The NCIDQ Practicum Exam, or PRAC, is an entirely computer-based exam that does not require the knowledge of any special drafting software that tests your application of the interior design body of knowledge in building systems, building codes, contract documents, and health, safety, and welfare.
The NCIDQ Practicum Exam first changed from a hand-drawn exam to an entirely computer-based exam (PRAC 2.0) in 2017 and was updated in 2021. Prometric testing centers deliver the Practicum Exam worldwide. The format is similar to multiple choice-type tests and features several new advanced question types. But, unlike IDFX or IDPX, the Practicum Exam is not currently available for remote testing.
How is the Interior Design Practicum Exam organized?
The PRAC Exam content is organized into design scenarios — 3 case studies.
Case studies include a collection of resources — information that you'll use to solve problems and answer questions, such as:
- image exhibits
- specifications or schedules
During each case study, you can mark questions you're unsure of or need more time to solve. Some cases may have more complex questions than others.
After answering other questions, you can review your flagged questions within a particular case study. But once you complete the case, you cannot return to or reopen it.
Case Study Questions Types and Project Types
There are 3 case studies representing these project types, with 32 questions per case study and 18 stand-alone questions — this is an update to the exam format beginning with Spring 2023. The new stand-alone questions do not require the designer to refer to a specific case study's resources and allow for potential time-savings — always a challenge with PRAC.
- Small Commercial ≈ 2400 sq. ft.
- Multifamily Residential ≈ 2500 sq. ft.
- Large Commercial ≈ 12,500 sq. ft.
The order of the case studies may vary per each exam administration.
A total of 105 scored questions out of 114 must be completed in 4 hours. The 4-hour testing session includes a brief prep time for an introduction to help you get familiar with the software. The weight of the different task and knowledge statements reflects the most current CIDQ Practice Analysis Study.
Practicum Exam Question Types
The Practicum question types in each case study include hot spots, drag and place, and fill-in-the-blank. Each question is worth 1 point, even if it has multiple parts. You must get all parts correct because there is no partial credit.
You may see a multiple-choice question or two. But expect most questions to use the new item types. Multiple-choice is already used extensively for IDFX and IDPX.
The Practicum tests analysis and practical application skills instead of rote recall of facts. Because of the nature of the practical application, some questions will take more time to solve, especially those with calculations. You will need all four hours to answer these, and you may have only a few minutes to spare for review. Otherwise, you may run out of time — unless you're prepared for both the content and have practiced your timing.
This is why Qpractice Case Studies mimic the Practicum Exam in content and delivery style. We include drag and place, hotspot, and fill-in-the-blank question types. Join Qpractice and get unlimited access to our case studies and live workshops.
How is the Practicum Scored?
PRAC tests the same level of competency and the same knowledge, tasks, and skills tested in the past hand-drawn Practicum Exams. But instead, it is scored by machine because the individual question items are pretested before the exam administration.
The exam scoring breakdown according to the current Practicum Blueprint is as follows:
- I. 15% Programming, Planning, and Analysis
- II. 30% Code Requirements, Laws, Standards, and Regulations
- III. 25% Integration with Building Systems and Construction
- IV. 30% Contract Documents