10 Tips To Crack NID Prelims (B.Des) in 6 months

Bhargavi M S
May 2, 2018

National Institute of Design (NID), one of the most sought-after design schools in India. Located in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Vijayawada and Kurukshetra, the government institute offers courses under both UG and PG (19 areas of specialisation), with a common test – DAT (Design Aptitude Test). Prelims marks, separate merit lists will be prepared. The basis of selection is majorly on the candidate’s creative skills.

The DAT Prelims is divided into two stages - Multiple choice questions (70 marks) and subjective questions (30 marks). Once you have cleared the Prelims level, you will be eligible to take up the Mains part of the exam.

Here are a few tips to help you with the preparation:

  • Observational and creative skills :- Work on your observational skills – notice simple things in everyday life and critically look at the elements and changes in terms of design. Use effective strategies to build on your project.

  • Sketching :- A common misconception is that you need to be good at drawing. Along with average drawing skills, practice using the specific mediums and prescribed sheets (A4), will make you extremely comfortable. To avoid erasing and re-drawing, use a light hand. DQ Labs helps you with sketch development throughout the year with constant feedback given.(For self-evaluation, see reference drawings, DQ Labs Sketch development for a year)

  • Be innovative :- Develop the ability to think out of the box. Inculcate an imaginative and creative thinking process because the NID DAT will evaluate your thinking. The interviewers are keen on your thought process behind your works and the way you developed the idea – so keep brainstorming and never reject ideas, they could develop into something good.

  • Research & improve your general awareness :- Along with general knowledge, exploring and researching designers and their contributions in your field will not only inspire you but also help you crack the Prelims exam better. Follow a design blog to constantly update yourself with the changes in the field.

  • Solving sample papers :- Looking at past DAT papers, tentative papers will give you an insight on the types of questions and the pattern. Here at DQ Labs, constant solving of past DAT papers and tentative papers is done to keep the student in the loop. Different packages involving the types of papers and the number of questions are available online. DQ Edge, the online portal, offers mock DAT papers, tentative papers and questions.

  • Focus on speed :- In terms of drawing, writing and presenting- speed is extremely important. Doing a number of papers or questions under a time limit will help increase speed and efficiency.

  • Pay attention the questions and requirements :- Going through the exam requirements especially for your particular course (for PG students) and follow the guidelines. Every single word in the question is important.

  • Interacting with alumni and having a guide :- Speaking to a senior who is in a design school or a graduate will always help you clear your doubts. They will give you clarity and sometimes help you with your approach.
  • Having a mentor to help you throughout the preparation course will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and your progress. DQ has delegated counsellors and mentors to help each student.

  • Signing up in a coaching institute or an app :- Self-study does not involve feedback but coaching centres provide this privilege of helping you work on your errors. At DQ, tutors note the progress and provide all materials along with necessary help to crack the exams. According to your convenience, DQ labs offer different packages with flexible price ranges. (For online portals and guide applications, check out DQ Edge)

  • Plan your schedule :- Striking a balance between school and entrance exams (for UG students) will be on track with a timetable. Planning a schedule will get you halfway through the journey.
  • With all these tips, make sure that you are open to thinking and observation and creative with the application of your thoughts.

  • Conclusion: To get through NID, your design thinking skills are critical and what you need to develop. Understand your priorities - Doing well in your board exams is extremely important, however, the scores of your board exams do not have any bearing on your admission to NID as long as you clear with the minimum required percentage.


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