SILICA Institute for architecture, design and fashion
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The NID entrance exam consists of a Design Aptitude Test (DAT), which is made of the DAT Prelims exam and DAT Mains exam. Students who clear the Prelims exam are called for the Mains exam. NID DAT (Prelims) will be conducted in the first week of January 2023 and NID DAT (Mains) will be conducted in April / May 2023. NID offers 8 programs in B.Des and 19 programs in M.Des. Candidates have to clear both exams to be eligible for admission to these programs.

NID DAT Prelims Exam Pattern:

The NID DAT Prelims is a paper based exam. It is for 3 hours and carries 100 marks. The language of instruction is English. It is divided into Objective and Subjective type questions.  The weightage of the NID DAT prelims marks is 30% in the final merit score. The table below shows the distribution of marks between Objective and Subjective sections of the Prelims previous year NID question paper:

2023* 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
1. Objective 40 40 40 30 30 70
2. Subjective 60 60 60 70 70 30
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100

Note: *This is the expected distribution of marks for NID DAT 2023 Prelims paper based on previous years papers.

The Objective Questions of the NID DAT Prelims exam in previous years have been generally MCQ (multiple choice questions), MSQ (multiple select questions), NAT (numerical answer type), WAT (word answer type), Fill in the Blanks, Match the Columns etc. The topics and syllabus covered in the previous years were General Knowledge & Current Affairs, Numerical & Logical Ability, History of Art, Elements & Principles of Design, Color Theory, English Language and Comprehension, and Basic understanding of Science. The table shows the average distribution of marks across objective topics in previous year papers:

Topics No of Marks
1. General Knowledge 8
2. Current Affairs & News 4
3. History of Art 8
4. Science & Social Science (8th to 10th Std) 4
5. English Language & Comprehension 4
6. Numerical Ability 4
7. Analytical Thinking (Verbal & Non-Verbal) 8
Total 40

The Subjective Questions of the NID DAT Prelims exam in previous years have been visual or writing based (refer to NID DAT sample paper for better understanding). The topics/syllabus for the previous year’s questions were Visual Sensitivity, Form Sensitivity & Object Drawing, Sketching, Problem Identification & Solving, Creative Thinking, Visual Communication and Creative Writing. The table shows the average distribution of marks across objective topics in previous year papers:

Topics No of Marks
1. Form Sensitivity & Object Drawing 6
2. Sketching scenes in Proportion & Perspective 12
3. Visual Communication (Posters, Stamp etc) 6
4. Visual Thinking (Patterns, Doodles etc) 3
5. Sequential Drawing (Characters, Story etc) 6
6. Product Design (Products, Accessories etc) 6
7. Multiple Thinking & Connecting Dots (Creativity) 12
8. Colour Theory & Application 6
9. Creative Writing 3
Total 60

Note: The NID M.Des DAT Prelims paper is split into 2 parts- Common DAT (40 marks) and Discipline Specific DAT (60 marks). The Common DAT is common for all 19 disciplines and can cover questions from Objective as well as Subjective topics mentioned above. The Discipline Specific DAT section contains only questions based on the discipline chosen by the candidate. There are 19 different disciplines for M.Des at NID. The Discipline Specific DAT question paper is different for each discipline. Interestingly, candidates can choose to apply for up to 2 disciplines while applying for admission to NID, which requires them to attempt both Discipline Specific DAT papers.

NID DAT Mains Exam Pattern:

Candidates who are able to clear the NID DAT Prelims exam, as per every year’s cut-off marks, are shortlisted for NID DAT Mains exam. The weightage of the NID DAT Mains exam marks in the final merit score is 70%, so it is the most important part of the NID examination process. The DAT Mains exam for B.Des is a practical test and covers Observation skills tests, Sensory tests, Drawing & Sketching tests, 3D Model making tests, and Material handling tests. The DAT Mains exam for M.Des is a discipline-specific test. The candidate will get questions on problem-solving, model making, sketching, and sensory tests from the disciplines they have chosen. 

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