I've got a question! Taking a LEED professional exam | U.S. Green Building Council
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We often get asked questions about our LEED professional credentials.

We want to make things as easy as possible, so here are some answers to our recent most frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Q. What is the difference between the LEED Green Associate and and LEED AP?

A. USGBC offers two types green building professional credentials. The 1) LEED Green Associate and the 2) LEED AP.

  1. The LEED Green Associate demonstrates a solid understanding of green building principles and practices. It is ideal for  professionals newer to sustainability and LEED, as well as product manufacturers, students, real estate professionals, and contractors. Prerequisites: none; Exam fee: $250; CE Hours: 15 hours every two years
  2. The LEED AP affirms advanced knowledge in specialized areas of green building and LEED certification. It is suited for practitioners actively working on LEED projects to showcase their deep technical knowledge of LEED in both principle and practice. Prerequisites: LEED project experience strongly recommended; Exam fee: $550; CE Hours: 30 hours every two years

Q. Does studying for the LEED AP exam mean that you have covered everything in the LEED Green Associate exam?

A. If you plan to take a LEED AP exam, you should be prepared to have a strong knowledge of of the concepts covered in the LEED Green Associate exam. When it comes to taking a LEED professional exam you have three options. You can take 1) the standalone LEED Green Associate core exam, 2) the standalone LEED AP specialty exam, or 3) the combined LEED Green Associate core and LEED AP specialty exam.

If you do not already hold a LEED Green Associate credential before sitting for your LEED AP specialty exam, you will have to take the LEED Green Associate exam. You can do this the same day as your LEED AP specialty exam (option #3 above) or you can schedule your Green Associate and AP exams for different days (but remember the Green Associate exam must come first!).

If you already hold a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP with specialty, you only need to register for the standalone LEED AP specialty exam.

Q. Do I have to complete the LEED Green Associate exam in order to take the LEED AP exam? 

A. You have two options for taking a LEED AP exam: 1) you can take the combined LEED Green Associate core and LEED AP specialty exam in one sitting, or 2) you can take the standalone LEED Green Associate core exam in a first sitting and the standalone LEED AP specialty exam in a second sitting.

