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Aptitude Preparation - Important Formulae to Crack Design Entrance Exams

Author : Reeshav Guha

Updated On : November 9, 2022


Summary: When we discuss the design entrance examination like NATA and NIFT, UCEED, or any other entrance examination of a private college for B.Des or other design courses, then the discussion of the entrance examination syllabus arises naturally. Many of you have asked how to prepare for the design Aptitude test and we have decided to bring you some of the quick tricks to deal with this segment. As we have started addressing your queries regarding exams then we can break the good news to you. In this blog, we are going to show a few handy tips and tricks which you can use while dealing with your Aptitude section of questions. 

Aptitude sections usually have maths, qualitative and quantitative reasoning which students require to solve to gain points. However, due to the strict time limit, you might get panicked. In such a situation you can do the whole calculation wrong which will lead you to mark the wrong answer choice. In return, you will have to have a negative marking. To eliminate this possibility you just know the shortcuts and here we are sharing them with you.

Download Free Study Material for Design Entrance Exams by CreativeEdge

Speed, time, and distance 

It is the first topic that is generalized and you will find Aptitude questions based on this concept in every design examination. This might come across as the most basic topic but it has its struggle. It often creates confusion about how you should calculate your time and distance. In km/hr or m/sec. Whatever the case. You can use both formulas at your convenience. Let us share some illustrations and basic formulas with you for the same. 


Speed = D/T 

The distance can be donated with km or m.

Time can be denoted with h (hour)/ sec (minutes). 

Hence two formulas arise to calculate the speed of an object: 

  1. km/h
  2. m/sec


1km/hr = 1000m / 60x 60 sec

= 5/18 m/sec

Now let's look into the application of these formulas so that you don't get confused while attempting similar questions in the Examination. 

Example: Convert 36km/h into m/sec.

Ans: 1 hour/km = 5/18 m/sec


= 36x5/18 m/sec

= 10m/sec

Let's look into another example.

Eg: What is 18m/sec


1km/h = 5/18 m/sec


18/5km per hour = 1m/sec

= 18 x 18/5 km

= 324/5

= 64.8km/h

Read More: How to prepare Aptitude for Design Exams?

Now let's deal with a real-time question that you can encounter in the examination.

A man travels at ⅔ of his speed and reaches 30 min late to his destination. Find the time if he travels at the original speed. 

Let the time be ⅔ x. Now,

x km/h = ⅔ x km/h

X x t = ⅔ x ( t + 30) 

X x t = ⅔ x ( t + 30/60) 

t = ⅔ t +( ½ x ⅔ )

t - ⅔ t = ⅓ 

t/3 = ⅓ 

T = 1 hour. 

UCEED Online Coaching

UCEED Online Coaching

You can also solve this equation without converting 30 mins into seconds. Let us show you how. 

X x t = ⅔ x ( t + 30) 

t = ⅔ t + ⅔ x 30

t - ⅔ t = ⅔ x 30

t/3 = 20

t = 60 mins. 

Read more: Best Books for Design Entrance Exams

Speed, time, and distance in the context of train 

Now let's look into the speed, distance, and time formula but here we will discuss the problems based on trains. These questions are slightly different from the regular speed distance and time calculation because we have to consider the length of the train while calculating the sums. We will show you how to solve it with the help of the illustration below. 


Illustration: Train A, length of 600m, running at speed of 80 km/hr will take how long to traverse a man seated in the second train having a length of 400 meters, going at 64 km/h in the opposing path?


Distance = six hundred meters

Total Speed = 64 + 80 = one hundred forty-four kmph (delivered due to the fact they're visiting in contrary directions)

In m/sec, speed = one hundred forty-four *(5/18) = forty m/sec

Distance = Speed * Time

six hundred = forty * Time

Hence, Time = 15 seconds

Read More: Designing Sketches and Human Figures for UCEED 2023

Notes: Important formulas.

  1. i) Time when a train passes and objects at a certain speed =

 length of a train


 Speed of a train.

  1. ii) Thickness of the object =

 length of a train + length of the platform


Speed of the train 

Time is taken by a train moving in opposite directions: 

L1 + L2


S1 + S2

{L stands for the length of the train while S stands for the speed of the train.}

Time is taken by a train moving in the same directions

L1 + L2


S1 - S2

Read more: Design Thinking Awareness Questions and Answers for Entrance Exams

Boats and Stream 

Boats and streams are another set of problems where your speed distance and time formula is applicable. However, the application here differs from train-based reasoning. How? Let's see. 

So basically Boats and streams have subparts when it comes to the classification of possible questions which you might face in the examination. Those are :

  1. Stream
  2. Standing Water
  3. Upstream
  4. Downstream

To solve questions for each type there are different formulas applicable. If you get them right then you will be able to solve these questions in no time. 

Upstream: {u-v} km/h

Downstream: { u + v} km/h

Boat Speed in standing water: ½ upstream + downstream

stream speed: ½ {downstream - Upstream}

Boats Avg Speed: downstream x Upstream/boat speed in standing water 

UCEED Mock Test

UCEED Mock Test

Time and Work 

Time and work-based reasoning are the other common questions that test your IQ as well as your patience in the examination. Although solving the question based on time and work is not a big deal in the regular time-space. During the examination, it could haunt you because of lengthy questions and limited time. However, you can Master this segment too if you know the shortcuts of solving these time and work reasoning and have applied them in your practice paper and mock test. Let us walk you through the formulas for solving time and Work-based reasonings:

{ Work Done} = Time Taken × Rate of Work

{Rate of Work} = 1 / Time Taken

{Total Time Taken} = 1 / Rate of Work

Assume a portion of work is accomplished in x digit of days, then the work accomplished in 1 day = { 1/x}

Aggregate Work accomplished = {No of Days × Efficiency}

Read more: 6 months Preparation Strategy for UCEED 2023

Efficiency and Time are inversely proportional to each other 

The simplest formula applicable when the question is asking about the aggregate work done by a certain number of people in a certain time, then the formula will be;

M1 x D1 x T1 M2 x D2 x T2

___________ = ___________

W1 W2

That was it for this blog. In the next blog, we will come up with another set of shortcuts and formulas to aid and enhance your Aptitude section preparation. Till then you can work on mastering these questions. 

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Some of the major topics covered in the Aptitude section in Design Entrance exams are work and time, boat & stream, and speed distance and time.

You can start by practicing basic questions in the Aptitude section on your own. Alongside that, you can go for online coaching, question paper, class tests, and mock tests to further strengthen your preparations.

Yes, the reason is that during examinations you are not going to get enough time to perform calculations and then write down your answer. So, to cut the labor and increase your accuracy and speed you need to learn the formulas.

You can get these pdf from your Coaching classes. It will be useful for practicing after the classroom sessions.

First of all, keeping formulas handy saves you time. Secondly, it will enhance your accuracy and speed while dealing with the question. Lastly, it will boost your confidence and help you analyze the application of the formulas in a better manner.


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