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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)
  • 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

62 commentsLeave a comment

Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Maaz, the requirement to submit proof of LEED project experience at the time of application is no longer required for the LEED v4 LEED AP BD+C exam or any exam under LEED. But for the first time, LEED project experience competency will be assessed within the LEED AP exam. To learn more about what's right for you and our exam prep - you may visit
Mechanical Engineer, Almabani General Contractors
Does the LEED AP BD+C credential require the candidate to have previous experience in LEED projects or its not mandatory.
No, this is not a mandatory requirement. We recommend that candidates have experience on LEED projects because this competency is assessed within the LEED AP exam.
Architect, Saudi Oger
Hi! I am interested in becoming a LEED Accredit. Now if i choose to take the Association Exam Combined with the BD+C Specialty. Do I have to study both Books (LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction v4 & LEED Core Concepts Guide) or is the First Book enough? Thank you
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Amal, Just like Karinn pointed out, the content for LEED GA and LEED AP exam is different. While the LEED Green Associate exam requires general knowledge of the prerequisites and credits, the LEED AP exams require specific knowledge of each prerequisite and credit in a particular rating system. As you are already aware by now, the LEED AP exam is a 2 part test. You may either take the full 4 hour exam at once which also includes the LEED GA exam or you could follow a phased approach where-in you prepare for the LEED GA exam prep first, take the exam and then proceed to prepare for the LEED AP with specialty exam. GBRI exam Prep for BD+C comes with LEED Green Associate materials too. You may visit for more information
Great Question! The LEED Green Associate exam and the LEED AP BD+C exam both hosts different content. The two books you mentioned are vastly different when it comes to those content areas. It is hard for me to make an accurate recommendation because I an unsure of what knowledge candidates already posses. To be safe I would recommend both books.
Assistant Superintendent, Bird Construction Group
When I took my Geen Associate exam, there was a website which had sample questions for a mock exam. is there anything available for that to prepare for the LEED BD+C exam?
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Joel, as an USGBC Education Partner - we offer exam prep for BD+C and GA. It comes with more than 700 sample questions, simulated mock exams, flash cards, etc. Please visit to learn more.
Congratulations on passing the LEED Green Associate exam and your interest in the LEED AP exam! You can find sample questions in the The LEED v4 Candidate Handbooks: You can also explore our Education Partner offers at Education@USGBC: Perhaps they have mock exams and can offer more sample questions. Good luck!
President/Principal, GRV Integrated Engineering Solutions LLC
Please clarify, registering and passing the LEED AP BD+C covers accreditation for both the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP BD+C, or we must take LEED GA exam prior to taking LEED AP BD+C?
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