NATA vs JEE Main B.Arch: Which is Better?

The National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) is an entrance examination for students who want to pursue their career in architecture. NATA is a national-level entrance examination. The Council of Architecture (COA) conducts the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) for admission in B.Arch and B.Planning courses in various colleges.

They offer a 5-year undergraduate degree program in architecture. The NATA entrance exam is conducted twice every year, in the months of April and May.

NATA is an entrance exam for the unoccupied B.Arch seats in various leading institutes in India but the decision regarding final admission to the candidates who appear in NATA lies with the authorities of the respective institutions or colleges.

The National Test Agency (NTA) conducts the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main B.Arch examination every year. JEE Main is a national-level entrance examination. JEE Main examination offers admission in various BE, B.Tech, B.Arch, and B planning courses.

These courses are offered to get admission in India’s leading institutes that are – National Institute of Technologies (NITs), the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs), and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs). The JEE Main paper 2 is also conducted twice a year like NATA.

The NATA entrance exam will be conducted in the month of August 2021 and the JEE Main Paper 2 for B.Arch courses date will be going to be released very soon.

In this article, you will get to know every detailed difference between JEE Main B.Arch and NATA.

The major differences between JEE MAIN B.ARCH and NATA exams are: 

(1) In JEE Main B.Arch examination, students have to solve 77 questions in 3 hours of time while in the NATA examination, students have to solve 53 multiple choice questions in 3 hours of time.

(2) Through your JEE main scores, you can get admission into various engineering and architecture courses like B.Tech, B.Arch, and B.Planning, while NATA offers admission in only top architecture colleges in India.

(3) The marking scheme of JEE Main states a negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer, whereas in NATA there is no negative marking.

NATA mock test

NATA Mock test

Differences between JEE MAIN B.ARCH and NATA

Conducting Body The National Test Agency (NTA) The Council of Architecture (COA)
Exam Level National Level exam National Level Exam
Programs Offered BE (Bachelor of Engineering), B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology), B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture), and B.Planning. Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch)
Participating Institutes The National Institute of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) School of Planning and Architecture (SPA)
Frequency of Exam Twice a year Twice a year
Eligibility 12th pass students from PCM background with a minimum aggregate of 50% are eligible for JEE Main (Paper-II). Students Appearing in the class XIIth exam and those who have passed their qualifying exam in the last two years are also eligible. No minimum or maximum age limit to appear in JEE Main (Paper-II) 12th pass students from PCM background with a minimum aggregate of 50% are eligible for NATA Minimum age limit is 17 years for NATA (on 01st of July on the year of admission)
Appearing Candidates (2020) 1,38,409 22,853
Subjects in Exam General Aptitude, Drawing, and Mathematics Drawing, Mathematics, and General Aptitude
Number of Questions Total of 83 (General Aptitude has 50 questions, mathematics has 30 questions, and Drawing has only 3 questions) Total of 62 (Part A contains 60 questions and Part B contains 2 questions)
The Language of Paper English, Hindi, and Gujarati for candidates belonging to Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Nagar Haveli English
Duration of Examination 3 hours 3 hours (Part A - 90 minutes and Part B – 90 minutes)
Mode of Examination Online for mathematics and General Aptitude test, and drawing exam will be in offline mode / pen and paper based Part A – online Part B – online
Question Pattern Multiple choice questions with one correct answer for Aptitude and Mathematics, whereas for drawing, a candidate has to represent his/her sketching skills Part A- Multiple Choice Questions (Online-mode) Part B- Drawing sheets (Offline-mode)
Marks Allocation 4 marks will be given for each correct answer, 1 mark will be cut for every wrong answer, and 0 marks will be given for unanswered questions. 2 marks will be given for each correct answer, there is no negative marking
Total Marks Allocated 390 Marks 200 marks (Part A will be allotted 110 marks and Part B will be allocated 90 marks)

The candidates who want to get admission to various NITs and IITs institutes must have to appear for the JEE Main Paper 2 Examination.

However, if they want to get admission in one of the most prestigious colleges in India i.e., School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) then they have to give the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA).

JEE Main Paper 2 Mock Tests

JEE Main Paper 2 Mock Tests

The major differences between JEE Main B.ARCH and NATA are as follows: -

(1) Eligibility JEE Main candidates must have to pass class 12th or the candidates who are in the final year of their graduation in 2021 they can also apply for it and it is same for the NATA students also. There is no such age limit for JEE Main examination and NATA both, any students who have qualified their 12th class in 2019 or 2020 can apply.

