Prepare for your LEED Green Associate Exam | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Posted in LEED
Published on
Posted in LEED

This article was last updated in April 2016.

Congratulations on taking your first step toward earning your LEED Green Associate! The key to earning a LEED Green Associate is a thorough understanding of green building and LEED.

Access the candidate handbook for exam policies and procedures

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

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 Green Associate Tasks (100%)

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 (16 questions)
  • Integrative Strategies (8 questions)
  • Location and Transportation (7 questions)
  • Sustainable Sites (7 questions)
  • Water Efficiency (9 questions)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (10 questions)
  • Materials and Resources (9 questions)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (8 questions)
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach (11 questions)

References

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.

The LEED Green Associate Exam is designed to test the general knowledge of green building practices and how to support other professionals working on LEED projects.

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 Green Associate 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. When applying for innovation credits, a project team
    A. Cannot submit any previously awarded innovation credit.
    B. May receive credit for performance that doubles a credit requirement threshold.*
    C. May submit a product or strategy that is being used in an existing LEED credit.
    D. May receive a credit for each LEED Accredited Professional that is on the project team.

  2. A developer wants to make a profit by building a new office that maximizes daylighting and views. What actions might the developer take to fulfill all parts of the triple bottom line?
    A. Restore habitat onsite
    B. Purchase ergonomic furniture
    C. Pursue local grants and incentives
    D. Provide lighting controllability for occupants*
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Total 580 commentsLeave a comment

