National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) conducts NCIDQ examination for credentialing of interior designers in United States. This examination focuses on assessment of those aspects of interior designing which affects life safety, public health and welfare. It is a requirement for membership in a large number of professional organizations and licensure in NCIDQ jurisdictions.
For being eligible to take this test, the candidate must satisfy educational as well as qualified work experience requirements. At least, six years of combined education and work experience are required for this exam. There are six eligibility routes which are accepted by NCIDQ.
There are three sections in this exam- Section 1: Codes, Building systems and Construction standards, Section 2: Design application, project coordination and professional practice, and Section 3: Interior design practicum. The first two sections are multiple choice types consisting of 150 items each.
In section 1, there are 20 questions based on knowledge of code requirements, standards and regulations, laws, and sustainable design practices; 23 questions based on knowledge of building systems and building construction; 25 questions based on knowledge of construction documents, specifications, schedules and architectural woodworking; 12 questions based on knowledge of measuring, drafting and technical drawing conventions; 22 questions based on knowledge of contract administration, interior design forms and documentation; 23 questions based on knowledge of cost estimation, procurement, and selection, specification, use of furniture, fixtures and equipment, lighting, interior finishes and materials.
In section 2, there are 17 questions based on knowledge of relationship between human behavior and designed environment, and design theory; 20 questions based on knowledge of programming, site analysis procedures and sustainable design practices; 10 questions based on knowledge of analyzing and synthesizing programmatic information; 10 questions based on knowledge of sourcing and research; 21 questions based on knowledge of written and verbal design communication methods and techniques, and visual communication methods and techniques; 20 questions based on knowledge of project coordination procedures, and roles and goals of related design professionals; and 27 questions based on knowledge of business practices, ethics, and post occupancy evaluation services.
The section 3 consists of seven exercises pertaining to space planning, egress, lighting design, life safety, washroom design, systems integration, and millwork.
NCIDQ exam is administered in two days- multiple choice sections on first day and practicum section on the other. The time given to complete each multiple choice section is 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Each section is awarded scaled scores in range from 200 to 800. The passing score is 500. The multiple choice sections are scored by computers while practicum section is graded by trained interior design professionals.
NCIDQ exam is conducted twice in a year, once in fall and second time in spring. To apply for this test, the candidate has to complete and mail an application along with all supporting documents and fees. If the application is accepted by NCIDQ, candidate is acknowledged by a notification for online registration otherwise he/she is notified about his/her ineligibility. The candidates can register for one, two or all sections of this exam. The candidate need to attempt at least one section within five year eligibility period.
NCIDQ fees structure is as follow:
Section 1: Codes, Building Systems, Construction Standards and Contract Administration: – $255
Section 2: Design Application, Project Coordination and Professional Practice: – $255
Section 3: Practicum: – $390
These fees include non-refundable application review fee of $165. There are additional charges for late registration ($130), exam cancellation ($100/125/150 for 1/2/3 sections), exam emergency cancellation ($200/250/300 for 1/2/3 sections), exam deferral ($40), and exam candidate reactivation ($75).