August 15, 2021

Shravani (IITR)

 Hello everyone! 

First of all, a big thanks to Prasanna Sir for constant guidance and support. Now coming to my experience, I appeared for CEED in 2020 and 2021.


First step to begin the preparation is to go through previous year question paper(pyq) and try to solve it to understand where you stand in managing time. Even if you know how to solve all questions it is important to solve them in that given time (1 hour for Part A and 2 hours for Part B)

For part A study the previous year question paper and focus on the topics which are reoccurring and try to study accordingly. You do not need to know the history of everything (go for it only if you have time, as it helps in Part B story making and idea generation). Resources for part A are mainly YouTube videos (Kaphal Studio), Art and Culture from Manorama and Solving all pyq’s.

For part B focus on generating ideas and draw them, only visualization won’t help. As you have to present your idea in exam. So, try to generate questions according to what the question paper demands. As the pattern for part B has changed from 2020, practice according to that. If you have time then solve all previous year part B in time limits and get it reviewed from someone (You can join Telegram group for such discussions).

I had created my own set of questions for practicing Part B, few examples of that are—

Sketching – Draw from life, objects, humans, cartoons, vehicle. Anything that you can find around you. Focus on perspective and line quality of your sketches.

Q. On the Occasion of World Yoga Day, get attention of young kids by making illustration of Motu Patlu (add any character) doing Yoga (doing an activity).

Creativity –This is a more visualization question, this question will reflect on your thought process and what content you consume. Focus on the concept and not on rendering as it will be small space. Try to keep it simple yet impactful.

Q. Draw random lines and try to fill them (15 drawings each day), add themes to the drawings.

Form Sensitivity—Draw objects in different perspectives and focus on proportion, consistency, details, shading and line quality. All this will come with regular practice.

Q. Draw a Wireless Electric Iron.

Visual Sensitivity—Practice 2D forms and try to make it consistent (should belong to same family). Focus on Composition.

Q. Draw 5 Icons for Traditional Indian Games. (eg. Pachisi)

Problem Identification—Look around for any object or a scenario and find problems in it. Don’t stop there, try to solve those problems and draw everything.

Q. What are the problems faced while using a spider web duster. How can we improve it?

CEED 2020

In CEED 2020 I got score 44.1 and my Rank was 337 Open. I would say it was a very well calibrated question paper. The mistake that I made was that I focused more on Part A preparation and didn’t practice part B enough. I didn’t receive any call for Interview or test rounds.

CEED 2021

In CEED 2021 even though my part A was not how I expected it to be, I knew I have qualified for Part B evaluation and I gave my best in Part B (always remember this Part A is 25% of final score and Part B is 75%). So do not panic in the exam, be ready for surprises and try to gain some positive outcome from it. Practice Time management from the beginning of the preparation, it will help you a lot during examination. (Try to break the time per question beforehand).

I got 175 Open Rank and got call from IITB, IISC, IITH (Self Sponsored) and IITR.

Portfolio—Start preparing your portfolio as soon as you can, I would suggest after your exam. Include 3 or 4 good projects of the stream you want to pursue; you can include extra work.  

My Interview Experience

IISC—IISC takes admission through both CEED and GATE Scores so to come on a common ground it organises a Test which consists of both technical and creative questions. The questions are not to be disclosed according to there policy. But if you are from Engineering Background and are into creative field then you will be able to get through it. The Interview on the other hand will be very technical. My Interview was focused on my final year project. I was not able to make it to the final list.

IITB—I applied for Interaction and Product Design in which we had to complete tasks in given days and then submit them.  I got called for Product Design Interview. The Interview was focused on the task and portfolio. They asked me questions from manufacturing processes (How is a pencil made). The overall interview was good. I didn’t make it though (They consider 70% CEED score and 30% Interview, in 2021- it might vary)

IITH—After getting shortlisted for IITH in Self Sponsored Category the process was divided into 3 sections, Long DAT, Short DAT and Interview.

In Long DAT 5 questions were given out of which we had to choose any two and each question carried 50 marks (questions added below). 2 days were given to complete the task. After which on the day of Interview short DAT was conducted in which students were divided into batches and test was conducted online. 2 questions were given on spot out of which you can choose any. (Q. If you could create any festival, what would it be? Explain and Illustrate) Interview was based on Long DAT, Short DAT and portfolio. I got selected in the final list.

