Chiranjeet Rege, CEO, SILICA

Chiranjeet Rege, Director, SILICA has been with the organisation for 10yrs in an entrepreneurial role. Before joining SILICA, he was Audit Manager with Deloitte LLP London for 3 years and the previous 3 years as Audit Executive with KPMG Mumbai and KPMG London. He aims to deliver exceptional quality education and guidance to SILICA students by building teams, systems and technology which will consistently deliver the SILICA promise of exceptional quality.

Understanding Architecture:

Architecture Profession & Careers:

Architects are certified professionals involved in the design of spaces and structures. Traditional careers in Architecture are Interior Design, Landscape Design, Sustainable Architecture, Construction Management, Urban Planning, Exhibition Design, Conservation Architecture, Transport Planning etc. In recent times, Architects have ventured into emerging areas such as Digital Design, Graphics, Furniture, Product Design as well. In India, to practice Architecture you need to have completed your Bachelors in Architecture (B.Arch) and registered with the Council of Architecture (COA) under the Architect’s Act, 1972.

The duties of an Architect can be broadly classified into 3 phases: 

  1. Consultation & Design: This phase includes understanding the client’s needs and regulations, suggesting design concepts and finalizing the design proposal.
  2. Drafting & Documentation: In this phase, the architect creates detailed technical drawings of the design using CADD softwares. The design, dimensions, technical specifications and materials to be used for construction are finalized.
  3. Construction: This phase is on the site, where the architect oversees the construction of his design through contractors & construction crew and signs off on pieces completed. 

Who can study Architecture?

The eligibility criteria to apply to apply for the B.Arch program is:

  • Educational: Candidates who have completed 10+2 examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (OR) 10+3 Diploma with Mathematics. They need to get minimum 50% marks in aggregate and in PCM / Mathematics subjects.
  • Qualifying Exam: NATA or National Aptitude Test for Architecture is the qualifying exam for admission to Architecture colleges across India. Only GFTIs like School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) can admit students based on JEE Paper 2 or Paper 1 results.

Students who are intelligent, sensitive, imaginative, analytical, practical, creative can be successful as an Architect. 

Architecture Education & Colleges:

The content and structure for the 5 Year Bachelor of Architecture program are standardized by the Council of Architecture in India. There are various subjects the student learns as a part of the B.Arch program. These subjects can be grouped into 5 streams- Design, Technology, Humanities, Environment and Professional Practice. Students develop a variety of skills such as Fundamental Design, Research, Verbal and Writing Ability, Graphic & Visual, Critical Thinking. 

There are 500+ Architecture colleges across India, which offer close to 30,000 seats for admission to the B.Arch program. Essentially, there are 4 types of colleges:

Type of College Examples Entrance Exam Admission Authority
State University Affiliated 

(Govt Aided)

J.J. College of Architecture,

Rachana Sansad

State University Affiliated


Kamala Raheja, LS Raheja, IES College of Architecture NATA State DTE
State Private University / Deemed to be University CEPT, NMIMS, MIT-ADT, DY Patil, Bharti Vidyapeeth,  NATA Directly to University
All India Level Institute

(Govt Aided)

– SPAs, NITs, BITs

– IITs

JEE Paper 2

JEE Paper 1 + AAT


Some of the top Architecture colleges in India are- SPA (Delhi), CEPT (Ahmedabad), J.J. College (Mumbai), Jamia Milia (Delhi), NIT (Calicut), BITs (Mesra), SPA (Bhopal), IIT (Kharagpur), IIT (Roorkee), CoA (Chandigarh), SAP (Manipal), JNAFAU (Hyderabad), RV College (Bangalore) etc.

Architecture Entrance Exams:

NATA and JEE Paper 2 are the main entrance exams for admission to the B.Arch program in India. The exams measure the aptitude of the applicant specifically for Architecture, cognitive skills, visual perception, aesthetic sensitivity tests, logical reasoning, critical thinking ability, drawing sense, architecture awareness, language skills, etc.

