Admissions to institutions through a single mechanism. So through just one test, students can take admission to all colleges accredited to the council," explains Vinod Kumar, Registrar, Council of Architecture ( COA), the statutory body that conducts the test in the country.
Even though the more famous colleges conduct their own exams for admission to B.Arch courses, a bulk of the other colleges accept NATA scores. So while the School of Planning and Architecture accepts AIEEE scores and the B.Arch at IIT Kharagpur and Roorkee consider JEE scores followed by an aptitude test there are many colleges in the Capital that recognise NATA scores. The College of Architecture, Vastukala Academy; University School of Architecture & Planning, GGSIPU; MBS School of Planning and Architecture; K. R. Mangalam School of Architecture & Planning; and Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon are only some of the colleges that require a minimum of 40 per cent in NATA. The pattern of the paper was changed a couple of years ago, but expect nothing new in the paper pattern, evaluation or the scoring process this year.
Divided into two sections, a two- hour drawing paper and an hour- long computer based section for aesthetic sensitivity, students will be tested on a wide variety of parametres.
While at the undergraduate level, the first three years are common, you can specialise in the last two years in one of the three areas of architecture. " In the fourth and fifth year of B.Arch, students can choose electives. There's Architecture, Interior Designing and Construction Management, and Building Technology that students can choose to study," says Subhalaxmi Kanungo, architect and assistant professor, Lingaya University. At the post graduate level students can further diversify into Urban Designing, Interiors, Town Planning, Building Technology, Project Management, Landscaping, Infrastructure Development and Construction Management.
A degree in Architecture can get you jobs with starting salaries ranging from ` 20,000 to ` 25,000. " You could seek employment in both government and private sectors. The job timings can be pretty odd as you'll be required to visit sites and interact with Class IV employees," says architect and environmental engineer Satish Chandra Agarwal.
Once you have done B.Arch, it makes sense to intern with an established firm for at least two years to learn the ropes. After that, you could either join big names in the construction business such as DLF, GMR or Omaxe or choose to work in the public sector on government projects or even start something of your own.
" Most colleges will have huge names coming to hire.
Big builders like Ansals, Larsen and Toubro and Unitech group are constantly on a look out for good talent. Freelancers too can hope to earn good dough as now even the smallest of plot owners want their homes designed and adhering to urban planning laws," adds Kanungo.
QUESTIONS MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED
Q. Is taking NATA compulsory for admission to any architecture college in India?
A. Yes, it is, as prescribed by the Council of Architecture, a statutory body of the Government of India that regulates architecture education in India.
Q. Does clearing NATA get me admission into any college in India automatically?
A. No. NATA is an aptitude test. On the basis of your score in this exam, you can only apply for admission to various colleges.
Q3. What is the last date for taking NATA?
A3. September 25.
Q4. I am a foreign student. Can I take the test from my country of residence?
A4. No. You'll have to register in India first and then take the exam.