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How to Prepare for Design Entrance Exam: Preparation Strategy, Best Study Material

Harleen Kaur
Harleen KaurUpdated On: July 21, 2022 12:23 pm IST | CEED

Check out this article for information on how to prepare for the design entrance exam, the best study materials, previous year's question papers, and other useful design course information.

How to Prepare for Design Entrance Exam: Preparation Strategy, Best Study Material

Design is an ever-changing field with numerous courses and colleges across the country. To pursue and establish a career in design, it is critical that you enroll in one of India's well-known design colleges. It not only provides exposure but also aids in the development of design skills. Numerous design colleges either shortlist students for admission based on the national level entrance exam or the institute level entrance exam. Students who perform and achieve better results have a better chance of making the cut.

If you want to advance professionally as a designer, you should focus on preparing for Design Entrance Exams for BDes and MDes Courses. These courses are extremely popular in India and ensure a student's holistic development. To qualify for the design entrance exam, you must be fully prepared with knowledge of the national entrance exams and their important dates. This will not only help you keep track of upcoming events, but it will also help you plan better for the exam.

Popular Design Entrance Exams in India

A career in design is in high demand these days, and there are numerous design entrance exams held in India. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, designers, particularly graphic designers, will see an increase in demand every year until 2021. With an increasing number of students choosing this field, it is critical that design universities or colleges that offer design programmes select the best candidates for final admissions. This ensures that the number of good designers in our country is constantly increasing.

The majority of India's design colleges admit students through national, state, or institute-level Design Entrance Exams. Many design schools also offer candidates merit-based admissions.

Check out the top ten design entrance exams that candidates must take in order to pursue desired design courses listed below:

Exam Name

Application Process Starts

Application Process Ends

Admit Card Release Date

Exam Date(s)

Mode of Exam

Announcement of Result


December 03, 2021

January 17, 2022

January 29, 2022

February 06, 2022


March 2022


September 09, 2021

October 10, 2021

January 08, 2022

January 23, 2022


March 10, 2022


September 09, 2021

October 10, 2021

January 08, 2022

January 23, 2022


March 08, 2022


October 05, 2021

December 06, 2021

Prelims: December 23, 2022

To be Notified

Offline & Online Mode

June 2022

PAF Entrance Exam

January 2022

February 06, 2022

A few days before the exam

Online: February 16, 17

Offline: February 19 & 20, 2022


(February Cycle)

A few days after the exam


February 01, 2022

April 10, 2022

June 06, 2022

June 19, 2022


June 30, 2022


October 25, 2021

January 25, 2022

February 01 to 13, 2022

February 13, 2022


February 23, 2022


December 23, 2021

To be Notified

To be Notified

January 05 to January 15, 2022


7 Days After the Exam (February Cycle)

Preparation Strategy for Design Entrance Exams

Candidates taking the Design entrance exam should review the preparation plan provided below in order to pass the exam with high marks.

Set your Preparation Time

Test takers for the Design entrance exam must determine how much time they will need for entrance exam preparation. Depending on the candidate's capacity and calibre, preparation time can be one year, six months, or even less. Determine the number of hours you will devote to exam preparation each day after assessing your preparation time. Aspirants with plenty of time should thoroughly review the exam pattern and syllabus, as well as practise more mock tests and sample papers, in order to cover everything on time. However, if the candidate is short on time, he or she must be disciplined, focused, and devote more time to exam preparation.

Improve your Sketching Abilities

Sketching is a skill that no designer should be without. So, if your sketching skills are lacking, you must work hard to improve them.

Understand Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses

Before you begin your entrance exam preparation, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Determine which topics you excel at and which require improvement. After analysing your strengths and weaknesses, begin working on your weaker areas, which will take more time to understand. Candidates can either take coaching/tuitions or do self-study, whichever is more convenient for them, and must ensure that they are improving in their weaker areas. After you've covered your weaker areas, concentrate on your strong points. As a result, all of your Design exam topics will be covered.

Also Read: Self-Study Guide for Design Entrance Exams in India

Know your Exam-Pattern Well

Knowing the exam pattern for the Design Entrance Exam gives a candidate an advantage in the exam. It not only allows the applicant to understand the structure of the question paper, but it also gives them an idea of the types of questions that may appear in the exam. Go through the overview of the Design 2022 exam pattern mentioned here in order to stay ahead in the race.

