LEED Green Associate exam: The basics | U.S. Green Building Council
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The LEED Green Associate demonstrates a solid understanding of green building principles and practices. Here are the basics about the exam.

Exam Development

All LEED exams are developed and regularly updated by a global network of Subject Matter Experts and meet the specifications of a job analysis.

The exams assess your abilities at three hierarchical cognitive levels: recall, application and analysis.

  1. Recall: These items assess a your ability to recall factual material that is presented in a similar context to the exam references.

  2. Application: These items provide a novel problem or scenario that you can solve using familiar principles or procedures described in the exam references.

  3. Analysis: These 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.

Exam Format

The LEED Green Associate exam is comprised of one part, which contains 100 randomly delivered multiple choice questions and must be completed in 2 hours (additional time will not be provided). There is also an optional 10 minute tutorial and an optional 10 minute exit survey. Please note that if you exit the exam session, the exam cannot be restarted and the exam session and fee are forfeited.

The questions are scored and unscored, but they are delivered randomly and you are not informed of their status, so you should respond to all questions. Unscored questions are used to inform whether the item should be scored on future exams.

Additionally, the exam is computer-based with questions and answers displayed on screen. The computer records answers and times the exam. You are able to change your answers, skip questions, and flag questions for later review.

While taking your exam, you leave comments on a question by clicking the Comment button on the bottom of the screen. Be sure to inform GBCI that you have left comments on your exam.

Exam Language

The primary language for the LEED Green Associate exam is English. In the case of any discrepancies between the original English content and the translated content or challenges made to the exams, the English content will be used as the basis of consideration.

Translation is offered solely as an aid to non-native English speakers and is currently provided in French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese. The use of translators or foreign-language dictionaries during the examination will not be permitted. 

Download the full LEED Green Associate Candidate Handbook to learn more

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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Total 70 commentsLeave a comment

