April 25, 2016

Rahul Kusuma: IISc DAT and Interview experience

I'd like to thank you for guiding me before the DAT. Here's my experience about DAT and interview. It was too lengthy, but I felt everyone should have a clear idea regarding the process, so I took some time to write it completely in a detailed matter.  I tried to interpret the question paper as far as I could remember.

I'm writing particularly about the DAT and interview of CPDM @ IISc.

About me
I'm a mechanical engineer, so analyzing the paper in my point of view.
I was actually preparing for my GATE exam and wrote CEED to improve my chances of getting into IISc( it was my dream to study in IISc ).
I scored 30/100(pretty bad score) in CEED. The qualifying examination score only helps you to get shortlisted for the written test and your selection into the department is solely based on your performance in written exam and interview
DAT comprises of 2 Sections
Section 1 : 75 minutes
It has 2 parts.
Answer all the 5 questions. All qstns had  same weightage. These will test your knowledge on NON VERBAL ABILITY ( lyk odd one out,  mirror image, what comes next in the series)1 of these qstns had 5 sub qstns which are entirely based on colors and their origin/purpose of usage( lyk which color symbolizes peace)
This section has 10 qstns and we need to attempt only 5. All qstns carry equal weightage.  Attempting more than 5 leads to negative scoring
( that's what the instructions read :-p)
Q1. probability ( selecting 4 ppl from a group of 4 men, 2 women and 4 kids such that there are exactly 2  kids
Q2. Lame's theorem application in combination with springs ( very basic qstn)
Q3. Area of curve bounded between y=x^2 and y=x+2
Q4. SFD & BMD of an overhanging simply supported beam with entire UDL
Q5. This is from Fluid mechanics.  A beaker of given height filled entirely with water having opening at bottom connected by a pipe of 1 cm dia and 10 cm height.  Velocity of fluid at exit of pioe and volume flow rate.
Q6. A qstn on finding out acceleration of a discus throw.
Two more qstns from electronics, I don't remember them exactly.  These qstns had terminology lyk voltages, resistance, armature current,  shunt motors etc.
I don't remember the next 2 questions.
After 75 minutes you'll be given  second paper.
Section 2:
This is more or less equivalent to CEED part B
This paper had 9 qstns. All the qstns carry equal weightage except 1st qstn which has twice the weightage than the others.
Q1. Replicate the given figure as it is. Don't use any rulers and instruments. Shading should be done only with pencil.
A recliner chair image was given.
Q2. Shapes( circle, square,  rectangle, ellipse,  rhombus)  were given and we need to draw an object using each of these shapes individually.
( lyk tortoise using ellipse,  truck using rectangle, ball using circle).
Q3 . Select any 1 technology and write 5 statements along with uses.
a) Additive Manufacturing
b) 4G mobile network technology
c) green house roofs
d) Internet of things
Q4. Two pictures were given anf we need to select one pic and identify the problems involved in it.
1st pic had sleeping children on roads,  2nd one was a group of children in school with unhygienic environment.
Q5. Select one latest trending technology and write  4 points on it.
a) Mahindra Gusto
b) Google glass
c) about some space vehicle
d) haven't heard this name before ( so didn't remember)
Q6. Compare CFL and LED bulbs. Write 6 comparisons and finally conclude which one do you select.
Q7. Concept based qstn : If paint has the property to change its color at different temperatures, then on what house hold item would you use this and suggest 2 applications of this usage.
Q8. List of 5 materials were given.  We need to write 1 property & 1 application of each material.
a) ABS polymer
b) Mylar
c) Thermocol
d) TiO2
e) Magnesium & its alloys
Q9) Concept qstn:
The door mats we use get dirty often & when we wash,  their effectiveness is lost. Design 2 novel concepts of floor mat designs such that they don't loose their effectiveness even after subsequent washes/ uses.

