10 Expert Tips to Crack NATA Exam by a Professional Architect

10 Expert Tips to Crack NATA Exam by a Professional Architect


Updated on
In Architecture

NATA (National Aptitude Test for Architecture) is an exam conducted by the Council of Architecture (COA) annually. The NATA score is a mandatory requirement to get into a good architecture college. To achieve a good score and reserve a seat in the best of architecture colleges, a candidate must prepare well for this exam. For any aspiring architect, this exam is one of the most important ones in the journey of fulfilling one’s dreams. Like for any exam, take the preparations one step at a time. To boost your confidence on your path to becoming an architect, the following are the 10 expert tips to crack the NATA exam –

1. A Thorough Glance at the Syllabus and Exam Pattern

The first and foremost step to cracking any exam is to go through the syllabus and exam pattern for the exam thoroughly. A thorough go-through of the syllabus helps you decide the preparation plan for yourself. You might join any coaching or tutoring classes for the exam, but my suggestion is to go through the minute details yourself to be amply prepared. Knowing the syllabus and exam pattern helps one identify the personal strengths and weaknesses, leading to better preparation management. The exam pattern for exams keeps changing every few years, therefore to not lag behind or be surprised on the exam day, make sure to be up to date with the exam pattern.

You must check out 5 Best Books for NATA 2021, We Highly Recommend

2. Strategize- Plan your Preparation

Strategizing or planning your preparation is an important part of the preparation phase. According to the syllabus, one should weigh their strengths and weaknesses and make the study plan accordingly. Planning a way ahead of the exam is one of the keys to cracking an exam. The strategy should also incorporate the practice and mock papers that you would solve way in advance of your exam.

Planning of NATA Preparation

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3. Practice Makes Perfect- A Key to Successfully Cracking the NATA

“Practice makes a man perfect!” is a phrase that we have all grown up listening to. But believe me, practice across various verticals is a key to successfully cracking the NATA exam. Practice is what is going to help you gain confidence to face the exams by building up the aptitude and skill set required for this exam. Practice –
• Drawing and Sketching (2D, 3D, memory drawings, perspectives, scale drawings, light and shadow, etc.)
• Past papers and mock tests (to understand the pattern and typology of questions in each section)
Not only will practice help in polishing the required skills and aptitude, but it will also aid in proper time management, speed and accuracy during the exam.

Practice Makes perfect

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4. Prepare Personal Notes- The Most Effective Strategy

This is a universal tip that is valid for practically any exam in the world. Preparing personal notes is one of the most effective ways to be prepared for an exam. The notes help in last-minute revisions or topic-based revisions. Every individual has their style of making personal notes, thus making the preparation easier. The way one makes notes help in going through the notes anytime without any hassle. Moreover, when you make notes for yourself, by using mnemonics, anagrams, colour codes, etc. it aids in the recall value of the topic or a point.

Prepare Notes for NATA Exam

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5. Enhance General Aptitude-

General aptitude is an important section not only to crack a competitive exam but also to excel in a field. The general know-how and current affairs help one gain confidence to approach various situations and discussions in life. While enhancing your general aptitude is important, it is pertinent to know that mugging up a few facts and topics won’t help you in the long run. General awareness is a great tool to excel in exams, and group discussions and make a lasting impression. One can enhance their general aptitude by reading newspapers, magazines, blogs, whitepapers, etc. Keep your mind and eyes open to any new information regarding the field of construction, architects, new materials, books in architecture, etc.

6. Developing your Skillset

Architecture is a skill-based profession and therefore NATA also has a section that tests a candidate across various skills – drawing, sketching, creativity, scale and proportions, observation, perception, visualization, logical ability, etc. Consequently, it becomes imperative to hone and develop one’s skill set to crack NATA. These are skills that do not develop in a single day and require constant push and practice. Dedicate some time every day to practice and polish these skills.
Architecture is a roundup of the aforementioned skills in addition to practical aptitude. Skills are a humongous umbrella, that one needs to keep nurturing to keep going in the field.

developing your skillset

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7. Read and Contemplate

Reading and contemplating a question before taking a plunge into answering it is of utmost importance. This is especially true for questions focused on understanding your drawing skills and out-of-the-box thinking. Do not be in a hurry to answer the question without giving it a proper thought.

Read – Think – contemplate – Answer!

8. Speed Up!

Exams are all about knowing and doing. Knowing is a part that is covered in your preparation period; however, time management or speed is important when it comes to competitive exams. Right from the GO, plan and manage your time, try and speed up in the sections you can. One can work on time management and speed by practicing mock papers in a timed manner. Work in steps for drawing-based questions so that even if you are not able to complete a question, the rough draft is still there for evaluation. Time management and speed are vital for cracking NATA.

9. Attempt all Questions

Attempt all the questions! Try to attempt and complete 100% of the paper in the given time. To be able to achieve the maximum possible marks, it is imperative to attempt all the questions. That is one reason that one needs to manage their time throughout the paper.

10. Go Stress-Free!

To be able to crack NATA, be calm and go stress-free to the examination hall. While preparation is the key going to an exam with a calm mind is essential to succeed. Stress might lead to a lack of confidence and muddling up things during the paper. Complete your preparations well in advance, and keep your exam kit (admit card and stationary) ready to help you be a tad bit confident for the exam.
Be positive, be confident and keep the stress at bay!

Be calm and crack NATA Exam

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Cracking NATA is the first step to fulfilling an aspirant’s dream of becoming an architect. While there are ample tips to go through, the above 10 tips summarize the journey to cracking NATA. While the preparation phase is important, the previous evening and the day of the exam are important too, especially when it comes to keeping calm and boosting one’s confidence. It is of utmost importance that one starts to develop and polish their aptitude for the field of architecture. While skills and creativity required can not be achieved in a single day but can be worked upon with patience and motivation over a period of time. To give you a further boost, the following are a few bonus tips –
• For the drawing section, work in layers. Do a light sketch of your overall composition, once satisfied, finalize the outline. Try to use the eraser to a minimum.
• In your free time, practice making freehand straight lines, to make a neat sketch without using a ruler.
• Practice with colour pencils and different grades of pencil, to be able to comfortably use them during the exam.
• Carry an adequate amount of stationery with you in the exam.
Practice and prepare with enthusiasm, keep a calm mind to give your exam and I am sure you will crack the NATA exam with flying colours!
In case of any suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments below!

Also, check out Top Things To Know Before Starting Architecture Programme

and The Life Of An Architecture's Student


Tags NATA self study books 2021NATA 2021 preparation strategy

Article Category Architecture

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