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NCIDQ 101: The Study Materials You Need to Pass the NCIDQ

NCIDQ 101, NCIDQ STUDY MATERIALSJulianne Rodriguez

Now that you've successfully applied for the NCIDQ & scheduled your exam, it's time to get all of the books & tools you will need to study. 

In this second post of my NCIDQ 101 series, I will be sharing everything I used to prepare for all three exams of the NCIDQ. It's my belief that if you are going to invest so much of your time and effort into this exam, you might as well get everything you need to pass.

I've created shopping lists for each exam, including the supplies you need to build your Practicum toolkit, and also have a category of supplies that I used during all three exams. To make things easy, all of the study material can be purchased directly from the links below. Use code CCN15 to receive 15% off select materials. Happy shopping! 

 

IDFX, IDPX & PRACTICUM

Interior Design Reference Manual, 6th Edition

While the CIDQ uses a variety of books to develop the multiple choice questions for the exams, this textbook covers all of the information you need to know. It is organized by the various content areas of each exam, so you can study the specific topics you need. You will be able to use this book for both the IDFX and IDPX, and reference it for the Practicum.

The Codes Guidebook for Interiors

This book was a lifesaver for me, and is also listed on the NCIDQ's Reference Materials list. It's an excellent book to supplement the Interior Design Reference Manual, and gives an in depth look at all of the codes referenced in the NCIDQ. You can reference this for the IDFX, IDPX, and also use it after the exams, for work.

Interior Design in a Flash

These flashcards go with the Interior Design Reference Manual textbook, and were so helpful for me. They can be used for all three exams, and I used them whenever I had a chance - commuting to and from work, during lunch breaks, and any down time during the week.

 

IDFX Only

Interior Design Reference Manual, 6th Edition

While the CIDQ uses a variety of books to develop the multiple choice questions for the exams, this textbook covers all of the information you need to know. It is organized by the various content areas of each exam, so you can study the specific topics you need. You will be able to use this book for both the IDFX and IDPX, and reference it for the Practicum.

NCIDQ IDFX Sample Questions & Practice exam, 2nd Edition

New Edition: Updated to the Current NCIDQ® Exam Specs

225 multiple choice practice exam questions to test your knowledge of the IDFX.  Going over the sample questions with the corresponding readings in the Interior Design Reference Manual really helped me prepare for the IDFX.

 

IDPX Only

Interior Design Reference Manual, 2nd Edition

While the CIDQ uses a variety of books to develop the multiple choice questions for the exams, this textbook covers all of the information you need to know. It is organized by the various content areas of each exam, so you can study the specific topics you need. You will be able to use this book for both the IDFX and IDPX, and reference it for the Practicum.

NCIDQ IDPX Sample Questions & Practice Exam, 2nd Edition

New Edition: Updated to the Current NCIDQ® Exam Specs

275 multiple choice practice exam questions to test your knowledge of the IDPX.  Similar to the IDFX, going over the sample questions with the corresponding readings in the Interior Design Reference Manual really helped me prepare for the IDPX!

The Interior Design Business Handbook

This book was highly recommended to me after I took the IDPX, and I wish I would have known about it sooner! It is the ultimate resource for establishing and operating a successful design firm, and will be a guide that will carry you well beyond your NCIDQ journey. 

 

The Practicum Exam

NCIDQ Interior Design Practicum: Practice Exam

This book was really helpful for me to practice each of the 7 Practicum problems and see the difference between and passing & failing solutions. I highly recommend using this book while studying.

NCIDQ Practicum - PDP 2016-1

What better way to prepare for the Practicum than by taking the Spring 2016 exam. This was the exam I took, and it was tough! Which is exactly why you should practice it. Use the book mentioned above to practice weekly, and take this on your first full practice exam day.

Purchase the Spring 2016 Practicum.

 

Build Your Practicum Toolkit

All of the supplies listed below can be used while you practice for the Practicum, as well as on exam day. I highly recommend buying them, and building a complete Practicum toolkit. 

 

ART BIN

Supply Case

I used this while studying to keep all of my Practicum supplies together. It kept me organized and ensured that I had everything I needed for test day. Bonus: it stores nicely in your closet once you pass ;)

 

NCIDQ Practicum Templates

These templates are the key to your success on the Practicum & will save you so much time. You will be able to use the complete 9-piece template set on exam day and includes the following templates, in both 1/4" (space planning, restrooms) & 1/8" (egress): 

  • ADA standard cut-out symbols for door swings & grab bars
  • Electrical & Lighting symbols
  • Plumbing fixtures & Appliances
  • Furniture & Accessories symbols
  • Kitchen & Bath layouts
  • Office, conference & dining table layouts
  • Graduated circles, rectangles & integrated French curve
  • Unique 45° and 30°/60 triangle shapes with built-in scales

You can purchase them here.

 

18" Trace

The drawings for the Practicum are 18" x 24", so you will need 18" trace to sketch.

1/4" Graph Paper

Save time and energy by placing graph paper under your exams. This will help you quickly calculate square footage, and eliminate the need to use a straight edge the entire time you're drafting.

Drafting Dots

You may already have this, but definitely use drafting dots to keep your drawings & graph paper in place. 

Architectural Scale

You will need an architectural scale that includes 1/8", 1/4" and 3/4" for the Practicum. 

Standard Calculator

You will need a standard calculator (not scientific with memory storage capabilities) for several of the problems on the Practicum to calculate area, lighting wattage, etc. 

Pro tip: make sure the battery isn't dead for exam day.

3" x 5" Post-Its

Post-Its will save you so much time on the Practicum because they can be used to quickly block out areas for the space planning problem. You will definitely need all three sizes listed below.

The 3"x5" Post-its are the equivalent of 244 sq. ft. at 1/4" scale. I used these to block out space for large conference rooms, break rooms, and living rooms for Space Planning.

3"x3" Post-Its

The 3"x3" Post-Its are 144 sq. ft at 1/4" scale, and were often used for offices, reception areas, and small conference rooms. 

2" x 2" Post-Its

Just like magic, the 2x2" post-it is nearly the exact size of an ADA restroom, at 64 square feet at 1/4" scale. 

Mechanical Pencils, Lead & Erasers

I tried practicing in both pen and pencil, and found pencil to be so much easier to use because I could erase mistakes and keep my drawings tidy (neatness counts!)

If you do use pencil, get extra lead & erasers! Don't run out like I almost did *insert eye-rolling emoji*.

Do yourself a favor and keep 5 in your toolkit.


With all of these tried and true study materials, you will have everything you need to pass the NCIDQ! 

What else have you used to study? I'd love to hear what you used to pass your exams, and what you wish you could have used to study.