Procurement Specialist, Arabian Petroleum Supply Co. (APSCO)
I am working in an Aviation Fuelling Co. as a Procurement Specialist. Would like to know what kind of certification is beneficial for me to become a LEED Green Associate. My job experience is completely Non-technical & I want to boost my career to become a certified/specialist in this subject. Our company has over 100+ fleet of equipments fuelling aircrafts in over 23 Airports. I am handling the procurement for these trucks maintenance, spare parts, workshop etc. Recently i have ordered 15 new equipments from EU and requested for a certification from LEED's. Would appreciate your help in this regard
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Mo K, Thank you for your question. It sounds like you are asking if it is beneficial for you to earn your LEED Green Associate credential? If so, the Green Associate credential holders have a documented, up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices, and are committed to their professional future. If you feel like it would be beneficial in your company to have a foundation of knowledge of the most current green building principles and practices, then we encourage you to look into earning the LEED Green Associate credential. Please also look into advanced credentials. Here is a link to learn more about the benefits of each specialty: www.usgbc.org/credentials. Thank you for your question and we wish you the best!
Planning Engineer, National developement Engineers Limited
Hi Everyone, I am a Civil Engineer and Currently working as Coordinator of a LEED V3, BD +C Project. My involvement in a LEED project made me interested to participate in the LEED Green Associate Exam. I would like to purchase the "Study Bundle: LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Guide, LEED v4 Edition and LEED Core Concepts" Guide. Should i collect any other guide or book for study ? Thank You.
Manager QS, Shapoorji Pallonji And Company Private Limited.
Hi Dawn, Can you advice and give some tips and pattern of study,SInce i am applying LEED Green associate exam probably in next yr.Thanks
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Badarinarayana, thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate credential. . Since each candidate seeking a LEED 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. We recommend starting with the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide (http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-core-concepts-guide), a resource which most exam candidates find to be very helpful. You can download the introductory sections to the reference guide for free here (scroll down to 'download for free' button):http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-construction After these resources have been explored and studied, most candidates then seek the structure of study guides (found here: http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications), online or in-person courses (found here http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study) and practice exams to further their understanding of the information. I hope this offers a direction for you to start. Good luck on your exam!
Manager QS, Shapoorji Pallonji And Company Private Limited.
Thanks lot..
Manager QS, Shapoorji Pallonji And Company Private Limited.
Can you send me some of Exam question patterns with answers,so that i can confidently fixup exam schedule. Regards
N/A, N/A
Hello, I'm reading through the LEED Green Associate Candidate Handbook and I have a few questions about the breakdown of questions on the exam. In the Knowledge Domains, it lists all the different categories and number of each questions pertaining to each category, which totals to 85. Then it says, "The exam contains 15 pretest questions," which totals to 100, but what are those questions about? Are they scored like the other questions? What does it mean by "pretest?" I was also reading through the Task Domains, and wondering how those topics fit into the exam when the Knowledge Domains take up the majority of the questions. Are there questions specifically pertaining to the Task Domains as well? Also, what does the 100% note in parentheses mean in the Task Domains section? (page 11) Thanks for your help and clarification!
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Lauren, the 15 pre-test questions are new questions that GBCI is collecting statistics about in an effort to continually improve the exam and these questions are not scored. There is no way for a candidate to know which test questions are pre-test, but please be assured that those answers do not count against your overall score. We cannot reveal which are pre-test because that would negatively impact the data we aim to collect. In regards to the task domains, the exam is written after considering what a LEED professional needs to know and do. The task domains comprise the basic list of what a Green Associate needs to be able to do, and help to formulate the knowledge domains, or what a Green Associate needs to know. The task domains are influential in determining each of the knowledge domains, or 100% of the exam. Because the test is comprised of questions rather than task assessments, GBCI can assign a specific number of exam items written on each of the knowledge domains. I hope that helps.
Urban Planner and Architect, Self employed
Hi, I am an Urban Planner and Architect by profession and willing to give LEED Green Associate exam. I have LEED Principles and Green Associate Study Guide-Third edition (By GBES). I also purchased practice exams from poplarnetwork. However while practicing these exams, I realise that few question areasare not covered in the study guide. Are there other study material that I must go through? Is third edition different than the V4 edition?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
All LEED exams are now testing knowledge about LEED v4 which is different from version 3 (also known as v2009). Perhaps this new two-week study plan could help your exam preparation efforts: http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/leed-green-associate-exam-two-we... Also please note that we cannot comment on the accuracy of LEED exam prep materials, such as practice exams, offered by companies other than our Education Partners. We do recommend all of the resources listed above in this article.
Urban Planner and Architect, Self employed
Thank You for your prompt response. Sure will follow as suggested.
Urban Planner and Architect, Self employed
Thank You for your prompt response. Sure will follow as suggested.
Senior Electrical Engineer, German University In Cairo
Hi ,i did't find my Locate a Test Center through www.prometric.com.Usgbc not have test center in Egypt
