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I've got a question! Taking a LEED professional exam

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

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.

View more exam FAQs

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    Nora Knox made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Nora Knox

Senior Digital Marketing Specialist U.S. Green Building Council

21 commentsLeave a comment

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.
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.
clean energy technology student, shoreline community college
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?
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?
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.
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 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!
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
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