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Hi, how is the combined GA and AP exam graded? What happens when a candidate passes the GA section and doesn't do so well with the AP section? Will the candidate then be issued a GA pass certificate and then re-sit the AP? Or is it considered an overall fail?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Dear Fola, Thank you for your question. If a candidate takes the combined exam and passes the LEED Green Associate section but not the LEED AP section they will have the opportunity to achieve the LEED Green Associate credential. They can simply submit a credential inquiry requesting that the LEED Green Associate credential be added by clicking here http://www.usgbc.org/contactus. If possible, please provide the Prometric Score Report with the inquiry as well as the exam date and time. In the event that you pass only the Green Associate portion and you plan to retake the exam right away, you will only be required to take the LEED AP specialty exam when you reapply for the exam (the system will allow you to register for the specialty only exam regardless of whether or not you have requested to add your Green Associate credential). If you are to pass the LEED AP specialty portion but not the LEED Green Associate section you will need to retake the LEED Green Associate only exam in order to achieve your LEED AP specialty credential but you will not be expected to retake your LEED AP specialty since you have already previously passed it. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to submit an inquiry and we will be happy to assist you. Best wishes on your exam!
Architect, Holmes Hepner & Associates Architects
If I want to take the core exam first and then a specialty exam, would the tests cost $250 + $550 or would it come out to $250 + $250? Thanks.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Jennifer, Great question! The core exam is $250 for non members ($200 for members) and the Specialty only exam is $350 for non members ($250 for members). Please see the list of prices on this page: www.usgbc.org/credentials
Consult. Eng. / Project General Manager , GASCO / United Gas Derivatives Company
Good day ,I participate the preparation course in the leed at American university (AUC) at Cairo- , also I purchase the material from USGBC include :  GBES_LEED_Green_Associate_Exam_Prep_Study_Guide_LEED_v4_Edition  GBES+LEED+Green+Associate+Flash+Cards  GBES_LEED_Green_Associate_Glossary (audio 12 ) The cost of These package is 175 $ , but I would like to asked about green Associate exam to support me for exam, ultimate , the link is required directly and price . your quick reply is highly appreciate. warm regards
Sir, In LEED GA and LEED BD+C combined exam: The questions sets appear in two separate set OR mixed together??
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Morshed, Thanks for your question. If you take the combination exam, you will start out first with one set of questions for the LEED Green Associate exam and then move on right away to the second set of questions for the BD+C specialty exam. If you choose to complete the combination exam, you will register for the combination exam and will take both tests at that time.
Iam planning to take the LEED green associate test after 3 months based on V4 . but iam afraid if V5 will release by next June ? Can you tell me when V5 will be released ? or till when the exam will be based on V4?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Mohamed, Thank you for your interest! Right now there is no time frame for next version release, so prepare for any LEED professional exams with v4 content.
Associate Sustainability Consultant, NORESCO
Perhaps this is somewhere on the site and I just missed it, but this seems a good a spot as any to pose this question.... What changes, if any, are planned for LEED AP + specialty moving forward? I'd heard talk at one point that to be the LEED AP associated with the project, your specialty would need to match that of the project - e.g. on a BD+C project, you'd need to be LEED AP BD+C; on an EB:OM project, you'd need to be LEED AP OM, etc. I'm planning to test under v4 and simply want to make sure I'm testing under the most logical rating system. Thanks!
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Meredith, Thank you for your interest in LEED Professional credentials. In LEED v4, the Innovation credit: LEED Accredited Professional requires "At least one principal participant of the project team must be a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) with a specialty appropriate for the project." The credit intent is "To encourage the team integration required by a LEED project and to streamline the application and certification process ." (http://www.usgbc.org/node/2613913?return=/credits/core-and-shell/v4/inno...) Also further in "Step by Step Guidance" in Reference Guides, specific LEED AP specialty is noted (e.g. LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M) for particular rating system. Best luck on your exam!
ENERGY DESIGN ENGINEER, ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM DESIGN,INC.
Hi i am interested in appearing for a combined LEED GA and AP exam ( same day). I didn't see a option for combined GA and AP exam while trying to register for a test.Do i get to register for both the exam separately for the same day?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Daiju, Thanks for your question. You should be able to register for a combined exam. When you go to your USGBC account you can click on the combined option (there are several combined options depending on the specialty you are wanting). If you are not seeing this option, please submit an inquiry here: http://www.usgbc.org/contact and we will get back to you as soon as we can! Thanks for your interest in LEED!
