The down and dirty of the LEED Professional exam | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

The LEED Professional exams, for both the LEED Green Associate and the LEED AP with specialty, accurately assess your ability to carry out the responsibilities of an individual supporting LEED certification. 

What else? All LEED Professional exams are valid and reliable. This means the exam is able to measure what it is supposed to measure, and it accurately measures a candidate’s skills. 

The basics

All LEED exams assess candidates’ abilities at three hierarchical cognitive levels: recall, application, and analysis.

  • Recall items: assess your ability to recall factual material that is presented in a similar context to the exam references.
  • Application items: provide you with a novel problem or scenario that the candidate can solve using familiar principles or procedures described in the exam references.
  • Analysis items: assess your ability to break the problem down into its components to create a solution. You must not only recognize the different elements of the problem, but must also evaluate the relationship or interactions of these elements.

Additionally, beginning on June 30, 2014, exams will test v4 material. Unlike previous test specifications which focused solely on the knowledge domains like, "What does a LEED professional need to know?" the LEED v4 test specifications will also focus on task domains like, "What does a LEED professional need to do?" Thus, the exams will test what a LEED professional needs to do and what they need to know in order to do it safely and effectively.

The exams are comprised of both scored and unscored items. All items are delivered randomly and item status is not disclosed, so you should respond to all the items. Unscored items gather data to inform whether an item should be scored on future exams.

The format

The exams are computer-based, with questions and answer options displayed on screen. The computer records your responses and times your exam. You are able to change your answers, skip questions, and flag questions for later review.

  • Green Associate: this exam is comprised of 100 randomly delivered multiple-choice questions and must be completed in 2 hours. Total  time is 2 hours and 20 minutes including a tutorial and short satisfaction survey.
  • LEED AP: this exam is comprised of two parts (Green Associate exam + specialty exam), each part contains 100 randomly delivered multiple-choice questions and each part must be completed in 2 hours. Total time is 4 hours and 20 minutes including a tutorial and short satisfaction survey.

Exam language

English is the primary language for the exams. However, translation aids are available for some exams in the languages listed in the table below. The use of translators or foreign-language dictionaries during the exam will not be permitted, nor will additional time to complete the exam.

Exam translation aid availability

Chinese Spanish Portuguese Arabic French
LEED Green Associate (2009) Now Now Now   Now
LEED AP BD+C (2009) Now Now Now   Now
LEED AP O+M (2009) Now Now Now    
LEED Green Associate (v4) June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30
LEED AP BD+C (v4) June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30
LEED AP O+M (v4) June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30


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Related articles

Interested in becoming a LEED Green Associate or LEED AP? What you need to know
Your LEED Professional exam is this month. Are you ready?

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Total 7 commentsLeave a comment

Energy Consultant, Eco Solutions
I just passed the GA v2009 and I'm not sure of the scoring parameters. I know I had to get a 170 or 85%. Does that mean my 186 is a 93%. Is the exam weighted differently? Luckily I didn't get asked that question on the exam, ha! Thanks for your answer. SH
Civil Engineer, China Institute of Building Standard Design & Research
Thank you for your question regarding scoring. The LEED exams are scored with a pass/fail rather than with percentages. Congratulations on your credential achievement!
Engineer, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
Hi I am scheduled to take the LEED GA exam on 15th June. But as we know that we take the LEED AP V4 without experience requirement, I wanted to know that can i transfer my exam to LEED AP V4 or will i have to cancel and re register for the AP exam. Thank You
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Hipal, please visit to reschedule or cancel your exam.
Associate Director, CodeGreen Solutions
As someone who has passed the BD+C, ID+C and O+M tests, and worked on the certification of over 20 projects - please know that passing the test does not mean you are prepared to run a LEED project. Everything on the test is in the reference guide. LEED requirements for v2009 are about 60% what's in the reference guide. The remainder of requirements are spread out between LEED Online, LEED interpretations, LEED addenda, LEED reviewer comments, LEEDuser, etc. etc., which you will not be tested on. You will also not be tested on the process of administering LEED - which is crucial. I highly recommend studying with someone who has completed a LEED project before embarking on a project to learn the process and where to find all of the requirements. I sincerely hope that the LEED v4 exams will test on LEED process and all LEED requirements.
Supervisor, KKECO
where to download the latest v4 exam handbook?
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Qiong, The v4 candidate handbooks have not been released yet. You will be able to download them in mid-April from the credentialing resources section of the Resource library.

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