Hello, I am a student from Germany, can I get a discount for the cost of the exam LEED GA? And how? Becouse I can't find my university when I register for a exam... Tks!
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Zhiang, thank you for your interest in taking the LEED Green Associate exam. I apologize you are having trouble accessing the student discount. I will email you directly to address this issue.
Mechanical Engineer, Monenco
What should I use for studying? What book? please let me know.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Sara, thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate credential. To prepare for the exam, we recommend starting with the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook, which you can download for free here: 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 (http://www.usgbc.org/resources/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. You can 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-construction 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. Good luck on your exam!
"Intern Architect, AAA"
This comment has been deleted.
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Mohammed, thank you for your question. At least 85% of the questions must be answered correctly to pass the LEED Green Associate exam. However, questions are weighted differently, and each candidate will receive a different set of questions; therefore there is not a single number of items that the candidate must answer correctly in order to pass.
"Intern Architect, AAA"
This comment has been deleted.
Hi mohamed Congrat. Can you tell.me exactly the soruces that you use to pass the exam?, Thanks please replay
"Intern Architect, AAA"
This comment has been deleted.
Thanks mohamed. Is this two sources here, Just show me the link , i think fat source is not free around 85$ right? Second source from where? This my mail if you dont mind to send to me?
Hi mohamed Congrat. Can you tell.me exactly the soruces that you use to pass the exam?, Thanks please replay
Hi mohamed Congrat. Can you tell.me exactly the soruces that you use to pass the exam?, Thanks please replay
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Mohammed, congratulations on passing your LEED General Associate exam! To download your certificate, go to your credentials page at http://www.usgbc.org/account/credentials and click Download LEED Green Associate certificate. Good luck on your future exam!
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? Clayton
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Clayton, I will send you an email. I think I will be able to assist you. Thanks!
architecture engineer , Alexandria university
the aid language in registration is (language) or fro where i can choose it
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning LEED Green Associate credential! Yes, you can select aid language at the first step of registration. Drop-down menu under "Language" is available for you to choose exam language. Best wishes on your exam!
Architect, Engineering Consultancy Group E.C.G
I want to know the dates of the leed green associate exam ?
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Dear Karim,thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate exam. Exams can be taken during regular operating hours, worldwide at Prometric sites. To start the application process please log into your usgbc.org site user account, then navigate to Credentials. Select your exam of choice then complete the exam registration process. You will then be able to schedule an exam date and location on prometric.com/gbci. Availability will vary based on locations. Best of luck on your exam!
President, Crispulo Clean
Hi, I'm looking forward to review modules and study accordilly. How often is exams conducted?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Maneul, thank you for your question and your interest in the LEED Green Associate exam. Testing locations are found worldwide through Prometric. Availability will vary based on locations. You can look up testing sites by following instructions in this link: http://www.usgbc.org/help/where-can-i-take-exam. We wish you the best on your exam!
Architecte, Architecture
Hi, if I choose the translation aid during registration, will the exam be translated only or will both english and the translation option be available? Actually I'd prefer taking the exam in english since I got familiar with LEED concepts in english but having the opportunity to see a translation if necessary would help.
Administrative Coordinator, LEED Support
Hi Aude, Excellent question! When you take your exam you will be shown both English and the translated language selected. If you'd like me to check on the details of your exam further, please let me know and I can take this conversation offline.
Architecte, Architecture
Hi Jackson, Thank you for your quick reply. I have just set an appointment for my exam with translation.
Owner/ Designer + Project Manager, West River Design
When and. Where will the exam be held in the Reno Nv area this fall 2015
., U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning a LEED AP with specialty exam. You can confirm times and availability of LEED exams by visit www.prometriic.com/gbci and then select "Locate a Test Center". Also, for more information about the exam and exam preparation, please read the LEED Green Associate candidate handbook: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. Hope that helps!
Environment Specialist, Qatar Foundation
Hey I wanted to know if we can have any free mock exams for LEED GA?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
We do not currently have free mock LEED GA exams. You can find a few sample questions here: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/prepare-your-leed-green-associate-exam. Most exam prep courses offered will either include a mock exam or will link you to purchase an exam after your educational session.
Student, Ramboll
This comment has been deleted.
., U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Yiwei. Yes, your certificate will be issued in English.
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Yiwei, I believe the original certificate you receive will be in English. The certificate is always available to download from your USGBC User Account once you pass the LEED Exam.
CFD/ Mechanical Engineer, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
Are the LEED v4 Exam preparation guide and the LEED core concepts guide are sufficient for the LEED Green Associate Exam? If we get through these two books will that be sufficient to take the exam? or do we need to prepare through additional material also or take the preparation classes that USGBC offers?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
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. All of the references listed are free, 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. After the above resources have been explored and studied, most candidates seek the structure of study guides, online or in-person courses 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 route for those who are looking for a place to start.
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Vamsidhar, you may take the LEED GA Mock Exams - https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/leed-v4-mock-exams/ for $69 or get the all inclusive exam prep for $149 (You dont need anythign besides the exam prep) - https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio...
Designation Manager, BOMI International
Jeslin, I followed your link, and will likely register for the GBRI course. Will I also need to purchase the Core Concepts book from USGBC, or is that included with the course? Thanks.
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
That's great to hear, Michael. The All-Inclusive package will have everything you need with no additional purchases required. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks.
Designation Manager, BOMI International
Thanks for the quick response. One other question. How long can I expect to spend preparing for the exam? I know that's going to vary per person, but do you have an overall average or range? Thanks.
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
We provide a road map to assist you in gaining your LEED Green Associate credential in as little as 4-5 weeks, however as you mentioned, this will depend on the amount of time one can devote to preparation and also how familiar someone is with the content already. Even if not on a 4 week timeline, the road map can guide you through the process at whichever pace you prefer. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help!
Architect, ACC - Arabian Construction Company AND AASTMT - Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport
Hi Nora, i had download the Candidate handbook for Green Assossciate that updated at JUNE 2014 (V4) and starting study according to this Hand book and i purchased the LEED core concepts Guide at this time and preparing to take LEED Green Associate Exam and NOW, i suddenly surprised when i see the LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Guide, LEED v4 Edition thats u share the link, (http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-green-associate-exam-preparation-gui...) and um aleardy purchased that. i am really disappointed. i feel like everyday. USGBC can update a new things. NOW i want a completely comprehensive information to study again. And i really want to know this LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Guide, LEED v4 Edition is important to purchase or not. and this link (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/pre-order-leed-professional-exam-prep-leed-v4) is important to purchase its contents or not.
., U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning the LEED Green Associate credential! Knowing more about the changes in LEED v4 may help you decide whether to purchase updated materials. Here is a link to an article that explains those changes: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/get-know-leed-v4-leed-v4-user-guide. I really liked the exam preparation materials for my own study, because they come with electronic flash cards, exams, quizzes and other review that really worked well with my learning style. With or without exam preparation materials, there are no shortcuts to mastering the material. I think you could master the concepts through extensive study of the references and other online material if you are absolutely adverse to spending more money on preparation for your exam. Good luck, and thank you for your patience!
project manager/building mechanics and energy, g.Stas
Hi Nora. Where does LEED GA exam take place?
., U.S. Green Building Council
We apologize for the delay in responding to your question. The LEED exams are proctored at Prometric locations globally. For more information about your local testing center, please go to www.prometric.org/gbci and then select "Locate a Test Center". You will then be prompted to enter your address information or zip code. Good luck!
LEED Specialist, USGBC/GBCI
Prometric administers all LEED exams at their testing centers. To locate centers in your area, please visit www.prometric.com/gbci. As always the first step toward taking the exam is to register at www.usgbc.org/credentials.
Environmental Compliance Specialist, US Air Force
The LEED V4 Green Associate Candidate Handbook states that the US Dept of Veterans Affairs has agreed to reimburse veterans for the cost of LEED exams. However, the link provided is meaningless (nothing about LEED). I have gotten a run-around from various training and VA offices about this. Can you provide a contact at VA or USGBC for the LEED program?
LEED Specialist, USGBC/GBCI
I apologize for the delay in responding. You are right, this link isn't very helpful. We will make sure this is updated. In the meantime please visit https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/39
Environmental Compliance Specialist, US Air Force
Dear Nora, Aloha from Hawai'i. Before registering for the Green Associate exam, I need to know when and how often it is scheduled in my area, i.e., is the next exam next week, or in six months -- and how often does it take place. When you register for the exam, how far in the future is it scheduled? I cannot register without some idea, and the on-line system will not give exam dates without paying the exam fee first. Mahalo for your help.
Director of LEED Support, U.S. Green Building Council
Because exams are taken at Prometric testing centers, they can be scheduled for any time (subject to availability). The first step is to register for the exam at usgbc.org/credentials. You will then be directed to Prometric's site for scheduling.
Senior Manager, Colliers International
Hi Nora, I have the core concepts and other materials based on 2009 version. I understand that these are now obsolete because of the new V4 version. Is there a huge difference between the 2009 version and the V4 version? can you share with us a link on where to download the complete v4 set? Thanks!
Project Manager, Education Platforms, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Byran, LEED v4 exam prep materials are now available for purchase. Please check out this article for more information! Thanks!
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Bryan, you can find study tips and resources for the LEED v4 exams at the following link: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/study-tips-leed-v4-professional-exam
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