Hi, I am interested in taking the LEED Green Associate Exam but I am not resident in the US. I live in Ireland. I just registered for an account and downloaded the Handbook. Could someone explain to me in simple steps what I do next in order to prepare for Exam?
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi George, Thank you for your interest in LEED credential. Reading references listed at: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/prepare-your-leed-green-associate-exam would be helpful for you to prepare for the exam. Once you are ready, you can register for the exam on your USGBC account page. Best luck with your exam!
Leidos Inc.
Can anyone direct me to an area on USGBC.org or GBCI.org or anywhere else that I can find a soft copy of my LEEP AP credential to print? I keep getting directed to the "purchase hard copy" page. Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Unfortunately, GBCI is no longer able to fulfill requests for printed certificates for LEED APs without specialty. Should you require written documentation of your credential I would be happy to send you a verification letter. You can see your LEED AP badge listed in the USGBC People directory.
I want to know that if I can have to different APs at the same time? for example got (AP BD+C) and also get (AP homes), is it possible or I can just have one of them?
Gordon & Greenberg Architects
Yes, you can hold more than one LEED AP credential at a time. You would only need to take the LEED Green Associate test once and then you could sit for the LEED AP with Specialty exams. In order to maintain multiple specialties you would need to designate a “primary specialty*. This is the specialty in which you would complete the majority of your CE hours. All other specialties will be designated as “secondary specialties.” For more information on how to maintain multiple specialties please see our CMP Guide: www.usgbc.org/credentials#maintaining
hi. I wish to take LEED AP exam, i do not hold any other LEED certification. i wish to know if the procedure and also sources of study material, so taht on basis of preparation i can schedule the exam dates. Also do we get to chose our centre locations for exam or how is it?
Marketing Engineer & Outreach Coordinator , Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Sakshi, In order to become a LEED AP you must first pass the LEED Green Associate exam. I'd like to inform you LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) exam is the 1st tier in the LEED credentialing process, and is the stepping stone to earning your LEED AP with specialty. The GA exam is less detailed than the specialty exams, but can cover general green building concepts that span across all LEED rating systems. You can choose to take the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams at the same time or you can schedule these exams to be taken at separate times. As a USGBC Education Partner, GBRI offers LEED Exam Prep training. GBRI LEED Exam Prep comprises a study guide comes with more than 600+ practice questions, simulated mock exams, flash cards and everything you require to secure your LEED credentials. To access our splendid LEED Exam Prep, please visit: https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Use coupon code "BONUSAP" to get special discount on LEED AP Exam Prep.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Sakshi, Great questions! You have several options for taking the LEED exams. Are you interested in attaining your LEED Green Associate credential or both your LEED Green Associate credential and LEED AP + Specialty. I encourage you to view our credentials website to find the best fit for you: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials. USGBC education offers many study materials and courses to help prepare you for the exam. For example, here is some great advice for studying for the LEED Green Associate exam. Since each candidate seeking a LEED Green Associate credential has a unique combination of knowledge and experience, it is difficult to recommend the definitive study materials one would need to pass the exam. A great place to start are the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide, a resource which most exam candidates find to be very helpful. Since the primary sources for the development of the LEED® Professional Exams are the LEED Rating Systems, a detailed understanding of these are necessary for success. A great place to start is to download the introductory sections to the reference guide for free here (scroll down to 'download for free' button): http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-... After these resources have been explored and studied, most candidates seek the structure of study guides (found here http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications), online or in-person courses (found here http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study) and practice exams to further their understanding of the information. Others may start with a course or study guide and explore the resources in detail after. There are many paths to success for this exam, but I hope this offers a direction for you to start. If you would like to locate your nearest testing center and view availability: 1) Please visit www.prometric.com/ and enter "GBCI" in the Test Sponsor field. 2) Then, confirm "Green Business Certification Inc.", and click "Locate Test Center". 3) Choose the country that you are looking for from dropdown menu, and click "Next". 4) Then, choose "LEED Green Associate" from the dropdown menu, and click "Next". 5) Enter the city where you want to test, and click "search". When you see the testing center that looks most convenient for you, click "Availability" next to the test center's location. This takes you to a clickable calendar showing the available times for each open day.
Group Manager-Site Operations, IBM INDIA PVT LTD
