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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

Digital Marketing Manager U.S. Green Building Council

36 commentsLeave a comment

Student, Engineer
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.
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 - 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?
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