All the candidates who have appeared for written test were interviewed.
Time slots were given and each individual had only 15 minutes as his time slot.
There were three panels. Each panel had 3 interviewers.
I greeted them & handed over my portfolio (they were barely interested in it, just turned the pages and gave it back to me). They asked me about my educational qualifications.  Then started questioning me.
1. Why M.Des??? What made you to come here.
2. You are a designer.  So what factors do you consider when designing a new product?
3. Should a designer consider the cost factor while designing a particular product?  Yes/No & support your answer with explanation.
I said yes and gave an explanation.Then I was asked to counter  my own statement.Tell us a situation where the designer shouldn't consider cost while designing.I told the answer & then they asked to name a product where  the end  cost is more & even then people would buy it. I was blank & said I don't know.  They said "APPLE Products" come under this category.
Then I was asked about the company BOSS(speakers). In which category would you place BOSS out of the above mentioned 3 categories. I said I'll place them in the same category as of Apple products (actually Boss speakers are cheaper it seems).
4.Then I was asked to name any product which is present on the table in front of me which hadn't changed it's form
( shape/design/ material) since its inception.
I told water bottle,  it was wrong( plastic didn't exist 60 yrs back) I was given another chance to tell. Then I said TABLE,  even that's wrong it seems(material changed). One more final chance was given to me, this time I said Eraser as it hasn't changed.  They were satisfied & then they asked me why didn't you say PENCIL. I was blank for a second,  smiled and said we used quills for writing, so didn't say pencil. They weren't satisfied I guess.
5.They saw my details in the application form, as I appeared for both GATE & CEED. They asked me the difference between both these exams & what does these exams test in a student, I explained them.
6. They asked me how did I get to know about them and their department,I answered them.
7. Next question was regarding the subjects I studied at engineering . They asked me which subject of engineering you think would never be helpful for you in your future anymore, I answered them that no subject I studied would go waste as each subject has its own importance. 
8. Then I had a final question. They asked me to give a one minute speech on topic " After B.Tech most of the students shift their careers either to IT/Managerial sectors. So tell us why should engineers do only hardcore engineering jobs? "
I spoke for around 30 seconds, they said I still had time left. I said that's all I could get now.
Finally I thanked them again before leaving.
They told me that results would be announced in a week. Irrespective of the result, I'd like to thank the alumni of CPDM( 2013-15 batch) who guided me and helped me in my preparation.
Rahul Kusuma.

April 24, 2016

Santanu Dutta: DAT and interview experience at IISc

I found your blog teacupblog lacking specific details about DAT and interview processes at IISc, and I thought it would be great to share the set of questions/pattern as it appeared in this year's admission process.

IISc DAT and Interview Experience (as on 21st April 2016)
Two written DAT papers followed by Interview.

DAT Paper - 1 (9:30 am - 10:45 am)

Part - 1

Five compulsory questions with 2/3 sub-parts. Similar to questions asked in Part 1 of CEED. Series, shapes, colors, logical sequences etc.

Part - 2

10 questions out of which 5 were to be answered. Answering more than 5 would attract penalty.

Questions ranged from Mathematics and Physics from Class 11/12 standard, and were quite simple if only the basic formulas were known. 1/2 question out of the 10 might pertain to basic UG Engg questions. 
Mechanics (Force on Spring), Electronics (calculating potential and current flow in a circuit), Probability (selecting a set of people from a larger group of people), Rotational Mechanics (Angular velocity, acceleration), Area under curves (intersecting area under two curves), Fluid dynamics (pressure and velocity), Stress on Beam, Thermal Conductivity (specific heat) and the like. 

DAT Paper - 2 (10:45 am - 12 noon)

(1) Photograph of a physical object was given. Replicate the same in sketch and shade it with pencil.

(2) 5 basic shapes were given. Draw another object for each of them where that shape is one of the major components. (Example, if the shape is a circle, then the object could be Gandhi glasses)

(3) Two photographs were provided. Identify three problems (difficulties) that can be inferred from them. First was a photograph of people sleeping on kerbs and footpath, the second was a group of very young disadvantaged kids studying together in a cloistered room.

(4) Four items of technological interest were given. Select one of them and write five features of the same. (Example- Google Glass)

(5) Similar to above. We had to write what it is about and where it is used. (Example - 4G Mobile Communications Technology)

(6) Five materials were named. Write their applications and for what quality are the used for in their areas of application. (For example - Activated charcoal is used in filtration because of porosity)

(7) A passage were given in which it described what are thermopigments and how mixing them with normal acrylic colors and painting surfaces could help identify temperature changes (pigments will lose color and provide indication). Consider any one household product and suggest two improvements on them based on the given concept of thermopigments.

