NID DAT 2021: Registration, Exam Date, Syllabus, Pattern, Admit Card, Result, Admission

Exam Date

Mar 14, 2021

Result Date

Jun 18, 2021

Aug 5, 2021 | Design


Get admission into India's top Design Institute, the National Institute of Design with the help of NID DAT 2021. It is a national level exam to get admission into one of the 7 institutes across India that are Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Kurukshetra and Jorhat. All the aspects and information that one may require on NID 2021 is elaborated and discussed in this section.

Latest Updates:

  • Aug 2, 2021: The final results for M.Des admissions through NID DAT 2021 are released. Those who participated may check the results by logging in.
  • Jul 27, 2021: The final results for NID DAT 2021 B.Des are released. Candidates can check the same by logging in.


What is NID DAT?

NID Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT 2021) is a national level entrance examination conducted by the National Institute of Design, for admission into various UG and PG Programs.

NID is an autonomous institute under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and even recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which is under the Ministry of Science and Technology of India. 

Exam Details NIT DAT
Exam Name NID DAT
Full form  NIT Design Aptitude Test
Level National Level
Conducting Authority National Institute of Design
Courses Offered B.Des, M.Des, and GDPD Courses
Medium English
Mode Pen and Paper Based
Stages Stage 1: DAT Prelims
Stage 2: DAT Mains
Maximum Marks 100 marks
Exam Duration 180 Minutes
Official Website

On successfully applying for the entrance exam, candidates can take up the NIT DAT 2021 for admissions into Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Diploma courses such as B.Des, M.Des and GDPD. It has been designed as one of the hardest exams in India.

NIDNational Institute of Design has three campuses around India with Ahmedabad being the main campus, Gandhinagar being the PG campus, and the Bengaluru campus for R&D. NID DAT will be conducted in 21 centres across India. It will be conducted as paper and pen-based exam i.e. offline, and its total duration would be 3 hours i.e. 180 minutes.

NID DAT 2021 Exam Date

The conducting authority has released the notification and the complete schedule for the prelims exam. The mains exam schedule will be announced soon after the conduction of the prelims exam. Candidates must make sure to note all the dates so they do not miss out on any of the important events.

The dates of the events associated with the NID DAT 2021 exam are released. Candidates can regularly check the table below for updates. 

Exam Dates for NID DAT Prelims and Mains
Important Events Dates
Application Form Start Date Jan 9, 2021
Last Date to Apply without Late Fee Feb 17, 2021
Last date to apply with late fee Feb 8, 2021 - Feb 12, 2021
Application Form Correction Window Feb 21, 2021
NID 2021 Prelims Admit Card Release Date Mar 4, 2021
NID 2021 Prelims Exam Mar 14, 2021
NID 2021 Prelims Results Jun 18, 2021
NID 2021 Prelims Exam Recheck Window (B.Des and M.Des) Jun 23, 2021 to Jun 25, 2021 (Until 8:00 AM)
NID 2021 Mains Admit Card Release Date M.Des: Jul 8, 2021
NID 2021 Mains Exam Completed in Jul 2021
NID 2021 Mains Results B.Des: Jul 27, 2021
M.Des: Aug 2, 2021
Counselling Start Date To be announced

NID DAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

The exam authority has set up certain criteria for taking up the exam. Candidates should make sure to clear the NID DAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria prior to applying for the exam. These eligibility criteria are very important for the candidates to check and verify because they will be deemed ineligible and the application forms will be considered invalid, if they do not fulfill the minimum eligibility requirements. NID DAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for the Bachelor and Master programs is given below.

Bachelor of Design/GDPD

Age Limit: Indian (Gen & Gen-EWS) and foreign candidates applying for the B.Des course must not be over 20 years of age, as of the date of admission (only those candidates who are born on or after July 1, 2001, are eligible to apply)

For SC/ST/OBC-NCL, a candidate should be born after July 1, 1998, in order to be eligible for NID DAT Exam. PwD candidates born after July 1, 1996, are also eligible.

