Construction Documents & Services (CDS) focuses on the application of project management and professional practice knowledge and skills, including the preparation of contract documents and contract administration.

Construction Documents & Services Details
Intro Time    
Multiple-Choice Testing Time 2 hr 100 Items
Scheduled Break 15 min  
Intro Time    
Graphic Vignette Testing Time 1 hr Building Section
Exit Questionnaire    
Scheduled Appointment Time 4 hr  

Study Resources

Preparing for Construction Documents & Services? You can find sample questions, examples of passing and failing solutions for a sample vignette, and suggested references in our exam guide. Plus, use our CDS practice program to solve sample vignettes, and our prep video series to learn more about the multiple-choice and vignette sections. You can also access the cloud-based version of the vignette practice program through My NCARB.

CDS includes sections on the following content areas:

  • Codes & Regulations
    • Incorporate building codes, specialty codes, zoning, and other regulatory requirements in construction documents and services.
  • Environmental Issues
    • Incorporate sustainable design principles, adaptive reuse concepts, alternative energy systems, new material technologies, and hazardous material mitigation in construction documents.
  • Construction Drawings & Project Manual
    • Prepare and coordinate construction drawings including building systems, product selection, and constructability. Prepare, coordinate, and review general and supplementary conditions and technical specifications.
  • Project & Practice Management
    • Cost: Prepare estimates of probable construction cost. Consider cost implications of design decisions.
    • Scheduling & Coordination: Prepare and manage project schedule and coordinate all contract documents including those of consultants.
    • Project Delivery (including submittals): Establish project delivery method. Provide contract administration documentation and services.
    • Contracts & Legal Issues: Review and administer professional services and construction contracts. Consider issues pertaining to practice including risk management and professional and business ethics.
  • Vignette: Building Section
    • Delineate a building section that integrates structural, mechanical, and lighting systems and incorporates life safety considerations.