IITR—I got called for Interview and Portfolio round. We had to compress our work in 5 slides and submit it. On the day of Interview, we were given time to explain our portfolio and then questions were asked based on that. Questions will be derived from the portfolio and few view-based questions. Overall a nice Interview experience. I got selected in the final list.

I took admission in IITR.

A special thanks to Prasanna Sir for always responding to queries and helping students with this blog. I hope this helps you in your preparation. All the best!

Apoorv (IxD at IDC-IITB)

Hello all, my name is Apoorv Anurag. I secured AIR 4 (open) in CEED 2021 and got admission at IDC, IIT Bombay in Interaction design discipline.

While I am writing this article, I am currently in my concluding days of B.Tech. Civil engg. Like most people getting into engineering due to societal pressure, I also had no clue what I will do after my bachelors. By the third year, I started preparing for GATE in a coaching institute. But I did not feel any motivation while preparing for it. When the lockdown happened, I got some time to introspect things. I realized I had always had a connection with creative things and I have always enjoyed working together on a creative project. Also meanwhile, I had been putting up my works on my social media handles and challenging my creative skills.

Through  Ms. Kashish Panjwani ma'am, one of my seniors in the Fine Arts club of my college (and now a senior at IDC too :) ), I got to know about the design field as a career option. She really mentored me in the entire process of preparation. I researched about this field and found it really interesting and fulfilling.  I did some NPTEL courses on design that cleared some of the basics of this field. 

Initially, I juggled between my GATE and design exam prep, but it did not work out. But at the end of September, I started preparing solely for CEED. I got to know about 'Teacup blog' by Mr. Prasanna Gadkari sir and 'Stuff You Look' blog. Got in a whatsapp CEED resource group by Mr. Josh Koikkara sir. These resources guided me a lot. 

I studied previous year question papers deeply. These question papers can be easily found on CEED website. For part A, I opted for the strategy of taking one question at a time and reading about it as a topic- Means assuming it as a topic and studying and making notes for everything related to it. Eg. For a question regarding classical dance, I went through how many classical dances there are, their costumes, any famous personality associated with that dance form etc.  It also helps in identifying any weak topic and getting familiarised by time management too. 
For part B, drawing something daily is the tip that can help you a lot. I practiced warm up exercises for my hands every time before sketching. I feel it's very necessary and one can clearly see the difference when you do it vs when you do not. You should start from basic shapes, then 3d forms (like cube, cones), then try with different products, human/ animal figures, vehicles etc. In short, try drawing everything that you see around and also try memorising the way you have drawn it. Try outlining figures in a newspaper to get used to different poses and proportions of figures and objects. Your everyday sketches can be critiqued by any fellow aspirants for the exam, if you know one. While solving drawing section questions, you can follow a similar strategy of getting critiques.  

If you are on Instagram, you can also take on some drawing challenges like sketching human figures in different poses, 100 products in 100 days, logo design challenge and maybe Inktober too. Posting them regularly will help you in staying motivated in your prep.

Follow Youtube, Insta, FB pages providing guidance for CEED. You will find plenty of them, suggesting you more helpful tips. Also please listen to the Styrofoam podcast on the CEED website.

In the last few weeks, I also gave around a dozen online mock tests from different coachings to get used to the time limit and get acquainted with important topics and time limits. Sometimes their answer keys are wrong so I won't suggest relying entirely on them too.

For time management in part B you get 2hrs to attempt 5 questions. So try to think like you have got only 1.5 hrs to attempt 5 questions. Hence you got only : 1.5hrs ÷ 5ques =18 mins for each question. Keep the last half hour for finishing up only. Keep yourself aware of the time in the whole exam. 

I used 4H pencil for initial drawing and then 2B for final finishing with darker strokes. I took only a small colour pencil set, a pair of ruler(1long and 1 small), a non dust eraser, a kneadable eraser, a few fineliner pens, a sharpener and a white gel pen. Don't carry huge art sets to the exam centre as you will not have the time to waste in choosing the tool. 

