Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more

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

  • 10
    Nora Knox made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Nora Knox

Digital Marketing Manager U.S. Green Building Council

32 commentsLeave a comment

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?
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Vamsidhar, you may take the LEED GA Mock Exams - for $69 or get the all inclusive exam prep for $149 (You dont need anythign besides the exam prep) -
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, ( 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 ( is important to purchase its contents or not.
project manager/building mechanics and energy, g.Stas
Hi Nora. Where does LEED GA exam take place?
Prometric administers all LEED exams at their testing centers. To locate centers in your area, please visit As always the first step toward taking the exam is to register at
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?
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
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 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!
  • of
  • 4

Leave a comment Don't have an account? Create one

You must be signed in to leave a comment.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn
In LEED 03.4.2015

LEED certification update: February 2015

In LEED 03.4.2015

Virginia: State of the Commonwealth and green building leader

In LEED 03.4.2015

We have this thing with floors [video]

In LEED 03.2.2015

Ganamos con verde: We won with green in Latin america