Till 2019, the NATA exam pattern was as below:

Section Type of Test # Questions # Marks Time
1. Drawing Paper based 3 125.0 1.5 hours
2. Aptitude Computer based 35 52.5 1.5 hours
3. PCM Computer based 15 22.5
Total 53 200.0 3.0 hours

New NATA Pattern:

  1. In 2020, due to COVID19, the COA made the NATA exam completely online. In years 2021 & 2022, the NATA exam continued to be in online mode, for 3.0 hours, with 125 questions, for 200 marks.
  2. There were 5 types of questions asked- MCQ (multiple choice), MSQ (multiple selection), NAQ (numeric answer), PCQ (preferential choice), MFQ (match the following). 
  3. The questions were of 7 forms– Diagrammatic, Numerical, Verbal, Inductive, Situational, Logical and Abstract Reasoning.
  4. There were 16 topics on which questions were asked- 1. Mathematics, 2. Physics, 3. Geometry, 4. English Language, 5. Comprehension, 6. Elements & Principles of Design, 7. Aesthetic Sensitivity, 8. Colour Theory, 9. Lateral Thinking, 10. Logical Reasoning, 11. Visual Perception & Cognition, 12. Graphics & Imagery, 13. Building Anatomy & Architecture Vocabulary, 14. Construction Techniques & materials, 15. Architectural awareness, 16. General Knowledge & Current Affairs.
  5. NATA is generally conducted 3 times in a year i.e. April, June, July.

The JEE Paper 2 exam has remained relatively unchanged through the years. The JEE exam is generally conducted twice in a year- April & June. Here is the pattern:

Section Type of Test # Questions # Marks Time
1. Drawing Paper based 2 100 1.5 hours
2. Aptitude Computer based 50 200 1.5 hours
3. Mathematics Computer based 25 100
Total 77 400 3.0 hours

Note: For admission to the B.Arch program in IITs, the candidate has to appear for the JEE Paper 1 exam, which is meant for Engineering admissions, plus an Architecture Aptitude Test conducted by IIT. There are only 2 IITs which offer the B.Arch program with 60 seats.

Tips for Entrance Exams & Admission Process:

Admission to the B.Arch program across colleges is on the basis of the candidate’s merit score. The merit score is calculated after giving equal weightage to- 1. XII Std aggregate percentage and 2. Marks obtained in entrance exams (NATA / JEE). E.g. If a student gets 85% aggregate in the XII Std and gets 150 marks in NATA, the student’s merit score will be 85 + 150/2 = 160 on 200, which is considered a good score for admission in a top architecture college.

Here are some tips for preparation of Architecture entrance exams:

  1. Practice Sketching & Coloring- on a daily basis, which prepares you for the drawing section of the exam. Practice live sketching of objects, humans, scenes. Your ability, visualization, aesthetic sense will develop over time. 
  2. Learn and practice Technical Drawing- candidates must learn topics such as isometric drawing, perspective drawing, drawing forms & sciography, which are absolutely essential for the exam and architecture practice in general.
  3. Practice Memory Drawing– questions on this topic are a certainty in the Drawing section of JEE Paper 2. The questions are difficult and require you to visual and draw complex scenes from odd angles e.g. bug’s eye view, bird’s eye view etc. Manage your time while practicing; complete each drawing in 45 minutes. 
  4. Read about Architecture GK– famous architects and their works, ~isms & movements in architecture, types of architecture, famous monuments-structures-buildings-temples, history of architecture etc.
  5. Read about Technical Architecture– interior elements, exterior elements, abbreviations, vocabulary and terms, construction material, anatomy of building & structures etc. 
  6. Learn about Design Theory– elements & principles of design, color theory, gestalt’s laws, principles of visual communication, ordering principles in visual communication etc.  
  7. Prepare for Aptitude Questions– prepare and practice for questions on Numerical Ability, Verbal & Visual Reasoning, English Language & Comprehension, Puzzles & Brain Teasers.
  8. Brush up your School Subjects– Questions from 7th to 10th standard Physics, Geometry, Geography and History can be expected in the exams. Brush up main topics from these subjects from the NCERT books which are available online. 
  9. Read about GK & Current Affairs– Read the newspaper daily and keep abreast with the important news & events in India and the world. Be particularly aware of topics related to History of Art, Civics & Politics, Economics & Finance, Sports & Entertainment etc.
  10. Practice Past Papers– Solving past papers is always a great way to assess your level of preparation and practicing time management. Past or Sample papers are available on the internet for both NATA and JEE paper 2 e.g. 

What to do next?:

  1. Generally, candidates join entrance exam coaching for NATA & JEE paper 2 exams preparation. Choose the coaching class wisely which covers all the above sections, has exhaustive content, great faculties and proven past results. 
  2. If the candidate intends to self study, then they should buy the study material and online kits from a reputed institute. The online kits include exhaustive videos, PDFs and quizzes. 
  3. Free video platforms like Youtube are very useful for preparation and have thousands of videos on the above topics.
  4. Follow handles of valuable influencers which publish information about Architecture and Architecture exam preparation on social media platforms like Instagram. 

Wish you all the best for your Architecture journey!

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