Post CEED : -
I had my CEED exam on 17th Jan,2021 and it's results were declared on 8th March,2021. I was very happy and overwhelmed by my result as I didn't expect to achieve AIR 4 in the exam :D .

Later on, the application form for IIT Bombay got released on 1st April,2021 and we had to fill it along with three tasks per chosen discipline, by 8th April. 
I applied in two disciplines: Communication and Interaction, so a total of six tasks had to be done. The tasks included designing a poster, reviewing a few articles and  critiquing a bad design. They were quite hectic, so I will suggest you to start them immediately as you receive them.

On 26th April, based on my CEED score and tasks, I got shortlisted for interview rounds 
The date of portfolio submission was between 8-14th May and then my interviews were done on 18th May. 

For a portfolio, you have to basically submit your best works and projects. Mine had only 4 projects including 1 ui/ux, 2 graphic related and 1 comic character related. I also added my sketching-painting works which I had done as a hobby or while in the Fine Arts club in the college. I got most of the projects done and compiled in the four months gap that I got between CEED and portfolio submission date. I submitted the same portfolio for both the disciplines.

In the interviews, the questions were mainly based on my portfolio, tasks, reason for choosing the particular discipline, and what I wish to aim for (coming from Civil engineering background). In the Interaction interview they also asked for softwares that I know.

After a lot of patience and nervousness, I received my result on 14th June,2021. I was jumping around with excitement and joy as I saw that I got into 'IDC School of Design, IIT BOMBAY'!

My family, friends, peers, mentors all had my back while I was preparing. It wouldn't have been possible without their support. 
In your preparation too, if you can't figure out a few things, don't exhaust yourself and let negative thoughts step upon you. Just take some rest, have a chit-chat with your people or listen to your favourite song. Be relaxed! Everything will fall in place if you have put genuine effort into it! 

All the best guys for your design journey!

July 12, 2021

Vaibhav (ID at IDC-IITB)

 Hello I’m Vaibhav, and this is my CEED preparation story.

CEED 2020

Started my preparation with teacupblog, stuffyoulook, and Addylabs youtube channel. Solved

previous year papers and practiced sketching products, landscape in perspective and human figures.

Referred Manorama Year book for some topics,and solved questions on logical reasoning and visual

sensitivity. And also googled some topics based on questions from the previous paper.

The result was AIR 426 (OBC 81). Applied to IDC, IISc, IITG, IITH. Got interview call for

Communication Design at IDC (the only call that I got).

Interview - It was around 8-10 mins. It was mostly from the portfolio, and the questions were - why

you want to change from Engineering to CD. Some why type questions from the projects, and which

subject you would like to take here and why. I didn’t find it much satisfactory. Didn't get through.

Mistakes made :

- Was too much focused on qualifying Part A

- in sketching the attention was more on rendering and quality, and less on ideas and


- poor time management in Exam

- And also not much significant projects

CEED 2021

I wasn't much feeling to go for the next attempt, although I did some freelancing work, I was looking

for a stable option. I started looking for what I exactly wanted to do, somehow my interest was in

Product/Industrial design. I started reading articles on net about sustainabilty, hearing tedtalks,

reading about recent technology, and upcoming different products in the market, different designers

in the field. Plan was to make a portfolio and look for some design jobs. At the same time I was

regulary sketching and generating ideas. Applied to CEED since only few months were there for the

exam, and CoVid was also in the picture. Started preparation 3-4 weeks before the exam,

considering the previous mistakes. Solved previous year papers, this time was more focused on Part

B, generating ideas and presentation, within time limit. For Part A just read previous notes, googled

certain topics and solved previous papers.

Exam - Part A felt little tough. Part B - I went prepared with this strategy which I learned from Anjali

Sohal’s youtube channel, which was to sketch out rough ideas to all the questions in first 10-15 mins,

and then fair them giving 20 mins to each question, which really helped. Still I missed to complete

the creativity question.

Result -Got AIR 31 (OBC 6), I was little happy, but then again learnt that it doesn't matter much, you

need to do good in the Task/Written test and the portfolio as well.

I had worked on some ideas for the portfolio but I didn’t have any prototype or model made till

then. Started working on it immediately after the exam. They take time, many times it’ll fail, and

again you have to look for better option, so better start early.