I am interested to earn Green Associate and LEED AP O+M combined exam. I am not doing any green project but manage green buildings of 400k KSqft from Facility Management Perspective. Am I eligible for these certifications ? Also kindly update on my other queries like : Is there a package study material covering these 2 exams ? What is the combind pricing ? what it includes ? Is there any discount coupon available ? Can I take the print-out of the study materials ? Regards.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Sanjay, thank you for your questions. The eligibility requirements for the LEED Green Associate and O+M specialty exam can be found here: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials under 'Taking the exam". There are no eligibility requirements for the LEED Green Associate exam and LEED project experience is recommended for all of the specialty exams. Facility management in a certifying or certified O+M project is acceptable experience. Study materials can be found here . They are separate for GA and each specialty and are free. It would be necessary to be familiar with the reference guide, available in the store . Several publications - study bundles are also available there. Exam pricing is listed on that page as well. There is student pricing for the Green Associate exam alone, but not for the full (Green Associate and specialty together). If you are asking whether you can take materials into the exam with you, no that is not permitted; LEED exams are closed book. I hope this answers your questions.
Student Architect , WS Atkins
while scheduling date for my ap exam for BD+C i was asked about stand alone and combined, what are the difference between them
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your question about exams. Combined means taking both the Green Associate and the Specialty exams at the same time. Stand-alone means the opposite; taking the GA exam then the Specialty exam at a later date.
I completed my 15 CE hours but not the 3 LEED specific hours for Green Associate. Can you tell me more of this requirement and where i can find more information on the same
Interface Engineer & SAS Engineer, Hill International, Inc.
Im planning to register for LEED AP BD+C combined exam. is there a package study material cover this exam or I have to purchase the study material separately for both exams ?
Marketing Engineer & Outreach Coordinator , Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Nedal, You can try USGBC Education Parter - GBRI's LEED AP BD+C Exam Prep package. Please check out https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio..., this exam prep package includes Live/ On-Demand webinars, an extensive study guide covering all LEED credits and knowledge domains, 600+ practice questions, flash cards, memory charts, mp3 files, mock exams and every bit of information you need to clear your LEED Exam. GBRI's LEED AP BD+C Exam Prep Package worth $249.00 could be brought now at just $129.00. Use the coupon code "bonusap".
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in becoming a LEED AP BD + C credential holder. To learn more about the exams, especially the references used to develop them, please view the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP BD + C candidate handbooks. LEED Green Associate: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. LEED AP BD + C: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Most of the reference material used to create these exams is the same. The main difference is the addition of the full LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction for the LEED AP BD + C exam. You might consider purchasing a study bundle for the Green Associate exam: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/study-bundle-leed-green-associate-exam-pr.... There are also a few valuable exam prep courses. Here is a link to one of the exam prep courses for the LEED Green Associate (http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/leed-green-associate-v4-exam-pre...) and one of the LEED AP BD+C exam prep courses (http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/leed-ap-bdc-v4-exam-prep-4903698). I hope this helps and I wish you the best luck on your exam!
Dear Glenn, I did all these things, (1.Register your project by completing key forms and submitting payment. 2.Apply for LEED certification by submitting your completed certification application through LEED Online and paying a certification review fee. 3.Review. Your LEED application is reviewed by GBCI. ) So, I dont know what after that?????? Thank you,
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
USGBC Education Partner GBRI has introduced LEED v4 Exam Prep Scholarships for students, recent graduates and professionals - check this out - https://www.gbrionline.org/leedv4-exam-prep-scholarship/
Intern Architect, Mesh Architecture
I haven't completed my CE's for LEED GA and the reporting period is almost over. If I take and pass my LEED AP exam before my CE reporting period expires, will I be okay? Or do I need to do my CE's for LEED GA before I take the AP exam?
., U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning a LEED AP with specialty. Yes, you may sit for a LEED AP with specialty exam as long as you have an active LEED Green Associate credential without having completed all of the CMP requirements. However, we encourage you to maintain your credential in the event that you do not pass the LEED AP with specialty exam. If you opt not to maintain your LEED Green Associate, you only have until the end of your Green Associate reporting period end date to pass the LEED AP exam. If you do not pass by that time, you will have to take both exams in order to earn her LEED AP. You can learn more about maintaining your LEED Green Associate here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/cmp-guide. You can learn more about the specialty credentials in the respective candidate handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/search/candidate%20handbooks.
Level III Project Engineer, Turner Construction Company
Does taking the combined GA and AP exam (option 3) save my company any money or is the cost the same as taking both separately. I want to get the AP credential, not justy the GA. Thanks.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, candidates from both membership organizations and non-members save $50 overall by taking the combined exam, in comparison to taking the Green Associate and Specialty exam sections separately. Please note that the combined exam, consisting of both the LEED Green Associate exam and a specialty exam is administered during a single, consecutive four-hour session.
Dear Madam,Nora, I am interested in appearing for LEED GA exam from DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia, Can one appear from here? Please inform. Thank you.
Director of LEED Support, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, you are welcome to take the LEED GA exam In Saudi Arabia. To locate the test center nearest you, go to Prometric's website (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/gbci/Pages/landing.aspx), select "Locate a Test Center," and select your country from the drop down menu. Follow the prompts to locate the specific testing center nearest you.
leed consult, Woonerf Inc.
I will take the standalone LEED Green Associate core exam . I have a "Guide to the LEED 2009 version", but I think this text book is old for preparation for my GA exam. Does this book still work for my exam? Or should I purchase new version of text book? If so, which text book is best for my exam?
Director of LEED Support, U.S. Green Building Council
You're right - after June 15, 2014 the LEED GA exam was updated to reflect LEED v4 content. There are a number of study resources available on this content, and we have a video to walk you through them (http://vimeo.com/113606715). If you'd rather skip straight to the links, please see the "LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Guide, LEED v4 Edition, LEED version: v4" (http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-green-associate-exam-preparation-gui...). In addition, the USGBC has partnered with Everblue to provide an online, on-demand course (http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/leed-green-associate-v4-exam-pre...). The following helpful reference documents and articles may also be of interest: The LEED v4 Candidate Handbooks: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/list/credentialing-resources. "Study tips: LEED v4 professional exam," May 15, 2014 (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/study-tips-leed-v4-professional-exam) "Sneak peak: Sample questions for the LEED v4 credential exams," March 31, 2014 (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/sneak-peak-sample-questions-leed-v4-creden...) "LEED Green Associate exam: The basics", 8 Jul 2014 (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/leed-green-associate-exam-basics) Project Experience Requirement for v4 Exams (http://www.leeduser.com/blogs/experience-requirement-loosened-leed-v4-ap...) If you have any other questions, please let us know and we will be glad to help. We wish you all the best on your exam!
How long does the LEED Green Associate certification last? Do you have to be starting a project to get certified, or can I take it to add to my resume while still in undergrad?
LEED Specialist, USGBC/GBCI
All LEED credentials are active for two years. Every two years the credential holder must maintain their credential by completing credential maintenance(CMP). For the LEED Green Associate that would be 15 total hours, where three are LEED specific. For more information regarding CMP, please visit. http://www.usgbc.org/credentials#maintaining
Green Building Consultant, IEN Consultants
Hi Nora, I passed my LEED GA exam few months back, and my credential in the web saying that: "Our records indicate that you have passed your LEED Green Associate exam. You can register for a LEED AP specialty only exam at this time." Question is: How can I download the softcopy of my certificate? there is no available option for me to download the softcopy. I am not sure why my badge is not updated yet in the usgbc.org People directory. Should I concern on this issues, or should I order for a hardcopy certificate instead?
Green Building Consultant, IEN Consultants
Problem solved, have file a case with email result slip from Prometric.
Project Engineer I, Mortenson Construction
Nora, If you sign up for the combined LEED Green Associate core and LEED AP specialty exam (Option #3), do you have to take both exams the same day? If I want to take the exams on different days, do I have to sign up for each exam separately? Just trying to save $50 if possible :) Thanks!
LEED Specialist, USGBC/GBCI
Yes, If you register for the combined exam, you will be issued a two part four hour exam at you exam appointment. You may take the exams separately by first registering and taking the LEED Green Associate and then registering and taking the LEED AP portion.
Assistant Engineer, SDSU
Hello Nora, I have passed the LEED GA and now taking the LEED AP BD+C Specialty Exam. My question is: With the specialty exam, what tops will be covered? Will there be generic questions from the LEED GA exam again? Thank you, Michael
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Please see the Exam Specifications section of the Candidate Handbook (page 12 of this document - http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook) for more detailed information about the content of the exam. Best of luck!
Surmount Energy
Dear Nora, I am interested in appearing for LEED GA exam from Mumbai, India. Can one appear from here? Please inform. Thank you.
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Vaishall you can definitely appear for the LEED Green Associated exam in Mumbai, India. Please visit prometric.com/gbci to locate a test center.
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