Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{within works | 6 tips for passing the NCIDQ}

Designistas! Good Morning! Today's post is all about the dreaded NCIDQ. We get this question a LOT "what advice do you have for people trying to get NCIDQ Certified?" I decided to do a post about it so that we can continue to add hints and tips to this post and people can pass it on!
I took the NCIDQ in 2007, luckily passed on the first try. I also took all of the exams at once. Some people felt better spacing the exams out, and it will be up to you to see what fits best with your study habits. The first thing that I want to say is Congratulations! It's a big decision and step to take and I am thrilled that you are doing it! I'm a big believer in the NCIDQ and stand by it 100%. Ok, so here are my tips for you. Good Luck!
[First first first...find out what the Eligibility Requirements are]
1. Find a study partner. This is huge. It's going to take months to study for this exam and there are so many details to consider. There will be days that you do not want to read about HVAC or Type 2 Wallcoverings or ADA. These are the days that you will need a study budy. Find one. Make a schedule and keep yourselves accountable to each other.
2. Sign up for a STEP class in your area. I took mine through ASID (see link here). There are also PREP classes/workshops that are similar to STEP and they help prepare you for the practicum portion of the exam. (see link here)
3. Get some literature. There are tons of books out there, so ask around to see what your peers are reading. I wouldn't purchase a lot of them because then you will just get overwhelmed. Definitely get yourself a reference manual. This one is from Amazon.

You'll probably need a codes guidebook, if you don't already have one from school. This one is also from Amazon.

4. Make FLASHCARDS! It's super old school but they work! I had my flashcards as well as online flashcards. I would have the website open so that I could quiz myself throught the day. The site that I used is no longer around, but there are tons of options out there so just search until you find the one you want. Make sure you get a free site. It's not worth paying for. I found the following sites: Study Blue, Course Hero, and Flashcard Machine.
5. Peppermint, Highlighters, and Sticky Notes. You will need a stock of these guys. Peppermint is supposed to help you study. You will have tons of papers and books and notes everywhere so get out those sticky notes and color coordinate yourself! Same goes for highlighters. You only have a short amount of time to memorize a LOT of stuff so pull out the trusty highlighter to get your eyes to go exactly where they need to prior to glazing over.
6. Get some rest. Do NOT pull an all-nighter prior to the exam. What you gain from extra study time won't compensate for the loss of alertness and ability to concentrate. So no matter how many times this worked for you in college do not do it here. This is why you study months in advance.

So those are my top 6 tips for passing the exam! Good Luck to you! The public thanks you =) As I do.

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"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." Willy Wonka