JEE B.Arch paper and NATA are two tests taken by aspiring architecture students to apply for admissions at different government-funded and some private institutes. While both exams more or less evaluate the students for identical skill sets, the nature and structure of both these examinations is quite different.

Who conducts the tests?

CBSE conducts the JEE B.Arch paper while the Council of Architecture or CoA conducts the NATA examination. While the nature of both tests varies, it is a common belief that JEE Mains is more difficult to crack than NATA owing to the high emphasis on mathematics.

When it is taken?

JEE Mains paper 2 is usually conducted is the first two weeks of April and its dates are same as the dates for JEE Mains Paper 1. Since 2016, NATA is scheduled on a single day for all the aspirants. In 2018, it was conducted on 17th April, while in 2019 it would be conducted on 29th April.

Who accepts the scores? Where can you apply with either scores?

The primary difference between securing admissions and acceptance of scores of the two exams is NATA admits students into private colleges that are NOT centrally funded while JEE Paper 2 admits students into government-funded institutes like the NITs and IITs.

How the tests are structured?

In NATA, students have to appear for both, online and offline tests while in JEE, students have to appear for three sections which are all offline. The NATA examination consists of two parts: Drawing which is offline and Aptitude Test which is in the form of MCQs with no negative marking. The total of these two parts comes to 200 marks. In JEE Mains Paper 2, the exam comprises entirely of MCQs in which the students are negatively marked for every incorrect option.

NATA tests students on all topics related to general aptitude of drawing and architecture such as the history and current ideas of structures, monuments, and logos whereas JEE Mains evaluates students on their Mathematic ability at a slightly higher level (same as JEE paper 1), General Aptitude and Drawing. The total of these three sections comes to 390 marks.

The division of questions goes like:


  1. Maths – 30 Question – 4 marks each (-1 for wrong answers) – 120 marks
  2. Aptitude – 50 Question – 4 marks each (-1 for wrong answers) – 200 marks
  3. Drawing – 3 Questions – 20+20+30 marks – 70 marks



  1. Maths and Aptitude – 60 Question ( 20 maths + 40 Aptitude ) – no negative marking –120 marks | Difficulty Score – 5/10 (Maths), 7.5/10(Aptitude)
  2. Drawing – 2 Question – 40 marks each – 80 marks | Difficulty Score – 8.5/10

The belief that the level of Maths for NATA is usually lower than the level of maths for JEE is not entirely accurate. The syllabus for Maths section is same for both the exams, the only difference being more focus on maths in JEE as they have a separate section for the same. To conclude, both these entrance exams are National level 3 hours’ tests which are quite different from each other when it comes to the way in which they are conducted, their structure, who conducts them and which institutes accept their scores.

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