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NATA vs JEE Main – Which is the Best Option for B.Arch Aspirants

by | Mar 9, 2021 | ALL, NATA | 0 comments

The long-held debate about the best Architecture entrance exam continues. Which one is the best option for you? NATA? Or is it JEE Main? So, we’ve decided to end this discussion once and for all. Even though both NATA and JEE Main (Paper-II) are entrance exams that pave the pathway for our architecture students into their B. Arch Programs, the decision to choose one of the two still puts the aspirants into a mid-life dilemma. Mainly because both these entrance exams lead to different institutions and completely different college experiences. 

So, how to choose, which one is the best for you? The only answer is to compare and contrast everything about the exams and then decide which one would suit you the best. Here is everything you need to know about NATA and JEE Main (Paper-II), read through it all and decide for yourself which one you should opt for.  

 National Aptitude Test In Architecture – NATA  

NATA or National Aptitude Test In Architecture, as the name suggests, is a national level entrance examination for the aspirants of B.Arch admissions. B.Arch is a five years undergraduate program; honing the skills of dexterous people in architecture. The test measures the various skills of our aspirants in categories mainly as, observation and drawing skills, Sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity, and critical thinking ability. nata previous year question papers consists of two sections, testing your reasoning and aptitude. 

NATA registrations typically start in March every year by the Council Of Architecture. And the examination is conducted twice every year in April and June. But even though NATA is the doorway examination to the B.Arch programs offered by various institutions under NATA, the final admission decision stays with the respective institution authorities. 

The best way to prepare for NATA is to solve NATA Mock Tests, and there are also so many NATA Sample Papers available in the market for practice. You can also enroll in some NATA Coaching classes to prepare even better.  

 JEE Main (Paper-II) –  

JEE Main (Paper-II) is another national-level entrance examination for the aspirants of B.Arch admissions conducted by the National Testing Agency or NTA. Similar to NATA, JEE Main is the gateway to programs like B.Arch, B.Tech, B-Planning offered by some of India’s leading institutions consisting of IITs, NITs, and CFITs. The exams are conducted in two sets, mainly Paper I, and Paper-II. Students aspiring to become architects have to appear in the second paper of JEE Main, which is JEE Main Paper-II. 

The registration for JEE Main (Paper-II) happens alongside that of NATA and the examinations are conducted twice every year in April and May as well. The test measures student based on their general aptitude, drawing skills, and their mathematics. JEE Main (Paper-II) takes place in two sets – Online Mode (for general aptitude and mathematics) and an offline pen/paper test to measure the aspirant’s drawing skills.  

Much like NATA, there are numerous coaching classes and NATA sample papers along with mock tests to help you crack JEE Main (Paper-II). Practice is the key.

Comparison Between NATA And JEE Main (Paper-II) – 

Particulars NATA JEE Main (Paper-II)
Frequency Of Exam Twice every year Twice every year
Total No. Of Questions 125  82
Total no. Of Sections 2 3
Total Duration Of Exam 3 hours 3 hours
Institutes Accepting Scores Premier Architecture Institutes including the three SPAs IITs, NITs, CFITs
Number Of Vacant Seats More compared to JEE Mains Less Compare To NATA
  • 12th pass students with a minimum aggregate of 50% in PCM are eligible for NATA 
  • Students belong to SC, ST, OBC-NCL, or PWD (person with a disability) will be provided with a 5% relaxation in their aggregate marks in 12th 
  • Candidates who have completed their 10+3 (diploma) with a 50% of aggregate and mathematics as the main subject can are also eligible to attempt the examination 
  • The minimum age limit to sit for NATA is 17 years.
  • The candidate must have a class 12th board exam or an equivalent examination listed by the NTA 
  • Candidates who have completed their high school education in the year 2019, 2020, or are going to appear in their 2021 exams are eligible to take the test. 
  • Candidates with Physics, Maths, and Science as their compulsory subject in 12th are eligible to take the test. 
  • There is no minimum age limit. 
  • Candidates can have three consecutive attempts at the examination as two attempts a year is considered as one year.

Which Is Tougher? NATA Or JEE Main (Paper – II)? 

Another question that has baffled B.Arch aspirants for decades. The harder the paper, the more difficult it is to crack, which means the lesser chances. When we consider two options concerning anything, one of the major deciding factors is always; which has the better odds? Right? Now, how to decide which one is tougher between NATA and JEE Main? To find your answer you need to compare different aspects of both the examinations. What are these aspects you ask?  

Well, to start with one of the reasons why JEE Main (Paper-II) is considered a little harder than NATA is the number of participating colleges. There are lesser colleges that give admission through JEE Main, colleges like the IITs, the NITs, and the CFITs. These are some of the best institutions in India. NATA on the other hand has better odds. There are a lot of college options available through NATA which means the number of available seats is much more in NATA than they are in JEE Main (Paper-II).  

This is one of the reasons JEE Main is considered the tougher ones. Apart from this the syllabus also plays a role. NATA’s syllabus only has two sections whereas, in JEE Main you have to prepare for three different sections for the same amount of examination duration. Also, unlike JEE Main there is no negative marking in NATA. 

You also need to keep in mind which college do you prefer, which college do you want to study in, and see what examination will open the doorway of that college for you.  

Important Exam Dates – 

NATA 2021 – 

Events Phase 1 Dates Phase 2 Dates
Release Of NATA Notification March 03, 2021 March 03, 2021
Registration Start Date March 05, 2021 March 05, 2021
Registration End Date March 28, 2021 May 30, 2021
Application Form Correction Window March 26 – 28, 2021 May 25 – 30, 2021
Last Day To Upload Image/ Payment Of Fee March 28, 2021 May 30, 2021
Release Of Admit Card April 06, 2021 June 08, 2021
NATA 2021 Exam April 10, 2021 June 12, 2021
Declaration Of Results April 14, 2021 June 16, 2021

JEE Main (Paper-II) Phase 4 – 

JEE Main (Paper-II) Events Dates
Registration Start Date May 03, 2021
Registration End Date May 12, 2021
Availability Of Admit Card Third Week Of May 2021
JEE Main 2021 Exam May 24 – 28, 2021
Declaration Of Results First Week Of June

*Rest of the dates are yet to be notified

Also Read –  Will JEE Mains April 2021 Be Postponed?



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