IISc written test – It had question from different engg disciplines and recent technological trends.

Question papers are available on the net.

Interview - The panel was very friendly. It went for around 40 mins (I think since I was the last

candidate). I was asked to first sketch a 2d line diagram and then considering it as top view to draw it

in isometric view, and some questions on manufacturing, density of steel, volume of pyramid, 10

different uses of toothbrush, defects in casting, sonar and its applications. They mostly look for your

approach and encourage you to try a few more time, basically looking in how many different

directions can you think for the same problem.

One Senior Professor was saying this for almost every question he asked "try one more time, can we

do it this way.. or that way…what if its the other way" they just encourage and try to bring out the

best in you. And they didn’t ask for the portfolio.

IIT B tasks – There were three tasks to be done in 1 week.

1. Critical Analysis on any animal product.

2. Packaging design from 2 A4 sheets for Cotton Candy and, suggest one creative concept to carry

the CC for special scenario.

3. Three sample Products, prototypes or models from the portfolio.

Interview – The questions were mostly from the tasks and portfolio. They asked me why I choose

particular angle at the bottom for the packaging. And then most of the questions were related to the

project from the portfolio, like how is it better, how I made the model, how can we manufacture it

on mass scale. It went for around 15 mins. It felt good this time, although not very confident, but

little hopeful.

IIT D Interview – The panel was of about 5-6 members. They asked me about myself, what I do, and

then why design. And asked about the pros and cons of my designs from the portfolio, its usage in

different scenario and are there any alternate solutions available for the same problem. It was good


Results came and I was selected for all the three colleges. I choose to take IDC considering the

course work it was offering.

Some things which I found helpful

- Part A is just to be qualified, Part B is to score

- Focus more on generating ideas and presentation in time, than to render and trying to make

more fancy sketches.

- Going with a right strategy will greatly help in managing time in exam.

- Start working on Portfolio immediately after exam. And take reviews from friends, family,

and some designers you may know.

I would like thank Prasanna Sir for the guidance, mock interview, and his reviews on the portfolio

and of course for this blog. And also would like to thank Chinmay and Nikhil for the help along the


I wish you all the very best for your preparation, and the life ahead : )

September 16, 2020

Smriti (IITG)


Hello everyone!
First of all a big thanks to Prasanna sir for this blog, conducting mock interviews, all the resources he has put up together for aspirants and his never ending zeal to help other design aspirants.
If you are reading this blog, read everything and re-read in case you need motivation. All the experience shared here  are like different train-jouneys for the common end platform, you just have to choose your route.

Now coming to my experience....

How I prepared for CEED?
First one is obviously I read the blog, what I found common was to go through previous year papers, or solve them etc. So I saw first  2 3 previous years papers and got an idea that time management with sketching skills is the key. 
Part B
If one has an amazing approach to solve the given question but can't show it on paper in limited time frame, it's useless. So manage your time. While practicing, try to attempt the questions first in 30 min and then slowly try to do it within 20 min.
For sketching skills I referred video links on blog and book by subodh navedkar.
For improving my approach to attempt questions I referred "Seeds for CEED" book (available on Amazon)
While attempting questions try to write your approach in a flow diagram, like how you came to the solution (this will really push you to brainstorm more and more ideas and how to eliminate and select the best of them)
Part A
I just solved and re-solved the part A questions of ceed previous year papers. It was not very difficult for me as I am from engineering background and have solved aptitude based questions and production/manufacturing questions in my engg. 
But many other approaches are too given on this blog if you need help with it.

Try to include projects with description ( what was your problem statement, what ideas you came up with, how you narrowed it down to one and then how you design)
Keep it limited to 4-5 good projects in 10-12 pages.

August 20, 2020

Anonymous (IITH)


Exam preparation

Coming from the engineering background ,design was a very difficult cup of tea. I thought beautiful sketches and perfect lines made a good design ,but then I was totally wrong. Its not the quality of lines that matters, its all about the creativity and usefulness of the solution that really matters. I did couple of mistakes while preparing for my CEED and NID exams. 

