"The man who says he can, and the man who says he can't are both correct."
Whatever you believe is true, whatever you do not believe is also true. The decision lies in your hands. If you believe that you can manage your job as well as preparation, then you’re right. On the other hand, if you don’t believe this…still you are right. The chances of being correct totally depend upon your Mindset.
When it's time to prepare for design exams, at some point of preparation you need to be fully focused on doing the single thing every day and following the same ritual of self-discipline and consistency.
However, what about those who want to juggle between their jobs and side hustle? How to prepare for that situation? Is there any way I can continue to do my job and do preparation as well? What are the chances of me cracking these design exams? Is my job going to have an impact on my studies? All these questions cross our minds when we are in the middle of deciding to prepare for this exam or quit trying!
In this article, we will try to discuss various problems faced by students while preparing along with their job and how we can tackle such issues.
Before directly reading these points below, I would like to say that there is always a smarter way of doing things. You can formulate your strategies and practise them on daily basis. It is completely all right to have a difference of opinions, as I'm not an expert at this but still a learner!
1. To begin with, time management is one of the crucial factors, which determines the quality of your preparation for design exams. Students who are doing jobs says that it's quite difficult for them to manage time as there's so much workload and these design exams need your dedication and time.
How do I manage time?
One method can be making a timetable and following it accordingly. But, how do you prepare a timetable? There are various ways to create a suitable timetable for yourself. Take a pencil & start noting down these points:
Firstly, make time table which is practical to follow. Don’t make an unrealistic schedule for yourself.
Allot different subjects per day according to your preferences (likes/dislikes) and fix the number of hours you want to practice that particular subject.
Make sure to include breaks in your schedule so that you can relax as well.
Prepare this timetable like you used to do on school days. For example, for 2 hours I will practice sketching with 10-minute breaks each and then I will revise my Gk & Art and culture topics for 1.5 hours. After this, I will try to watch some documentaries related to design. Overall I have spent only 4.5 hours in a day on my preparation. You can definitely do this!
And if you’re still in doubt about how to create a perfect timetable for yourself, then you might get a clear idea after watching this video by Roman Saini! (Video)
2. Lacking knowledge about exams and their pattern
Most of the time, students lack the proper knowledge about exams and their question patterns. As I have said before, "kisi bhi exam ko clear karne ke pehle usse samajhna zaruri hai!"
One of the strategies of acing in any design exam is getting familiar with its questions and sit & analyzing the previous year's papers.
Let’s talk about NID first!
CDAT which is a common design aptitude test checks your logical reasoning and general awareness. It has questions related to science, art and culture, visual-based questions like pattern recognition, and a little bit of comprehensive knowledge. It consists of 100 marks and carries 25% weightage. The time limit for this paper changes every year but in 2022, it was allotted 45 minutes. Lastly, there’s no negative marking in this. But it’ll determine your rank at later stages of NID mains.
PART-B which’s your domain-specific paper has 7-8 questions maximum. And, you should have a general aptitude for drawing. When it comes to NID, part-B is the most important out of everything. It carries 75% weightage and is of 100 marks. The time limit for this paper is 2 hours for one discipline. And, in case you have chosen 2 disciplines then 4 hours in total.
Let’s talk about CEED/UCEED!
Part-A has 3 types of questions which are NAT, MCQ and MSQ. Now, let’s see how does this paper differ from NID! This is for 1 hour only. Below is a picture of the pattern of CEED Part-A.
Now coming to PART-B which is a drawing based question paper and is of 2 hours. But, there’s a twist ;)
Once you are aware of the question papers pattern, you will surely be able to do a maximum number of questions in less time!
3. Don't have enough time to join any courses/coaching classes
Students often struggle with choosing to prepare all by themselves or join any coaching classes. Before reaching any final decision, it is very necessary to think in the long term that how does this decision make me closer to my dreams. Do I need coaching classes? Or I'm alone capable of meeting the requirements of design exams. If you feel the need and are willing to learn more than the basics, then I would suggest you join these courses. It is always okay to take feedback and suggestions from your seniors and mentors.
Joining some courses will also relieve you from the family pressure of cracking this exam because you’re not sitting free. You’ll be accountable for your every action during the phase of preparation.
4. Self-doubt is the culprit of all the failures. Never doubt yourself but always consider suggestions. The more you practise and refine your sketching, the more confident you will become. If you constantly visit and study topics from PYQs, the voice inside you who used to scream self-doubt will eventually stop and your entire perspective will be changed.
Trust yourself and the amount of hard work you are putting in your preparations. Make the most out of the given time apart from your daily work routine. Do not burn yourself out, try to take one step at a time.
5. Fear of failure will always knock at your door. It's good to fail at some things and learn from them rather than getting frustrated from an overnight success. It requires sweat and blood to complete any goal. Be determined in pursuit of success and practise rigorously. That is how you can manage your job and preparations. Increase your willpower and try to focus on your strengths and improve your weakness.
Talking about willpower, why don’t you go through this video and learn shortcuts to increase it!
6. Never lose the sense of excitement to learn many new skills. Try to upgrade yourself and polish your skills. Make some time from your daily job and do what you love the most. It can be anything starting from paintings, watching your favorite series or just chilling out with friends on weekends. This is how you achieve equilibrium in life.
7. Connect with Design communities. Try to reach out to mentors who will guide you in this journey. Try to communicate with seniors and ask your doubts through LinkedIn. Design is a very diverse profession and you will need help on your way. This can be a power of good communication and you will surely be benefited by joining some communities that constantly push you to achieve your goals and aspirations.
Lastly, I would say that never stop believing in yourself. Self-motivation, discipline and time management are the 3 most crucial points to remember in this preparation. Take this preparation as part of your big journey ahead. You can do what you set your mind to. Just remember to take the necessary steps in the direction of your goals. You have got this! :)
About Kaphal Studio
Kaphal Studio is a modern, internet university for creators that brings community and learning together. We aim to prepare designers for the startup economy. We offer a new approach to online education through synchronous cohorts with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning.