Passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam is a crucial step in becoming a certified interior designer in North America. The exam assesses the competency of candidates in various aspects of interior design, such as building systems, codes, and regulations, design communication, design theory, and project coordination. Preparing for the NCIDQ exam requires a solid understanding of these topics, as well as practice answering exam-style questions. In this guide, we will discuss the exam objectives, details, and related books that can help you pass the NCIDQ exam.
The NCIDQ exam aims to assess the competence of interior designers by testing their knowledge and skills in the following three areas:
- Design communication and project coordination (50% of the exam)
- Building systems, codes, and regulations (35% of the exam)
- Design theory and history (15% of the exam)
The exam assesses the candidate's ability to apply their knowledge and skills in various real-world scenarios, such as designing for specific populations, understanding accessibility requirements, and coordinating with project stakeholders.
Who Should Take the Exam?
The NCIDQ exam is designed for interior designers who want to become certified professionals. The certification demonstrates to clients and employers that the interior designer has the necessary skills and knowledge to create safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing interiors. The exam is open to candidates who meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a bachelor's or master's degree in interior design from an accredited institution
- Completion of at least two years of work experience in interior design
- Completion of a combination of education and work experience that adds up to six years
The NCIDQ exam is administered by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) and is offered twice a year in the spring and fall. The exam is computer-based and consists of three sections. The cost of the exam is $1,450 for all three sections, or $500 per section if taken individually. The passing mark for each section is 70%, and candidates must pass all three sections to become certified.
The total exam time is approximately 11 hours and is divided into the following sections:
- Section 1: IDFX (Interior Design Fundamentals Exam) - 3.5 hours
- Section 2: IDPX (Interior Design Professional Exam) - 5.5 hours
- Section 3: Practicum - 2.0 hours
The exam is delivered at Pearson VUE testing centers, and candidates can schedule their exam online. The IDFX and IDPX sections are multiple-choice, while the Practicum section is a visual practicum that assesses the candidate's ability to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world scenario.
Preparing for the NCIDQ exam requires a solid understanding of the exam objectives and topics. The following books can help candidates prepare for the exam:
- "Interior Design Reference Manual: Everything You Need to Know to Pass the NCIDQ Exam" by David Kent Ballast, FAIA, NCIDQ Certification No. 9425
- "NCIDQ Exam Secrets Study Guide: NCIDQ Test Review for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam" by NCIDQ Exam Secrets Test Prep Team
"The Codes Guidebook for Interiors" by Sharon K. Harmon and Katherine E. Kennon
- "Color, Space, and Style: All the Details Interior Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find" by Chris Grimley, Mimi Love, and Luke Vahle
- "Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2018 International Building Code" by Francis D.K. Ching and Steven R. Winkel
These books cover various aspects of interior design, including design communication, building systems, codes, and regulations, design theory, and history. They also provide exam-style questions and practice exercises that can help candidates prepare for the exam.
In conclusion, passing the NCIDQ exam requires a solid understanding of the exam objectives and topics, as well as practice answering exam-style questions. Candidates who meet the education and work experience requirements and prepare adequately for the exam can become certified professionals and demonstrate their competence to clients and employers.