(8) Compare between CFL and LED lamps and state which is better and why.

(9) Normal doormats can not be cleaned without damaging them and rendering them unusable for future use. Suggest two design changes to address the issue.

[All questions carried equal marks except Q. No. 1 which carried double the marks]


Why design?
Why Product Design?
Provide any sample, prototype, sketches, layout, visualizations of products/ tangible objects that you have developed.
Take this small cylindrical rod (of length ~ 4"). What would be its approx. weight? What could be its material? How was it made? How did such a shape and smooth surface achieved? If you were to produce this is large quantities, how would you mass manufacture? Give 10 unique uses of the product.
Tell us why the Odd/Even rule for vehicle movement is bad.

April 21, 2016

Dressing up for the M.Des admission interviews and beyond!

The M.Des admission interviews are right around the corner and all the candidates are preparing their portfolios, brushing up their knowledge of engineering and design, and booking their tickets for the IITs and NIDs where they desire to study for the next two or two-and-half years! But is anyone buying new clothes?

They say that the first impression lasts. So is the case for the M.Des admission interviews at IITs and NIDs. Imagine that you are conducting the interview. A candidate walks in wearing a pair of torn jeans, Metallica tee and flip-flops while another candidate walks in wearing a decent full sleeves shirt, a formal trouser and polished shoes, whom are you more likely to consider to be serious about the interviews? Though some people argue that this is an interview for design course, and you should go to interview like an artist, I feel that your portfolio is the right place to show your talents and not your wardrobe!

Coming to the main point, what should you be wearing for M.Des admission interviews?
The point of dressing well for the interview is that, your dress conveys that you have come for the interview and would take it seriously. It also conveys that you don’t have any affiliation towards a particular political party, a cult, a sect, etc. It means you would present yourself formally and serenely so that your answers would be based on well-thought design methods, rather than being influenced by someone or something. Finally, great clothing would boost your confidence and make you appear smart in the interview.

For men:

There are two broad dressing thoughts to appear at M.Des admission interviews at IITs and NID:

1. Completely formal dressing:
In this dressing thought, you would be wearing the kind of clothes, which you would wear for a job interview:
Formal shirt:
A well ironed shirt, preferably full sleeves, and of neutral colour like light blue, grey, navy blue, etc. Make sure that the shirt does not have any embroidery or patterns on it, which would make it appear to be non-formal. I would strongly suggest you to buy one right before going for the interview. The factory ironed, brand new shirt would make a great impression. Also make sure that you wear a shirt which is well fitting to your body and button up well. Also avoid a shirt with your company logo or name appearing prominently anywhere on it. Even if you work at Google, avoid wearing such a shirt which advertises your company.
Formal trouser: A well ironed trouser of solid colours such as charcoal grey, black, navy blue, etc. Some people consider light trousers such as that of beige or peach colour to be non-formal, so to be on the safe side, and best wear one that goes well with the shirt. Similar to the shirt, make sure that your trousers are well fitting and preferably not folded at the seams.
Belt: A formal trouser always is worn with a good leather belt. Avoid those cheap plastic leather belts at all costs! They would kill your appearance faster than you think! Also, while choosing a belt, make sure it goes well with the trouser. Finally don’t wear a belt with unreasonably large buckle. It would make you appear like a WWE wrestler at max!
Shoes: Plain office shoes with laces go great with the above outfit. Always get your shoes polished before appearing for the interviews. You can never go wrong with black leather shoes, though imitation leather shoes are fine as long as they are not too loud or having some fancy pattern on it. Avoid wearing safety or work shoes to interviews, since they might kill the image you are putting forth with your formal shirt and trousers
Suite: Suite is not really needed for M.Des admission interviews, but it won’t hurt much wearing the same. Remember that most of the interviews are carried out in months of summer and you might end up appearing for it in non-air-conditioned rooms. Suites might actually make you feel very uncomfortable and sweaty, which you must avoid at all cost for interview.  I feel that if you are determined to wear a suite to the interview, make sure that the suite is a formal one and not the one you would wear to a party!
Tie: similar to the suite, wearing a tie is not absolutely necessary. But if you feel empty without one, make sure it is a plain one or has a very light print. A tie pin would look great with a tie and hold the tie in place while you are talking.

