CIDQ administers the NCIDQ Examination for interior designers. Successful completion of the examination leads to the respected NCIDQ Certificate, the credential of choice for interior designers. You must have completed a formal course of study in interior design and a period of supervised work experience before being able to take the examination.

CIDQ continually updates the examination to be sure it closely aligns with expanding professional knowledge interior designers must have. Although interior designers must possess a wide range of knowledge, the NCIDQ Examination only tests aspects of the practice of interior design that affect the public health, life safety and welfare.

The NCIDQ Examination is composed of three sections:

  • IDFX: Interior Design Fundamentals Exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions designed to assess knowledge of building systems, construction standards and design application.
  • IDPX: Interior Design Professional Exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions designed to assess knowledge of building systems, codes, professional practice and project coordination.
  • PRAC: Interior Design Practicum is a full-day examination, consisting of seven unique exercises that will focus on space planning, lighting design, egress, life safety, restroom (washroom) design, systems integration and millwork.  

Click here for information on how the exam is scored.

Applying for the Exam

You can apply to take the IDFX as soon as you have completed your formal interior design education. Beginning in 2013, you do not have to have completed your work experience before taking this section. 

Before you can apply to take the IDPX and the practicum exam, you must complete all your acceptable work experience. Please note: application review fees are not refundable. Click here to learn how to apply to take the NCIDQ Examination. Below is a flow chart of the entire process from application to Certificate maintenance.

Registering for the Exam

Once your application has been approved by the NCIDQ Examination, you will be notified via email when you can register for the next exam. You must attempt at least one section within five years of being made eligible or your eligibility will be voided and you will have to reapply, meeting the standards in effect at that time.

Although you apply for the exam just once, you must register for each exam section. The process is similar to applying to a college for admission and then, once you have been accepted, registering for individual classes. You can register for one, two or three exam sections in any combination. If you fail a section and need to repeat it, you will have the opportunity to register for it again in the next exam administration.

All candidates must complete all sections of the exam within a five-year period. Scores for sections more than five years old will be voided and the candidate must retest those sections. This is to provide the public the assurance that individuals who hold the NCIDQ Certificate credential are minimally competent at the time the credential was issued.

Exam Study Materials

NEW! Practice for the Practicum Exam!

Earn Your NCIDQ Certificate

Apply now to take the NCIDQ Exam.

Dates & Deadlines

Know these important deadlines for exam information.