Firstly,I went to coaching class, which I believe helped me to improve my line quality but nothing more than that. On other hand ,It took away part of my creativity and imposed structural thinking ,where I was asked to concentrate more on forms and beauty. (So my advise is ,don’t go to any design coaching) It doesn’t work like that in reality. The turning point was when I send my solution to Prasanna sir, Sir saw my solution and he asked me to think in 10 different ways, I still remember it was a question about kiosk design in parking lots .Only a designer can teach you what design is, and for a beginner like me sir played a very pivotal role in helping me improve my thinking levels, as he is a designer and has high expertise in his field. 

Practising lines, circles, ovals helped me improve my line quality, I also used to brainstorm and try to find different solutions to the problems around me. I used to send few solutions to sir, his questions and suggestions helped me to improve my thinking .

I applied to CEED and NID, I wanted IXD or graphic design. Coming from general category, I didn’t
clear NID, but then I cleared CEED with a decent score. I applied to IITs and finally got admission into
IIT Hyderabad.

During the interview
1. I was asked to submit my five slide presentation ,including the task

2. I submitted them and I had a interview of 25 minutes, where I also showed them my behance
portfolio which was more elaborate.

3. Following questions were asked during the interview.
  1. Why did you put so many typographic works?
  2. Why did you do project on electronic passport, isn’t the current passport system better?
  3. I did my task on toothpaste tube, I created a environmental friendly tube which has seed on the
bottom and is made of plastic made from cow dung. They asked me a lot of questions related to that
task. I believe they liked my task.

4. They asked me a pressing issue other than covid.

5. The asked me to explain about one of the Logos that I had designed.

Any type of question could be expected ,so a person might even have to be updated about the
current affairs.

I thank Prasanna sir, for providing me with this opportunity to share about my journey with you.


(Name withheld as requested by the candidate) 

Darshan Chavan (MVD at IDC-IITB)



At the Time, Joined Engineering only because of peer pressure from parents and relatives.

- BE (Mech.) in 2017. (2012-2017 (Repeated)) (Aggr. 57%, Totally Avg Student.)

- From Government College Of Engineering and Research, Awasari, Pune.

- College Had No placements at all (As College is Fairly New (First B.E. Batch Passed out in 2013) (only 1 Student Got placed in Local Company from Total of 67 )

- Took Part in ABU Robocon-2015, Team got AIR 16. (It got me interested in Design)

- Got to know about CEED from my senior in about March 2016. 

CEED 2017 (First Attempt)
ed Private classes (BRDS, PUNE) in Aug. 2016 as I didn’t know anything at the time about CEED.

- Monday to Friday: 1- 2 hrs of line, Circle, ellipse practice

- 3 hrs of character + product + random sketching
- Saturday & Sunday: 4-5 hrs of Travelling to Pune (From Ahmednagar) and 3 hrs of a class
The above Schedule remained the same up until the exam.

Observations about class-
Pros to join Class:
As I didn’t know anything at the time about the exam, Class did help me with the basics (Perspective, feedback, etc.)

Cons to Join Class:
1. It kind of Revolved only around the Study Material that Class Provided,
2. Never actually Explored Outside the Box,
3. Invested Too much Fees (45k),
4. Waste of time in Traveling.

(eg: There was a Question of Drawing 5 Emotions, I practiced it before the exam by myself just as fun so managed to do it properly, many students unable to Show or sketch it as it is not covered by Class or they did not practice it or other issues. )  

NID-17 EXAM (Product Design):
- Lacked
Time Management,
- Didn’t know many DAT Answers,
- Didn’t
Finish Sketching Part. (Total Disaster.)

RESULT: Rank 478 (Didn’t Shortlist for 2nd round)

CEED-17 Exam Again, Lack of Time Management, Unable to Show creativity, Majority of Sketches are plain and boxy (too Obvious.)

- missed Part A cutoff by 0.6 marks.
(Even if Got through Part A, I Definitely would have got Rank past 1500 or so.)

Demotivated and Close All Doors, Lost All Hopes to give or Clear Exams AT the time. 


Job Experience:
- Joined CADD Centre, Pune (in Aug. 2017), and done Masters Diploma in Product Design and Analysis to get any design Job because of Financial Problems.
- Got Job in E-Vehicle Startup (I was the only one Got selected in Company from around 200 students from Reputed Colleges in Pune. (Especially Because of My Portfolio at the Time which gave me Edge over others.))

