National Institute of Design (DAT)

National Institute of Design (NID) was first set-up in 1961 with its first campus in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. NID is a Government of India Institute, which comes under the Institutes of National Importance and is today a renowned design institute with alumni spread across the globe. The National Institute of Design is globally recognized as a leader in design studies. Business Week, USA  in 2019 listed NID as one of the top 25 Asian & European programs globally.

There are now a total of seven campuses of NID across the country including the three main campuses in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Gandhinagar.  The other four campuses are in Jorhat (Assam), Kurukshetra, Bhopal, and Vijayawada. Only the Ahmedabad campus offers a Bachelor of Design (B.Des) degree whereas the others offer Graduate Diploma Program in Design (GDPD). The campus in Gandhinagar offers only the PG program in design, M.Des. and research programs. NID is an autonomous institution and registered under the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The B.Des and the GDPD programs are for four years whereas the PG program, M.Des is for 2.5 years. The GDPD program which is offered in Jorhat, Vijayawada, Bhopal and Kurukshetra campus offers courses in Communication Design, Industrial Design, and Textile &
Apparel Design. The B.Des program is offered in seven disciplines in Textile Design, Ceramic & Glass Design, Graphic Design, Product Design, Furniture & Interior Design, Film & Video Communication, Animation Film Design, and Exhibition Design.

The PG courses are available in the specialization areas of Product Design, Information Design, Animation Film Design, New Media Design, Universal Design, Ceramic & Glass Design, Transportation and Automobile Design, Photography Design, Toy and Game Design, Design for Retail Experience, Graphic Design, Film & Video Communication, Digital Game Design, Strategic Design Management, Furniture & Interior Design,  Interaction Design, Lifestyle Accessory Design and Textile Design

The NID Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is an Entrance Examination conducted by the National Institute of Design to give admission to various Undergraduate and Post Graduate programs in the area of design. The design aptitude test offers admission to one of the most prestigious design colleges of India, National Institute of Design (NID).

NID Design Aptitude Test is an entrance examination conducted every year in the month of December and students appearing for the XII standard examination can apply for the test. It is one of the examinations that is conducted before the board examination among the entrance exams in India. The students have to clear a two-levels of the selection process to get admission into NID.

The degree offered by NID is Bachelor’s in Design (B.Des), Graduate Diploma Programme in Design (GDPD), and Masters in Design (M.Des). The NID Design Aptitude Test consists of Preliminary and Mains examination. One has to qualify both the tests to get admission into the courses offered by various NID campuses. The Ahmedabad and Bengaluru campus has the highest cut-offs for admission.

NID Design Aptitude Test | Sections

NID’s Design Aptitude Test unlike most of the entrance examinations is conducted as a paper and pen examination and is fully offline. The duration of the test is three hours for the B.Des and GDPD courses and it is for two-and-a-half hours for the M.Des courses. The examination is conducted in English.

The prelims examination has two sections for both the B.Des/GDPD courses and the M.Des courses. There is no negative marking for wrong answers and the total marks are out of 100. There are both Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Subjective Questions in the test depending on the courses selected by the students for the examination.

NID Design Aptitude Test | Pattern of the Test

The pattern for the test in both the prelims and the mains examination depends on the courses chosen by the student. For the B.Des and GDPD courses, the written test has two sections: Section A and Section B The two papers are held separately on the same day, Paper-I or Section A has questions of 70 marks and Paper-II or Section B has 30 marks questions. There are 64 MCQ type questions in Section A and three subjective questions in Section B. The students have to mark their answers in blue or black ink in the OMR sheet provided and the maximum mark a student can score is 100.

For admission to M.Des also, there are two sections Section A and Section B. There are a total of 59 MCQ type questions and three subjective type questions in sections A and B respectively. The time allotted for the examination is 2 hours 30 minutes.

 B.Des / GDPDM.Des
QuestionsSection A - 64
Section B - 3
Section A - 59
Section B - 3
Question TypeSection A - MCQ
Section B - Descriptive
Section A - MCQ
Section B - Descriptive
Maximum Marks100100
Negative MarksNoNo
Time180 mins150 mins

NID | Selection Process

The final selection of the candidates is done based on these two levels of the entrance examination, the Prelims, and the Mains. The mains test includes a studio and an interview round. The marks of both the tests are combined to decide the final merit list for admission to design courses in NID. Qualifying in both the levels is compulsory for admission to all the courses in NID.

