Tag Archives: Certification

Conquer the NCIDQ Exams!


Have you thought about taking your career to the next level with the NCIDQ certification? Have you taken the test in the past and missed it by a few points? Did you register for the exams and don’t know where to start?

ID Conquer is here to help. Join our exclusive 12 week, in person and virtual study group. ID Conquer has taken the guess work out of preparing for all three NCIDQ exams: IDFX, IDPX and Prac 2.0. When you register for ID Conquer’s study group, you will get a detailed reading schedule, hands on exercises that reinforce the content areas in the exams, helpful tips and even practice questions. We meet weekly, Friday evenings, starting June 14th, 2019 at 5:00pm in the bkm Office Works showroom.

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Get the structure and guidance you need to pass the exams and meet fellow designers to help you along the way. This course is made for designers of all ages from entry level to industry experts. ID Conquer will prepare you for the October 2019 exams this fall.

Registration includes access to the weekly study group and either an ebook or printed binder for $300/$350 respectively. In addition to registration, you will need to get a copy of the Interior Design Reference Manual by David Kent Ballast in the 6th edition. Use discount code IDC15 to get a discount on the PPI2Pass website.

To learn more about our program, visit www.IDConquer.com. Contact Cristina Garvie at cristina@idconquer.com if you have additional questions. The study group is open to members and non-members, in person or using a video conference connection.

Spotlight on Alexandra Milkovich


Alexandra Milkovich is one of our professional members for San Diego City Center. She relocated to San Diego from Dallas earlier this year, and is excited to be a part of the San Diego interior design community. We spoke with Alexandra to get to know her and find out about why being NCIDQ certified is important to her.

With a Masters in Interior Architecture & Product Design from Kansas State University, Alexandra Milkovich has 8 years of experience in the interior design and architectural industry.  She spent the early part of her career at RTKL Dallas, where she worked on hospitality, healthcare, and commercial projects, as well as exhibit design. She has since been employed by Wilson Associates Dallas and Harwood International, also in Dallas, where she gained additional experience the aforementioned fields as well as in high-end residential and multi-family housing.

After much consideration, Alexandra and her husband decided to move to San Diego. She is currently a part of the interior design department at HBG Design, where she is focused on hospitality design. Alexandra has done extensive research in restaurant design and the culinary arts through both her masters degree and professionally, and continues that passion through not only her job, but her personal food blog where she showcases unique culinary dishes and beautiful plating designs.

Here are her answers to a few of our questions regarding her experience in becoming an NCIDQ certified professional:

Q: How long have you been NCIDQ certified?

A: 5 years

Q: Name one thing that you learned while studying for the exam that you are able to apply to your everyday work.

A: Every firm does things slightly differently, therefore I learned a lot about the typical industry standards and how I can apply those standards at each place I worked.

Q: How do you feel that being certified has helped you professionally?

A: Being a licensed interior designer not only makes you more knowledgeable in the profession, but also puts you in a higher pay range and potentially a higher position at your company.

Q: Why would you recommend certification to fellow designers?

A: I believe that once you become a Registered Interior Designer, your boss and colleagues will have a newfound level of respect for you professionally.  It shows them that you can accomplish a challenge and come out with much more knowledge in the profession than you had prior, which in turn benefits them.

Q: Did you take all of the exams at once, or did you spread them out, and why did you choose to do it the way you did?

A: I took all of my exams at once: multiple choice tests on a Friday and practicum on a Saturday.  It was a very long weekend, but I was happy to get them over within one quick swoop.

Q: Do you have any study tips for those of us who are preparing to take the exam?

A: For the multiple choice tests, I recommend to read the book once, read it again and highlight important notes, read it again and make note cards of the highlighted notes and study those note cards.  I also recommend reading any additional recommended study books/notes that the book may not cover (i.e. AIA standards).  For the practicum, I recommend practicing the test at least 2 times and timing yourself.  Also make sure you understand the different sections and what you could potentially be tested on.  I took a study course with IIDA and it was really helpful.

Q: In your opinion, what is the number one reason that an interior designer should become NCIDQ Certified?

A: Becoming a certified interior designer shows commitment and dedication to the interior design industry.

Q: Any words of encouragement?

A: I had to tell myself many times to ‘just do it’.  I know taking this test is daunting, but you need to rip it off like a band-aid, suck it up and just take it.  Don’t be discouraged by failure.  Many people do not pass the first time and no firms or fellow designers will judge you for that.

Welcome to the San Diego City Center, Alexandra! We are happy to have you as a part of our community.

Katie Toth & Denise Colestock
Co-Chairs of Advocacy, San Diego City Center

NCIDQ: Why, How, When


Why should you become NCIDQ certified?

– Certification marks your level of competency and credibility.

– Laws in about half the states in the US and in Canada may restrict you from either practicing interior design or calling yourself an “interior designer” without a license.

– Certification can translate into significantly higher earnings.

– Certification allows you to become a Professional member of IIDA and ASID.

How to start the process of becoming NCIDQ certified:

– First, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. There are several paths to meet the requirements, as outlined on the NCIDQ website.

– Next, create an account at the MyNCIDQ website.

– After you create an account, and if you have completed your formal education, you are eligible to take the first section of the exam: the IDFX. You will need to complete the application form and have your official transcripts as well as application fee sent in to the address they provide.

– Once you have met the requirements for work experience (which depends on the path you selected above) you can apply to take the remaining sections of the exam: the IDPX and Practicum. You will need to have your current and/or past supervisors fill out the work experience verification form as well as obtain three references. All of these will also need to be sent in to CDIQ with the additional application fee.

– Finally, when you have received feedback from CIDQ that your application has been accepted, you can begin to register for exams.

When can you take the exams?

– All three sections are only offered twice per year, in April and October. For Spring 2016, registration opens on January 6th.


– As always, anyone is welcome to join the San Diego IIDA Chapter’s study group, which begins the week of January 18th and runs until the exam dates.


If you need any further information about the application process, study materials, or the study group, contact Hillarie Martorell (hmartorell@ofsbrands.com) or myself, Katie Toth (ktoth@delawie.com).

Katie Toth, Associate IIDA, LEED GA