5 Tips to prepare your portfolio for CEED and NID 2023 Entrance Exam

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Sanskriti Shahjee
Associate Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Feb 20, 2023 16:37 IST

Go through important tips to prepare your 2023 design portfolio. Also, find out 7 things you need to include in your portfolio for NID 2023 Entrance Exam as well as CEED 2023 test.

Almost every top design school asks students to showcase their portfolio at the time of the admission interview. So, right after candidates give their Design Aptitude Test (DAT) for CEED  or NID admissions, they should immediately start working on building their Portfolio. So, here the first question to ask is - What is a portfolio?

A Portfolio is nothing but a collection of a candidate’s best and often enough most recent artwork/designs/projects. Most popular design colleges like NID, IIT, IISc etc., ask students to present their portfolio primarily because they want to know more about the creative streak in the candidate as well as understand if the student has a natural inclination towards the course they are applying for. It can be an assignment of images, sketching, rendering, graphics print and much more.

In case the candidate has a large body of work, selecting the right combination of works from the existing work is also would play a crucial role in how you are judged. This article will also help you to pick the right combination of work.

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5 Tips to prepare portfolio for CEED and NID 2023 Entrance Exam

Here we bring you expert tips on preparing a portfolio that would stand apart from the crowd and will showcase all your best qualities. 

1) Include your best work: First of all, one needs to understand that the entire task of building a portfolio is to showcase your skills. So, ensure that you include all the artwork that highlights your skill set as against what you feel reflects a good end product. Therefore, make sure that the work you include in your portfolio is such that it reflects your interests, ideas, experience as well as abilities in the field of design. Apart from this, in your portfolio include the work that will differentiate you from competitors and give you that edge that the panel before you is actually looking for.

Bharti a previous student at NID shared, “I was working with Accenture when I applied for NID and in my portfolio among other things I had included a project wherein I had designed a brochure for my company. And as luck would have it my entire interview was about the brochure and why I chose a particular font and colour. The interviewers even asked me what my entire thought process was behind designing the brochure header in that particular way”. She further advised NID aspirants on how to make their portfolio impressive by saying that, “Know thoroughly each and every art piece/project that you include in your portfolio because the interview panel is very smart and they will pick small-small details in your portfolio and start quizzing you on them”.  

2) Limit your work/Put your best samples: Next, you need to understand that the portfolio presentation is not about the volume of work you have done, it is about showcasing your creative skills. So, our suggestion here would be that restrict your portfolio to a maximum of 10-15 pages wherein on every page there is just one project. This would help bring clarity and bring attention to the project at hand.

Always double-check to see that your portfolio includes only your best-of-best works. An Industrial Design graduate from IIT Bombay, Karan said, “Make sure that your portfolio includes images that are in line with your interests. Further, one can also include work that showcases the individual’s awareness of colours, themes, designs, that is, basic design elements”. Elaborating further he said, “If a portfolio successfully manages to project that the student is well-versed with various tools, design styles and approaches as well as media then it is definitely a plus.

3) Work on presentation: It is advisable to label your portfolio adequately. So, try and give an introduction to the project you have included in your portfolio. However, restrict yourself to a one-line introduction. The task here is to give the panel a brief introduction regarding what to expect in the product that follows without getting too word-heavy and let the visuals talk for themselves, thereafter.

Further, you can also label your figures in such a way that your thought process and usability of the design at hand are communicated aptly to anyone who goes through the portfolio.

4) Printed vs Web-Based Portfolio: Yes, technology is the call of this century. However, our advice would be that you present your work as a hard copy for better impact on the panel. Vishal a design student from NIFT shares, “Nowadays there are many websites where you can upload your work but I would suggest avoiding doing this because there might not be proper internet access at the exam centre and your entire portfolio presentation process will go for a toss”.

