SILICA Institute for architecture, design and fashion
NATA Coaching / Crash Course in progress, Know more. Download NATA Previous Year Question Papers

There is no standard plan to prepare for the NID entrance exam. Every candidate has to create their own plan based on their abilities and motivation. If you have just started, you will need to put 2-3 hours every day over the next 2 months to prepare for the exam.

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 topics covered in the  Objective section of the NID DAT Prelims exam are 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 topics covered in the Subjective section of the NID DAT Prelims exam are Visual Sensitivity, Form Sensitivity, Object Drawing, Sketching, Problem Identification & Solving, Creative Thinking, Visual Communication, Sequential Drawing,  and Creative Writing.

Here are top 10 tips for you to prepare for NID DAT exam:

  • Study previous year’s NID exam papers:

Before you start your preparation, you must download NID Sample paper and practice NID previous year question paper. You need to study and analyse the papers. Understand the topics and type of questions asked in the exam papers. Try solving the questions given in the papers. This will help you understand the level of difficulty and time you are taking to answer the questions. Based on the results, make a list of topics you need to practice and your areas for improvement.

  • Practice rapid sketching:

You need to start your preparation with learning how to sketch. 40% of the marks in the NID DAT Prelims paper may be for questions requiring sketching. If you are already good at sketching, you should practice more to become an expert. If you are a beginner, you can start with basic sketching of lines, shapes, patterns, forms, doodles etc. Once you learn that, you should start sketching objects, human figures and scenes through live observation. You can learn this from multiple PDFs and Videos available on the internet. One great resource is the NID Online Learning Kit offered by SILICA. It has 100+ video tutorials on how to improve drawing and sketching. Improving the speed of your sketching is very important. You need to practice rapid sketching a minimum of 30 minutes everyday.

  • Practice drawing in perspective & proportion:

One important thing NID aims to assess in the DAT Prelims paper is the observation and visualisation skills of the candidate. The assess this by giving questions which require candidates to visualise scenes or objects or human beings in different perspectives and points of views and draw them in proportion to each other. For example, the question may ask candidates to imagine they are an ant on the floor of a restaurant and draw what the ant can see. This skill of drawing in perspective and proportion needs to be learnt and practised. Students must refer to either books & youtube videos or gain access to SILICA’s NID Study Material Kit, which gives them access to both books and videos for learning and practising both topics.

  • Practice colouring:

Most design aspirants like colouring in different media. But in the exam paper, you can only use colours in dry medium which mean pencil colours. Students must practice how to colour skillfully and fast using pencil colours. For this you need to gain a basic understanding of colour schemes and colour theory. This will help you understand the do’s and dont’s of how to use colour in your designs. About 50% of visual questions will require you to colour the design. Many times students complete their drawing but are left with no time to colour their drawing. To avoid this, practice colouring on a daily basis.

  • Come up with unique & interesting ideas:

The most important skills NID aims to assess through the exam paper is your creativity. Creativity is the ability to understand the problem and come up with unique, interesting and feasible solutions. To develop this skill you need to build a habit to “think outside the box”. A simple tool to think outside the box is to ask these 3 questions in any question situation- Why not? / How else? / What if? These 3 questions allow you to go beyond the obvious ideas and come up with interesting solutions to questions asked. For example, if the question is- “Imagine & Illustrate 5 alternate uses of discarded tyres”, you can come up with unique options by asking the question- What if the tyres were used ………..

  • As a swing by hanging on a tree with a rope
  • As a pot for plants
  • As a vessel for animals to drink water from ..….. and so on.


  • Practice time management. Solve questions in a fixed time.

  • Read the newspaper and current affairs websites everyday

About 30% of the objective section questions are based on General Knowledge and Current Affairs. The questions mainly relate to significant events or developments that have occurred in the previous one year. Reading the newspaper and signing up for newsletters of current affairs websites is fairly easy and take short time. All candidates must do that.

  • Study History of Art and revise basics of subjects from 8th to 10th Std

About 30% of the objective section questions are based on History of Art and basic subjects of 8th to 10th Std. Art is the basis of all Design, hence understanding history of art is important for all aspiring designers. History of Art covers Art movements, famous paintings, monuments, architecture, buildings, installations, indian civilizations etc. Students must revise basic subjects like Physics, Geography, History for 8th to 10th Std from NCERT textbooks. Some questions are asked to see your general awareness of these topics.

  • Practice quizzes for GAT topics:

General Ability Test or GAT topics generally account for 40% of questions asked in the objective section of the paper. GAT topics are:

  1. Numerical Ability: Probability, Question on Ages, Maths,
  2. Analytical Thinking: Verbal, Non-verbal, Passage-Inference
  3. English: English Grammar, Comprehension

The questions are not that difficult but they need to be solved quickly. You should solve each question in less than 1-2 minutes. The only way to achieve this speed with accuracy is to practice quizzes. SILICA Study material books and Online Learning Kit has more than 5,000 questions on GAT topics which you can practice.

  • Solve sample papers:

All aspiring candidates must solve at least 5 sample papers before the actual exam. There are multiple benefits for candidates from solving sample papers:

  1. Prepares them to attempt unexpected or out of syllabus questions
  2. Gives them a clear idea about the entrance exam paper pattern
  3. Helps them understand the topics asked in the exam paper
  4. Increases their confidence by attempting a full mock paper
  5. Improves their ability to complete the paper in given time
  6. Helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses and areas to focus
  7. Makes them aware of their level of preparation and areas for improvement

If you follow the above tips, there is a strong possibility that you will clear the NID DAT Prelims exam and get shortlisted for the NID DAT Mains exam.

Share Now: