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NCIDQ Practicum Exam

The Practicum Exam is delivered in a digitized format. It is administered via a user-friendly testing platform, not a design platform, so no prior design software experience is required to take the exam. Preview and practice tools available on this page include the Exam Blueprint (content outline) and a video demonstration. Details for tools can be found on this page.

Before Taking the Practicum

       Outlines exam content and tasks being tested.

Frequently Asked PRACTICUM Questions

How long is the Exam?

Candidates are given 4 hours to complete the Practicum Exam. 


What will be tested?

The Practicum Exam Blueprint has been applied evenly to all 3 case studies. While the specific tasks or knowledge areas might vary from scenario to scenario, the overall content outlines will remain consist.


Where and When will it be offered?

The Practicum Exam will be offered for the entire months of April and October, at the same testing centers as IDFX and IDPX.


Do I have to know AutoCAD or Revit in order to take this exam?

No. The Practicum Exam platform is a testing platform, not a design platform and therefore no prior design software experience is needed to take this exam.


How will space planning be tested?

Knowledge of space planning is still an important aspect of the design process and the NCIDQ Exam. However, on  the Practicum Exam, candidates are not creating a new space plan. Instead, they will be evaluating a completed plan or plan a space for a single room based upon specific parameters.


How many questions are on the exam?

There are 114 questions (105 scored and 9 unscored pre-test questions) divided evenly across three case studies: large commercial, small commercial, and multi-family residential. 

*There are six additional items noted in the total question count that are simply the transition pages when moving from one Case Study to the next.

PRACTICUM Case Studies

With the Practicum Exam, CIDQ has introduced a digitized means of testing that allows for individual assessment of high-level cognitive functions.  Differing from the hand drawn Practicum previously offered, the computerized Practicum Exam utilizes case studies to assess a candidate’s ability to synthesis information related to the design process and make a judgement using the resources provided.


Each Practicum Exam exam consists of three (3) CIDQ case studies: large commercial, small commercial, and multi-family residential.

Every question on the Practicum Exam will be attached to a case study which will include various resources surrounding the design scenario.

CIDQ case studies include: a project scenario, universal codes, a plan and other resources that might be needed to answer a question correctly.

Each case study counts for a third of the exam score and the content is aligned with the overall Practicum Exam Blueprint. The exam blueprint is created from the latest Practice Analysis, a thorough and vigorous study conducted every five years to ensure the exam accurately reflects the current practice of interior design.

Working through each case study will require an exam candidate to synthesis information, analyze various design documents, and make specific judgements that demonstrate understanding of the tasks and knowledge areas within the exam blueprint which includes the competencies listed under each content area.


As with the multiple choice exams, all questions in the Practicum Exam are worth one point and the question must be answered in its entirety. No partial credit will be given.

Practicum Blueprint Chart.png

Practicum Video Library

How to Prepare:


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