Passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam administered by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is an important step for anyone hoping to become a professional interior designer in the United States. This exam has been designed to test you on your competence in the field in regards to safety, welfare, building systems, public health, project coordination and more. Because of that dedication, people know that they can trust the work experience of those who have been credentialed as a result of passing the NCIDQ test.
However, the test can be fairly difficult if you don’t know how to prepare for it. Because of that, I’ve made it my mission to help you pass the NCIDQ exam on the first try!
Keep reading to check out a list of everything you need to know before heading in to the exam.
NCIDQ Examination Passing Score
The first thing you need to know is the minimum passing score you need to become NCIDQ certified. Many people have a tendency to over prepare for the NCIDQ certification exam because they don’t actually know what to shoot for. That can quickly lead to burnout— which you’ll absolutely want to avoid.
Out of a total score of 800, you only need 500 to pass. Unlike other certification tests, no one is looking at your total score when thinking about hiring you. Ultimately, the credential itself is the end goal, which makes passing the only thing that matters. So don’t stress out about trying to get a perfect score and shoot for something that’s manageable to you.
To clarify, I’m not telling you to give up on a higher score — that’s a recipe for disaster — but don’t stress out if you’re having trouble with some parts. Odds are that they won’t matter in the long run.
With that out of the way, let’s focus on the actual methods you’ll be using.
Many people have a tendency to over prepare for the NCIDQ certification exam because they don’t actually know what to shoot for. That can quickly lead to burnout— which you’ll absolutely want to avoid
What Are The Best NCIDQ Study Materials and Methods?
Ultimately, different people find different study methods effective. However, there are a few that work better for the vast majority of test takers.
Follow these methods and you’ll have an easier time when it comes to the real thing.
Pick up some reference manuals and study guides to read through in your spare time. With just a bit of searching, you can find tons of great physical textbooks and eBooks with study materials based on specific sections of the exam.
These are great refreshers on everything you’ve learned over the years and will help you keep older information fresh as you move forward. Plus, these are easy to pick up and bring with you on the go. That way when you have some free time in your busy schedule you can get a bit of studying done without feeling too much pressure.
With all that being said, practice books are a great start but I wouldn’t rely on them entirely. You’ll want some more options for studying in order to supplement your learning.
With all that being said, practice books are a great start but I wouldn’t rely on them entirely. You’ll want some more options for studying in order to supplement your learning
In a similar vein to the practice books, flashcards are perfect bite sized study resources. But unlike textbooks, these only require a minute or two to work with. Anytime you’ve finished a task you can run through a handful of cards and move on. Because of their low effort and time investment, using these will help you retain information without running the risk of burnout.
Try and use sets of flashcards designed for IDFX and IDPX to reinforce your knowledge of these content areas. This won’t take the place of other study methods, but the practice is perfect as a supplement to the real thing.
This is the big one when it comes to studying. Nothing prepares you better for an exam than sitting down and trying it out. Hence, focusing on practice tests for IDFX and IDPX should be the lion’s share of your studying. That’s because practice tests not only familiarize you with the material, they also prepare you for the structure and process of taking the exam. Newcomers will waste time on the exam adjusting to the experience. You however will have a much easier time if you’ve prepared for it ahead of time.
In order to really familiarize yourself with the exam, try and mimic the test taking experience as much as possible. Take the tests under a time limit and make sure you’re adhering to the rules of the Practicum exam testing center. If you’re able to do so, you should be able to get a feel for how much time you’re spending on each section and find some weaknesses to shore up.
In order to really familiarize yourself with the exam, try and mimic the test taking experience as much as possible. Take the tests under a time limit and make sure you’re adhering to the rules of the Practicum exam testing center.
PPI2Pass Study Materials (a Kaplan Company)
Luckily for you, there’s a great source for all of the study methods I’ve mentioned. PPI2Pass is an easy and affordable way of purchasing the necessary study materials. They offer both individual and bundle options for everything I’ve previously mentioned.
Additionally, PPI2Pass also offers subscription plans through their partner QPractice on top of individual materials. These plans will grant you access to a wide range of study resources, including ones I haven’t mentioned here. Subscriptions are paid monthly and they even include options for group discounts. Consequently, you can save a lot of money if you grab a group of friends who are preparing for the test and create a study group!
Furthermore, if you want to get really in depth with your studying, PPI2Pass also offers NCIDQ prep courses. This is a great option for people who learn best via a structured schedule.
There are other services out there, but few are as effective as PPI2Pass.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Last but certainly not least, make sure you’re in good condition before taking the exam. Get plenty of sleep the night before and have a healthy breakfast beforehand. As I mentioned a few times already, you should also make sure to pace yourself when studying to avoid getting burned out before you even take the test.
These tips may seem like no-brainers, but plenty of people skimp on these important actions to save time. Don’t fall into that trap— make sure you’re in tip top shape when the time comes or you may regret it!
So that’s everything you need to know in order to pass the NCIDQ exam. Follow all of the tips on this list and you’ll be able to pass easily when the time comes. Doing so will do wonders for your career— both now and in the future!