2. Smart casuals
T-shirt: You can wear a t-shirt with collar and buttons near neck, referred often as ‘polo neck’. Make sure the t-shirt is either plain or has simple stripes on it. Similar to the tips about the shirt, make sure there is no loud pattern or prominent company logo on it. While wearing smart casuals, you need not tuck your t-shirt in the jeans.
Jeans: With t-shirt, you can wear a pair of simple, plain jeans. Again, the jeans should be well washed and not a dirty one. Also, avoid the torn or patched jeans that look great on streets but might put a wrong image during the interviews
Shoes: simple sports shoes or casual shoes are perfectly fine with t-shirts and jeans.

For ladies:

Formal shalwar-kameez: Nothing beats this formal attire. While selecting a formal shalwar-kameez for the interviews, make sure that it is a plain one or has only light pattern on it. Avoid the ones that are overly bold, has laces or embroidery patterns on it.
Jeans and top: Similar to the tips about dressing for men, you can wear a simple top with a pair of jeans.
Shoes/sandals: while sandals would look great with shalwar-kameez, avoid wearing the ones with heel or stilettos.
Light jewellery and make up is acceptable.

For both men and ladies:

Handkerchief: Make sure you carry a clean and well folded handkerchief with you. If you sneeze, you should use that. An alternative is disposable paper napkin. Make sure you carry it as a sense of manners.
Hair-style: Clean and well combed hair style is good enough for the interviews
Religious objects: Religious clothing and objects are alright to be worn or carried as long as you don’t overdo it. For example, a Sikh candidate can wear a turban since it is a religious obligation.
Dress watch: A decent, branded dress watch goes well and is accepted in such interviews.

We hope that with all these tips, you would feel confident during the interviews and present a great image of yourself.

All the best

December 05, 2015

Tips for attempting CEED paper

- Take time out to carefully read and understand the instructions. Especially the Part A instructions. Watch out for questions
where instructions says you have to mark more than one correct answer.
- For Part A, you might have calculated about a minute per question. But dont panic if some question takes more time, because there are other questions which can be solved in far lesser time
- For Part B, carry lots of sharpened pencils with you. Sometimes, its better to sharpen both ends of pencils, if you are comfortable. I know its trivial, but pencils tend to get consumed faster in CEED :P
- Carry only the material you are familiar with. Dont use that fancy new marker you got yesterday in middle of exam
- For Part B questions, spend some time in thinking about the solution. Make small scale rough sketches to get yourself an idea which is the best way to present the solution.
- Try to minimize the number of lines and views needed to communicate your solution, by choosing one good view which says it all. Keep text to minimum
- Using very very light strokes plan out which part of sketch will appear where on the paper. This will help you utilize the space better and nothing will go out of paper
- Finally, even if question does not say anything about using ruler/scale, refrain from doing so. In fact, avoid carrying a ruler/scale to the exam in first place. This applies even to interaction design questions.

Stay calm. Solve thoughtfully and cheerfully :)

 All the best!

October 12, 2015

NID 2016-17 admission forms are out!

Dear friends,

NID forms are out for both UG and PG admissions on this link

The deadline for submitting the forms is 27 November 15.

We suggest the candidates not to wait for the last dates, because often during the last days, the servers are observed to swamp with a large number of logins.

Unlike previous years, this years the NID forms have changed their strategy, and have complete online process. Similar to CEED, they have even mentioned the tentative result dates.

Further reading:
How to prepare for NID entrance
How to make a portfolio shown at admission interview

September 18, 2015

How to prepare for CEED : Study Plan

It's already mid-September and CEED is just about a couple of months away. If you are panicking about the fact that you have not began your preparation or disappointed about the rate at which your preparation is progressing, then welcome to the club of more than 5,000 CEED aspirants!  

A sense of positive pressure gets work done. Deadlines are important to build that positive pressure. To set deadlines and milestones to motivate yourself for preparation, all you need are guidelines on how to make a wonderful plan for CEED preparation. For NID preparation, same guidelines can be followed, but with different dates.  

