CAREER IN NATA AND JEE B.ARCH – A PARADIGM SHIFT
Careers in non-traditional fields of study are generally not encouraged by Indian parents.
By nontraditional, we mean fields other than science, engineering, management and information
technology. People think there will not be enough opportunities if their children study arts,
literature, architecture or design.
Fortunately, that thinking is changing. Recent news of National Institute of Design (NID) graduates
getting rewarding offers from worldwide employers has renewed people’s interest in architecture
and design as good career choices. Parents and students have started making enquiries about
admission criteria and process in the national institutions of repute. We can say there has been a
paradigm shift from the original thinking.
In spite of the renewed interest, people are generally in the dark about how to get admission in
reputed institutions such as National Institute of Design (NID), Centre for Environmental
Planning and Technology (CEPT), Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) and other
state/central funded and private institutions. They try to gain admission on basis of half-baked
information or seek help from dishonest private coaching classes. They become dejected as they
fail to get admission.
Please note that seats in design and architecture schools/colleges are very limited for thousand of
applicants. Competition is rife but if a student has right aptitude and keen interest, he or she can
get admission in architecture and design with a little preparation and help from coaching institutes.
Here is the list of some of the best institutions/programs for Architecture and Design in India and
their admission policies:
Career in Architecture
1. NATA – National Aptitude Test in Architecture
NATA is a national level aptitude test in architecture conducted by the Council of Architecture (CA)
for admission to 1st year of the 5-year B.Arch. Degree course at institutes/schools/colleges of
architecture in India, including government, government-aided, private unaided, university
department and deemed universities offering courses leading to Bachelor’s degree in Architecture.
NATA measures candidates’ drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic
sensitivity and critical thinking ability.
Students getting minimum 50% marks in HSC (Std 12) with mathematics as one of the subjects are
eligible for admission to B. Arch after clearing NATA entrance test. Students having passed SSC (Std
X) or equivalent can also appear for NATA but admission will be granted only after Std 12.
NATA Entrance Tests
NATA Entrance tests are conducted in various cities in two parts: 1) a 2-hour pen and paper
drawing aptitude test and 2) a computer based Aesthetic Sensitivity Test of 40 multiple-choice
questions (MCQs) to measure candidates’ perception, imagination, observation and creativity. For
complete details, visit the NATA website at http://www.nata.in
Note: Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) accepts NATA scores for
admission to its B.Arch program.
2. JEE B. Arch - Joint Entrance Exam for Bachelor in Architecture
Students seeking admissions to B. Arch or B. Planning programmes (other than IITs) offered by
national / state level architecture institutions / colleges need to appear for JEE B. Arch (Paper-2),
which is a 3-hour pen and paper based exam consisting of:
Part I – Mathematics – Objective Type
Part II – Aptitude Test – Objective Type; and
Part III – Drawing Test – Questions to test drawing aptitude
The JEE B. Arch merit list is published based on 40% weightage to School Board marks in Class 12
(or equivalent) and 60% weightage to JEE (Main). All National Institute of Technologies (NITs),
School of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) and other government and self-finance architecture
schools are accepting students with JEE B.Arch results.
Students having passed in final examination of 10+2 (Class XII) or its equivalent are eligible. Those
appearing for Class XII may also appear in JEE B. Arch provisionally. However, admission is granted
by concerned university / institution and as per the guidelines and criteria prescribed by AICTE.
Students need to apply online for JEE B. Arch through JEE (Main) website www.jeemain.nic.in. A
student can appear three times in JEE B. Arch examination. Students are advised to seek guidance
from JEE B. Arch coaching institutes.
Career in Design
1. NEED – National Entrance Exam for Design
NEED is an entrance exam conducted by National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, one of the
top design schools in the world. NID offers two types of courses:
GDPD: Graduate Diploma Programme in Design, a 4-year programme in 8 disciplines at its Heritage
Campus in Ahmedabad
Eligibility: students passed/appearing for Higher Secondary (10+2) OR equivalent like AISSCE, IB
or ISC from any stream
Selection Process: 1) Written Examination to test the candidates’ observation skills, sketching
skills, clarity of ideas/concepts and their futuristic thinking; 2) Studio Test to test their creativity,
presence of mind, soft skills, etc.
PGDPD: Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Design, a 2.5-year programme in 17 disciplines at
Main Campus, Ahmedabad and at PG Campus, Gandhinagar and R&D Campus, Bangalore
Eligibility: Students passed under 10+2+4 pattern. Eligibility criteria vary according to discipline
but Degree in Design, Engineering, Technology, Architecture, Design and Fine Arts or Diploma in
Design is acceptable.
Selection Process: 1) Written Examination and 2) Group Discussion and Personal Interview
2. IIT CEED – Common Entrance Exam for Designing
CEED is a nationwide entrance examination conducted by the prestigious Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT) for admissions to various post-graduate programmes such as Master of Design
(M.Des.) and PhD as detailed below:
Master of Design (M.Des)
IIT Bombay only: Animation, Visual Communication, Interaction Design, Mobility and Vehicle
IIT Bombay, Delhi and Kanpur: Industrial Design
IISc Bangalore: Product Design and Engineering
Eligibility: 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering / Architecture / Design/ Interior Design or
equivalent or 4-year Professional Diploma in Design (NID/CEPT or equivalent) or 4-year Bachelor
of Fine Arts (BFA) or 5-year Graduate Diploma in Art with one-year post qualification professional
PhD in Design
IIT Bombay, IISc Bengaluru
Eligibility: Masters degree in Arts / Science / Computer Applications
CEED Preparation includes 1) online registration [visit http://www.gate.iitb.ac.in/ceed2013/]; 2)
Exam – a 3-hour exam in two parts: A (computer based) and B (paper-based). The objective of
CEED is to assess the candidates’ aptitude for design, visual perception ability, drawing skills,
logical reasoning, creativity and communication skills.