency Once a year
Exam purpose NIDs and some private colleges offer admission to design programmes.
Courses offered BDes, MDes

BDes – Class 12

MDes – Graduation

Exam fee

Rs 3,000 (General category) 

Rs 1,500 (Reserved categories)

Exam mode Offline
Exam duration

BDes: 180 minutes

MDes: 150 minutes

NID DAT pattern

BDes & MDes

Prelims – Subjective & Objective questions of 100 marks

Mains – Drawing/model-making questions of 100 marks

Helpdesk email ID [email protected], [email protected]
Official website

Eligibility Criteria for 2023

The National Institute of Design will release the eligibility requirements for the B.Des and M.Des programs. Check out the program-wise NID-DAT eligibility requirement.

Parameters B.Des M.Des
Age Limit

The applicant needs to be 20 years of age as of 30th June, 2023

Relaxation in upper age limit:

OBC-NCL, SC, and ST - 3 years

PwD - 5 years

The applicant must be born on or after 1st July, 1993

Relaxation in age limit:

OBC-NCL, SC, and ST - 3 years

PwD - 5 years

Educational Qualification Candidates who have passed 10+2 in any discipline (Science, Commerce, Arts, etc) from any recognised board. Bachelor's degree of at least four years duration.

NID Entrance Exam Pattern

  1. A) B.Des Exam Pattern
  2. Prelims Exam Pattern:
Test Duration 180 minutes
Exam mode  Offline 
Total number of questions 26
Total marks 100
Number of sections 2
Number of questions per section

Section A: 22

Section B: 04

Types of questions

Section A: Objective type questions 

Section B: Subjective type questions

Section A Marking Scheme

Question 1 to 14: 1 mark

Question 15 to 22: 2 marks

Section B Marking Scheme

Q.23: 15 marks

Q.24: 20 marks

Q.25: 15 marks

Q.26: 20 marks

1. Mains Exam Pattern: 

Candidates shortlisted for NID DAT Mains have to upload a Theme Poster, size not excluding 10 MB.

The poster can be done in any media and should be photographed/ scanned/ digitally created on an A3 size sheet. 

Additionally, candidates must upload their design portfolio merged in a single PDF file,  size not excluding 10 MB.

Candidates will get a mail with the Theme Poster topics, and they will be given a period of one week; they have to submit their work within that week. 

  1. B) M.Des Exam Pattern
  2. Prelim Exam Pattern
Test Duration 150 minutes
Exam Mode Offline
Total Number of Questions Multiple
Total Marks 100
Number of Sections 2
Types of Questions

Section A: Objective type questions (30 marks)

Section B: Subjective type questions (70 marks)

2. Mains Exam Pattern
Particulars Details
Mode of exam

Offline (Generally)

Online ( NID admission 2021)

HYBRID Mode (NID admission 2022-23)

HYBRID Mode (Expected)

Duration of exam

3 hours

(Not specified in 2021, 2022, and 2023)

Total marks 100
Language of question paper English
Type of questions

Studio test

SoP and portfolio submission

Personal Interview

Candidates must submit the Statement of Purpose; the word count should not exceed 300. They have to mail the SoP after Prelims. The SoP should be submitted and typed as a PDF file, size not exceeding 2 MB. 

NID DAT Syllabus 

B.Des Prelims Syllabus

Innovation in design Theme development Exercises on imagination Graphics & pictograms
Principles of composition Design Theory Optical illusion Form & function
Inspiration & design development Natural & geometrical form Colour, pattern & texture Drawing fundamentals
Lateral thinking Design Awareness Creative thinking & writing Ornaments & motifs
Imagination & doodling Understanding light & shade Elements & principles of design Colour psychology & optical illusions
3D visualisation Lettering Developing observation Good design vs. bad design
Optical illusion Outline for beginners Memory drawing Innovation & Creation
Mood, theme & colour inter-relationship Visual logic Colour terminology Presentation techniques
Picture analysis Story pictures Usage of colour in compositions Natural & geometrical form
Use of measurements, scale & proportions Story pictures Developing themes & colour associations Foreshortening & perspective
Inspiration & Creativity      
B.Des Mains Syllabus
Model making Questions generally asked in an interview Material manipulation Mock interview
Audio-visual exercises Evolving ideas Importance of body language Doodling
Past studio test & interview questions Interview tips Creative thinking Guidance on portfolio making
M.Des Prelims Syllabus
Design Outline for Beginners Colour Terminology Inspiration & Design Development
Mood, Theme & Colour Inter-relationship Design Theory Elements & Principles Of Design
Natural & Geometrical Form Innovation in Design Principles of Composition
Lettering Optical Illusion Understanding Light & Shade
Colour Psychology & Optical Illusions Form & Function Colour, Pattern & Texture
Theme Development Creative Thinking & Writing Picture Analysis
Visual Logic Good Design vs Bad Design Drawing Fundamentals
Use of Measurements, Scale & proportions Optical Illusion Foreshortening & Perspective
Developing Themes & Colour Associations Inspiration & Creativity Ornaments & Motifs
Memory Drawing Usage of Colour in Compositions Expression & Emotion
Exercises on Imagination Lateral Thinking Story Pictures
Presentation Techniques Imagination & Doodling 3D Visualisation
Graphics & Pictograms Innovation & Creation Design Awareness
Developing Observation    
M.Des Mains Syllabus
Model Making Doodling How to evolve ideas
Audio – Visual Exercises Material Manipulation Creative Thinking
NID DAT Reservation 

The National Institute of Design follows the reservation rules for all design courses offered by them. The category-wise reservation of seats for all the courses as per NID Reservation policy is as mentioned below:

Category  Reservation (in %)
Economically Weaker Section 10
Other Backward Class 27
SC 15
ST 7.5

Candidates with a disability will be provided with a 5% horizontal reservation of seats from the main category in each program across all creamy and non-creamy categories.

This blog is a guide map for all students willing to make a career in the design field. We hope this blog has provided you with detailed information about the NID DAT competitive exam.

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