NCIDQ Exam Reference Materials

Most of the content of the NCIDQ Exam comes from a common body of knowledge that is generic to the practice of interior design. A well-rounded period of professional practice is your best preparation for the exam. However, you are encouraged to supplement your education and experience by reviewing interior design resources, particularly those that focus on areas where you're less skilled or experienced.

The materials listed here can help supplement your understanding. This list does not represent the entire body of information you can use as study material, and CIDQ does not  guarantee all information contained in these references. Although the list may include more than one reference that covers a content area, one such reference may be enough—and other resources that are not on the list may adequately cover the content area.

Standard Forms and Documents

Also-- make sure you familiarize yourself with project forms, contractual agreements and construction documents, because they are used throughout the practice of interior design and will be cited on the test. These forms are individually or jointly copyrighted and provided by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

Examples include:

  • Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Designer
  • General Conditions to the Contract for Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment
  • Forms for change orders, addenda/um, and bonding of bids, performance and materials

Trade Journals/Magazines/Product Manuals

A number of industry publications provide current technical information.

Building Codes

The following building codes are used in various parts of the United States and Canada:

  • IBC – International Building Code
  • Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • National Building Code of Canada

Standards

  • Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and ADA-ABA (Architectural Barriers Act) Guidelines
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI), "Specifications for Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible to and Usable by Physically Handicapped People"
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Standards and Practices

Books

CIDQ uses a wide variety of books as references when developing multiple-choice exam questions. This list is not exhaustive, but represents books that are frequently used by our exam writers.

  • Binggeli, Corky. Building Systems for Interior Designers, second edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009.
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  • Ballast, David. Interior Construction & Detailing for Designers and Architects, third edition, Professional Publications, 2005.
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  • Ching, Francis D.K. Building Construction Illustrated, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014.
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  • Ching, Francis D.K. and Winkel, Steven R. Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2012 International Building Code, fourth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
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  • De Chiara, Joseph, Panero, Julius and Zelnik, Martin. Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning, second edition. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2001.
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  • Downey, Joel and Gilbert, Patricia K. Successful Interior Projects Through Effective Contract Documents. R.S. Means Company, Inc., 1995.
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  • Evan Terry Associates, P.C., editors. Pocket Guide to the ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007.
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  • Farren, Carol E. Planning & Managing Interior Projects, second edition. R.S. Means Company, Inc., 1999.
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  • Gordon, Gary. Interior Lighting for Designers, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.
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  • Harmon, Sharon Koomen and Kennon, Katherine E. The Codes Guidebook for Interiors, sixth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014.
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  • International Code Council, Inc. 2009 International Building Code, 2009.
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  • Karlen, Mark. Space Planning Basics, third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009.
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  • Knackstedt, Mary. The Interior Design Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Profitability, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
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  • McGowan, Maryrose and Kruse, Kelsey. Interior Graphic Standards. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.
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  • McGowan, Maryrose. Specifying Interiors: A Guide to Construction and FF&E for Commercial Interiors Projects, second edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.
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  • Mitton, Maureen. Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models, and Presentation Techniques, fourth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
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  • Peña, William M. and Parshall, Steven A. Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
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  • Piotrowski, Christine M. Professional Practice for Interior Designers, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013.
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  • Piotrowski, Christine M. and Rogers, Elizabeth A. Designing Commercial Interiors, second edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007.
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  • Rengel, Roberto J. Shaping Interior Space, third edition. Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2014.
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  • Reznikoff, S.C. Interior Graphic and Design Standards. Watson-Guptill, 1986.
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  • Willbanks, Amy; Oxford, Nancy; Miller, Dana and Coleman, Sharon. Textiles for Residential and Commercial Interiors, fourth edition. Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2014.
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  • Winchip, Susan M. Fundamentals of Lighting, second edition. Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2011.
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  • Winchip, Susan M. Sustainable Design for Interior Environments, second edition. Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2011.
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