Design Aptitude Test (DAT): Overview, Questions, Preparation

Design Aptitude Test 2021 ( Design Aptitude Test (DAT) )

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Manashjyoti Hazarika

Manashjyoti HazarikaManager Content

Updated on Apr 8, 2024 14:32 IST

Design Aptitude Test or DAT is that part of design exams that checks the creativity of the candidates. It is not easy to crack DAT section in a short period of time. One should have a good practice of drawing, sketching and on the spot design-solution to clear DAT.

In this article, Shiksha has collected some important tips to prepare well for the Design Aptitude Test (DAT).

Q:   What is Design aptitude test?

A:

Design Aptitude is a test that is a part of most of the Design entrance exams in India. Through this test, the Design institutes examines the designing and creative ability of candidates. It includes questions related to sketching, drawing and reasoning. This test usually is the first step of any design exam. Candidates must focus on its preparations.

 

Q:   What type of questions are asked in DAT?

A:

In a Design Aptitude Test, candidates are asked drawing, sketching and general reasoning questions. The candidate needs to prepare for each question type to get a good score in DAT.

Some of the top design entrance exams that the candidate can take include NIFT, NID DAT, UCEED, and SEED.

 

What is DAT?

The DAT section of Design entrance exams may have different names, such as Creative Ability Test (CAT) in NIFT Entrance Exam and NID DAT Mains in NID Entrance Exam. However, the objective of the questions is the same – to test candidates on their designing capabilities.

Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is among the important part of a Design entrance exam. The DAT part includes various types of drawing, sketching and model making questions that examines the design and creative ability of the appearing candidates.  

Top design exams that conduct Design Aptitude Test (DAT) 

Name of the exam DAT Syllabus & Pattern
NID DAT Entrance exam Read Here
NIFT Entrance exam Read Here
UID DAT Read Here
UPES DAT Read Here
PESSAT DAT Read Here
MITID DAT Read Here
PU DAT Read Here

 

Q:   What skills are tested in a Design Aptitude Test (DAT)?

A:

Some of the skills of candidates that are tested in DAT include:

  • Design ability
  • Observation skills
  • Illustration skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Imaginative skills
  • Space Visualization

To get a good score in the DAT, the candidate must work on each of these skills.

 

Q:   What questions are asked in NID DAT entrance exam?

A:

Aspirants can go through topics they should study to score well in NID DAT Prelims for B.Des admissions in the table below:

Design Outline for BeginnersColour TerminologyInspiration & Design Development
Mood, Theme & Colour Inter-relationshipDesign TheoryElements & Principles Of Design
Natural & Geometrical FormInnovation in DesignPrinciples of Composition
LetteringOptical IllusionUnderstanding Light & Shade
Colour Psychology & Optical IllusionsForm & FunctionColour, Pattern & Texture
Theme DevelopmentCreative thinking & writingPicture Analysis
Visual LogicGood Design vs Bad DesignDrawing Fundamentals
Use of Measurements, Scale & proportionsOptical IllusionForeshortening & Perspective
Developing Themes & Colour AssociationsInspiration & CreativityOrnaments & motifs
Memory DrawingUsage of Colour in CompositionsExpression & Emotion
Exercises on imaginationLateral ThinkingStory Pictures
Presentation TechniquesImagination & Doodling3D Visualisation
Graphics & PictogramsInnovation & CreationDesign Awareness
Developing Observation
 

DAT Questions

Mainly two types of questions asked in a Design Aptitude Test as explained below:

Drawing/Sketching Questions

Here, you need to draw or sketch on the given paper as per the details asked in the question. Thereafter, you also need to explain the drawing/sketching concept in a paragraph or more. For example:

  1. Draw a woman holding a child, crying in her arms, with appropriate details including the background. Your drawing should be in black and white only (Do not use any colour).
  2. Imagine and draw a real life situation, which represents “All that is gold does not glitter’’, in a meaningful way. Use the space given to draw and explain your interpretation in 5 lines. No colour to be used.

Aspirants can go through topics they should study to score well in NID DAT Prelims for B.Des admissions in the table below:

Design Outline for Beginners

Colour Terminology Inspiration & Design Development
Mood, Theme & Colour Inter-relationship

Design Theory

Elements & Principles Of Design
Natural & Geometrical Form Innovation in Design

Principles of Composition

Lettering

Optical Illusion Understanding Light & Shade
Colour Psychology & Optical Illusions

Form & Function

Colour, Pattern & Texture
Theme Development Creative thinking & writing

Picture Analysis

Visual Logic

Good Design vs Bad Design Drawing Fundamentals
Use of Measurements, Scale & proportions

Optical Illusion

Foreshortening & Perspective
Developing Themes & Colour Associations Inspiration & Creativity

Ornaments & motifs

Memory Drawing

Usage of Colour in Compositions Expression & Emotion

Exercises on imagination

Lateral Thinking

Story Pictures
Presentation Techniques Imagination & Doodling

3D Visualisation

Graphics & Pictograms

Innovation & Creation Design Awareness

Developing Observation

General Aptitude/Logical  Reasoning Question

The DAT section in some design exams also contains the questions related to general awareness or logical reasoning. These can be figure or visual-based, mathematical or English Grammar based too. Given below some examples to get an idea of these types of questions asked in DAT.

