Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ, Part 4

Today I'm listing out topics you most definitely want to know and my three biggest tips for going into the multiple choice exams. You absolutely can't miss these topics. You must know them forward and backward. Yes, you'll memorize these. There's really now way around it.

    • all of them but most importantly, fire codes
    • again all of them but most importantly, those related to fire
    • the Q takes this part of design seriously, even though much of this process isn't incredibly relevant and current to the way you may handle projects in real life at your job, you need to know it the way the Q wants you to.
    • Remember the following: Go Fat Crying Nun Please
      • G: Goals
      • F: Facts
      • C: Concepts
      • N: Needs
      • P: Problems
    • there are a TON of them, while you read make a single page of all the acronyms you come across and start memorizing them. You won't honestly need to know them all but the more you know the better the exams will be. (ex: BIFMA, Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturing Association)
    • As you read there will be examples of different types of calculations you need to know. More than knowing the math to these calculations is knowing what you need to make the calculations.
    • In a later post, I'll cover each of the calculations I studied
    • In the appendix of the study book there are some pages that are super helpful. Take them to a copy machine and print them out for yourself.
    • You need to know what happens under each part of the contract process but you also need to know the contracts and the numbers that relate to specific contracts.
    • These will come in several types of questions, know the ones related to interior design,
      • hint: know number 1 through 12!
    • there are different things underneath each of these...know them
    • know everything related to occupancy. Know how to calculate it, what it entails, what it requires as far as egress, etc.
    • Standards and codes related to egress is pivotal on EVERY single portion of the NCIDQ, both multiple choice exams & the practicum. You have to know this subject and you have to know it well!
    • the practicum brings it's own rule of study topics and methods. The best tip I can give is to study each portion of the practicum separetly on it's own. Make notes for each section and have a note card or page that highlights specific things you want to know under each section.
    • In a later post, I'll cover what was on my notes for each section.

Know things the way the NCIDQ asks you to. 
Forget what you know. Forget how you do things in real life at your real job, You may even need to forget some of what you learned in school. All that matters is what the NCIDQ details in that study book and on the exam website. It is their way, there is no highway options.

Study what you think you know best. 
BOTH times I took the IDFX, my lowest scoring portion was the subject matters I thought I knew best because it was what I worked on the most at my job (see previous point). Some items, for instance construction, I really needed to work on but I where I failed was paying so much attention to construction and overlooking what I thought I knew best, ff&e. Definitely spend a good amount of time on subject matters you hardly recall but do not over look areas you think you know best!

When you find yourself questioning which of the answers is the BEST (because yes, the IDFX & IDPX are jam packed with which of these answers is BEST, they're all right but which is best?!) look for an answer that related to health, safety or welfare. Over the years, the exam has really focused on specific subject matters. In the most recent past exams, health, safety and welfare have been huge. Know these words, know what the mean in relation to design and carefully make your decisions reflecting on them.

Truth, you can't know everything but you can do your best to know the most important things really well. Read everything and understand everything, don't try and memorize everything.

God can do anything you know, far more than you can ever imagine, guess, or request in your wildest dreams... Ephesians 3:20

Got questions? Submit them here anonymously! 

How to Pass the NCIDQ previous posts:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Travel, Heart, & Steak

I am on my way to Houston as you read this. My mom and I are meeting up in Houston for our second Quincinera for a precious girl we've known since birth. We adore this family and we are so excited to get to go back and see her and celebrate this big life event with her and her family.

The last time my mom and I did this we sat through some stranger's vow renewal and completely missed the ceremony...not one of my mom and I's prouder moments but definitely something we can laugh about now and definitely one of the most embarrassing things we've ever done together. I wrote about it here, prepare to laugh at us.

Going back to Houston, eating at favorite old places, and driving familiar roads is always fun and brings up so many memories. I have no idea if Kevin and I will stay here in Oklahoma but I do know Houston will always share a special place in my heart.

This trip will be a little different for me. In the past I've always made time to see one specific friend. We spent most of our high school days together. We spent the college years miles apart but she stood with me on my wedding day. She has been/was a best friend for well over 8 years and for the first time ever I'm going to Houston and may not see her. Pray for my heart, if you would. I've not written about this on the blog, mostly because it is still so new and my feelings on it are still so very raw. The simplest thing to say is sometimes friendships just drift apart, I guess. It's still hard and I still love her and want the best for her but being in Houston without having even talked to her about it is so hard.

<My precious husband is excited to grill up some steaks in my absence and watch football till his butt goes numb. 

Here I come Htwon!
Ah the great state of Texas

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Current Favorite Hobby

I can't believe I started working on these little works of art a year ago now! They were Christmas gifts for nearly everyone in my family last year. I've really enjoyed making them for fun over the past year for weddings and birthdays and everything in between. They each take me around an hour or so to do, usually dependent upon the detail in them. I've really come to crave the time with my pencils on my draft board upstairs in my craft room, light coming in from the window...ahhh

I'm working on a new take on these right now and I can't wait to share it. The first one is going to one of my co-workers. We shall see who gets the next one.

I thought I would just share a collection of the work I've done over the past year today. It's crazy how different the scanned ones look from the photographs of them taken with our DSLR. That camera is constantly blowing my mind.

Which one is your favorite?

What have you really enjoyed making lately?


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ, Part 3

You've got your books, supplies, links and everything you need to study so now it's time to get down to it. You'll need to create an action plan for yourself every week and stick to it in order to stay on top of everything and adequately prepare for your exam.

