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

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)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (11 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 of the same year. Additionally, no exams will be offered from June 15-June 30 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

Looking for more study materials? Access the following course:

96 commentsLeave a comment

Hi. I wanted to purchase LEED AP V4 reference book but I wasn't sure when the exam will change to the next version, like V5? Please assist me. Thanks
If my LEED green passes its 2 years without maintaining by 15 hours of CE, to take the LEED AP exam, shall I repeat the Green exam or it is fine to just pass the LEED AP?
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Sara, I believe if you let your LEED Green Associate Credential Lapse and decide to take the LEED AP exam later, you may have to complete both the portions of the Exam. I would not recommend letting your LEED Green Associate Credential expire. You can also find FREE resources online to complete your credential maintenance. As a USGBC Education Partner, GBRI hosts FREE CE webinars every now and then. Please visit http://www.gbrionline.org/free-leed-aia-ce-hours/
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
I just realized - we have a FREE webinar next week that we are hosting in partnership with ConEdison "Steaming up your LEED points with district Steam energy". http://www.gbrionline.org/district-energy-ancient-idea-modern-world/
Designer, CG Architect, Yasser Hejazy Consulting Engineers
In order to take the LEED AP BD+C exam, is the LEED V4 red line pdf is enough as a main recourse? and how exactly it's different than the BD+C reference guide?
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Ali, though the LEED BD+C Reference guide is a good resource for LEED project implementation, it's not written for exam prep plus it's a lot to read through when preparing for the LEED Exam. If you are looking for FREE LEED Exam Prep materials, you may visit http://www.gbrionline.org/leedv4-exam-important-things-to-know/
Designer, CG Architect, Yasser Hejazy Consulting Engineers
Thanks a lot!! this is very helpful! I'm looking for the best and brief study materials for the AP BD+C exam not necessarily free! so please provide me with best study material. thank you in advanced Jeslin
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Absolutely! Here is the link to our best in class LEED Exam Prep for BD+C which comes with LEED GA materials as well. We do have online live, on-demand and in-person exam prep available www.gbrionline.org/leed-exam-preparation
I have LEED green which will expires on Sep 2015 if I did't maintain it. Now I wanna take AP exam so I was wondering if it is mandatory to have experience in actual LEED projects or just a recommendation by USGBC? In the other word who is eligible to take AP exam? Is there any special requirement rather than passing LEED Green?
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Sara, LEED Project Experience is no longer a mandatory requirement to be eligible for the LEED AP with specialty exam. However as you read it, GBCI recommends project experience as the LEED Exam tests a candidate's competency in LEED project experience. Please visit this page to watch or read "9 Things You Should Know About LEED v4 Exam" - we have an info graphic as well as a FREE presentation that outlines the requirements. http://www.gbrionline.org/leedv4-exam-important-things-to-know/
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