Educational Qualification: The candidates should either have completed or must be appearing for the final examination of 10+2 in 2020-21 or equivalent from a recognized board (SSC/ICSE/CBSE)

Masters of Design (M.Des)

Age Limit

The Indian (Gen & Gen-EWS) and foreign candidates who are born after July 1, 1990, are eligible to apply for admission into NID. The Indian nationals belonging to reserved categories like SC/ST/OBC-NCL, born after July 1, 1987, are eligible to apply. Candidates belonging to PwD reserved category can apply for NID DAT Exam if they are born after July 1, 1985.

Educational Qualification

The following are the required educational qualifications for fulfilling the eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates should possess a graduation degree of 4 years in any specialization after 10+2 standard or equivalent from any recognized University of India. Candidates should have passed the Degree by May/June 2021 for the process of document verification. OR
  • Candidates holding a Bachelor Degree of a minimum of 3 years in any specialization after 12th standard or equivalent to that. The only condition is that they must have passed the examination before June 2021. OR
  • A candidate with a Full-time Diploma of 4 years in Architecture/Fine Arts/Applied Arts/Design after 12th standard. He/she should pass the Diploma course before May/June 2021.

PhD. Program

Applying candidates should be a citizen of India who should hold one of the following qualifications:

  • A Master's level qualification in Design. OR
  • A bachelor's level qualification in Design from NID with 3 years of professional or teaching experience. OR
  • A Master's Degree in Philosophy (e.g. M.Phil) in Design. OR
  • Successful completion of the Faculty Development Program of NID or a similar Design program of 2 years from any other recognized university/institute.

Note: Any candidate who has not passed their final board exam or equivalent before the in-person counselling will not be eligible for admission. Candidates can regularly check into this page for any changes or further updates regarding the NID DAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria. 

NID DAT 2021 Syllabus

Candidates should go through the whole syllabus so that they wouldn't miss out on any of the topics in the exam. The NID DAT 2021 Syllabus is divided into three major parts or sections, with respect to the exam pattern. The Syllabus for the exam is distinctive for each exam type, and the details for the same are provided below.

  • Prelims Syllabus: The syllabus includes some of the topics like Design Theory, Optical Illusion, Picture Analysis, Visual Logic, Elements & Principles of Design, Memory Drawing, etc.
  • Mains Syllabus: The syllabus includes topics like Model Making, Material Manipulation, Doodling, Creative Thinking, etc.
  • Fixed Syllabus: There is now a fixed NID DAT 2021 Syllabus outlined by the exam authorities. 

The following list of contents depicts some important syllabus for the NID DAT 2021:

  • Optical Illusion
  • Form & Function
  • Developing Themes
  • Design Theory
  • Colour, Pattern & Texture
  • Imagination & Doodling
  • Innovation in Design
  • Memory Drawing
  • Innovation & Creation

Studio Test Syllabus: Candidates who get selected in the prelims test of NID DAT 2021, will have to take up the studio test. The syllabus for the studio test is given below:

  • Model Making
  • Doodling
  • How to Evolve Ideas
  • Audio-Visual Exercises
  • Material Manipulation
  • Creative Thinking
  • Hands-on Model Making
  • Sketching

NID DAT 2021 Exam Pattern

Candidates should have an understanding of the NID DAT 2021 Exam Pattern to perform well in the exam. The exam assesses the candidate's designing skills, creativity, reasoning abilities, and problem-solving skills. Candidates will get an overview of the type of questions and their distribution in the question paper, with the help of the exam pattern. It is very essential that the candidates go through the below-mentioned details on the exam pattern.

NID DAT B.Des Exam Pattern

Number of Stages: The exam will be conducted in two stages by the authority

  • Stage 1: NID Exam (Prelims) - Pen & Paper-Based Written Test
  • Stage 2: NID Exam (Mains) - Studio Test

Prelims exam will be of 100 marks, with a duration of 3 hours. This test might involve both visuals and texts. The medium of examination will be English and will be a pen and paper-based test.

Those candidates who qualify in the prelims round will be allowed to attend the mains test. NID DAT Mains Exam will be conducted over a span of three days. This test is of 100 marks and will be conducted in a studio-setup. The medium of this test is also English. 

NID DAT M.Des Exam Pattern

Candidates appearing for NID DAT Exam for M.Des course have to go through 2 stages of the exam as depicted below:

  • Stage-I: DAT Prelims
  • Stage-II: DAT Mains

DAT Prelims Test will comprise CDAT (Common Design Aptitude Test) and a discipline-specific test. Time allotted for DAT Prelims will be 2.5 hours (30 mins for CDAT +2 hours of the discipline-specific test) in total. For candidates who are applying for 2 disciplines, they will have to attempt 2 discipline-specific tests along with CDAT. For those candidates, the total exam duration would be 4.5 hours.

Based on the marks in DAT Prelims, the candidates will be shortlisted for DAT Mains. DAT Mains exam further comprises 2 stages:

  • Stage-I: Studio Test
  • Stage-II: Interview

Total marks for the studio test will be 100 and the duration for the same will be 3 hours. Medium of the exam will be English. The test will be followed by interviews for each discipline. Interview sessions will be conducted in the same exam centres as the studio tests.

NID DAT PhD Selection Stages

  • Stage-I: Short-listing of candidates
  • Stage-II: Design Research Test (DRT)
  • Stage-III: Interview

Stage-I will be short-listing of candidates. In this round, the research proposals of the candidates will be evaluated and will be examined to be in alignment with NID's research objective. Only the shortlisted candidates will go to the subsequent rounds. In the next stage, DRT will be conducted, and will be held in Ahmedabad. After this round, qualifying candidates will have the interview sessions in front of the NID committee.

Note: The exam authorities will not be providing any travel/accommodation to the candidates appearing for Mains exam. It should be arranged by the candidates themselves.


Weighting of the NID DAT Prelims and Mains Exam varies for different courses. For the final selection, the total marks of the candidates obtained in the prelims and mains exam will be converted into percentage. For the different courses, the weightings are:

For B.Des & GDPD

Weighting for B.Des & GDPD program is given below as a table.

Weighting for B.Des & GDPD
30% 70% 100%

For M.Des

Weighting for M.Des course is given below as a table.

Weighting for B.Des & GDPD
30% 70% 100%

For PhD Course

Weighting for the PhD course is given below as a table.

Weighting for PhD
Weightage of DRT Weightage of Interview/Research Proposal Total
20% 80% 100%

NID DAT 2021 Application Form

Candidates who want to take the exam can register for the same, from the official web portal. They should try to register for the exam before the last date of the application form submission, without the late fee. It is advised that the candidates should read the instructions clearly, make sure that they meet the required criteria before filling up the form, and also produce necessary documents for the same.

NID DAT 2021 Application Form is available now on the official website. The last date to apply without late fee is Feb 17, 2021.

How to Register for the NID DAT?

Candidates should follow the steps given below to register for the NID DAT 2021:

  • Step 1: Visit the official web portal of NID and register on the website by entering a valid email ID, mobile number, date of birth, etc. After the registration process, the login credentials will be sent to your registered email address
  • Step 2: Now, using the user ID and password, login into your account and click on 'DAT Application Form'
  • Step 3: Fill in the application form with all the necessary details in their corresponding sections, and then click 'Save & Proceed'
  • Step 4: Now, click on 'Upload Document'. Upload the documents such as the photograph, signature and caste certificate (only if applicable) according to the prescribed specifications. Then click 'Save & Proceed'
  • Step 5: Pay the applicable application fee through the means provided and then finally click on 'Submit'

Application Fee: The application fee for taking the exam is different for different category students. The category and course wise application fee are given in the table below, as a table:

NID DAT Exam Fees as per all the programmes
Category Mdes Course bdes course phd course
For 1 Discipline For 2 Disciplines
General INR 2000 INR 4000 INR 2000 INR 5000
General-EWS INR 2000 INR 4000 INR 2000 INR 5000
OBC-NCL INR 2000 INR 4000 INR 2000 INR 5000
SC INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
ST INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
Gen-PwD INR 1000 INR 2000 - INR 2500
Gen-PwD-EWS INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
OBC-NCL-PwD INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
SC-PwD INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
ST-PwD INR 1000 INR 2000 INR 1000 INR 2500
Overseas INR 3000 INR 6000 INR 3000 -
PwD - - - INR 2500

 NID DAT Exam Fee can be paid through online mode (Credit Card/Debit Card) or through offline mode (via Demand Draft only).

Note: The application fee paid online (by Debit/ Credit Card) does not include any bank/ transaction charges. Once paid, the fee is neither refundable nor transferable.     

NID DAT 2021 Admit Card

The admit card is the most important document that a candidate should possess while taking the exam. Without the admit card the candidate will not be allowed to attempt the exam. NID DAT Prelims and Mains Admit Card can be obtained online, on the official website. 

Candidates are required to provide details like registered email id, date of birth, and roll number/ application form number to download the admit card. Candidates who have registered for the exam must carry their NID DAT 2021 Admit Card to the exam centre, to avoid any kind of discrepancy. The list of details present on the admit card is given below:

  • Candidate's Name
  • Parent's Name
  • Roll Number
  • Category of the Candidate
  • Course Applied For
  • Time of the Exam
  • Exam Duration
  • Test Centre Address
  • Candidate's Photograph and Signature
  • Instructions Regarding the Exam

How to download the NID DAT 2021 Admit Card

The stepwise procedure for downloading the NID DAT 2021 Admit Card is given below.

  • Visit the official website of the NID 
  • Click on the NID entrance examination tab
  • Select the admit card section
  • Enter the login credentials post being redirected
  • View and download the admit card
  • Print the admit card

NID DAT 2021 Exam Centres

NID DAT Prelims 2021 will be conducted in 21 centres across India. A candidate cannot make any changes in the allotted exam centre. He/she will be able to select the exam centres at the time of filling the application form.

The candidates will be given the opportunity to select the preferences for the exam centres. Hence, they should choose them wisely according to their convenience.

NID DAT Mains Exam will be conducted in various campuses of NIDs e.g. Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru and more. The detailed information about the exact venue of the allotted centres will be given in the admit card.

The exam will be conducted in 2 stages–DAT Preliminary and DAT Mains. Candidates will be allotted exam centres for each stage. They can check out the list of NID DAT 2021 Exam Centres.

How to prepare for NID DAT 2021?

Preparing for any entrance exam can be an enormous burden, but it just depends upon the way you look at it and how you are approaching it. If you have firm determination, any exam will be easy to crack. So the foremost thing you should be doing is setting up a goal to crack the exam (NID DAT Exam in this case). Setting your goals means that you should be ready to face all the difficulties coming your way and be persistent enough to not give up halfway through the preparation. 

Now, if you have mastered the required determination to face the NID DAT Exam, you need to find the different ways to approach the exam that are suitable for you. Given below are some tips and techniques that you can follow.

Create a Preparation Timetable

If you are preparing for any exam, you need discipline and proper structure. The only way you can do that is by creating a proper timetable that you can follow for the entire preparation period. The important thing to remember while preparing a good timetable or schedule is that it should contain abundant time for covering all the topics in the syllabus, along with time for solving various sample test papers. Also, make sure to give enough and meaningful breaks in between study sessions. These will help you refresh and reinvigorate your interest in preparation. Try to avoid any outside distractions and concentrate solely on the preparation for the NID DAT Exam.

Knowing the topics

It is very important for the candidates to prepare by going through the topics one by one. Topic-wise preparation enables the candidates to understand and remember the concepts better. This will come handy during the last moment revision where the candidates can go through all the topics quickly. 

Time Management

The main problem that candidates face while writing an exam is the insufficiency of time to go through the whole paper. This is because of improper time management. In NID DAT you need to answer 100 questions from various sections (depending upon the selected course). So, during the stages of preparation, find out which sections are easier for you to answer and which sections take more time for you to solve. This way you could answer the easier sections at the beginning and utilize the extra time for answering the tougher sections.

Also, make sure that you are answering the sections accurate enough so you wouldn't be looking back at them in doubt, which will only consume more time. Thus, this speed and accuracy can only be developed with the help of extensive practising of NID DAT questions from various sources.

Attend the known questions first

The candidates should make sure to attend the questions that they are familiar with, prior to attending the questions that are unknown to them. This way they will be able to secure the minimum score for the exam within very little time consumption. The rest of the questions can be attempted in the remaining time. Time efficiency can be achieved in this way. 

Evaluate and Improve Yourself

Evaluating yourself during preparation is a crucial process of strengthening your knowledge. It is the only way to know how much you have prepared for the exam and how much is still there to be prepared. You need to find as many practice questions, sample papers and mock tests as you can and start incorporating them in your preparation timetable. Then, according to your result, you can change your preparation schedule to improve the areas you are struggling with.

NID DAT 2020 Prelims Paper Analysis

It is very important for the candidates to go through the NID DAT 2020 Prelims Paper Analysis in order to prepare and estimate the score that they will be securing. Going through the paper analysis will help the candidates to strategize and accordingly plan their preparation and the ways by which they would attend the exam. The detailed elaboration of the paper analysis, with respect to the course, is given below. Candidates can check-in with this page regularly for further updates and information. 

NID DAT 2020 Entrance Exam Analysis for B.Des Course

Usually, the NID DAT Prelims Exam comprises objective-type questions (70 marks) and subjective or drawing-based questions for 30 marks. But this time, the prelims paper had subjective-type questions worth 70 marks and the drawing-based questions worth 30 marks. The change in the exam pattern was unexpected, although the paper was of medium difficulty. Aptitude section was easy to comprehend by the students.

Topics covered in Subjective-type questions are given below

  • Picture Perception Test: Candidates were asked to draw what they saw in a given surrounding.
  • Picture Profiling: Candidates were asked to draw front, top and side views of a particular object.
  • Delivering a Social Message: The question wanted the student to deliver a message through their drawing. The message was given to the students, and they just had to draw.
  • Drawing by copying: Students were told to copy the object kept in front of them and draw it exactly as it is.

NID DAT 2020 Entrance Exam Analysis for M.Des Course

Aptitude section of NID DAT Prelims Exam for M.Des carried 25 marks and descriptive & drawing-based questions carried 75 marks. The exam had 12 theory questions and to attempt that, a time of 30 minutes was given. In general, students were saying that the prelims exam for NID DAT M.Des was a little bit strange but also challenging.

Topics asked in this section were as follows:

  • Product Design: Candidates had to design a product which fits the description as given in the question.
  • Problem Identifying and Depicting Solution: Candidates were given a hypothetical/real situation for which they will have to find the remedies and picture them.
  • Drawing for Current Affairs: Candidates were asked to describe an activity in the recent past.

NID DAT 2021 Result

NID DAT 2021 Final Result was announced on Jul 27, 2021, for B.Des and on Aug 2, 2021, for M.Des. A separate merit list shall be prepared for each category (Open, OBC-NCL, SC, ST & PWD). Based on this merit list, the candidates will be allowed to attend the admission process.

In case there is a situation where two candidates scored the same total score for both the exams, then the higher rank will be assigned to the candidate who has obtained higher marks in Part B of the Design Aptitude Test - Prelims. the prelims result was released on Jun 18, 2021.

How to Download NID DAT Results?