Practice Mock Test Papers

While studying for the Design entrance exam, take as many Design Mock Tests as possible. A mock test will help you evaluate your current exam preparation and the types of questions you will encounter in the entrance exam. It will also assist you in better understanding the test pattern and increasing your speed and accuracy. Taking more mock tests will boost your confidence and help you effectively analyse the question paper in the exam.

Daily Newspaper Reading and News Viewing

The General Knowledge section of the Design entrance exam is critical. As a result, candidates must read newspapers and watch the news on a daily basis to stay current on events in our country and around the world. It will be a significant addition to your preparation and will assist you in scoring well on the entrance examination.

Practise is the Key to Success

Candidates who adhere to a proper study plan will easily pass the Design entrance exam. Reading, studying, writing, solving sample papers and mock tests, and time management are all important aspects of exam preparation. Students who excel in all of these areas will almost certainly pass the Design Entrance Exam. Most students practise every day, but then skip a few days and restart. As a result, consistency must be maintained throughout the exam preparation process without interruption.

Excellent Revision Strategy

A month before the exam, plan a good revision strategy. Revision is regarded as the most important aspect of exam preparation. Candidates must go over all of the topics covered at least twice. Going over the prepared notes, covering all of the topics, and brushing up on important points at the last minute is all part of revision.

Maintain a Positive and Relaxed Attitude

It is recommended that you do not stress yourself out before the entrance exam. Maintain your cool throughout the exam preparation process. Take short breaks, watch a movie, or do whatever relaxes you. Avoid panic and unnecessary stress. Maintain a positive attitude, eat nutritious foods, stay hydrated, and refrain from overthinking. Remember not to compare your preparation to that of your peers. Stay calm and meditate.

Time Management

Aspirants must manage their time effectively not only during exam preparation but also on exam day. Try not to spend too much time on a single question; if you are having difficulty with one, skip it and move on to the next.

Give your Mind a Break

It is not advisable to study for an extended period of time. Always take short breaks to allow your mind to rest and recharge. Long study hours can be exhausting and have an impact on study quality. When you study for an extended period of time, your mind stops functioning optimally, reducing your grasping and memorising capacity for the topics and causing you to lose focus. As a result, taking short breaks can improve your study quality and increase your concentration, which is essential in the exam room.

How to Prepare for Design Entrance Exam?

Here is a compiled list of preparation tips for all of the top design entrance exams that you can take. These tips and tricks will teach you how to develop a strategy, what to prioritise, and how to revise. Candidates must first understand the exam pattern and syllabus before beginning their preparation.

Also Read: How to Crack Interviews for Design Admissions in India

Design Entrance Exams Best Study Material

A Design Aptitude Test is administered as part of the design entrance exams (DAT). Some of the best books for preparing for design entrance exams are listed below.

Best Design Aptitude Test Books (DAT)

Name of the book

Author/ Publisher

Arihant's Ultimate Guide for NIFT/NID/IIFT Entrance Exam

Arihant Publications

Basic Rendering 

Robert W. Gill

Rendering in Pen and Ink

Robert W. Gill

Design Drawing

Francis D.K. Ching

UCEED (B. Des) Entrance Books and Test Series


Guide for NIFT/NID/IIFT 2022

Arihant Experts

Cracking CEED & UCEED 

Ashok Goel and Arjun Kamal

UCEED Mock Test Series

IIT Alumni

NIFT Mock Test Series

NIFT Alumni

If you are taking the NID DAT and a few other exams, you will also be required to take a Studio Test. It should be noted that the final merit list in this case will be prepared by taking into account the candidate's performance in both the written exam and the Studio Test. There is a Situation Test for the UG programme at NIFT. Postgraduate candidates must participate in a Group Discussion/Personal Interview (GDPI).

NID DAT 2022 Studio Test Study Material

Name of the book

Author/ Publisher

Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug

The Design of Everyday Things

Don Norman

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

Don Norman

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices That Matter)

Weinschenk Susan

Universal Principles of Design

William Lidwell

Creative Confidence

Tom Kelley and David Kelley

You must ensure that you have the best books or study materials to prepare for the top Design entrance exams. To get a list of the best books for the exam, follow the links below:

Previous Year Question Papers for Design Entrance Exams

Practising previous year question papers is the most effective way to become familiar with the various types of questions asked in the test and the exam pattern. You can get to them by clicking on the following links in the table:

Also Read:

The students opting for Design Entrance Exams in India can refer to this article and keep a check on this page for further updates and date releases. If you have any questions, visit our QnA section and feel free to write your queries to us.

For further news/articles and updates related to Design Entrance Exams, stay tuned to CollegeDekho!


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