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Interior Designers: Tips to Pass the NCIDQ Exam!

Interior Designers: Tips to Pass the NCIDQ Exam!

Diana Mahoney | The Design Partner

The National Council of Interior Designers Qualification is an independent, nonprofit organization which protects the health and safety of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. The NCIDQ created an exam for professional interior designers. In addition to education requirements and experience, passing the NCIDQ Exam represents competency in business procedures, business ethics and communication with engineers, architects, landscape architects, code officials and contractors. Additionally, this coveted certification is required for professional membership in the American Society of Interior Designers.

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So, how does one get started to prepare to pass the NCIDQ Exam?

Know the 7 Content Areas of the NCIDQ Exam


• The NCIDQ determined that seven content areas characterize the work of interior design: Codes, Building systems, Construction Standards, Contract Administration, Design Application, Project Coordination and Professional Practice. The exam is broken down into three sections and proctored on two subsequent days.

Section 1 includes multiple choice questions about Codes, Building Systems, Construction Standards and Contract Administration (Day One of Exam – 3 ½ hours to complete).

Section 2 includes multiple choice questions about Design Application, Project Coordination and Professional Practice (Day One of Exam – 3 ½ hours to complete).

Section 3 is a practicum where candidates produce several hand-drafted design solutions addressing codes and the principles of universal design covering Space Planning, Lighting Design, Egress, Life Safety, Restroom Design, Systems Integration and Millwork Design (Day Two of Exam – full day to complete).

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