Confirming the same and elaborating further on it, Simi Aggarwal who coaches aspirants on how to prepare their design portfolio states, “Many students prefer showcasing their skills through a presentation on a laptop these days. I usually suggest to them that if they wish to present their portfolio on a laptop, they should ensure that the entire presentation is simple, easy to understand and not too flashy. Also, if one is good at sketching, it is advisable that one includes a page of the sketchbook or sketches some of their thought processes on an A4 or A3 size paper”. She quotes, “In design exams, handmade sketches do help earn brownie points”.

5) Models/Prototypes a plus: If you are good at making models, then definitely carry one to your NID Entrance Exam as well as CEED interview round. Also, a model helps the panel understand your thought process behind the product in the best possible way. Don’t worry, the model should be a mockup/prototype, it doesn’t have to be very hi-tech or perfect. The models we are referring to here are rather simple ones that are made from paper, foam or even clay.

7 Things to include in Design 2023 Portfolio

  • Table of Contents: List all the contents of the portfolio properly, page-number-wise.
  • Career Summary and Goals: Include a brief description of yourself and where you wish to see yourself after 5 years.
  • Resume: Put in information regarding your educational qualifications, work experience and achievements.
  • Work Samples: Include samples of your best work such as brochures, presentations, projects, reports, papers, studies, etc.
  • Awards and Honours: Include any certificates, awards, honours, or scholarships received by you. You can also include newspaper clippings of articles/photos reflecting your achievements.
  • Workshops and Conferences: List the seminars, conferences or design workshops in which you have participated or attended.
  • Testimonials: Include positive reviews received for your work from professors, clients, customers, colleagues, past employers and the likes

Read More:

Prep Tips for NID Entrance Exam 2023

UCEED 2022 Topper Interview: AIR 1(SC Category), VANSH ANEKAR Shares Some Important Tips

NID Entrance Exam 2023 Section-Wise Prep Tips

NID Entrance Exam: Shortlisted candidate shares prep strategy to clear NID DAT

Important Design 2023 FAQs

Q. What is NID DAT Prelims?

A. NID DAT Prelims is the shortlisting round for NID admissions. NID DAT Prelims comprises a written exam that candidates need to clear in order to be eligible for NID DAT Mains.

Q. What is the difficulty level of UCEED drawing part?

A. The difficulty level of UCEED drawing section is moderate. It mainly tests candidate's observation and creative ability to sketch.

Q. Is NID DAT 2023 a difficult exam?

A. If the candidate prepares well and with the correct strategy, then the NID DAT 2023 exam can be cracked. Among the first things the candidate needs to do is prepare a practical study timetable, get familar with the syllabus and patter, and get the book combination right. When studying, make it a habit to take notes, and also solve all the problems given at the end of the chapter or book. Next, solve sample papers and question papers. Finally, closer to the exam, take mock tests to put final touches to your preparation.

Q. Is portfolio enough for admission in NIDs?

A. No, along with portfolio one must clear entrance exam conducted by the body.

Q. When will the National Institute of Design (NID) declare the results for DAT Prelims?

A. NID DAT 2023 results of NID DAT 2023 for the M.Des program will be announced on February 28, 2023. The results for the B.Des will be announced a few weeks later, on Mrch 30, 2023. 

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About the Author
Sanskriti Shahjee
Associate Senior Executive - Content

Hey everyone! I'm here to write design-exams related content to help the students with the latest happening in this field. I aim to deliver the most easy-to-understand articles or news to assist the budding design a... Read Full Bio




Saniya Nayak

2 years ago

Hello mam
I will like to ask a question
Do we have to put hardcopy of original work or can we put photocopy of all artwork ?

Reply to Saniya Nayak



2 years ago

Dear sir or mam.
Is it necesaary that the achievement should related to the painting and sketching.... Or it can be about anything

Reply to Aditi


Deekshita Rama

4 years ago

Dear sir/madam,
is it okay if the entire portfolio is handmade and done on a particular topic?

Reply to Deekshita Rama

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