How to get into architecture in India|Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

Hello everyone!!

Welcome back to the blog. We are here with yet another blog on again an interesting topic. This blog will be useful for students who are planning for get into architecture. If you are someone who has just completed 12th standard and wants to get into architecture this blog is for you and if you are not a student then you can send this someone who needs this piece of information. Now without wasting any time lets get straight into the blog.

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Before we get into this blog if you haven’t read THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE JOINING ARCHITECTURE this blog, please do. Because this is going to give you clarity and help you make a decision. The decision is always important as many aspects revolve around this. Even if you lack in some skills this decision of yours will fuel your motivation and help you get through the difficult process of the exam.

Here we’ll be covering topics such as who’s the competent authority, what is NATA, basic requirements for getting into architecture, eligibility, who should take NATA, where to appear for NATA, and Registration for NATA.

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As per Council of Architecture regulations, a candidate applying to any school/ colleges of architecture in INDIA should have 50% marks in 10+2 or equivalent examination with minimum 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and 40% score in NATA, i.e. at least 80/200, for consideration of admission into first year of 5-year B.Arch. degree course.

Architecture is 5-year degree course, which has an entrance exam along with 10+2 exams. This entrance exam checks whether you have the aptitude, skill and potential to become an Architect. These are some basic skills which can be developed if you are starting at the right time.

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Now after hearing NATA for so many times you might be thinking what is this?? Let me first solve that. The National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) is conducted by Council of Architecture (COA). It measures the aptitude of the applicant for specific field of study, i.e. Architecture. The test measures drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity and critical thinking ability that have been acquired over a long period of time, and that are related to specific field of study, i.e. Architecture.

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The candidates who have passed 10+2 level examination with at least 50% aggregate marks in physics, Chemistry & Mathematics (PCM) and also at least 50% marks in aggregate of the 10+2 level examination or passed 10+3 Diploma Examination with Mathematics as compulsory subject with at least 50% marks in aggregate, shall be eligible to appear for NATA.

The candidate appearing for 10+2 examination with PCM or 10+3 Diploma with Mathematics in the current year may also provisionally appear for NATA, subject to fulfilling the above criteria.

The candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC – NCL category or PwD (Person with disability) shall be provided a relaxation of 5% marks in total aggregate in 10+2level/ 10+3 Diploma as well as PCM.

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Prospective applicants desirous of taking admission to First Year of undergraduate course in Architecture (B.Arch.) in India take NATA. NATA is offered over major part of admission season at designated Test Centres located at colleges/ schools of architecture in India. Updated list of test centres is available at the NATA website.

After having registered for and given the NATA exam, there will be Centralised Admission Process in which you will be given a state rank and based on the ranking admissions will be carried out and you will get into First year Architecture course. This is just the first step to become an Architect in India. These 5 years are going to be long and hectic after successfully clearing of these you will be known as an Architect.

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Now that you know what is NATA next thing will be the registration process. This is a complete online process and details for the application is given in the NATA brochure. Earlier this exam could have been given at the student’s convenience but this is not the case now. There’s a proper timetable for everything and the similar is followed. This score is valid for one year only i.e. if you are giving for academic year 2020 – 2021 it will be valid for this year only and cannot be carried forward.  

This process normally starts in February, but there are two exams one in April and May consecutively. So according to your preference you can choose between the two. I’ll be writing a detailed blog on NATA in the next segment of our Education series of our Blog. We will also cover topics of exam in NATA, and will be having a series of blogs. We are focussing on free NATA education for students.

These are some recommendation of books for preparation of NATA. I have provided the Amazon link below you can buy from these to get ready for NATA.



B.Arch. / NATA Question Bank

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8 things you should know before joining architecture school| Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

We are widening our spectrum in terms of architecture, if you have any specific recommendations do let us know in the comment section. Each week will be different, as mentioned before we’ll be focusing on different areas IN & AROUND ARCHITECTURE. Many of you will be graduating from high school and will start your degree in a college career. Not sure if architecture is for you, let me help you make a decision. Here are some tips, I haven’t covered all of them but these doubts are common which if I had known, life would have been much easier.

