Earning Professional Credentials

The NCIDQ Examination

The NCIDQ Examination consists of two multiple-choice sections and a drawing practicum focused on health, safety, and welfare issues. While Interior Designers must possess knowledge in many areas, such as accounting, business practices, and aesthetics, the NCIDQ Examination tests knowledge in only those areas that relate to health, safety and welfare.

The content of the examination is based on an assessment of the profession, conducted approximately every five years, called a practice analysis. NCIDQ conducted a practice analysis in 2008 by surveying practicing professionals to identify and ensure that the exam reflects changes in interior design practice.

Through the practice analysis, NCIDQ determined that seven content areas characterize the work of interior design:

– Building Systems
– Codes
– Construction Standards
– Contract Administration
– Design Application
– Professional Practice
– Project Coordination

Multiple-Choice Sections (Sections 1 and 2)

Sections 1 and 2 of the NCIDQ Exam each consist of 125 scored questions and 25 unscored, experimental questions. Unscored questions are not identified on the examination; candidates should give their best effort on all test questions. NCIDQ prepares new versions of the examination regularly and uses statistical equating procedures to ensure that all versions are equal in difficulty.

Many questions on both of these sections incorporate drawings, pictures, symbols, and text formats typical in the interior design profession, requiring candidates to recall, apply, and analyze information.

Section 1 addresses the content areas of Codes, Building Systems, Construction Standards, and Contract Administration. Candidates are given 3½ hours to complete Section 1.

Section 2 addresses the content areas of Design Application, Project Coordination, and Professional Practice. Candidates are given 3½ hours to complete Section 2.

These sections are completed on answer sheets where candidates fill in the circle of their answer. These sheets are electronically scanned and scored by computer on a standardized scale of 200 to 800, with the passing point anchored at 500.

Practicum (Section 3)

Section 3 requires candidates to produce several design solutions. Candidates are given a series of unique exercises covering Space Planning, Lighting Design, Egress, Life Safety, Restroom [Washroom] Design, Systems Integration and Millwork Design. All candidates on a given test date receive the same exercises. The exercises require candidates to interpret a program into schematics, produce plan drawings, and develop appropriate specifications and schedules. Work products must address codes and the principles of universal design.

More information on courses and taking the examination can be found here.



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Phoenix AZ  85066
Phone: 602-569-8916

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