After the Design Aptitude Test, results and cut off are released by the institute on its official website. The first merit list consists of names of candidates who have been called for the second round or the mains test. The mains test is conducted on two tiers. First, the students have to give a studio test. A separate admit card is released for the mains test both for the studio test and the interview. The studio test is of 100 marks. The test includes sketching, modeling, drawing, and group discussions. Right after the studio test students are called for an interview at the same venue. The interview is mandatory for the students applying for both B.Des and M.Des courses. The mains exam venue depends on the field of specialization of the design courses selected. The complete detail of the exam venue of the second round of the selection process is given below.

Furniture DesignUniversal DesignTransportation & Automobile Design
Animation Film DesignDigital Game DesignNew Media Design
Film & Video CommunicationInteraction DesignApparel Design
Ceramic & Glass DesignDesign for Retail ExperiencePhotography Design
Graphic DesignInformation DesignToy & Game Design
Textile DesignLifestyle Accessory Design
Product DesignStrategic Design Management

NID DAT | Result announcement

The results are declared in two stages – the first merit list and the final merit list. The first merit list is released after the completion of the Design Aptitude Test (DAT). Students can download their scorecards from the official website of NID.  The students who qualify the first round are called for the second round.

The final merit list is prepared after the interview round is completed for all candidates. In the final merit list, the marks of both first and second round are considered. 70% weightage is given to the NID DAT prelims written test and 30% weightage to the second round of studio tests and interviews. The final merit list is prepared based on the percentile score. NID releases the final merit list category wise for General, EWS, OBC, SC, ST and PWD candidates. The cut-off percentile score for admission is also different for different categories.

NID | Cut-off marks

The cut-off marks are released after both the rounds of the test. The cut off is released category wise. The final cut off decides the campus and course of the students. The cut off depends on various factors like:

There is some relaxation given to students of different categories. OBC candidates are given a relaxation of 10% cut-off scores of the general category. SC/ST applicants are given a 20% relaxation in the cut-off of the general category. The physically challenged candidates are given 30% cut off relaxation in the cut off set for the general category.

2019 cut-off for the NID DAT preliminary examination

CategoryCategory Rank
(Last Selected)
(Last Selected)
Open Category38452.00

2019 cut-off for the NID DAT final merit list to various campuses and programs

B.Des (Ahmedabad)96.2182.1183.479.4155.26
GDPD (Bhopal)81.2763.3858.6840.86
GDPD (Vijayawada)88.471.4260.3547.99
GDPD (Kurukshetra)85.8261.7962.7750.27
GDPD (Jorhat)70.5859.2942.343.44

percentile of the last candidate admitted as on August 7th, 2019

NID DAT | Who can apply?

A set of minimum requirements is set by the NID for admission to its design courses. One has to fulfill the minimum eligibility criteria to secure admission to any of the courses in NID. If a candidate fails to meet the minimum requirements then the admission of the candidate may stand canceled. The common eligibility criteria for admission to NID are:

The candidates in this course have an upper age limit of 20 years. Within the specified upper age limit, the reserved category candidates will take advantage of a 3 year age relaxation. Candidates who appear or have already passed the Higher Secondary (10 + 2) qualification exams from AISSCE / IB / ICSE or any approved board during the 2019-2020 academic year are qualified to apply for the 2019-20 academic year.

Examinations considered equivalent to Class XII  are as below

NID M.Des.

This is a 2.5 year Masters Program offered by the NID at the Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Gandhinagar campuses in the following disciplines. The age limit for the Master’s course is 30 years. The candidate applying to the Master’s course must have a Bachelors’s course in any discipline.

NID DAT | Registration

The course prospectus and online application form are released online on the official website of NID. One can download and read the prospectus for course details like fees, exam pattern, and curriculum. The step by step registration for NID exam online application form submission is as follows:

NID DAT | Syllabus

There is now a set syllabus provided by the NID for the Design Aptitude Test. The syllabus based on the 2019 DAT examination is as below.

DAT Preliminary Examination

DAT Second Stage, Studio Test

NID DAT is written by about 10,000 students across the country, this exam lays a lot of emphasis on the student’s design understanding and sketching and drawing skills, so choose this exam if you are well trained and familiar about the examination and course curriculum.

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