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Dina, sorry for any issues in locating a test center near you. I did locate a Prometric Test Center in Cairo. Here is the address and contact information: 8708: CAIRO, EGYPT AMIDEAST 38 Mohie El Din Abo El Ezz Street CAIRO, EGY 0000 Phone 202 37604387 I followed these steps to locate a test center: 1) Please visit www.prometric.com/ and enter "GBCI" in the Test Sponsor field. 2) Then, confirm "Green Business Certification Inc.", and click "Locate Test Center". 3) Choose the country that you are looking for from dropdown menu, and click "Next". 4) Then, choose "LEED Green Associate" from the dropdown menu, and click "Next". 5) Enter the city where you want to test, and click "search". When you see the testing center that looks most convenient for you, click "Availability" next to the test center's location. This takes you to a clickable calendar showing the available times for each open day.
Hi I have a MSc in Sustainable Design. I would like to take LEED GA / LEED AP (BD+C) certification . I have the following queries : 1) what is the difference between LEED GA & LEED AP (BD+C) ? 2) Can i take combined or should take LEED GA and follow up with LEED AP (BD+C)? 3) Does both require working projects ? 4) Since i have studied sustainable design and have working experience in Singapore on a large scale institutional project, which one is suggested ? Regards Juby
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Juby, Thank you so much for your questions. You sound like a great candidate to pursue your LEED AP plus specialty! Here are the answers to your questions: 1) What is the difference between LEED GA & LEED AP (BD+C)? LEED Green Associates have a documented, up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices, and are committed to their professional future. The LEED AP BD+C is an advanced credential that specializes in building design and construction. 2) Can i take combined or should take LEED GA and follow up with LEED AP (BD+C)? You have the option to do either and it depends solely on your preference. Some people like to study for both exams together and complete them at the same time. Others prefer to take it one step at a time. 3) Does both require working projects? Neither credential requires you to work on projects (though working on LEED certified projects are a great way to earn CE hours to maintain your credential). Please see our CMP guide for more information on how to maintain your credentials:http://www.usgbc.org/resources/cmp-guide 4) Since I have studied sustainable design and have working experience in Singapore on a large scale institutional project, which one is suggested? I would definitely recommend earning your LEED AP plus specialty (as discussed above you will still need to pass your LEED Green Associate credential before earning your specialty). It sounds like with your background you may be a great candidate to pursue either your LEED AP BD+C or LEED AP ID+C. Please see: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials for more detailed descriptions of the specialty credentials.
Hi, I am from Mumbai a graduate in civil engineering and Post Graduate in construction management. Currently I am not working neither a student, wanted to start my career from green construction and excel in the same field . I like to know what are steps to pursue career in the green construction through USGBC and by giving exam of leed green associate or any other help will be welcome. Thank you.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Vikas, Thank you for your post and we are excited to hear that you are interested in a career in Green Building. Earning your LEED Green Associate is the first step! I recommend that you read through this article and follow each step: http://www.usgbc.org/node/10075156. This article provides you with a step by step process from registering for your exam to preparing for it. The article includes hyperlinks and resources. Please let us know if we can be of any help along the way and best wishes on your exam!
CEO, Creative Business Associates
Hi please tell me if there is any centre in mumbai and the contact details
Director of Operations, Real Estate, NYC School Construction Authority
Hi I'm just starting this process but wanted to get a sense of when upcoming tests are in my area, but I click on Prometric Test Center the site's availability button and it never gives me a response. I tried two other sites near my home and nothing is working. Thanks in advance for your help.
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Kelly, thank you for your interest in earning your LEED Green Associate credential! I just check and the "availability" section of the Prometric site does appear to be working, but sometimes takes a few minutes to load. If you are still unable to access it, try using a different browser. Thanks!
Architect, Akrit Interior Decoration LLC
Hello, I have signed in to appear for Leeds GA exam in three weeks time. I had appeared for V3 earlier in 2014 but unfortunately did not get 170 score. I have the study materials and flash cards of v3. Do you advice preparing from the same and going through additional online available notes or should i purchase the new package available online. Will three weeks be enough time for preparing for the same? Kindly advice.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
The LEED Green Associate exam is updated yearly with new content. I would make sure you have the current version of the Core Concepts Guide and that you download the latest version of the Introductory and Overview sections of the LEED Building Design and Construction Reference Guide v4 mentioned above for the best chance at passing the exam. Once you are comfortable with that material I would consider taking practice tests available through our Education Partners (http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study). 3 weeks may be enough time since you have experience with the format and environment but, every candidate is different. Feedback from past candidates have given us a 1-3 month range of time needed to study. I hope that helps and best of luck on your exam.
Student, N/A
Hi, i am preparing for LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE exam. I have a conflicting information in my study guide about when LEED was formed by USGBC. One of the chapters say it was formed in 1998 and other says 1999. Can anyone please advise on this. Thanks.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
The formal LEED rating system was first launched in 2000 (http://www.usgbc.org/about). If you would be so kind as to direct us to the error in our publication we can review and make changes as necessary. We appreciate you bringing it to our attention.
Intern Architect, MTACC
Hello, I have signed up for the LEED Green Associate Exam, and understand which study materials are free/accessible. However, I was hoping you could guide me to either a free or economical resource for practice exams to help prep. Thank you!
