NCIDQ Exam

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Examination is taken for licensure purposes in certain areas. This assessment is also used for qualification into specific organizations, and it is a sign of achievement in interior design. To be eligible, a candidate must have both a college degree, and work experience. The exact work experience requirements vary from two years to four years, depending on if the degree is an associate’s, or bachelor’s, and if it is in interior design or not. Transcript documentation of a candidate’s education will be required. Work experience applied to the eligibility requirements has to be either part- or full-time interior design work. Teaching is not accepted as experience. A candidate’s work experience should begin after his or her education is finished or nearly finished.

The Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX) section of the NCIDQ includes 100 multiple-choice items which cover the following content:

  • Programming, sustainability, and site analysis (20 questions)
  • Application of design theory and the relationship between human behavior and the designed environment (17 questions)
  • Integration of building systems and construction (10 questions)
  • Sourcing and research as it relates to manufacturers’ and vendors’ information regarding furniture, fixtures and equipment (10 questions)
  • Development and use of construction drawings, schedules and specifications (10 questions)
  • Measuring, drafting and technical drawing conventions (12 questions)
  • Visual, written and verbal design communication methods and techniques (21 questions)

The Interior Design Professional Exam section of the NCIDQ includes 150 multiple-choice items which cover the following content:

  • Analyzing and synthesizing programmatic information (10 questions)
  • Application of code requirements, laws, standards, regulations, accessibility and suustainability (20 questions)
  • Integration with building systems and construction (13 questions)
  • Selection, specification, use and care of furniture, fixtures, equipment, interior finishes, materials and lighting (22 questions)
  • Development and use of construction drawings, schedules and specifications (15 questions)
  • Interior design documentation and contract administration (23 questions)
  • Project coordination and the roles of related design professionals (20 questions)
  • Application of professional ethics and business practices (27 questions)

The Interior Design Practicum (PRAC) section of the NCIDQ is a day-long, hands-on exam. There are seven exercises in which the examinee will demonstrate her design skills:

  • Space Planning (23% of score)
  • Lighting Design (11% of score)
  • Egress (18% of score)
  • Life Safety (18% of score)
  • Restroom (9% of score)
  • Systems Integration (12% of score)
  • Millwork (9% of score)

The first two sections of the test are scored by computer. Scores will range from 200-800, and candidates must receive a minimum of 500 to pass. The practicum is graded by a panel of interior design professionals who are given extensive training on grading standards and requirements.

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Last Updated: June 27, 2019