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NATA vs JEE Main Paper 2 - Which is Best Option for B Arch Aspirants

Abhik Das
Abhik DasUpdated On: November 30, 2023 04:38 pm IST

NATA Vs JEE Mains Paper 2 - Wondering which is a better option for B. Arch aspirants? Read this article to get a detailed comparison between the two and make an informed decision.

JEE Main or NATA - Which one is better for B.Arch Admission

NATA vs JEE Main Paper 2- Students interested in pursuing a BArch. degree have the choice of applying through JEE Main Paper 2 or NATA. NATA and JEE Main Paper 2 are both conducted to provide admission to BArch courses. Depending on the college for which admission is sought, students may opt to take either the NATA or JEE Main 2024 Paper 2 for BArch admission. NATA is administered by the Council of Architecture (CoA), whereas JEE Main Paper 2 is administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

NTA has released the JEE Main 2024 exam dates and the Phase 1 exam is scheduled to take place from January 24 to February 1, 2024. JEE Main Application Form 2024 has been released officially. 

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While NATA is used to offer admission to colleges like SPA Delhi and CEPT University Ahmedabad, JEE Main Paper 2 opens the door to NITs and GFTIs offering BArch courses. Students usually get confused thinking about 'Which test should I take' and 'What is the syllabus, exam pattern, and eligibility requirements' Given that both exams have similar exam patterns and objectives, you can choose between taking the NATA or the JEE Main Paper 2 by reviewing our detailed guide.

Today, let us go through both these national-level exams for BArch admissions and try to find out if it is really advantageous to appear in one of these two exams compared to the other.

About NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture)

NATA or National Aptitude Test in Architecture is a national-level entrance exam for BArch admissions in various institutions in the country offering  a 5-year undergraduate programme in Architecture. NATA is conducted thrice every year, usually during April and May. NATA is a gateway exam for the vacant BArch seats in various premier institutes in India but the decision regarding final admission to the candidates who appear in NATA lies with the authorities of the respective institutions or colleges.

About JEE Main (Paper-II)

JEE Main 2024 exam is another popular national-level entrance examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) every year for students looking for admission into programmes such as Bachelor of Technology, Bachelor of Engineering, BArch and Bachelor of Planning offered by the National Institute of Technologies (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs) in the country. For BArch admission in these institutes, the aspirants have to appear in the second paper of the JEE Main examination. 

Differences Between NATA and JEE Main 2024

The table below contains the basic differences between the two BArch entrance exams, i.e. NATA and JEE Main Paper 2 -



JEE Main (Paper-II)

Frequency of Exam

4 times Every Year

Twice Every Year

Total Questions in Paper



Total Sections

1 (Including all the subjects i.e. General Aptitude, Mathematics and Drawing)

3 (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics)

Total Duration of Exam

3 Hours

3 Hours

Institutes Accepting Scores

Premier Architecture Institutes including the three SPAs


Number of Vacant Seats

More compared to JEE Main

Less Compared to NATA


  • 12th pass students from PCM background with a minimum aggregate of 50% are eligible for NATA
  • 12th pass students from PCM background with a minimum aggregate of 50% are eligible for JEE Main (Paper-II)
  • Students Appearing in the class 12th exam and those who have passed their qualifying exam in the last two years are also eligible

Which is Tougher - JEE Main Paper 2 or NATA?

This question - 'Is JEE Main paper 2 tougher compared to NATA' again has haunted many BArch aspirants in the past. Although there is no such thing as tough or easy yet, students fall for these kinds of comparisons and pre-determined notions do rarely help in scoring good marks in these kinds of national-level architecture entrance exams.

However, there is one little thing that might make JEE Main (Paper-II) tougher to crack as compared to NATA and that is the number of participating colleges. The number of institutes accepting JEE Main Paper 2 scores for BArch admission is far less than the colleges which accept NATA scores for BArch admissions. Fewer institutes mean fewer seats and thus fierce competition. Due to this small reason, talks are everywhere regarding how tough it is to crack JEE Main (Paper-II) compared to NATA. The experts at CollegeDekho believe that instead of gauging the toughness of the exams, the candidates must devote their entire energy towards preparing to fulfil their dream of pursuing a BArch from one of these reputed Architecture colleges in the country.

NATA v/s JEE Main (Paper-II) - Syllabus Comparison

As we are talking about whether JEE Main or NATA is the best option for an Architecture aspirant in the country, it is time we compare the syllabus of these two reputed national-level undergraduate architecture entrance exams. The following table contains the direct link to the syllabus of NATA and JEE Mains -

NATA 2024 Syllabus

JEE Main syllabus 2024

JEE Main Exam Dates 2024

You can find JEE Main 2024 exam dates in the table below -


JEE Main Dates 2024

JEE Main 2024 exam date

  • January session - January 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and February 1, 2024
  • April session - April 1 to 15, 2024

NATA 2024 Exam Dates 

Check out the NATA 2024 exam dates given in the table below -


NATA Phase 1 Dates 2024

NATA Phase 2 Dates 2024

NATA Phase 3 Dates 2024

NATA Phase 4 Dates 2024

NATA 2024 Exam date

Third week of April, 2024

First week of June, 2024

Second week of July, 2024

Third week of September, 2024

Related Articles

Here are some quick links to some of the topics related to JEE Main (Paper-II) and NATA examinations -

Apply for BArch admissions without JEE Main/NATA scoreNATA Sample Questions 2024
Is NATA 2024 compulsory for B.Arch admission in India? How many attempts should you giveNATA 2023 Preparation Tips & Tricks
Who Will be Eligible for NATA 2024 - Detailed Criteria, Age, Maximum AttemptsIs Physics and Chemistry Still a Part of the NATA Syllabus?
Find out what is better - BArch or B.DesArchitecture (B Arch/B Planning) Drawing Questions for All Exams: JEE Main, JEE Advanced, NATA

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