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Prepare for your LEED AP BD+C Exam

Published on Posted in LEED

Congratulations on taking your first step toward earning your LEED AP BD+C!

A LEED credential gives you a competitive edge and shows the market you have the key knowledge, experience and credibility to bring success to LEED projects and sustainability-focused organizations.

The key to earning a LEED AP credential is a thorough understanding of green building, the LEED rating system and the ability to facilitate the certification process.

LEED v4 exam: available from June 30, 2014

Access the candidate handbook for exam policies and procedures.

The LEED v4 exam is based on the following test specifications and references. The exam questions reflect Task Domains and Knowledge domains.

Planning to take the Green Associate exam at the same time as the LEED AP exam? Check out the exam prep for the Green Associate exam.

Task Domains: Task Domains reflect the tasks necessary to perform LEED® safely and effectively. These include concepts such as LEED Project and Team Coordination, LEED Certification Process, Analyses Required for LEED Credits, and Advocacy and Education for Adoption for LEED Rating System.

  • LEED Project and Team Coordination (22%)
  • LEED Certification Process (32%)
  • Analyses Required for LEED Credits (32%)
  • Advocacy and Education for Adoption for LEED Rating System (14%)

Knowledge Domains: Knowledge Domains reflect the rating systems’ credit categories and what one needs to know. These include concepts such as LEED Process, Integrative Strategies, LEED credit categories, and Project Surroundings and Public Outreach.

  • LEED Process (8 questions)
  • Integrative Strategies (9 questions)
  • Location and Transportation (9 questions)
  • Sustainable Sites (9 questions)
  • Water Efficiency (9 questions)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (14 questions)
  • Materials and Resources (12 questions)
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach (4 questions)


The primary sources for the development of the LEED professional exams are the LEED rating systems. The following list of references is not meant to be comprehensive. When combined with the test specifications, the candidate has the material from which the exam is based.

This exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the design process, to support and encourage integrated design, and to streamline the application and certification process.

Please note: LEED professional exams are updated on July 1 of every year; this update incorporates LEED addenda published through January 1 of the same year. Additionally, no exams will be offered from June 15-July 1 of each year.

Sample Questions

These sample questions were discarded in the process of creating items for the new LEED AP Building Design + Construction exam. The items are provided for your convenience to allow you to better familiarize yourself with the format and general content of items on the exam. Correct answers are marked with an asterisk*.

  1. The city is building a new botanical garden and is attempting LEED® certification. What could the educational program include to earn an Innovation in Design Credit?
    A. Present the building’s sustainable features at the grand opening
    B. Present the building’s sustainable features at a town hall meeting
    C. Provide on-going weekly tours highlighting the building’s sustainable features*
    D. Publish a press release to the local newspaper outlining the building’s sustainable features

  2. How should athletic fields be treated in the calculations for WE Credit, Outdoor Water Use Reduction?
    A. Must be calculated using 100% potable water
    B. May be included or excluded from the calculations*
    C. May be calculated using a standard 20% reduction from baseline
    D. Must be calculated using at least 20% from an alternative water source

36 commentsLeave a comment

Project Manager, Stonefox Design
In the combined LEED Associate and AP Specialty exam are there more than 100 questions? How is that test set up?
Intern Architect, RYS Architects
Will the leed BD+C v4 exam cover only credits applicable to all "uses" (NC, C+S, Schools, Retail,...etc.) or will use-specific credits also be covered?
Intern Architect, RYS Architects
I have recently purchases the LEED BDC v4 reference guide. It seems to cover most of the knowledge domain material. Where do I go to review Task domain material?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
You can view the task domains for any exam in the "Exam Specifications" section of the appropriate Candidate Handbook. For the LEED BD+C Candidate Handbook (, the Task Domains reflect the tasks necessary to perform LEED® safely and effectively. These include concepts such as LEED Project and Team Coordination, LEED Certification Process, Analyses Required for LEED Credits, and Advocacy and Education for Adoption for LEED Rating System.
Designer, Landry and Lewis Architects
I have the LEED BD+C reference guide 2009. Do I need to update to the V4 guide to pass the exam?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, the USGBC does recommend using the reference guide that is applicable to the version of the exam that you will take. Best of luck!
Self Employed, none
I cleared my LEED Green Associate Exam. Do I have to earn CE hours before appearing for LEED AP BD+C ? Is it necessary to have / submit proof for LEED project experience?
Why are exam fees are so expensive considering that the exam is taken electronically with minimal supervision? The $550 fee may not be a big deal for people working for large firms or big corporation due to reimbursement it's but for a small office of one or two it is significant not to mention the price of the reference book which is nothing to sneeze at at $450 (w/ membership).
Mechanical Drafter, RFS Engineering
Is there a calendar of testing dates for and locations AP BD+C available online anywhere without having to pay for the registration first? I need to know these dates before I commit money toward the tests.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
You can look up testing locations online (, and you can call Prometric to find available dates (888-215-4154) prior to registering for an exam.
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