January 03, 2015

How to practice for CEED and NID entrance exams

CEED and NID entrance exams seem difficult to crack and most people feel the time crunch right when they face these important papers.

There are two ways to score well in these exams:
1. Think really innovative ideas that no one might be able to think.
To master this method you need to practice using attributemethod or any other equivalent method that you like. This way, even if your sketching is not up to the mark, you can score well by virtue of your creativity
2. Practice sketching really fast
If you can generate great ideas but can’t express them in the short time, your ideas will never be seen by the examiner; therefore practice of rapid sketching is very important.
The fail-proof approach is the one that combines these two!

A common factor to both these approaches is regular practice. You might be a born artist or have already an excellent mind for generating creative ideas in a short time, but still you need to keep these skills well oiled!

Regular practice tips

Most people start learning sketching or idea generation skills too late. Don’t be one of them. Regular practice is not hard to do. Here are some methods which I have tried and worked with many aspirants:
1. Keep a simple check-list : I know it’s simple, but you hold yourself accountable each day using this method. Just ask yourself “Have I practiced today?” If yes, then put a tick-mark on today’s day
2. 10-minutes a day : Just go ahead and sketch or ideate for only 10 minutes. Not too much, not too less, but you can get it done with bare minimum! But, in those 10 minutes, do nothing but sketching at your full speed!
3. Sketch something you love : Don’t like sketching vacuum cleaners? Just sketch flowers! Then a flower can evolve into a vacuum cleaner. Make the chore fun!
4. Set a reminder at a set time : Just set the 10 minutes reminder to sketch right after your dinner, in that free time.
5. Don’t do large sketches at a go : Since you will be working in pieces, you can work only on one part at a time, but do this rapidly.
6. Form your group of sketchers : Forming a group makes sketching fun and you will compete with one another to sketch faster, making it a win-win situation
7. set a routine : With the reminder and calendar in place, as written above, you will be able to find that sweet spot in your schedule, where you can only sketch


CEED is held in first week of December, so accordingly, your practice should begin somewhere in June to speed up sketching and idea generation process. 
 June - Just learn to sketch the three basic strokes with a simple HB pencil - Straight lines, circles and freehand curves along with basic shading. Books like 'Drawing Made Easy' by Subodh Narvekar will be particularly useful
July - Learn to draw simple objects like cup, glasses, tables, flower pot, etc. from your imagination as seen from different angles
August - Learn to 'modify'; these basic products to something you have imagined. As an example, you have drawn a vacuum cleaner, now imagine and sketch a vacuum cleaner of a flower shape.
September - Try to create even more radical ideas and sketch in detail them using products you sketched in last month. For example, you have already sketched a flower shaped vacuum cleaner, now try to think how a will work? Will it have a motor inside or should it be driven by something radical like steam generated vacuum? 
October - Till now you have focused only on improving your skills, but not actual design. October onwards, start finding real life problems, such as how will you design a crate that will carry more eggs safely on a bicycle or how will you create an info-graphics that will show literacy rates in different states. 
November - CEED is just a month away. This month solve the old CEED papers with realistic timing. It will give you feel of actual exam. If you feel you lack some skills like the ellipses you sketch need a bit of more practice, this is right time to do it. Solve the papers again of you have done it once. Try to think different ideas than you have done the previous time

With these tips, we are pretty sure you will be able to score well in CEED. The same skill set can be used for NID entrance as well

All the best to all aspirants. :)

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