- Joined in Oct. 2017. Team Developed Electric Bicycle from Ground UP (I was Involved in Designing Company Logo, Brand, Conceptualization, E-bike Shape, Graphics, Packaging, Ergonomics, Prototyping, Structural Design, Customer interaction, Marketing.
- Learnt a lot about problem-Solving, Detailing, and Customer Requirement.

From Jan-2019: Started Doing and Participating in Freelancing Contests. (Helped me to Buildup Portfolio Without Spending Dedicated Time, and Helped to get to know Product Requirements, Approach towards it, Indirectly Competing on National Level, Got Perspective and Views of other participants around the world which helped to Understand the requirements. )

Aug. 2019: Got more Confident. Decided and Started Preparing for 2020 Exam and Solved Previous Years CEED, UCEED, NID Papers. While Doing the job, Gave approx.. 1 hr Daily for Sketching + Exploration

Oct. 2019: Got Govt. Job offer, Declined it.

Nov. 2019: Took 2 Months Leave form job to focus on NID and CEED Exam.

NID-20 (Automotive + Product): Paper was quite Easy. still, barely finished in time. Even there, Done a few silly mistakes.

Result: Product Design- AIR 54 OBC (not selected for 2nd Round) Automotive Design Air 48 OBC (not selected for 2nd Round)

CEED-20 Again, Time management was Difficult in Part A. Showing Creativity and Different Perspective required in Part B.

Result: AIR 63 (OBC)
Applied to IITs, IISC, and IIITDMJ

Didn’t Shortlisted for 2nd round of any IIT till July End.

IIITDMJ (Direct Selection based on CEED Rank): got an offer letter, But I declined/didn’t take the seat. (I was Interested in MVD and PD Specialized Branches.)

IDC Bombay:
- Got Shortlisted for Interview round
1. MVD 2. ID
- Due To COVID-19, IDC Task Submission Deadline extended from 15 days to 3 months (Portfolio Presentation was not up to the mark. That Lock-Down gave Plenty of Time to Rearrange.)

1. MVD Interview (Zoom Call) hardly took 10 mins,
Questions Asked-

1. About Myself
2. What are the problems solved in my portfolio?
3. Listing Problems of Red MSRTC Bus Design (related to my IDC Task Submission)
4. Asked to Live Sketch Cube, Cone, Cylinder, Car
5. What is my Dream Project?

2. ID Interview (Zoom Call) - hardly took 10 mins
Questions Asked-

1. About Myself.
2. Problems I Faced while making Bicycle.
3. If the Product is Ergonomic (3D model from Portfolio)
3. How To Convert A Solid Cube to Solid Sphere (Manufacturing Process)
Manufacturing Process of ‘Rubber Gloves’.

IDC 1st list out, didn’t make it in it.
Lost Hope, and Started Preparing for the Next Year Exam from the very
same day.

IDC 2nd List out, Got into MVD – IDC.
It’s like Total U
-turn considering all situations. I Was very happy. 

Pointers for Exams:
1. Make Tentative Time Management for Exam beforehand. (Based on Previous Papers and Paper Pattern.)

2. Give Priority to “What’s actually Asked, Idea, Presentation, Line Quality” in PART
-B and Show How you are different and Unique than the other 99% of students.

3. Sketch, practice doodle regularly & daily at least for 10 mins.

4. Explore a much as possible on Online Platforms and ask “Why that Specific Shape, Color, size, etc,” to
yourself. And what if you were in Designers place, what have you done (Changes, Approach, etc.)

5. Involve in freelancing Contest. Even if you are not going to participate, Don’t Submit the Work, don’t know
how to do it, Use only Specific Sketching/Digital medium. Try to Participate and Finish the Project. (It will Be like Real Life Working on Projects, and simultaneously, you will be building Portfolio.)

6. Try to also Explore other branches that you are not interested in.


Pointers for Portfolio:

1. Try to keep Portfolio Pages around 10-15.

2. Give 70% pages to Your Preference Branch Related Work. 30% to for remaining (Photography, Miscellaneous and other branches, etc) 

Selected works: