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Home » NID Entrance Exam Pattern: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

NID Entrance Exam Pattern: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

NID Exam Pattern

If you’re aiming to join the ranks of the esteemed National Institute of Design (NID), it’s crucial to grasp the NID entrance exam pattern. It is your gateway to a world of creativity and innovation. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness, but fear not – we’re here to break down the exam pattern for you in the simplest way possible.

The NID entrance exam pattern holds significance for both the Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Prelims and DAT Mains. These stages serve as critical assessments of a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and behavioral attributes. With insights garnered from the NID DAT 2024 exam pattern, candidates can glean essential details such as question types, marking schemes, section-wise and total questions, as well as the mode of each examination. Complementing this knowledge, a thorough review of the NID DAT 2024 syllabus is equally imperative during preparation.

If you make it through the Prelims, you’ll advance to the Mains – the heart of the exam. Here, you’ll dive deeper into hands-on projects that showcase your design prowess. The Mains test varies based on the discipline you choose, whether it’s Product Design, Graphic Design, Animation, or others. This is your chance to demonstrate your originality and mastery.

Preparing for the NID entrance exam requires a combination of creativity and strategy. Practice sketching, stay updated with current affairs, and solve past papers to get a feel for the exam’s pattern. That’s not all! Want to know more about the exam pattern? Come along to know everything!

What is the NID entrance exam about?

The NID entrance exam, short for the National Institute of Design entrance examination, stands as a rigorous and sought-after evaluation conducted by NID, a globally acclaimed institution for design education and research in India. Geared towards both undergraduate and postgraduate aspirants, the exam serves as a gateway to NID’s esteemed programs. Rooted in assessing creativity, design aptitude, and innovation, the exam encompasses problem-solving, visualization, observation, and communication skills. Its overarching goal is to unearth and nurture individuals endowed with the potential to revolutionize the design landscape through their distinct perspectives.

NID offers a spectrum of courses across its campuses. The Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) program spanning four years is exclusively available at NID Ahmedabad. The four-year Graduate Diploma Program in Design (GDPD) is offered at NID Andhra Pradesh, NID Haryana, NID Madhya Pradesh, and NID Assam. Meanwhile, the 2.5-year Master of Design (M.Des.) program finds its home at NID Ahmedabad, NID Bangalore, and NID Gandhinagar. NID’s various campuses under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, are committed to nurturing visionary designers who can shape the future with their innovative prowess.

NID entrance exam pattern  – B.Des

The National Institute of Design (NID) entrance exam is a two-stage evaluation process that includes the Prelims and Mains exams for admission to the Bachelor of Design (B.Des) program. Understanding the exam pattern is crucial for candidates aspiring to pursue B.Des at NID. Let’s delve into the details of both the Prelims and Mains exams.

NID DAT Prelims Exam Pattern for B.Des


The Prelims exam serves as the initial screening round, testing candidates’ design aptitude and creative thinking skills. Only successful candidates in the Prelims are eligible to proceed to the Mains exam.

Exam Format

The NID DAT Prelims exam is a conventional pen and paper-based test, lasting for 3 hours. It comprises both subjective and objective types of questions, totaling 100 marks.

Type of QuestionsPart/SectionNumber of Questions
ObjectivePart 122
SubjectivePart 24
Total Number of Questions26

Section Breakdown

  1. Part 1 – Objective Questions (22 questions): Objective questions aimed at evaluating various aspects of design aptitude.
  2. Part 2 – Subjective Questions (4 questions): Subjective questions are designed to assess candidates’ creative and conceptual abilities.

Marking Scheme

The marking scheme for the NID DAT Prelims exam varies based on question number.

Question RangeMarks Allotted
1 to 141
15 to 222
Total Marks100

Note: Questions 1 to 22 fall under Part 1, accounting for 30 marks. Questions 23 to 26 are part of Part 2, contributing 70 marks.

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NID DAT Mains Exam Pattern for B.Des


The Mains exam is the second stage of the NID entrance process, focusing on practical skills and design comprehension.

Exam Format

The NID DAT Mains exam is a 3-hour test, encompassing various creative exercises. It is worth 100 marks in total.

Components of Mains Exam

  1. Studio Test: Practical exercises including drawing, sketching, model making, and presentations. Involves group discussions and collaborative activities.
  2. Personal Interview: Candidates shortlisted from the Studio Test appear for specialization-based interviews. The interview assesses candidates’ alignment with their chosen design field and their motivation.

Total Score Calculation

A combined merit list is prepared based on candidates’ performance in both the Prelims and Mains exams. This new score weighting aims to balance the evaluation of candidates’ performance in both the preliminary and mains stages.

Score Weighting

  1. Prelims Test: 70%
  2. Mains Test: 30%

For more information refer to the official information bulletin – if are looking for a sample paper refer to these links –

NID Exam Pattern for M.Des.

The National Institute of Design (NID) offers a prestigious Master of Design (M.Des) program, and the selection process involves a two-tiered examination – Prelims and Mains. The NID entrance exam pattern for M.Des is designed to assess candidates’ design aptitude, practical skills, and domain-specific knowledge.

Prelims Exam Pattern:

The preliminary examination for the M.Des program is a crucial step for aspiring candidates. It consists of two parts – Part 1 and Part 2, with a total score of 100 marks. The exam is conducted offline and evaluates candidates on their objective and subjective abilities.

Part 1: Objective-Type Questions

  1. This section assesses candidates’ conceptual understanding and general aptitude.
  2. Candidates can opt to appear for one or two discipline-specific tests.
  3. Duration for one discipline-specific test and Common DAT (CDAT): 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes).
  4. Duration for two discipline-specific tests and CDAT: 250 minutes (4 hours and 10 minutes).
  5. Each discipline-specific test: 100 minutes.
  6. Common DAT: 50 minutes.