1. What geometric solid is formed when you fold along the lines of the given image?
(A) Pyramid
(B) Tetrus
(C) Tetrahedron
(D) Harmonica

2. In the figure given below, which number will replace the question mark?
(A) 30

(B) 28
(C) 33

(D) 16

 

Also Read:

How to Prepare for Design Aptitude Test (DAT)?

There are no fixed rules to prepare for DAT part of design exams. One must work on his/her creative skills, sketching, drawing, imagination and observation power. Take the below given tips that are important to add for DAT preparation:

  • Observe everything around you such as leaves, tables, chairs and cars and try to take inspiration from it. Try spot drawing or still sketching to improve your skills. Always carry a drawing book and pencil to perform this exercise.
  • Try to think out-of-the-box and sketch depicting the mood, look and feel of the given item.
  • Make a proper time-table. Take atleast 3 hours from your daily routine to practice for DAT questions and related topics.
  • Learn and improve topics like 3D sense, scale & proportion, detailing, perspective, space design, etc.
  • Read about paper folding and origami. This may help you create more variety of things. One can also watch and learn this from youtube videos.
  • Practice as many previous year DAT papers. This will boost your confidence and help you to understand the pattern of the question paper.
  • While drawing, sketching or making a model, try to time yourself and complete it within a given duration only. Usually, 90-120 minutes duration is enough to complete a DAT question.   

Also Read:

Skills Tested in DAT

In a Design Aptitude Test, candidates are generally evaluated on the skillset given in the table below. Therefore, during practice of DAT questions, it is important that you focus on improving the following skills.  

DAT Skills

Intuition skills

Observation skills

Design ability

Innovative use of colour

Illustration skills

Creativity

Sketching

Imaginative skills

Visualization skills

Analytical skills

Problem-solving skills

Communication skills

Presentation skills

Space Visualization

Composition of elements

Colour scheme

Proportion, perspective, shading and composition

 

Also Read:

Design DAT Practice Questions

Listed below are the some practice questions for DAT section (drawing,sketching, reasoning questions) of Design entrance exams.

Drawing/sketching questions for practice

Q1. Convert the given punctuation marks into realistic objects using pencil.

Q1. Convert the given punctuation marks into realistic objects using pencil.
Convert the given punctuation marks into realistic objects using pencil.

Q2. Explain the working principle of a matchbox.

Q3. Choose any one pair of opposites and depict them through pictorial representation in the boxes given below. Also, write the captions.

  1. a) Crispy and soggy
  2. b) Cluttered and uncluttered
  3. c) Balanced and unbalanced

Q4. Draw a person sitting at a dining table with a plate, stainless steel spoon and fork laid out in front of him/her. Do not use colour.

Q5. Image of a kid’s water bottle is shown below. Visualise a lunch box to pair with it. It should be matching in design language with relevant details. Sketch and render the bottle and the lunch box with required graphics.

Design DAT question

Q6. You are sitting in a well-ventilated drawing room. It is 9:00 in the morning and sun light is streaming through the window on the East casting shadows on the floor. A cat is resting on one of the sunlit patches. A newspaper is placed beside a cup of hot tea on a small side table. There are three freshly watered potted plants in the room; one on the floor and two on the windowsill with the watering jug next to it. From the above description, sketch the scene from your point of view.

Q.7 Draw a complete proportionate sketch of a bicycle referring to the parts given:

 

Reasoning questions for practice

Q1. In which direction does the dark Gear rotate?
(A) Clockwise
(B) Counterclockwise
(C) No rotation
(D) All of the above 

 

Q2. If you remove 18 alternating colour squares from a chessboard, how many squares of alternating colours remain on the board?
(A) 44

(B) 47
(C) 39

(D) 46 

Q3. Which piece fits correctly from the template below without flipping? 

 

Q4. Which of the following words have all letters that have the same mirror image?
(A) TEAM (B) TOUR
(C) THAT (D) THIS 

Q5. If BUT=PUT and MAT=CAT then COP=?
(A) ROB (B) TAP
(C) MOB (D) None of these 

DAT Sample Papers - Download Here

The best way to prepare for the Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is by solving sample papers. The candidate may also solve previous years' question papers to get an idea regarding the types of questions asked, the difficulty level, weightage to topics, and much more.

Name of the exam DAT Sample Papers
NID DAT entrance exam Dowload Here
NIFT entrance exam Download Here
MITID DAT Download Here
UPES DAT Download Here

Important FAQs on DAT

Here are a few FAQs related to the Design Aptitude Test (DAT). Read on.

Q:   Is it easy to crack DAT?

A:

DAT entrance exam is considered to be moderate. IN NID DAT, more weightage is given to subjective, drawing related questions. Thus, candidates need to be extremely creative and have a clear understanding of their concepts when appearing for the DAT.

But note that difficulty level can also be subjective, as it may also depend on your level of preparation. For instance, if you prepare well, you may be able to solve even the so-called difficult questions easily.

 

Q:   How can I secure admission at NID?

A:

Admission to the NIDs is conducted through the NID Entrance Examination. The NID exam has two stages - the candidate first appears in the that Prelims. Scores of the that Prelims are used to then shortlist candidates for that Mains. The final merit list for NID that 2024 will be prepared by giving weightage to that Prelims and that Mains. Note that the National Institute of Design hasn't yet released the weightage for the that Prelims and that Mains.

The DAT Prelims exam will be conducted in January 2024. Meanwhile, the DAT exams for the M.Des programme will be conducted tentatively in March, whereas DAT Mains for the B. Des programme will be conducted in April 2024.

 

Q:   Is there negative marking in NID DAT Prelims?

A:

There is no negative marking in NID DAT 2024.

So, the candidate may attempt all the questions. If the wrong answer is selected, the candidate won't be penalized. Howver, if the correct answer option is selected, the candidate may get some free marks.

Note that the DAT Prelims exam will be conducted in an OMR-based mode. The candidate will need a blue/black ball-point pen for filling the OMR sheet.   

 

Q:   Which are the best books for NID Entrance Exam?

A:
To give oneself a higher chance of securing a good rank in NID DAT, it is important to use good quality books a reference material. Here are some of the best books recommended by experts and previous rank holders to prepare for the NID that exam: NID (B. Des. ). Entrance Books and Test Series by AFAINDIA Basic Rendering by Robert W. Gill Design drawing by Francis D. K. Ching NIFT/NID/IIFT Entrance Exam Guide by RPH Editorial Board In addition to these books, the candidate must also make it a habit to solve sample papers and take mock tests. Mock tests can be taken closer to the exam.
 

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Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Exam

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Answered a week ago

DAT entrance exam is considered to be moderate. IN NID DAT, more weightage is given to subjective, drawing related questions. Thus, candidates need to be extremely creative and have a clear understanding of their concepts when appearing for the DAT.

But note that difficulty level can also be subjecti

...more

M

Manashjyoti Hazarika

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a week ago

Aspirants can go through topics they should study to score well in NID DAT Prelims for B.Des admissions in the table below:

Design Outline for BeginnersColour TerminologyInspiration & Design Development
Mood, Theme & Colour Inter-relationshipDesign TheoryElements & Principles Of Design
Natural & Geometrical FormInnovation in DesignPrinciples of Composition
LetteringOptical IllusionUnderstanding Light & Shade
Colour Psychology & Optical IllusionsForm & FunctionColour, Pattern & Texture
Theme DevelopmentCreative thinking & writingPicture Analysis
Visual LogicGood Design vs Bad DesignDrawing Fundamentals
Use of Measurements, Scale & proportionsOptical IllusionForeshortening & Perspective
Developing Themes & Colour AssociationsInspiration & CreativityOrnaments & motifs
Memory DrawingUsage of Colour in CompositionsExpression & Emotion
Exercises on imaginationLateral ThinkingStory Pictures
Presentation TechniquesImagination & Doodling3D Visualisation
Graphics & PictogramsInnovation & CreationDesign Awareness
Developing Observation

M

Manashjyoti Hazarika

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a week ago

Some of the skills of candidates that are tested in DAT include:

  • Design ability
  • Observation skills
  • Illustration skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Imaginative skills
  • Space Visualization

To get a good score in the DAT, the candidate must work on each of these skills.

M

Manashjyoti Hazarika

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a week ago

In a Design Aptitude Test, candidates are asked drawing, sketching and general reasoning questions. The candidate needs to prepare for each question type to get a good score in DAT.

Some of the top design entrance exams that the candidate can take include NIFT, NID DAT, UCEED, and SEED.

M

Manashjyoti Hazarika

Contributor-Level 10