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Free NID Coaching : How to increase your observation skills?



After reading the title, many of you might think : What is the role of good observation skills in cracking a design entrance exam ? Isn’t NID DAT all about showing your creative side ? Yes it is….but along with that other attributes like sense of aesthetics, drawing skills, reasoning powers, problem solving and observation skills are also assessed.

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For Example, lets take a question from NID DAT 2016 entrance

Ques. Which shape will match the cross section of a Ladyfinger ?

  • Octagon (b) Hexagon        (c) Pentagon           (d) Septagon

Ladyfinger is a very common vegetable and cooked in all Indian households. Even if you don’t like the taste and the vegetable doesn’t find a place on your platter, its presence is very difficult to ignore. Its all around you: In the vegetable market, on the vendor’s cart, in your neighbour’s shopping bag, vegetable basket in the fridge, your mothers latest recipe, the cook’s menu and the list goes on and on.

The cross section of a Ladyfinger shows five sides, so the answer is clearly (c).

You don’t need to study rocket science to answer this simple question. Rather basic observation skills will suffice. But surprisingly, a lot of students are unable to answer this question. It seems, people are not paying much attention to their surroundings.

What is Observation?

Observation is the process of gaining information in detail from your surrounding through all your five senses and registering it in the brain.

The above definition emphasises the need of using all five senses: eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, tongue to taste and skin to touch or feel. But, sadly maximum information that comes to us is through are eyes only, leaving the other senses dormant.

Technology has further added to the woes. It is a common sight to find young people immersed into their mobiles headphones: while walking, driving, waiting, travelling etc. Not paying any attention to the surroundings, they are constantly engaged in their own minds. In urban areas people are so busy with their everyday routine lives that they seldom lift their heads up and look at the sky. Many are not aware whether the moon is in its waxing phase or waning one or when was the last full moon.

Ques. What to do to increase your observation skills ?

Ams. For Example, if you are visiting a nearby garden for a morning walk, let your senses be fully alert.

Observe the trees and plants around: Pay attention to the size, colour of the leaves. Observe whether the vegetation around is small or big, bushy, flowering etc. What kind of birds are living on the trees? What is the species of the particular tree? Listen to the cool breeze blowing by or the sound made by the rustling of the leaves or the chirping of the birds. Try and listen to your raised heart beat after a few rounds of jogging. Pay attention to the few vehicles passing by or sound of kids playing at the distance. Smell the mild fragrance of the flowers or the humidity in the atmosphere or maybe the scent produced by the wet earth. Feel the cool breeze on your body and how it dries the sweat off your face.

Try to be fully present in the moment. Be fully aware of what is happening around. You can try this small exercise daily in different surroundings. Be persistent until it becomes a habit.

All the Best!

About the Author: Meet Anu Handa – Interior Designer turned Edupreneur, Blogger and co-founder at Mosaic Institute of Design. Anu has spent 15+ years training Design & B.Arch Aspirants for entrance exams.

Her online platform, helps the next generation of Design & B.Arch Aspirants get the right career advice, choose the most apt design streams, help them prepare for the entrance exams and choose the best college.

She has been the lead blogpost writer at since 2009. Her educational background in Interior Design, Urban Planning and the English Language has given her a broad base to cover a range of topics in her articles.

Passionate about Design Education, she likes to write about Design, Architecture and related fields on online platforms. Aims at challenging the conventional & age old teaching methodology.

Read more on Anu Handa


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