Online Test

- Can be taken at a webcam enabled computer from any location at any time.

- Books and notes may be used during the Test (electronic devices not permitted).

- All questions are multiple-choice.

- Sections are Business, Accessibility, Design Principles, Design Research & RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct.

- You have 80 minutes (15 minutes/15 questions per section (20 minutes for Rules Section).

- RGD lends review texts to eligible candidates in Canada for up to 2 months.

- Candidates with 15+ years of relevant work experience are exempt from writing the Business, Principles and Research sections but must pass the mandatory Accessibility and Rules sections.

- All candidates must correctly answer 11 of 15 questions in the mandatory Accessibility and Rules section to pass.

- Passing marks for non-mandatory sections are based on a statistical analysis of the top quintile of past candidates.

- How many non-mandatory sections you need to pass is based on the results of your Portfolio Presentation.

- If you fail a section that you are required to pass, you must retake it.


Would a study-buddy help? Join one of our Study Groups!

Work with fellow candidates to go through the material, get prepped for your presentation and keep motivated! Meetings will take place weekly or bi-weekly, as determined by the members of the group. Participation can take place virtually from any location where you have a computer and a stable Internet connection. If you are interested in joining the next Group, email .


1. Business

The aim of this section is to ensure RGDs work professionally with their clients and understand the fundamental principles of operating a business in Canada.


- The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook

Sample Questions

1. During an employment interview, which of the following questions is it inappropriate, and illegal, to ask in most jurisdictions?

(a) How do you manage priorities when they seem to conflict with one another?

(b) Do you have any children?

(c) What is your salary expectation?

(d) What experience have you had working directly with clients?

Answer: (b)

2. You operate your own design business and have two steady clients who provide you with adequate work to keep you and your business financially secure. Should you seek to increase the number of clients you serve?

(a) Yes, you should increase your client base to increase your visibility and clout when applying for awards.

(b) No, having too many clients will significantly increase the administrative burden on your business.

(c) Yes, if you have more clients, you can charge your existing clients more.

(d) Yes, you should increase your client base to ensure you are not too dependent on any one client to keep you financially secure.

Answer: (d)


2. Accesibility

The aim of this section is to ensure RGDs understand the principles of accessibility as applied to printed messages, websites and physical environments.




- AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook on Accessible Web Design (2015)

- AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook on Accessible Graphic Design (2010)

HINT: Be sure to carefully review the Glossary (pg 29) at the end of the 2015 version!

Download (and print out) both texts through an online form here.


Accessibiliy Section - Sample Questions
1. Why is it important to make all web functionality fully accessible from a keyboard?

(a) People with limited fine motor control may have challenges without this.

(b) Many assistive technologies rely exclusively on keyboard functionality.

(c) Discouraging mouse input methods puts everyone on a level playing field.

(d) Keyboard access allows for faster navigation to website information.

Answer: (a)

2. When creating an accessible website, to address the needs of those with hearing loss, it is a good strategy to include which of the following?

(a) A video of an expert using American Sign Language to translate any audio materials.

(b) A written transcript or captions for all video and audio content.

(c) A strategy to only include written content on the site.

(d) A link to another site with content modified for this audience.

Answer: (b)


3. Design Research
The aim of this section is to ensure RGDs understand the tools available to help them determine client needs and markets and develop effective design solutions.

Visocky O’Grady, Jenn & Ken. A Designer’s Research Manual.


Sample Questions

1. This form of research is built around numbers, logic and objective data:

(a) formative research

(b) exploratory research

(c) quantitative research

(d) qualitative research

Answer: (c)

2. Ethnographic investigations that strive to analyze cultural phenomena through the perspective of one actively participating in the community under study are called:

(a) emic

(b) personal world-view

(c) etic

(d) internal vision

Answer: (a)


4. Design Principles

The aim of this section is to reinforce RGDs' understanding of the concepts that underlie good design, from a logo to a brochure to a complex website.



Lupton, Ellen & Cole Phillips, Jennifer, Graphic Design: The New Basics.

Samara, Timothy. Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual. ONLY Chapter 3.



- Building Blocks incl. Point, Line, Plane; Rhythm and Balance; Scale; Grid

- Elements of Meaning incl. Texture; Colour; Figure/Ground; Framing; Hierarchy; Type

- Elements of Technology incl. Layers; Transparency; Time & Motion

- Elements of Layout, incl. Modularity; Grid; Pattern; Diagram

5. Rules of Professional Conduct

RGDs are committed to the highest professional and ethical standards when working for clients, as employees and in service to the general public. The aim of this section is to ensure a thorough understanding of these responsibilities.


By-law #3: The Rules of Professional Conduct

As preparation for the Rules of Professional Conduct portion of the online test, watch this video to understand what to expect:

"Understanding The Basics" presented by Hilary Ashworth, Julian Brown RGD and Stüssy Tschudin RGD