Advice For Interior Design Students: Interior Design is more than paint chips and plans.
NCIDQ Updates Practicum Examination
NCIDQ&A 15 years ago No Comments

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc. [NCIDQ] is changing the exam in 2010. The modifications ensure that the examination continues to test the knowledge and skills of interior designers. Every five years NCIDQ conducts a comprehensive survey of the profession. A task force of practicing interior designers evaluates the results and makes recommendations regarding the content of the exam, when necessary. This ensures that the NCIDQ Examination remains a reliable measure of the competence of entry-level interior design professionals to protect the public’s health, life safety and welfare.

“The design practicum section of the exam represents what interior designers do in daily practice,” says NCIDQ Executive Director Jeffrey F. Kenney. “This ensures that NCIDQ is testing the right material in the most reliable and valid format.”

Beginning in April 2010, the interior design practicum, Section 3 of the NCIDQ Examination, will be an eight-hour exam. The exam will be a series of seven unique exercises that will focus on the following areas: space planning, lighting design, egress, life safety, restroom (washroom) design, systems integration and millwork. The practicum exam will continue to be hand-drafted and will include both commercial and residential components.

“These smaller exercises allow exam candidates to clearly demonstrate their entry-level competence on discrete subject areas,” says Kenney. “For example, the space planning exercise will not be based on the same scenario as the millwork exercise. Each exercise will be independent of the others.”

All project descriptions, project code requirements, project design requirements and the list of drawings will be provided in examination booklets. The size of the drawing sheets will increase to 18” x 24”, and the scales will vary according to the project size and amount of detail required to be shown.

NCIDQ will continue to score the practicum exam on its adherence to programmatic and code information. Each exam will continue to receive two independent gradings. Borderline exams will continue to receive a third grading by a grading coordinator.

NCIDQ is preparing new preparatory materials for the 2010 exam, which will be available this fall. The NCIDQ Examination is given twice a year in more than 60 locations in the United States and Canada.

The examination dates for 2010 are April 9-10 and October 1-2. Complete applications and supporting materials are due to NCIDQ by December 1, 2009 for the April administration and by June 1, 2010 for the October 2010 administration. Complete information regarding eligibility and application information may be found at

About NCIDQ®

NCIDQ® is an organization of regulatory boards and provincial associations in the United States and Canada whose core purpose is to protect the health, life safety and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. More information about the organization may be found at