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LEED Green Associate exam: The basics

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

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.

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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

25 commentsLeave a comment

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, Green Building Certification Institute
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!
LEED 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
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Additionally, there are significant differences between LEED v2009 and LEED v4, so we recommend using the LEED v4 resources to study for the LEED v4 exam.
Green Future Now
Is there a course provided online or study materials which specifically prepare you for this?
Project Manager, Education Platforms, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Jason, LEED v4 exam prep materials are now available for purchase. Please check out this article for more information! Thanks!
Green Future Now
Thank you very much Melanie.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Jason, here is a link to the v4 professional exam study tips and resources. Please note, the study guides are expected to be released in Fall 2014. http://www.usgbc.org/articles/study-tips-leed-v4-professional-exam
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