(2) Educational Qualification – JEE Main and NATA students must have passed their 10+2 from a recognized board.

(3) Participating Institutes – The National Institute of Technologies (NITs) and the Indian Institute of technologies (IITs) accept JEE Main scores, while the NATA score is accepted by around 500 colleges across India.

(4) Exam Fee – The JEE Main application fee for general category students are Rs. 650/- and Rs 325/- is for SC/ST/PwD category students, whereas the NATA application fee for general category students are Rs. 2000/- for one test and other category students have to pay Rs.1500/- for one test. If you want to give two tests then you have to pay Rs.4000/- and Rs. 3000/- respectively.

JEE Main B.Arch vs NATA Nature of Exams

JEE Main and NATA is one of the toughest entrance examinations of India. Both the exams are highly prestigious and hold an equal significance. However, there are major differences that the two hold, exam pattern is one of them.

You should opt for JEE Main and NATA Online coaching to increase your preparation level.

The table below shows the JEE Main and NATA exam pattern: -

JEE Mains Exam Pattern

Check out the table below to know the detailed JEE Mains Paper 2 Exam Pattern.

Specifications JEE Main 2021 Pattern for Paper 2 (B.Arch.)
Exam Mode Mathematics and Aptitude- CBT Mode Drawing- Pen and paper mode
Subjects Aptitude Test, Mathematics, Drawing
Type of Questions Maths- 20 (MCQs) + 5 (Questions for which answer is a Numerical Value) + Aptitude- 50 MCQ + Drawing- 2 Questions
Medium of Exam English and Hindi (All Centre Cities) English, Hindi and Gujarati (Centre Cities in Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli)
Duration of Exam 3 hours
Total Marks 400 Marks
Marking Scheme

For MCQs: +4 for each correct response; -1 for each incorrect response; Unattempted questions will not be marked.

For Non-MCQs: +4 for each correct response, no negative marking for incorrect answers or unattempted questions.

For Drawing Test: 2 questions of 100 marks

NATA Exam Pattern

The following table explains the detailed NATA Exam Pattern such as exam mode, number of questions, type of questions, and more.

Particulars Details
Mode of Examination Online
Medium of Examination English
Duration of the Exam 3 hours
Number of Sections The exam will have only one part- Aptitude Test
Number of Questions 125 Questions
Type of questions Multiple-Choice type (MCQ), Multiple Select type (MSQ), Preferential Choice type (PCQ) and Numerical Answer type (NAQ)
Total Marks 200 Marks
Marking Scheme The questions will carry either 1 mark, 2 marks, or 3 marks.

Difficulty Level of JEE Main B.ARCH vs NATA

The JEE Main B.ARCH and the NATA are two different levels of examination, and their level of difficulty is also different. The level of difficulty of the examination depends on each student and their preparation. The level of difficulty of JEE Main examination is moderate to high but the NATA examination level is easy to moderate

Here below are some of the points mentioned on the difficulty level of both the examinations: -

JEE Mains – Difficulty Level 

The JEE Main examination is considered to be easier than JEE Advanced examination as it only examines the candidates based on class 11th and 12th. The number of students appearing is very high. whereas, the candidates are expected to score good marks in JEE Main to appear for JEE Advanced. 

NATA - Difficulty Level

NATA is considered to be easier than the JEE Main examination as it includes many topics which are easy and candidates can score good marks in those topics. The NATA cut off is also less than JEE Main Paper 2 cut off. But the NATA examination is not that easy, you have to study well for the NATA examination.


Is JEE Main better than NATA?

NATA is considered easier than JEE Main. But both of the exams are equally better at their stages.

Which is the best college for the B.Arch course?

The best college for B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) is School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.

Can I join Architecture without NATA and JEE main B.Arch?

You can join B. arch without NATA only if you are getting into some IIT or NIT through JEE. Both the exams have an equal importance in the field of arch. You can either appear for one of them or both.

Is NATA exam easier than JEE Main B.Arch?

The aptitude section is very easy. Gk and logic questions are easy to crack. The drawing section isn't very demanding and is just a basic approach. It has a drawing paper which requires you to analyse views (like bird's eye view, ant's eye view etc), It is tougher than JEE drawing paper.

Is architecture a good career?

Architects are generally highly respected in society, making architecture a good career option if you like to be seen as a respected person in society! Due to their creative nature and attention to detail, they are considered a combination of arts and intelligence.