Before making the plan keep these factors in your mind: 
  1. Forget about the portfolio! That’s right! CEED is being held in December, while the interviews won't begin till March. That’s a lot of time to make a killer portfolio. Therefore, while preparing for CEED, just forgot about portfolio! 
  2. Sketch on clean sheets of paper.  Though the tip number one tells you to forget about your portfolio, you never know which one of the sketches would be so good that it might work its way into your portfolio. Hence, always use a clean sheet, not a ruled one or a back-of-used-paper sheet. One simple way to do this is buy a nice pack of A4 sized papers meant to take print-outs on. These cost between Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 a ream (500 pages) which is a good investment  
  3. Buy pencils. Try out different pencils such as 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.9 mm mechanical pencils as well as regular wooden pencils during the first week of practice. 

The sample CEED plan 
Study area 
1st week 
(Sept 3rd  week) 
  • Sketching straight lines, perfect freehand circles, ellipses 
  • Try out different pencils and techniques 
  • Watching videos on YouTube about these techniques 
  • Buying books and material for practice 
  • Studying perspective sketching 

2nd week 
(Sept 4th week) 
  • Observing and sketching simple products like cell phones, spoons, scissors, etc. 
  • Learning proper shadows and textures 

3rd week 
(Oct 1st week) 
  • Practicing product textures using pencils 
  • Sketching simple products without observation (only by imagination) 

4th week 
(Oct 2nd week) 
  • Practicing sketching architectural buildings and houses using proper perspective 
  • Start by learning how to sketch human figures. Watch videos for the same 
  • Go through old CEED papers and list down the topics covered in Part A of these papers. This is your syllabus.  

5th week 
(Oct 3rd week) 
  • Detailed sketching of human figures in action 
  • Start Part A preparation. Read the information about relevanttopics from the list of topics you have prepared. 

6th week 
(Oct 4th week) 
  • Detailed study of human hands 
  • Study of hands in different postures  
  • Read more topics for Part A 

7th week 
(Oct 5th week) 
  • Study of problem solving techniques such as Attribute Method, SCAMPER, brainstorming, etc. And applying them to solve simple problems of everyday life such as prevent water clogging on roads 
  • Read more topics for Part A 

8th week 
(Nov 1st week) 
  • Solving old CEED papers. Download an old CEED paper from IITB site and then solve it within set time of 3 hours. Spend next day analyzing the paper 
  • Read more topics for Part A 

9th week 
(Nov 2nd week) 
  • Solve more old CEED papers. And when you discover you are finding difficult to attempt certain questions, then analyze and practice those points where you feel you need improvement 
  • Read more topics for Part A where you feel you lack or need focus 

10th week 
(Nov 3rd week) 
  • Practice selectively on the sketching where you feel you really need to improve. Spend rest of the time on preparing for Part A 

11th week 
(Last week before CEED) 
  • Try to get maximum rest. 
  • Sketch and practice as required. 
  • Read as much Part A topics as needed 
  • Practice based on your requirement 

CEED exam this Sunday 
This is a broad study plan. You can modify it as per your requirements. You can shorten or lengthen some elements as you wish to.  

Important resources for the study plan 

And don’t forget the all encompassing D'Source  

September 01, 2015

Success Story: Jithin Rajagopal (IISc)

Dear all design aspirants,

You must have read many success stories in Teacup alone. All are basically the same. So I  am not going to repeat it. I choose design over engineering simply because it gives more freedom and flexibility.
I want to give some little interview tips. This is not my success story, but my experience.

I was nervous while attending IITB transportation interview (though the studio test was simple for all) and I failed.
Then it was IISc.. There were no studio test, only some technical ( +2 maths), objective & subjective stuff along with a Qn to draw Mahindra Reva ( Picture was given). I did it well, and it  gave me a  little confidence. The interview was like testing my industrial knowledge. I failed to answer many of their Qns properly. I had good ideas but they were not complete and I failed to consider all possible situations. But soon it became like an interactive group chat. They taught me many things there itself. They laughed on my funny attitude, me too. I was never nervous and I had  ask them to stop laughing and let me go ( obviously I was smiling while saying that). 

Finally I was in. Class started at IISc. The guy mainly  interviewed me is a legend in the dept. And later I realized that I was in only because I made them entertaining through out my interview and not because of the test in which I performed  well.