NID DAT Exam : A Detailed Free Guide

NID DAT Exam is a national-level exam. NID Design Aptitude Test is an entrance examination for shortlisting the candidate willing to take admission in UG and PG design courses offered at National Institute Design (NID) campus. The National Institute of Design (NID) is a design school located in Ahmedabad with several other campuses across India.


This is an autonomous body under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, as a scientific and industrial design research organization recognizes NID.


NID is granted as “Institute of National Importance” by the Act of Parliament, under the National Institute of Design Act,2014.



NID DAT Campus



Name of the Institute Established Year


1 National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (Heritage Campus) 1961 Gujarat
2 National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar (Post Graduate Campus) 2004 Gujarat
3 National Institute of Design, Bangalore (R&D Campus) 2006 Karnataka
4 National Institute of Design, Vijayawada 2015 Andhra Pradesh
5 National Institute of Design, Jorhat 2019 Assam
6 National Institute of Design, Kurukshetra 2016 Haryana
7 National Institute of Design, Bhopal 2018 Madhya Pradesh


  NIT DAT Exam Highlights




Exam Name NID Design Aptitude Test
Exam conducting body National Institute of  Design (NID)
Exam Level National
Exam Frequency Once a year
Exam Mode Offline
Exam Paper Preliminary  & Mains
Exam Duration B.Des/GDPD -3 hours
M.Des -2 hours 30 minutes
Exam Medium English
Exam Purpose Admission to 7 NIDs
Number of College accepting NIFT score 7
Official Website


NID offers different Diplomas, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, PhD in Design, and other Foundation courses in design like Bachelor of Design, Graduate Diploma Program in Design, and Master of Design.


B.Des Course

GDPD Course

M.Des Course

Ceramic & Glass Design Industrial Design Animation & Film Design
Furniture & Interior Design Communication Design Ceramic & Glass Design
Product Design Textile & Apparel Design Furniture & Interior Design
Exhibition Design Film & Video Communication
Graphic Design Graphic Design
Animation & Film Design Product Design
Film & Video Communication Textile Design
Textile Design Apparel Design
Lifestyle Accessory Design
Strategic Design Management
New Media Design
Photography Design
Toy & Game Design
Transportation & Automobile Design
Design for Retail Experience
Digital Game Design
Information Design
Interaction Design
Universal Design


NID DAT Exam: Proposed Month



Tentative Month

NID Notifiacation October
NID Prelim Admit Card December
NID Prelim Exam December
NID Prelim Result (M.Des) February
NID Prelim Result (B.Des) May
NID Mains Admit Card (B.Des) June
NID Mains Admit Card (M.Des) June
NID Mains Exam (B.Des) June
NID Mains Exam (M.Des) July
NID Result July
NID Counselling July






Eligibility Criteria



  • Indian Citizen
  • Person of Indian Origin (PIO)
  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)
  • Non-Residents of India (NRI) and
  • Foreign Nationals are eligible to apply



Educational Qualification

Age Limit

Bachelor of Design- B.Des)/GDPD Candidates who have passed/appeared in Class 12th or equivalent from any of the recognized boards or its equivalent and have to produce the certificate at the in-person counselling. Not more than 20 years for General Candidate (SC, ST, NCL – up to 3 & PWD -5 years of relaxation.)
Candidates who have passed class 12th or equivalent conducted by National open School with a minimum of 5 subjects
Candidates who have passed 3 or 4 years of Diploma recognized by AICTE or State Board of Technical Education
Candidates who have taken the General Certificate Education Examination in London/Sri Lanka at an Advanced (A) Level/International Baccalaureate (IB)
Candidate who have taken the exam in Foreign countries and should be recognized by the Association of Indian Universities as equivalent to the 10+2 system
Master of Design (M.Des) Candidates who have passed/appearing graduation from a recognized university or equivalent Not more than 30 years for General Candidate (SC, ST, NCL – up to 3 & PWD -5 years of relaxation.)
Candidates who have passed/appearing a full-time 4 years Diploma in Design/ Arts/ Fine Arts/Applied Arts/Architecture after Class 12 from a recognized university or its equivalent.


Overseas Category:


  • The Foreign Nationals candidate can apply for the NID exam only under the overseas Supernumerary category provided they fulfill all the eligibility criteria mentioned in the notification.
  • The Supernumerary seat for an overseas candidate is not applicable for the GDPD program in NID Andhra Pradesh, NID Haryana, NID Madhya Pradesh & NID Assam.
  • Candidates holding OCI and PIO cards will have to apply only under the Overseas supernumerary category.
  • NRIs are not eligible to apply under the Overseas supernumerary category. They must apply as Indian Nationals.
  • Overseas candidates must sit for both the exams like the NID Prelim and the NID Mains.
  • Candidates holding a degree/certificate from a university /institute of any other country other than India, will have to produce an equivalence certificate from the Association of Indian University (AIU), New Delhi.



Number of Seat

Bachelor of Design -B.Des NID Ahmedabad 19
Master of Design (having 19 seats) 3
Master of Design (having 12 seats) 2


NID DAT Exam Pattern for B.Des & GDPD.


NID DAT consists of two stages:

  1. NID DAT (Prelims)
  2. NID DAT (Mains) consists of Studio Test and Personal Interview


NID DAT Prelims Exam Pattern for B.Des & GDPD


Exam Pattern

B.Des & GDPD


Exam Mode Paper & Pen based- Offline Paper & Pen based- Offline
Number of Sections Section A & Section B Section A & Section B
Number of Questions Section A- 64 MCQs Section A- 59 MCQs
Section B -3 Subjective Section B -3 Subjective
Total Marks 100 100
Exam Duration 3 hours 2 hours 30 minutes
Negative Marking No No


NID DAT (Mains) consists of Studio Test and Personal Interview for B.Des & GDPD


Candidates who qualify for the DAT Preliminary exam are called for DAT Mains exam which include a Studio Test of 100 marks. Studio Test assess the candidate’s ability in sketching/drawing, handicraft modelling and group discussion.


NID DAT Exam Pattern for M.Des


  • The Master of Design DAT Prelim consist of a Common Design Aptitude Test (CDAT) and a faculty-specific Domain Test which evaluates the visualization, creativity, analysis, knowledge, and comprehension of the candidate.
  • There are 2 sections in the exam having objective and subjective questions.
  • The paper is in English language having no negative marks


NID DAT (Prelims) for M.Des


M.Des with One Discipline

M.Des with Two Discipline

Candidate must write NID Prelim which includes CDAT and a Faculty-specific domain test Candidate must write NID Prelim which includes CDAT and one Faculty-specific domain test if both the subjects fall under the same Faculty OR
Candidate must write NID Prelim which includes CDAT and two Faculty-specific domain test if both the subjects fall under  two different Faculty
Duration of the exam is 150 minutes Duration of the exam is 150 minutes


NID DAT (Mains) consists of Studio Test and Personal Interview for M.Des


This is the second stage of the selection process. The candidates who qualify in the first stage of the selection process are eligible to appear for the DAT Mains exam.


Studio Test:


  • It comprises of different sections assessing on various parameters such as hands-on drawing/sketching, hands-on model making, group discussion.


  • The duration of the exam is 3 hours.



This is conducted separately for each discipline after the Studio test.


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