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NIFT Situation Test – Tips and Preparation

The results of the written test are already out and situation test is the next hurdle on the road. I get many queries from many NIFT aspirants on preparation for the situation test and here is one such question seeking for help, which I had received in my facebook page earlier this week.

Hie Purushu.. 🙂
I have my situation test on 24th april..n m worried big time..my preparation is goin nowhere..
Please suggest me some topics on which I can work on & u know make myself better at it..I seriously and badly need help !
reply soon..n take care 🙂

Situation test is to test the student’s 3-Dimensional thinking and material handling skills over a given time span of 2 hours.

Even before you start practice making 3-D models/prototype, try to look around and get inspired. Try to go through design magazines and websites which can inspire you. Take for example, the link http://www.toxel.com/inspiration/2009/01/01/modern-and-creative-bookshelf-designs/ has some amazingly thought and executed bookshelves.

 The following image contains an arm chair which is aesthetically appealing and yet focuses on utility.

Try to understand and grasp the form and shapes around you and how it can be transformed into an object. It’s about getting inspired and working according with a ‘theme’. Here is a quick tip to make this easier for you. Choose any theme; say I have to make a flower vase on the theme “spring forest”. The first thing to do would be to determine your keywords that would depict the mood, warm, jovial, tender, enthusiastic, peppy, graceful etc. Decide a colour scheme (which would be earthy colours in this case since the theme is spring forest). Jot down the elements that come under the theme i.e., flota and fauna etc. Say, I take an element ‘butterfly’ and draw inspiration from it. Note that my ‘theme’ and ‘inspiration’ are two different things. Theme depicts a mood while inspiration comes from the element within the theme. Get inspired from the shape, form, colour and other tangible designelements.

  1. Choose theme
  2. Write down keywords that depict mood
  3. Decide a colour scheme
  4. Note down the elements
  5. Now, transform the element into a 3-D object with the given colour scheme and should depict the keywords.

 Also remember to mention all this in a write-up. I bet the jury would be more than impressed to see your design/working process.

 A moodboard, that depics theme, colour scheme, keywords/mood and source of inspiration. Though the moodboard has nothing to do with situation test, the design process or the working process is remains just the same.

TIP: Remember that you have a time limit. Do not get over-ambitious either. Focus on ‘neatness’. Even a simple might look extraordinary if it is executed neatly while some of the most creative and out-of-the-box-ideas might look shabby if execution goes wrong.

When I gave my situation test, I was asked to either design a flower vase or a memento for an art competition. I spent my 1st 15 minutes in planning. I decided to work on a pastel forest theme probably since there were plenty of pastel sheets in interesting colours. I came up with keywords like soft, passive, pleasant, fresh etc.

We were given with pastel sheets, clay, thread, a metallic copper wire, mount board, satin ribbon, chart paper and some cotton if I remember it right. Since the pastel sheets can be easily folded, I decided to make the skeleton of the flower vase with the sheet and made some rough sketches with the papers provided. The easiest idea I could think of was to fold a light-green pastel sheet diagonally in conical shape and cut an opening in top. I traced a circle on mount board and stuck it to the bottom of the vase using strips of chart paper and fevicol to make the base. I decorated the walls of the vase with tiny circular coils that I made out of the thread that was provided. I also cut tiny bits of pastel sheets in pink, orange and pastel brown and stuck it around the vase giving it a mosaic effect. Well, it is important that the designs look balanced and complementing. I made tiny floral motifs which I placed in centre of the coils that I had stuck initially. Going any further would make it look over-done hence I stopped right there. The satin ribbon and a metallic wire were still left unused. While I made a floral brooch out of satin ribbon and placed it in the vase, I could never use the wire as I found it really thick. The flower vase was done.

I spent the next 10 minutes in the write up where I mentioned about my theme, keywords, and mood and how I made the flower vase along with a rough sketch explaining the key part and material used.

P.S: Keep the write up short and ensure you write in points.