#1. Is sketching important???

Although having a good hand in sketching might help but even if you don’t know how to sketch, that’s OK. A basic understanding of scale and proportion is needed. And if you have good visualization skills, you’ll be fine. Sharpening the skill is always important so keep on sketching and as time goes your skill will improve.
(PS: If you are one who is preparing for architecture tag us on INSTAGRAM @armohsinsheikh)

#2. I am not sure if I should take Architecture/ Engineering???

Architecture and engineering go hand in hand and are also connected to each other. But for your basic understanding of architecture is more on the CREATIVE side of the process and Engineering is more of a technical side of the spectrum. Now on the basis of your potential/ caliber you can make a decision, on which field to choose. Just to give you a better understanding Architects design Spaces, and the load calculations, are done by the Engineers.

#3. Math’s & Architecture.

If you are someone who’s scared of numbers and calculations, then I think Architecture is just not your thing. Though if you are like someone who can manage the education part, you can choose an alternative career in Architecture where you’ll be less involved with the calculations. It’s always helpful if you are good with numbers.

#4. It’s unlikely you will be Rich.

Real Estate as an industry is a place where a lot of money gets involved with too many architects, engineers, developers, and many more. Now for your basic understanding if a building is being made it takes millions of dollars to make just One building. Architects take a small percentage as a fee. Now, this is possible only If you have a good network of connections. If you are working for some company, you’ll be paid a certain salary which might not sound interesting. The whole problem here is getting projects as a freelancer, somebody to trust a newcomer (or even if you are experienced) so a client to trust you and assign you a project is huge responsibility where risk is involved in which both the parties need to support each other.

#5. Get ready for all-nighters, Hard work is the only option.

Architecture is a multi-disciplinary course. I say this because there are many skills, you’ll require to complete your design process. From the basics of design to technical drawings to the history of architecture to Architecture design Studios. Now as you see a typical course would ask you to learn something and then write exams, but the architecture you need to make drawings, presentations, exams and many more. As per the Guinness World record, ‘Architecture’ is known as the Toughest Course.

#6. Be Jack of all Cards.

Architecture is not just about drawings, design, philosophy, and buildings. If you’re an architect there might come a project where you have to design a house for an artist, musician, or anyone for that instance. You need to know how they react with spaces, what are their daily activities, and what aura they need in the home. This point will be of use once you become an architect and start designing, but these habits need to cultivate at the basic level where you start architecture. So, read books, interact with people, get involved in different art forms, you don’t know which activity will help you where.

#7. Design is never RIGHT OR WRONG!!!

Every course has a specific outline and precise Answers. But not architecture, when it comes to design it is Subjective. Design can never be right or wrong. So, if you are a person who likes to do things your own way, you have the freedom in Architecture. You can explore as many things and still be correct. Also, the design has no curriculum that you have to learn a particular section then only you can design.

#8. It is an EXPENSIVE course.

Not all of us are rich. The basic yearly college fees as of 2020 are 1.5lakh rupees in INDIA. This is just the beginning, daily sheets, accessories for drawing, model making material, and many different kinds of stuff. This is something nobody would talk about, and when you enter architecture college most of the people are capable of handling that load of Finance. But for a middle-class family in INDIA where you have 2 siblings, it can be a hole in the pocket for your parents.

Architecture is a lovely course, and by all these points I don’t want to put the course in dark but these are the facts one should know before getting into Architecture. Also, this blog wouldn’t be possible without Madhura, Ahmed, Priya, Wasim. Thanks a lot for the valuable inputs.

After spending a decade in Architecture, I realize that these are my thoughts and Understanding as a Student, Entrepreneur, intern, employee. These all points are Important but if you are passionate about Architecture than you can go beyond the odds and work things out.

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