How To Prepare For The Upcoming NATA 2021 EXAM

How To Prepare For The Upcoming NATA 2021 EXAM

Becoming an architect is a dream come true for many. Architects are actively involved in every step of the building process, from conceptualization to construction.

The National Aptitude Test in Architecture is a mandatory test conducted by the Council of Architecture (CoA) for Architectural aspirants.

This exam is designed to test the eye for detail, math skills, design talent, problem-solving ability, and communication skills.

More than 30,000 candidates appeared in this exam in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 crisis, battling for the limited number of seats available in elite architecture colleges across India.

In the last few years, we witnessed a steady upsurge in the number of applicants for the NATA exam.

This number is expected to rise in the coming years, and thorough preparation is critical to ensure success.

Preparation strategy for NATA 2021

The exam has both theory and sketching sessions

1.Theoretical portion

1.1 Math

Start with revising your basic math formulae such as work and remuneration, profit and loss, fraction, ratios and proportions, distance and percentage speed, probability, etc.

1.2 Reasoning

The one thing which can guarantee success in reasoning is a constant practice. There are several online resources where you could sharpen your reasoning skills.

On the other hand, if you are someone who likes to prepare offline, you could use books like:

1.3 Basic awareness of architecture

Refresh your knowledge by reading about places of architectural importance in India and around the globe. Update yourself with the info of heritage monuments of India and abroad.

Try to understand the different types of construction practices, building materials, designs, inspirations, and their appearances.


Attention to detail is one of the most essential qualities expected of an architect. Look around you and observe everything in minute detail.

Practice observing and sketching different objects from different heights, angles, and views. This is important for 3D drawings.

Sketching for NATA requires a different level of precision. You need to forget what you were studying at the school level. The secret mantra to improve your sketching skills is to practice every day.

With time you will find that your observational and drawing skills have improved significantly.

2.1 Three dimensional drawing

Learning to draw 3D images is an integral part of drawing preparation. 

While it might seem difficult initially, you will find that drawing 3D images will get easier with regular practice.

While practising drawing, make sure that you focus on 3D or 2D at a time to retain a steady focus.

2.2 Using pencil colours

While preparing for the NATA exam, make sure you practice with pencil colours right from the beginning.

It doesn’t matter what colours you use, but it is about how you render your sketch.

Using Basic 24 shades of Faber castell is more than enough, and there is no need to go for any expensive pencil colours.

Essential tips for NATA preparation

Let us take a closer look at some of the essential tips to prepare for the upcoming architecture entrance exam.

1. Start your preparation early

Don’t wait to start your NATA preparation until you finish your class XII. The earlier the preparation, the better will be the results.

2. Enhance your drawing skills

The most commonly found misconception among NATA aspirants is that if you can draw well, half the battle is won

Workshop on light and shadows at IGNITE

This is not true in most cases. Although drawing skills are essential, the questions are framed on topics such as: 

  • Effects of light and shadow
  • Understanding depth and proportions
  • Memory drawing
  • Sense of perspective drawing etc.

Thus developing these skills through regular practice is vital to secure a good rank.

3. Revise previous years questions

Revising the last 5 to 6 years of question papers will give you an idea regarding the sequence and types of questions that will be asked in the exam.

Acquainting yourself with all the possible question types can help you answer them quickly and remove any mental block restricting you from successfully answering the questions.

4. Give due importance to speed

Quite often, it is found that even with good drawing skills, many candidates fail to finish all the questions within time.

You tend to lose marks for the questions you fail to answer or leave incomplete. When it comes to cracking the NATA exam, it doesn’t matter how good you are at work if you lack proper speed.

You could use some of the tips to improve your speed, such as:

  • Answer the easy questions first
  • Keep your head down on focus on the questions
  • Practice your timing with previous years question papers

5. Work on A4

If you are practising for the NATA exam, don’t waste your valuable time working on A3 sheets. The standard sheet size for your NATA exam is A4.

Go to the nearby book store and buy many A4 sheets, which will last until the exam date. Practice multiple designs and drawings using these sheets. It will give you an idea of dimensions and scale and keep you ready to answer a drawing question in the exam. 

6. Start with a light hand

Students often complain that many times their drawings go out of proportion no matter how hard they try.

The best thing to avoid this problem is to draw the light hand first, outlining the details. Once you are fully confident of the proportion in the rough outline, go into further details.

This will help you save a lot of time wasted on redrawing and erasing and quickly answer all the questions within the allocated time.

7. Improve your general awareness

Needless to say, you will have stocked up on various General Knowledge books. And it is definitely a  good idea. However, long with these, try to read newspapers and magazines to know about the current affairs, the construction market, new developments and projects of importance, their key specifications, etc.  

Additionally, you could use the internet to search for any construction site nearby and have a visit. Once you get back, take out your drawing pencils and sketch the details into A4 sheets.

This will significantly help you to improve your observation power.

8. Self motivation

Motivating yourself to perform well in the NATA exam can bring excellent results. Find your own compelling reason to secure a good rank, such as a bright future, dream job or better finances, etc.

Consider some of these tips to motivate yourself to strive harder:

  • Keep your end goal in mind.
  • Break down your large goal into smaller chunks.
  • Surround yourself with optimistic and positive people.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Celebrate small achievements.

Exam Pattern For NATA

The architecture entrance exam for NATA is of three-hour duration and consists of two main sections.

Part-A will be a drawing test, and Part-B consists of multiple-choice questions on Math, Physics, and Chemistry.


You will have to answer three questions within 135 minutes. This means you will have 45 minutes for each question. The best thing about this section is that it does not have any negative marking. You can take up this section without the fear of negative marks.

Why should I enrol for NATA coaching in IGNITE?

Class at IGNITE

As more and more candidates appear for the exams each year, the questions are getting tougher.

You need to have a thorough understanding of Math, Physics, and Chemistry to clear the theory part.

At IGNITE, we have carefully structured the coaching sessions to equip students to appear for the upcoming NATA 2021 exam.

Some of our highlights include:

  • Training for drawing in regional language.
  • Regular live interaction with the students.
  • Home assignments to strengthen the concepts of the theory.
  • Contact classes to improve your drawing ability.
  • Regular feedback regarding your performance.
  • Career guidance along with entrance preparation.
  • In-Depth advice for each aspect of drawing, such as 3D images, depth, shadow, effects, etc.
  • Discussion of the previous year’s question paper.

Our elite faculty members have years of experience in fine-tuning the students in theory and drawing. We have both online and offline practice sessions to improve the drawing skills of the students.

At IGNITE, you can reap the benefits of two years of preparation through our practice sessions. We provide 42 days of live classes and ten days of online courses for the students as soon as they join.

Additionally, you will get a lot of sketching sessions from experienced faculties who are real-life architects.

We train the students to:

  • Understand scale and proportions.
  • Drawing sketches from memory.
  • Using the correct combination of colours for shading,
  • Improve sense of perspective drawing.
  • Visualize and draw the effect of light on the objects and shadows cast on the surrounding region etc.

Final Words

To secure a good rank in NATA 2021, you should be thorough in your theoretical and sketching skills.

In this article, we have mentioned some essential tips to secure a good rank in the upcoming architecture entrance exam.

Put it into practice, and you are sure to secure a good rank.

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