When do I get my NCIDQ results?
In 2018 CIDQ first started emailing test-takers their preliminary exam scores for IDFX and IDPX immediately after completing the exams. They do this for most exam administrations, except when determining a new cut score or passing point. CIDQ sets a new passing point whenever the exam distribution changes. Using a set passing point maintains comparable levels of difficulty across different testing periods.
NCIDQ test scores are (usually) released immediately after exams
You will typically receive the notification by email within one hour of completing the exam. This is sent to the email address you provide to Prometric at registration. This email will be the only way to view your preliminary score. You can then view or print and download as a PDF file.
The score is still considered preliminary because analysis of each exam follows the end of every testing administration. Scores will need to be scaled, read on to learn more about this process below. While it is possible, the chances of your score changing between preliminary and final scores are low. Questions go through several pre-test rounds before even making it on the exam. If you've taken the exam before, you've encountered some of these pretest questions.
Also, any pretest/pilot questions are not included in either the preliminary or the final score reports. This is because those questions are not graded. To learn more about those types of questions, see “Pretest questions make the test better for you” below.
Approximately 6-8 weeks after the end of testing, CIDQ will release PRAC scores and final scores. All scores are then posted in your MyNCIDQ account, and you will receive another email notification.
This is one of the great things about having our members in the study group between exam seasons. When the first person receives their scores. they let the rest of us know right away!
How are the NCIDQ Exams Scored?
We get questions about test scoring every year because the IDFX and IDPX exams are NOT scored like a typical exam.
Lisa! I have been taking these quizzes over and over again and someone I went to school with who took the IDFX already told me that 63 is passing 500/800 is this true? I have been thinking 70 was passing…
We are most used to seeing percentage scores, but the NCIDQ Exam uses scaled scores. CIDQ sets a passing point using proprietary methods. They adjusts the scaled score for each new version and administration of their exam.
So 500/800 is NOT equivalent to scoring 63% or any set percentage, correct. The scores for the NCIDQ Exam are not based on a 100 point scale or percentage correct. These are not like tests you took in school. To be fair to all test takers, CIDQ and test administrator Prometric compare each exam to previous versions of the same exam to ensure they are equally difficult.
Scores are reported on a scale ranging from 200 (0 correct) to 800 (all correct), with the passing point anchored at 500. CIDQ prepares new versions of the exam regularly and uses statistical equating procedures to ensure that all versions are equal in difficulty.CIDQ
What is your scaled NCIDQ test score?
The total, or sum, of the number of points you earn for correctly answered items is your raw score.
Your scaled score is your raw score converted into a consistent and standardized scale. The reason for using this standardized scale is to make exam scores comparable across different versions of the same exam.
For example, with the standardized scale, scores earned on the spring 2021 version of the exam can be also be adjusted to be equivalent to those earned on the fall 2020 version. This is important because exam questions will change with each time. In addition, the distribution of questions will also change approximately every five years, according to the Practice Analysis.
On the NCIDQ Exam, the raw passing score translates to a scaled passing score of 500. What this means is that a scaled score of 500 represents (in scaled form) the exact number of questions you’ll need to answer correctly to pass the exam.
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, you don’t need to know the “raw passing number” for your exam. Instead, it’s more beneficial to focus on these two things:
- How well you do for each content area
- Your overall scaled exam score
About passing and failing NCIDQ Exam scores
On the NCIDQ Exam, the raw passing score translates to a scaled score of 500.
All passing scaled scores will then fall between 500-800, depending on the total number of correctly answered items at or above the raw passing score.
Failing scaled scores fall between 200-499, depending on the total number of correctly answered items below the raw passing score. A scaled score of 200 means 0 correct, while a scaled score of 499 is just below the passing point.
So a score of 500 represents the exact number of correct answers required to pass the exam without knowing the passing point.
Again, it’s all about the scaled scores. With each new iteration of the exam (Spring 2021, for example), a passing point is set.
So how can you use this? Focus on these content areas first, especially if you did not do well. Then, don't neglect the others. Just don't spend the bulk of your study time on these.
MOST IMPORTANT: Although a score below 500 will be reported as “fail,” please don't consider it a failure. It's a learning experience. You only fail if you give up.
Why are passing points required?
Legally, any exam used for registration or licensure must have a defensible, criterion-referenced passing score. This score separates candidates who pass from candidates who fail, and reflects the minimum level of competence required to protect the public from harm.
How are passing points created?
CIDQ works with their testing administrator, Prometric, to determine this passing point. They define this point as the level of an interior designer's ability to practice independently in a manner that protects public health, safety, and welfare.
A committee of subject matter experts uses standard psychometric methods (more about this below) to create these passing points and apply them to all candidates for a specific exam. Thus, there is no grading curve, and there is no target passing percentage the way there is in most U.S. educational testing.
How Different NCIDQ Exams are Compared: Equating
Different versions of the same exam are called forms.
Scores are compared for each form of the exam using the same content outline or blueprint. The raw passing score utilizing a group of questions from the first exam determines the second exam's passing score.
The current exam blueprint used on the IDFX and IDPX exams went into effect this past spring, 2021. As a result, the distribution of questions is different than exams before. The PRAC Blueprint also changed minimally. The exam knowledge areas are the same, but the weights shifted slightly.
Equating different forms of an exam using the same group of questions is a psychometric method commonly used in standardized testing. Equating determines whether or not a subsequent iteration (or form) is either slightly easier or more difficult than the original exam.
If the total scores of all candidates on the equator questions (those used for the comparison) show that the second exam is slightly easier, then the raw passing score is increased. Conversely, if the second exam is found to be slightly harder, then the raw passing score is decreased.
But since the scaled passing score is the key goal, candidates will not know (or need to know) whether the number of correct answers required to achieve a scaled passing score of 500 was higher or lower than the number required for a previous exam.
All future forms of the exam are scored from 200-800 based on the newly-equated passing point.
OK, what's the TLDR (too long didn't read) version?
The main thing to understand is that the aggregate statistics for the equator questions determine whether the raw passing score needs to be adjusted from one exam to the next. Then all raw scores are scaled accordingly.
For one of the more straightforward explanations of equating, read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equating.
Pretest questions make the test better for you
The exam also includes experimental or pilot questions. CIDQ is pretests questions for the validity, relevance, wording, and performance — how well designers score. These questions do NOT count towards your score.
You will not know which questions are “experimental” and which are not. Remember, they're used by the people who construct these tests (psychometricians) to determine the level of difficulty of each exam and which questions are too hard or too easy to be included in future versions/forms.
How do Qpractice test scores compare to NCIDQ Exam scores?
Qpractice tests follow the same distribution of questions as the actual exam but keep in mind that our scores are raw scores, while CIDQ uses scaled scoring.
The question pool used in Qpractice tests also changes over time. Therefore, your questions will vary with each practice test. But we do not use equating to compare test takers’ scores on specific questions.
We include learning questions, but these questions are not necessarily in the same format or language as in the actual exam, which is confidential.
We can display your overall percentage score—even broken down by content area. Then, when you receive your scores on the actual exam, your relative performance is also shown. But remember that this percentage score is NOT the same as the scaled score you’re aiming for with the actual test.
What practice test scores mean for you
We think it’s beneficial to see how you did overall and how you scored in different content areas, so you know your weakest areas. But remember, the scoring on our practice tests cannot be identical to that used on the NCIDQ Exam. So use these as a guideline.
Knowing where you’re solid and where you need a bit more studying can make all the difference in your confidence level. We’re here to help you, so don’t let confusion over raw vs. scaled scores distract you from your overall path.
Just do your best to answer all questions as well as you can, and reach out to us for further discussion during office hours and our member study groups.