Top 10 Design Entrance Exams in India

Geetika Bansal
Geetika BansalPublished On: October 08, 2020

Check out the list of the top 10 design entrance exams in India. On the basis of these exams, students are offered admission to design programmes in the prestigious design colleges of India.

Design Entrance Exams in India

There are not one but many design-related examinations which are held in India. The field of Design is much opted for and in demand these days. The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveyed that the designers, especially graphic designers, have seen an increased demand every passing year till 2020. With more and more students opting for this field, it becomes of utmost importance that the universities or colleges that offer programmes in design, select the most suitable candidates for the final admissions. This ensures that the number of good designers that our country gets is on a constant rise.

Most of the design colleges of India conduct admissions through design entrance exams which are of the national, state, or institute level. Many design colleges also provide merit based admissions to candidates. Check out the list of the top 10 design entrance exams which candidates have to appear for in order to be eligible to pursue design courses.

10 Popular Design Entrance Exams in India

The schedule of some popular design entrance exams for the academic session of 2020-21 is provided in the table given below. Candidates who are seeking admission to various design colleges in India can check this schedule in order to be updated with the entrance exams for design admissions.

Exam NameApplication Process StartsApplication Process EndsAdmit Card Release DateExam Date(s)Mode of ExamAnnouncement of Result
NIFT Exam1st January 20204th January 202010th January 202019th January 2020Offline13th March 2020
UCEED9th October 201915th November 201927th December 201918th January 2020Online13th March 2020
CEED9th October 201920th November 201927th December 201918th January 2020Computer-Based13th March 2020
NID1st October 201913th November 201920th December 2019

29th December 2019 (Prelims)

22nd June 2020 (Mains)

Offline Mode (pen paper-based test)

4th May 2020 (Prelims)

24th July 2020 (Mains)

PAFJanuary start

12th April 2020 (April Cycle)

14th April 202028th and 29th April 2020Online (Changed)

28th May 2020 (April Cycle)

UID14th October 201915th January 2020A Week Before the Exam26th January 2020Offline Paper and Pen-based10th February 2020
AIEED1st October 201928th November 2019A Week Before the Exam15th January to 31st October 2020Online Mode7 Days after the Exam

Also Read: All About Common Entrance Examination for Design (CEED)

Top National Level Design Exams

These are the various national level design exams that every design course aspirant must give:

  • UCEED: Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design, commonly known as UCEED, is a computer-based examination conducted by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. IIT Bombay offers a bachelor course in design which is BDes. It is conducted in the month of January every year. The duration of this exam is three hours and the applicants are tested on their design thinking and problem-solving skills, environmental and social awareness knowledge, etc. The exam is conducted for 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • AIEED: This exam is given to crack the entrance for Arch College of Design and Business and has two sections namely: General Aptitude Test and Creative Aptitude Test. The college offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of design. The applicants are tested on these skills: Lateral Thinking & Creative Problem Solving and Awareness of Design Principles. It is held for two hours and has maximum marks of 100.
  • CEED: It is for designing programmes for IITs, UPES and IIScs. The Common Entrance Examination for Design, popularly known as CEED, is held especially for MDes aspirants. The exam has two parts: Subjective and Objective questions. These skills are tested in the applicants in this examination: Environmental and Social Awareness, Creativity, Communication Skills. It has two sections: A and B.
  • FDDI: FDDI AIST exam is best suited for the fashion aspirants who are solely interested in footwear designing and want to pursue a profession only in that sphere. Footwear Design and Development Institute offers programmes in both undergraduate and postgraduate design courses. This exam is conducted in the month of May every year and its syllabus focuses on General Awareness, Verbal Ability and Quantitative Aptitude.

Top Institute Level Design Exams

These are some institute specific exams, designed for design aspirants:

  • NIFT: By giving the NIFT exam, students get to be a part of the most prestigious college in the country for fashion and design, that is the National Institute of Fashion & Design. This exam is usually held in the month of January or February by the university itself. By giving this exam, the students are open to pursuing courses like Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fashion Technology, Master of Design, Master of Fashion Management and Master of Fashion Technology. The students are analysed on their creativity, illustration skills, current affairs, quantitative ability, etc. The exam is for two hours and is conducted in the offline mode.
  • SEED: Symbiosis International University conducts SEED exam which has objective type questions. There are almost 150 multiple choice questions which have to be attempted by the aspirant within a time frame of 2.5 hours. In this exam, the aspirants are tested on the basis of their creative thinking ability, their awareness about general designs, the knowledge about Indian culture and also about spheres and geometry. The syllabus focuses on Creative and Problem-Solving Abilities and Application of Basic Knowledge of Science and Mathematics.
  • NID: NID Exam is for the National Institute of Design. After clearing the aptitude test of NID, the aspirants are open to exploring amongst undergraduate and postgraduate courses at NID campus. The applicants are tested on their skills in an optical illusion, innovation and creation, designing outlines for beginners, drawing fundamentals, colours patterns. The exam is of 3 hours and has both kinds of sections: Objective and Subjective.
  • GD Goenka Dat: GD Goenka DAT’s pattern is similar to that of NIFT and NID’s entrance exams. This exam is conducted by GD Goenka University with a duration of three hours. It is conducted in offline mode. These skills are tested in the exam: Visual Appreciation Skills, Analytical and Critical Thinking and Conceptual Thinking.
  • UID: This test is conducted by the UID - Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID) and is usually conducted in the month of January. UID offers BDes and MDes courses to students, therefore, this exam offers the doors to those courses for them. The candidates also go through a situation test and a round of portfolio evaluation test after giving the UID test. The syllabus focuses on current affairs and problem identifying skills. It is for two hours and thirty minutes.
  • PAF: Pearl Academy of Fashion conducts PAF and the exam is commonly known as PAF exam. It has two types: GPT - General Proficiency Test and DAT - Design Aptitude Test and is usually conducted in the months of April and January every year. Aspirants are tested on these skills: language ability, mathematical skills, logical reasoning, etc. The exam pattern of PAF varies from course to course. All sections are of 1-hour of duration.

Also Read: NIFT Entrance Exam Preparation Important Topics

    Top Design Institutes in India

    Check out the list of some of the popular design colleges in India. The location of the institutes has also been given.

    College Name


    Pearl Academy


    International Institute of Fashion Design

    Pune, Maharashtra

    International College of Fashion (ICF)


    Tecnia Institute of Art and Design (TIAD)

    New Delhi, Delhi

    World University of Design (WUD)

    Sonepat, Haryana

    JD Institute of Fashion Technology

    Navi Mumbai

    Centre for Design Excellence (CODE)


    Maeer's MIT Institute of Design (MITID)

    Pune, Maharashtra

    Aditya College of Design Studies (ACDS Mumbai)


    Lovely Professional University (LPU)


    With the increase in demand for design courses, the levels and types of programmes offered in the field have also witnessed a rise. There are various specialisations in which candidates can enrol themselves. Getting into one of the leading design institutes in the country becomes easier if you score well in these entrance exams. Stay tuned to CollegeDekho to get more information regarding design courses and entrance exams. Fill our Common Application Form (CAF) and find the best college for yourself.

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