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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:

72 commentsLeave a comment

None, None
Jeslin, you may want to have references to "Green Associate" as GA removed from GBRI portal. You did the same in your post here. It is not allowed by USGBC.
Systems and Implementation Officer, Parsons Brinckerhoff
I have applied the LEED AP Building Design & Construction Combined exam, can I split the exam into 2 seperate days? ie. exam on GA part on the 1st examination date skip the AP part and arrange for AP examination after the pass the GA part?
., U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning the LEED AP Building Design and Construction credential. The combined exam is proctored during one appointment time. For more information about the LEED AP BD+C exam, please consult the LEED AP BD+C candidate handbook:
I have the following UK qualifications: BREEAM Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor BREEAM Commercial Assessor (Retail, Offices & Industrial). BREEAM Multi Residential Assessor BREEAM Other Buildings Assessor BREEAM Accredited Professional Would you consider BD+C to be the most suitable AP qualification to target, and does it carry the most clout?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Candidates typically select a LEED AP specialty based on the types of project they work on most or would like to work on. It may be beneficial to review the rating systems before selecting a specialty because it appears your UK qualifications could align with several of the LEED specialties. A summary of the LEED AP specialties can be found here: and more information about the rating systems can be found here:
Hello. I earned my Green Associate credential last year. I want to now go for the LEED AP BD&C credential. Will I only need to study for the specialty exam or will I be given the full exam that has the green associate part? Thanks.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
If you have a current LEED Green Associate credential, you will only need to take the LEED with Specialty exam to earn the LEED with Specialty credential.
I remember in LEED 2009 doing BD+C exam before doing the GA exam it would include 4 hours as in 2 parts, if you pass the GA and fail the BD+C. You still get the GA accreditation. Do we have the same thing with LEED v4 exam?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, if you pass the Green Associate portion of a combined exam but not the specialty section you will still earn a LEED Green Associate credential. You may need to contact us if the credential does not appear on your account after your exam.
Director of Sustainability @ GBRI, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Here is a FREE Resource that answers all questions pertaining to LEED v4 - Exam Format, Registration, Content, Eligibility, Knowledge Domain, Project Experience and a Road Map to pass the LEED Exam
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