This was my action plan:

  1. READ the NCIDQ book
  2. Make note cards
  3. Take note of things that I didn't understand
  4. Organize
  5. Study with friends

I can't stress enough reading. Read the study book! Read topics it brings up that you don't remember in other books or on some of those sources from last week. In making note cards I was a bit obsessive, I wrote everything down. I basically turned the book into note card form. It was perhaps a bit excessive but in the end it paid off for me. You'll need to decide what is best for you. Do you want it all in note card form or do you want to just write the items you struggle with? Either way you choose, stick to it! Don't get lazy.

 I'll say that last one again, don't get lazy! Studying for the Q requires perseverance and dedication. Prepare yourself now to say no to events. Make a plan now to choose what you will and won't attend and adjust your study plan accordingly. You do need off days to break and recoup but you will have to narrow down the fun events you might normally have on your agenda.

I wished I'd really worked on organizing everything earlier in my study process. Get yourself a binder and create some tabs for different areas of the test, or the individual tests. As with the note cards and reading, stick to your organization plan too, you'll be glad you did.

Studying with friends or other professionals gives you time to talk out loud about subjects you couldn't remember that perhaps others remember better, review the tougher details and find camaraderie. Having someone to encourage you and battle through the study process with you is vital. Plan to meet at least once a week even if it just over your lunch hour. Something is better than nothing.

Got questions? Submit them here anonymously! 

How to Pass the NCIDQ previous posts:

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Love Story: Zig Zag

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

guys, please tell me we look like kids here and I do actually look somewhat older... 

The days before the trip I went into studio project stress mode. I was in studio as much as possible to try and accomplish as much as possible before the trip. I was stressed to the point of tears and was having a hard time letting go. I was excited to go on the trip, but the work I was leaving behind was tearing my scheduler-planner problems apart.

And then Kevin came. He brought dinner from Applebee's and prayed with me right there in the computer lab. Slowly, slowly I let go and finally started to really get excited for the spring break trip with the BSU.

The BSU spring break trip promised a week away from school, out in God's beautiful creation in Colorado for some time in the Word, and time with friends. I craved the time with my friends and Kevin, that along with the excitement of a day of skiing drove me to accept the trip, instead of flying to Florida. 
Our days were jam packed with Bible studies which were great but mentally exhausting. One afternoon Kevin pulled me away from my friends and put out blanket on the grassy hill down the way from the cabin we all stayed in. We lied there side by side, holding hands, giggling and reflecting on all we had learned. I was loving learning from an older couple there and hearing how the Lord would speak to them individually about things they would do together in marriage. We were only a few months into dating but the sessions with that couple encouraged my heart about the marriage I may one day enter. Lying there on the hillside chatting, smiling and enjoying time together, I wished we could just stay in that moment.
But the week continued and brought more fun and adventures to us. We rock climbed to caves, took trails to waterfalls, went on many walks, I made my first March Madness picks, and we went skiing. I had been anxiously looking forward to skiing with Kevin since the day I signed up for the trip. I loved skiing but I was terrified to "teach" Kevin to ski. My previous time skiing several years back with a friend was less than grace-filled. 

We got up earlier than most everyone else and ate some breakfast bars in the bus on the way to the ski slopes. I kept my gaze staring at the stunning scenery as I considered my action plan for teaching Kevin to ski. He had gone to the back of the bus with the excuse of an unhappy tummy. Several minutes went by, then half an hour, he still wasn't back. A friend turned to ask me if Kevin was okay. I wasn't sure I mumbled back. Suddenly realizing something was wrong. I sent him a text message to check in on him. Nerves, the drive, something was making his tummy upset and he couldn't calm it down. I wanted to help him but we were stuck on this bus for at least another hour and I had nothing but motrin in my bag.
The moment we got out of the bus I went to the ski lodge on hunt for some tummy meds. Kevin sat a bench taking deep breaths and bundling up for the slopes. I swallowed up the pills and we sat there for a moment to let him get his bearing straight. I looked at him, helpless, he looked back at me with determination in his eyes, well let's go! We got our gear and got in line for our first ride on a ski lift together, Kevin putting his tummy troubles to the side so we could enjoy this adventure together.
I wasn't the perfect teacher, and he almost gave up half way down run one. His tall person skiis kept criss-crossing on him as he made his turns and in frustration he threw his poles out and snapped. I'd not witnessed Kevin really mad before and froze in the moment. I skipped back and forth to reacting frustrated with his attitude and choosing to respond with patience. Leaning into God's strength I chose patience, and encouraged Kevin to keep giving it another try. We slowly made it down our first run, zigging and zagging across the mountain side. 
By the end of the day we had made several runs and Kevin came to love the sport almost as much as I did. Apart from him trying to be a tough kid and following me down a blue, crashing and twisting his knee up a bit, and me neglecting to re-apply sunscreen to my face, we made it out alive and happy.
The rest of the trip was a blast, despite my clown face, and we rode home breaking the rules by falling asleep next to each other on the bus ride. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ: Part 2

Passing the NCIDQ is a huge accomplishment and you will get there! Keep up your confidence because it is vital to your study days.

Another vital ingredient to passing is knowing your resources. I mentioned before that you are going to want the study book and practice exams but there is more out there to help you, not a lot of it is free, but there is some.

You have enough to read with all your studying material so I'm going to make my post on sharing these other sources with you quick and to the point. Today's I'm sharing websites out there that might help you out. Review them with care and compare any information you read with information from the NCIDQ website specifically. And always, fee free to ask me questions!

So with that, the links:








http://www.schiffhardin.com/design-build/lecture-notes/architecture-544---spring-2012  ( DOWNLOAD these and listen while you work or do dishes or whatever...great talks to help you with the IDPX! )
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