Follow the steps given below to download the NID DAT 2021 Results:

  • Step 1: Visit the official web portal of NID
  • Step 2: Click on the link for NID DAT 2021 Result
  • Step 3: Enter the registered email address, date of birth and the verification code that is shown on screen and then click on submit
  • Step 4: Your result will be displayed on the screen
  • Step 5: Download the result and take a printout for future references

NID DAT 2020 Cut off Marks

The cut off is the minimum score that a candidate needs to obtain in order to clear a stage in the exam. The cutoff for NID DAT 2020 is given below. The cut off will be released after the results are announced in June 2021.

Category-wise cut off for NID DAT
Category Cutoff
Open 384/52.00
OBC-NCL 347/43.80
SC 208/39.00
ST 118/31.50
PwD 67/11.10
Supernumerary 58/36.70

NID DAT 2021 Counselling 

The counselling process for NID DAT will be done in two steps. The online consent by the qualified candidates will be provided, and then the necessary documents for the purpose of verification will be uploaded.

  • Counselling Date: NID DAT 2021 Counselling process will commence after the declaration of the result and final merit list.
  • Allotment of Seats: After the original document verification process, the candidates who are shortlisted in the rank list will be allotted with a seat. After payment of fees, the enrolment in the program will be confirmed.
  • Failed to be Present: Failing to report with the requisite documents as per the schedule will lead to forfeiting the candidate’s seat, and the seat will be allotted to the next eligible candidate in order of merit.
  • Uploading Documents: Candidates need to upload some documents after getting selected for the counselling process. The documents are:
    • 10th Marksheet
    • 12th Marksheet
    • Birth Certificate
    • Degree (Graduation/ Diploma) Marksheet

NID DAT 2021 Tie Break Policy for M.Des

The NID has stated certain amendments in its Tie Break Policy for the M.Des counselling and admissions. The scores of all candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of ranks in different categories. Candidates belonging to other categories like Pwd and overseas countries will be separately shortlisted.

The ranking and short-listing aspects are mentioned below.

  • Candidates will hold a higher rank by comparing the scores in the NID DAT 2021 Mains Exam
  • Candidates who are still holding on to the same rank will be further ranked on the basis of NID 2021 Prelims Exam.
  • The third aspect by which the candidates will be ranked higher than the others would be by comparing all the parts of the prelims test and finally by comparing the scores of the aptitude test of the candidates.

NID DAT 2021 Contact Details

In case of any discrepancies arising at any stage of the exam, candidates should make sure to contact the conducting authorities. The contact information for the exam authorities is given below:

Address: NID Admissions Cell, National Institute of Design Paldi, Ahmedabad 380 007.

Email Id: [email protected]


I have a good NATA score, should I write the NID entrance exam?

NATA score is not considered for the NID entrance exam. All candidates will have to write NID’s Design Aptitude Test (DAT).

Is there any part-time NID course?

No, NID does not offer any part-time courses.

What is the mode and duration of the exam?

NID DAT 2020 will be conducted as a Paper and Pen-Based Test i.e. Offline exam and the duration of the exam will be for 3 hours i.e. 180 minutes.

Is it possible to withdraw the application after submission? Would the application fee be refunded?

You cannot withdraw your application once submitted. The Application fee is not refundable.

Is the NID Design Aptitude Test the same for overseas applicants as well as Indian applicants?


What is the procedure of admissions?

The admission procedure to NID for M.Des., B.Des. and GDPD programs consists of two stages. Stage 1 - Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Prelims Stage 2 - Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Mains

What is the upper age limit to appear for B.Des?

Upper age limit for general candidates is 20 years, for reserved category (OBC-NCL/ SC/ ST) it is 23 years and for PWD candidates, it is 25 years.

Do M.Des students get a stipend?

NID does not pay any stipend to its students enrolled.

Will I get an acknowledgment slip on the submission of my application form?

Yes, you will receive an acknowledgment by email on the email id provided at the time of registration.

Can I apply to NID more than once?

Yes, candidates can appear for NID’s entrance exam any number of times, provided the eligibility criteria of age are fulfilled by the candidate.

Is the foundation program for B.Des compulsory?

The candidates, who are successfully admitted to the B.Des programs, will be required to undergo a mandatory foundation course of one-year duration.


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