Part 2: Subjective Type Questions

  1. This section evaluates candidates’ creativity, problem-solving skills, and design thinking.
  2. Marks weighting: 30% of the total score.

Mains Exam Pattern:

The Mains examination is the second stage of the selection process and consists of two components – Studio Test and Interview. This stage is conducted online and aims to assess candidates’ practical design skills and their alignment with their chosen specialization.

Studio Test:

  1. Involves hands-on practical exercises like drawing, sketching, and model making.
  2. Duration: 180 minutes (3 hours).
  3. Conducted separately for each specialization.


  1. Conducted post Studio Tests separately for each specialization.
  2. Aims to understand candidates’ thought processes, design philosophy, and suitability for the program.

Total Score Weightage for M.Des:

The final merit list is based on candidates’ performance in both Prelims and Mains. The weighting for calculating the total score has been adjusted due to the prevailing pandemic situation.

Prelims Exam Weighting:

  1. Discipline Specific Test: 45% weightage.
  2. Common DAT (CDAT): 15% weightage.

Mains Exam Weighting:

  1. Studio Test: 40% weightage.
  2. Interview: 45% weightage.

For more information refer to the official information bulletin – if are looking for a sample paper refer to these links –

NID Exam Pattern for Ph.D.

The National Institute of Design (NID) offers a comprehensive three-stage selection process for its Ph.D. program. The selection criteria are designed to assess the eligibility, research potential, and design aptitude of candidates seeking admission.

Stage 1: Assessment of Eligibility and Merit of Proposal

(A) Eligibility: In this stage, applications that do not meet the established eligibility criteria are rejected based on the provided information.

(B) Research Proposal: Eligible candidates submit research proposals that are evaluated for alignment with NID’s research objectives, appropriateness, analytical framework, and overall research potential. Only candidates with promising proposals proceed to the next stage.

Stage 2: Design Research Test (DRT)

Candidates shortlisted from Stage 1 undergo the Design Research Test (DRT), which evaluates their knowledge, creativity, design thinking, observation skills, comprehension, analysis, synthesis abilities, and quality of representation.

Stage 3: Personal Interview

Candidates progressing from Stage 2 participate in a personal interview. This interview assesses the merit of the research proposal, academic record, work experience, ability to communicate research plans, and personal attributes.

Evaluation Criteria for Different Stages

Screening of Proposals

  1. Alignment with NID’s research areas or faculty members’ interests.
  2. Relevance and feasibility of the proposed research to the field of design.
  3. Clearly defined objectives, rationale, and research questions.
  4. Quality of language, articulation, and presentation.

Design Research Test

  1. Evaluation of knowledge, creativity, observation, comprehension, and analysis.
  2. Assessment of design thinking and imagination.
  3. Quality of representation in the test.


  1. The merit of the research proposal.
  2. Academic record and work experience.
  3. Ability to present and discuss proposed research.
  4. Personal attributes and suitability for the program.

Weightages for Different Stages

  1. Design Research Test (DRT): 20% (for candidates with <15 years of experience).
  2. Interview/Presentation of Research Proposal: 80% (for candidates with <15 years of experience).
  3. Two-part presentation for candidates with ≥15 years of experience: Prior academic and work experience (20%) and detailed research proposal (80%).

The final weightage for admission is decided by the Ph.D. Research Committee. This multi-stage selection process ensures that candidates with strong alignment to NID’s research priorities and exceptional design aptitude are chosen for the Ph.D. program. For more information refer to


Hope we have covered everything! Indeed, possessing a comprehensive understanding of the NID entrance exam pattern is of paramount significance for aspirants seeking successful admission. A thorough grasp of the exam’s structure empowers candidates to formulate effective preparation strategies tailored to the specific requirements of the test.

Familiarity with the types of questions, time allocation, and weighting of different sections allows for optimal time management during the exam, enhancing the likelihood of completing all sections within the given timeframe. Moreover, a deep understanding of the pattern enables candidates to identify their strengths and weaknesses, enabling targeted focus on areas that require improvement. This knowledge contributes to a higher level of confidence and reduced anxiety during the examination, which can ultimately translate into better performance.

If you still have any doubts, reach out to us! iDreamCareer will provide you with assistance in finding the right design college. We can provide meticulous insights into admission procedures, courses available, fees, and other critical particulars. iDreamCareer’s College Selection Program empowers students to make judicious decisions about their impending future. The time to act is now—visit our page and initiate your voyage toward your aspirational career. Your dreams are within reach; seize the opportunity!

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NID Entrance Exam Pattern: FAQs

How challenging is the NID Entrance Exam?

The NID Entrance Exam can be challenging due to its creative and analytical aspects. Success requires a strong grasp of design concepts and skills.

How many stages are involved in the NID exam?

The NID exam involves two stages: the Prelims (DAT Prelims) and the Mains (DAT Mains), which include studio tests and interviews.

Is there a restriction on the number of attempts for NID?

There is no official restriction on the number of attempts for the NID exam. Candidates can appear for it as many times as they want.

Is artistic drawing a prerequisite for NID?

While artistic drawing skills are beneficial, NID focuses on creativity and design thinking. A diverse skill set is valued, including visualization and problem-solving.

Is Mathematics compulsory for NID DAT 2024?

Mathematics is not compulsory for NID DAT 2024. The emphasis is on design aptitude, creativity, and problem-solving skills rather than mathematical proficiency.

What are the recommended study resources for preparing for NID DAT 2024?

Recommended study resources for NID DAT 2024 include previous years’ question papers, design and creativity books, online design courses, and mock tests to practice time management and creativity.

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