Everything you need to know to pass your Green Associate | U.S. Green Building Council
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We had a great turnout for our #LEEDGA twitter chat last week. Four LEED Green Associate panelists gave their insider study and test tips, and answered our followers' questions. Here's the full scoop in case you missed it:

USGBC: Welcome to our first LEED Green Associate twitter chat! With us today are students Stephanie from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and USGBC intern Caroline from Furman University, both studying for their Green Associates. Also with us is our Community Advancement Specialist, Cindy, and our MAP fellow Afroz, who both have their Green Associates. 

USGBC: Welcome, panelists! Can you tell us a bit about your LEED Green Associate journey?

Stephanie: My Green Associate journey started when I went to Greenbuild in 2012. Afterwards, I wanted to create a study group at my school to help others.
Cindy: I participated in a study group last spring, and, following a few weeks of practice tests, passed my exam in early July!
Caroline: I have a desire to study for the exam because I know it'll give me a solid foundation of green building principles and practices.

USGBC: That's great! Stephanie, can you tell us more about your study group?

Stephanie: Our first study group had six students. We held six, two hour sessions plus assigned study homework. It helped to discuss the strategies with others.

USGBC: Cindy and Afroz, can you tell us about the exam? Was there anything you didn't expect that was on there?
Afroz: Scores are available immediately. You need to score 170 to pass. The scale is 125-200. Your credential can be maintained by earning 15 Continuing Education (CE) hours every 2 years. More here.
Cindy: 100 multiple choice questions. Questions were sometimes worded tricky, but nothing unexpected after taking many practice tests!

USGBC: That's a relief! Where did you find the practice tests?
Cindy: Greenlearner has free exams, which was a big help!

USGBC: Good tip, Cindy. Panelists, what made you decide to take the exam? What do you hope it will do for your career/what has it done for it?
Stephanie: I wanted to make a difference with Interior Design, stand out in the job market, and make the company I work for more marketable.
Cindy: It sets the foundation for sustainable building knowledge, something that gives value to my work and which I'll use in daily life!
Caroline: I wanted to have a broader understanding of sustainability. It's really versatile whatever your career path- law, real estate, etc. 

USGBC: Time to take some LEED Green Associate questions from our followers.

Q1: How has having the the Green Associate affected your career/job search?
Cindy: I was already employed (by USGBC) but the Green Associate gives me more credibility in my work.
Caroline: It's a good way to demonstrate your knowledge of green practices. It'll be nice to have on my resume, too!
Afroz: Training yourself in green buildings makes you look proactive. Plus, LEED project teams get 1 pt for having a LEED AP on the team!

Q2: How do you get started with this process?
Afroz: A good place to start: The LEED Green Associate Handbook.
Caroline: Then once you feel comfortable, sign up for a test!
Stephanie: I bought the Green Associate study guide and found a study partner. Signing up for a test helped motivate me to really start studying.
Cindy: I loved my study group! It helped motivate me and covered material I might have missed or skimmed on my own.
Afroz: Study groups definitely help! Have quizzes, 1-on-1 rapid fire, and race to see who can list the most credit requirements in 1 min. Have fun with it!

Q3: Will the LEED Green Associate exam change at all with the new version of LEED (v4)?
USGBC: We are updating all exams now. Expect beta exams by early '14!

Q4: How much time did you give yourself to study?
Cindy: 3 months of study group and 1 month of practice tests. Setting the exam date from the start really motivated me.

Q5: How did you first use your credential in your career?
Afroz: I used my Green Associate to get an internship at Indian GBC. It was a useful statement about my commitment to the subject, and was also a good conversation starter when I handed people my card, or resume. Also, it got me more responses to my emails!
Cindy:  I work with USGBC volunteers across the country, and I use my Green Associate to increase my understanding of their work.

USGBC: Almost time to wrap up. Panelists, what would be the single best piece of advice you would give someone about the test?
Caroline: Focus on the concepts instead of just memorizing. It'll stick with you better, and you can actually apply them!
Cindy: Just do it! Signing up for the test from the start put a hard deadline on my studying and helped keep me focused.
Afroz: #1. Make lists of things #2. Focus on concepts #3. Practice, seriously! Flash cards, whiteboards and lots of markers! Make mind maps, lists, and diagrams. The exam requires both memorizing & concept linking 
Stephanie: Sign up for the test. You might not study until that date is on your calendar and paid for. It will motivate you. Also: network!

We ended the twitter chat with one final positive message from Afroz: "Last piece of advice- this is a really cool map of LEED Professionals: See yourself on it soon!"

Don't forget that LEED publications are up to 50% off for a limited time. Now is the perfect time to order your books and sign up for a LEED Green Associate test date in the Fall. If you have any more questions, find us on twitter @USGBC, or you can email our Education Review Specialist, Nick Firmand

Happy studying!
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Total 13 commentsLeave a comment

Office Engineer, Holder Construction Group, LLC
Hi! I took the LEED GA the summer of 2014. I have been looking for my scores in each category from when I took the test on the USGBC, but have been unsuccessful in finding my scores. Do you know if this information is available anywhere?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Clayton, Thanks for your question. Typically exam takers receive a score report at Prometric. We're happy to create one for you as well. Please put in a request at your convenience: http://www.usgbc.org/contactus. Thanks!
Office Engineer, Holder Construction Group, LLC
Hi! I took the LEED GA the summer of 2014. I have been looking for my scores in each category from when I took the test on the USGBC, but have been unsuccessful in finding my scores. Do you know if this information is available anywhere?
I would like to know how LEED certification differs from the CEA (Certified Energy Auditor)
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Augustine, The primary difference is LEED certification is for buildings while CEA appears to be a certification for an individual. We do have LEED credentials available for individuals. One of the initial differences between a LEED credential and the CEA seems to be the experience requirement. Achieveing a LEED credential has no experience requirement but does encompass a broad understanding of various green building technologies. The CEA has an extensive experience requirement and is focused on energy. I hope this helps, please learn more about LEED certification here: http://www.usgbc.org/leed and LEED credentials here: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials.
Project Manager, 5TF
How much time does it take to prepare for the LEED Green Associate Exam? I have no prior knowledge and I just paid for the exam, so I do not know when to schedule an appointment for the exam.
The LEED Green Associate Handbook link is broken!
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Angelica, the link has been updated. You can also access the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook.
mechanical engineer, Ewan architect and consultant
i want to get the study guide for green associative v4 ,to prepare for the exam.So please help in which location of the website i can have it?
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Anwar, please review this article for LEED v4 study tips and materials.
I passed the exam on the first try with a good score. This is what I did: Week 1: I read the candidate handbook and briefly went over the two USGBC recommended books. Week 2: The next step was to download every single pdf (about 12) on USGBC's website and go over the material carefully highlighting important information and taking good notes. Week 3: I took the 7 practice tests over and over again until I got ALL of the answers correct. By the end of the week I had answered over 2,000 questions!!! Good luck!
Construction Manager, none
which documents did you downloaded? where do i download them from? thankx
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Jorge, you can download the candidate handbooks in our usgbc.org Resource library. Thanks!

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