Table of Contents:

–About NIT DAT Exam

–NID DAT Exam Highlights

–Eligibility Criteria for 2023

–NID Entrance Exam Pattern

  • B.Des Exam Pattern
  • M.Des Exam Pattern

–NID DAT Syllabus 

  • B.Des Prelims Syllabus
  • B.Des Mains Syllabus
  • M.Des Prelims Syllabus
  • M.Des Mains Syllabus

–NID DAT Reservation 

About NIT DAT Exam

NID Design Aptitude Test is a National Institute of Design; national-level entrance exam conducted to provide candidates for the Bachelor of Design and Master of Design courses. The DAT (Design Aptitude Test) comprises two steps:

  1. DAT Prelims – The individual first appears in prelim exams
  2. DAT Mains –  The DAT Prelims score is used to shortlist candidates for DAT Mains.

In order to get admission to the B.Des or M.Des, it is compulsory to appear in both DAT Prelims and DAT Mains. Candidates are required to qualify for both Prelims and Mains in order to gain admission into NIDs. 

NID DAT Exam Highlights

Exam nameNational Institute of Design – Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT)
Conducting bodyNID
Exam frequencyOnce a year
Exam purposeNIDs and some private colleges offer admission to design programmes.
Courses offeredBDes, MDes

BDes – Class 12

MDes – Graduation

Exam fee

Rs 3,000 (General category) 

Rs 1,500 (Reserved categories)

Exam modeOffline
Exam duration

BDes: 180 minutes

MDes: 150 minutes

NID DAT pattern

BDes & MDes

Prelims – Subjective & Objective questions of 100 marks

Mains – Drawing/model-making questions of 100 marks

Helpdesk email,
Official website

Eligibility Criteria for 2023

The National Institute of Design will release the eligibility requirements for the B.Des and M.Des programs. Check out the program-wise NID-DAT eligibility requirement.

Age Limit

The applicant needs to be 20 years of age as of 30th June, 2023

Relaxation in upper age limit:

OBC-NCL, SC, and ST – 3 years

PwD – 5 years

The applicant must be born on or after 1st July, 1993

Relaxation in age limit:

OBC-NCL, SC, and ST – 3 years

PwD – 5 years

Educational QualificationCandidates who have passed 10+2 in any discipline (Science, Commerce, Arts, etc) from any recognised board.Bachelor’s degree of at least four years duration.

NID Entrance Exam Pattern

  1. A) B.Des Exam Pattern
  2. Prelims Exam Pattern:
Test Duration180 minutes
Exam mode Offline 
Total number of questions26
Total marks100
Number of sections2
Number of questions per section

Section A: 22

Section B: 04

Types of questions

Section A: Objective type questions 

Section B: Subjective type questions

Section A Marking Scheme

Question 1 to 14: 1 mark

Question 15 to 22: 2 marks

Section B Marking Scheme

Q.23: 15 marks

Q.24: 20 marks

Q.25: 15 marks

Q.26: 20 marks

1. Mains Exam Pattern: 

Candidates shortlisted for NID DAT Mains have to upload a Theme Poster, size not excluding 10 MB.

The poster can be done in any media and should be photographed/ scanned/ digitally created on an A3 size sheet. 

Additionally, candidates must upload their design portfolio merged in a single PDF file,  size not excluding 10 MB.

Candidates will get a mail with the Theme Poster topics, and they will be given a period of one week; they have to submit their work within that week. 

  1. B) M.Des Exam Pattern
  2. Prelim Exam Pattern
Test Duration150 minutes
Exam ModeOffline
Total Number of QuestionsMultiple
Total Marks100
Number of Sections2
Types of Questions

Section A: Objective type questions (30 marks)

Section B: Subjective type questions (70 marks)

2. Mains Exam Pattern
Mode of exam

Offline (Generally)

Online ( NID admission 2021)

HYBRID Mode (NID admission 2022-23)

HYBRID Mode (Expected)

Duration of exam

3 hours

(Not specified in 2021, 2022, and 2023)

Total marks100
Language of question paperEnglish
Type of questions

Studio test

SoP and portfolio submission

Personal Interview

Candidates must submit the Statement of Purpose; the word count should not exceed 300. They have to mail the SoP after Prelims. The SoP should be submitted and typed as a PDF file, size not exceeding 2 MB. 

NID DAT Syllabus 

B.Des Prelims Syllabus

Innovation in designTheme developmentExercises on imaginationGraphics & pictograms
Principles of compositionDesign TheoryOptical illusionForm & function
Inspiration & design developmentNatural & geometrical formColour, pattern & textureDrawing fundamentals
Lateral thinkingDesign AwarenessCreative thinking & writingOrnaments & motifs
Imagination & doodlingUnderstanding light & shadeElements & principles of designColour psychology & optical illusions
3D visualisationLetteringDeveloping observationGood design vs. bad design
Optical illusionOutline for beginnersMemory drawingInnovation & Creation
Mood, theme & colour inter-relationshipVisual logicColour terminologyPresentation techniques
Picture analysisStory picturesUsage of colour in compositionsNatural & geometrical form
Use of measurements, scale & proportionsStory picturesDeveloping themes & colour associationsForeshortening & perspective
Inspiration & Creativity   
B.Des Mains Syllabus
Model makingQuestions generally asked in an interviewMaterial manipulationMock interview
Audio-visual exercisesEvolving ideasImportance of body languageDoodling
Past studio test & interview questionsInterview tipsCreative thinkingGuidance on portfolio making
M.Des Prelims Syllabus
Design Outline for BeginnersColour TerminologyInspiration & Design Development
Mood, Theme & Colour Inter-relationshipDesign TheoryElements & Principles Of Design
Natural & Geometrical FormInnovation in DesignPrinciples of Composition
LetteringOptical IllusionUnderstanding Light & Shade
Colour Psychology & Optical IllusionsForm & FunctionColour, Pattern & Texture
Theme DevelopmentCreative Thinking & WritingPicture Analysis
Visual LogicGood Design vs Bad DesignDrawing Fundamentals
Use of Measurements, Scale & proportionsOptical IllusionForeshortening & Perspective
Developing Themes & Colour AssociationsInspiration & CreativityOrnaments & Motifs
Memory DrawingUsage of Colour in CompositionsExpression & Emotion
Exercises on ImaginationLateral ThinkingStory Pictures
Presentation TechniquesImagination & Doodling3D Visualisation
Graphics & PictogramsInnovation & CreationDesign Awareness
Developing Observation  
M.Des Mains Syllabus
Model MakingDoodlingHow to evolve ideas
Audio – Visual ExercisesMaterial ManipulationCreative Thinking
NID DAT Reservation 

The National Institute of Design follows the reservation rules for all design courses offered by them. The category-wise reservation of seats for all the courses as per NID Reservation policy is as mentioned below:

Category Reservation (in %)
Economically Weaker Section10
Other Backward Class27

Candidates with a disability will be provided with a 5% horizontal reservation of seats from the main category in each program across all creamy and non-creamy categories.

This blog is a guide map for all students willing to make a career in the design field. We hope this blog has provided you with detailed information about the NID DAT competitive exam.

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