How to apply for the National Aptitude Test for Architecture (NATA)

Are you planning a career in the field of architecture? Desirous of taking an undergraduate course in architecture at one of the top colleges in India? Learn about the National Aptitude Test for Architecture (NATA), which is an essential requirement for anyone aspiring to join a B.Arch. program in the architecture field.

What is NATA

As its full name, National Aptitude Test for Architecture implies, NATA is an aptitude test that measures the capability of a student to pursue a course in architecture. Through NATA, a candidate is tested on various parameters such as logical reasoning, critical thinking ability, cognitive ability, visual perception, sense of proportion, observation skills and aesthetic sensitivity. For these parameters to be assessed, a candidate has to sit for an aptitude test that consists of questions taken from a variety of topics such as mathematics, physics, geometry, general aptitude and drawing.

NATA is conducted by the Council of Architecture (CoA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, Government of India. For anyone to pursue a course of study in the field of architecture it is mandatory to appear either for the NATA or the JEE Main Paper 2 exam. Through JEE Main Paper 2 one can get admission at the NITs and a few other government colleges in the country. Whereas through NATA one can get admission to most other architecture and engineering colleges conducting courses on architecture. The Council of Architecture has been conducting this exam since 2006. The NATA score is mainly qualifying in nature that makes a candidate eligible for admission to a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) course in any of the CoA-recognised architectural institutions in the country.

Eligibility for NATA

To be eligible to appear for the NATA, a candidate has to fulfil any of the following two conditions.

  1. Candidates should have successfully cleared their 10+2 examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as the compulsory subjects. Or

  2. Candidates should have cleared their 10+3 diploma examination with mathematics as a main subject

Those appearing for the above exams or awaiting their final results may apply provisionally. It is to be noted that clearing the NATA is only qualifying in nature. For admission to an architecture course in a college, the candidates have to fulfil the eligibility criteria as mandated by the respective college or institution.

Test pattern

NATA is a computer-based test (CBT), which is conducted online at CoA-designated centres across India. Unlike the JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, BITSAT and other engineering entrance exams, NATA is more of an aptitude test, where certain inherent or inborn qualities of the candidate are tested which cannot be taught or learnt.

The test is of 3 hours in duration with 125 questions and a maximum mark of 200. The test covers a variety of topics. The medium of the test is English. However, a few questions can be in regional languages also. The questions will be Multiple Choice (MCQ), Multiple Select (MSQ), Preferential Choice (PCQ), Numerical Answer (NAQ) and Match the Following (MFQ) type. Based on the questions, they will be either 1 mark, 2 mark or 3 mark type. Some of the reasoning techniques used to assess the candidates are - diagrammatic reasoning, logical reasoning, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, inductive reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement test. The questions are taken from a variety of topics covering basic concepts in mathematics, physics, chemistry, geometry, general aptitude, colour theory, lateral thinking, visual perception, principles of design, aesthetic sensitivity, graphics and imagery, construction materials, architectural vocabulary, building construction techniques and so on. There may be even questions on general knowledge and current affairs related to the architectural field or otherwise.

Examination schedule

The NATA is generally conducted twice a year, two sessions in a day. Candidates may appear on both days or any one of them. For candidates appearing on both days, the best score is taken. In 2022, due to Covid disruptions, the test was conducted thrice to give the opportunity to the students to appear for the aptitude test and pursue a course in architecture. For 2023, the exam notification and schedule are yet to be released by CoA.

Application fees

As of the year 2022, the following is the application fee based on the candidates' category.

  • General/OBC(NCL) - Rs 2000 (male candidates), Rs 1500 (female candidates)

  • SC/ST/PwD - Rs 1500 (irrespective of male or female)

  • Transgender - Rs 1500

  • Outside India - Rs 10000

The above fee is for a single test. Those desiring to appear more than once have to pay accordingly for each test. The application fee once paid is non-refundable.

How to apply for NATA

To apply for the National Aptitude Test for Architecture, applicants have to visit the official website of NATA and apply online as and when the notification for application is released by the Council of Architecture. Submitting the online form is a three-stage process. The first step involves filling up the personal details including qualifications. The second step involves uploading the requisite documents and the third step is the payment of the application fee which is done online. On successful submission and fee payment, a Confirmation Page is generated, a printout of which is to be kept by the applicant for future reference, if required.

Issue of admit card

Admit cards will be generated for each applicant depending upon the exam schedule. The admit card will have details such as the name of the candidate, examination roll number, name of the exam centre, date and time of the exam. The candidates will have to download and take a printout of the admit card, as and when the Council uploads them on the NATA website. The candidates will have to carry the printout of the admit card and a valid photo identity to the exam centre. The admit card is to be retained well after the exams till the admission procedure is completed.

Declaration of results

Results are declared on the NATA website. However, before the publication of scorecards, the answer key will be made available. The candidates will also come to know the marks allotted to each question answered by them. The candidates can challenge if an answer is marked wrong and ask for viewing the answer script. For this, the candidates need to make a payment of Rs 3000 per test within 3 days of publication of the answer key.


The scorecard will have the results of all the tests that the candidate appeared for. In case appeared twice, the best of the two scores will be taken. For the year 2022, the qualifying score was 70 out of 200. The NATA score will be valid for a period of one year within which the candidate has to take admission to a Bachelor of Architecture course in any of the approved colleges.

For queries, if any

NATA Help desk:
Email ID:
Mobile Number: 08045549467

Article by Dhruv
Dhruv, an electrical engineer by training and profession, loves to dabble in writing during his free time. For the last seven years, he has been a content writer creating content for ISC on topics mostly related to school and college admissions.

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