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Kristen, Thanks for you interest. Check out Education@USGBC for the exam resources offered by our Education partners http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. This article may be helpful too: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/are-you-ready-earn-your-leed-green-associa.... Best wishes preparing for your exam!
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Kristen! If you are looking for just practice questions/mock exams you can purchase that by itself through GBRI. https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/leed-v4-ap-ga-practice-questions/ GBRI also sells an All-Inclusive package which would give you access to online modules, section quizzes, a study guide, audio files, flash cards, mock exams & handouts. Our All-Inclusive package comes with everything you need to pass your LEED exam! We are so confident we are now offering a 100% money back guarantee! This All-Inclusive package is normally $149, however if you can get today for only $99! To receive this discounted price use the coupon code LEEDGA https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at felicia.fuller@gbrionline.org. Thanks, Felicia - GBRI
DESIGN ARCHITECT , wsarchitect
hi , a few days age i registered for the exam but i dont have the material to study from where i can get it?????urgent for answer
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Hussein! If you're interested in an All-Inclusive package that would give you access to everything you need to pass the exam I would recommend looking into GBRI's All-Inclusive package. This package would give you access to online modules, section quizzes, a study guide, audio files, flash cards, mock exams & handouts. We are so confident you'll pass your exam using our material we are now offering a 100% money back guarantee! We are also offering 30% off any of our exam prep packages. To receive this discount use the coupon code GBRI30! https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at felicia.fuller@gbrionline.org. Thanks, Felicia - GBRI
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Hussein, Thanks for your inquiry. Kristen's comments to George's question below would be helpful for your exam preparation.
architect, architecture and construction
Hello, I'm wondering if the exam has diferents dates, once I pay it or right away I have to do it online? I'm looking forward an answer. Thanks in advance.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate exam. Once you register for the exam you have 1 year to take the exam. It does not have to happen immediately after registration You have the option to check the availability/location at a test center before you register for an exam. To do this please navigate to www.prometric.com and select 'Locate a Test Center'. Select 'GBCI' from the test sponsor list and then click 'Locate a Test Center' again. You will be promoted to enter country, city and state. Once you find a test center convenient for you click the green hyperlinked 'Availability' in the right hand corner of the test location. You can select the month and then click 'Go' to see the dates and times.
architect, architecture and construction
Thanks so much
Student, SFCC
I'm a veteran and the material says that I can be reimbursed the cost of the exam. I've not been able to find any info as to how to obtain that. The 'learn more' link wasn't working at the time. Thank you.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Richard, Thank you for your question. Yes, veterans are eligible for free exams, regardless of whether they pass or fail the exam. Please see this article for more information: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/attention-veterans-take-leed-professional-..., and follow the steps below. 1) Register for the exam and take the test. 2) Fill out this form (http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-0803-ARE.pdf), and send it along with a copy of your receipt for the exam (available in your usgbc.org profile under "Orders"), and a signed, dated statement authorizing the release of your exam scores to the VA. 3) Send the form, a copy of your receipt and your statement authorizing the release of the exam scores to the VA at the address on the form listed above. It will take 4-12 weeks to process. I hope that helps and we wish you the best on your exam!
Student, SFCC
Thanks for the info. But Panu Pasanen Had answered it as well. Not sure why his answer (exactly the same as yours) has been deleted. Have a wonderful weekend.
Chief Executive Officer, Bionova Ltd
This comment has been deleted.
Student, SFCC
Thank you for the info! Now I just have to figure out which one of the categories I fall into.
student, An-Najah National University
Good Morning I had registed for the GA exam and I want to track my registration, the prometric is asking about the Confirmation/Tracking Number (numeric value), and I did not receive an email from prometric mentioning this number, I used my ID (57723f5d98135) but seems not valid, will you help me ??
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
I would be happy to assist you. I have emailed you directly with the requested information. Thank you.
DESIGN ARCHITECT , wsarchitect
please would you answer the question below this one????
DESIGN ARCHITECT , wsarchitect
Hi,regarding the registration to the exam I have chosen the language English what dose that mean?? the certification I will get will be in English or the exam I will attend ?? will be any differences if I chose Arabic , the exam or the certificate will be in Arabic ???
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
If you select English or Arabic as you language during exam registration only the actual exam will be in that language. Certificates are always in English and printed through GBCI and not Prometric. I hope that helps.
DESIGN ARCHITECT , wsarchitect
please answer
Gestor de Innovación, INNO-BA
I live in México, can do the exam here?
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Giovanni, thank you for your interest in earning your LEED Green Associate credential. You are able to take the exam in Mexico. To locate your nearest testing center and view availability: 1) Please visit www.prometric.com/ and enter "GBCI" in the Test Sponsor field. 2) Then, confirm "Green Business Certification Inc.", and click "Locate Test Center". 3) Choose the country that you are looking for from dropdown menu, and click "Next". 4) Then, choose "LEED Green Associate" or "LEED AP BD+C combination" from the dropdown menu, and click "Next". 5) Enter the city where you want to test, and click "search". When you see the testing center that looks most convenient for you, click "Availability" next to the test center's location. This takes you to a clickable calendar showing the available times for each open day. Best of luck on your exam!
I noticed in the Green Associate Candidate Handbook that the exam is updated July 1st of each year. I plan to take the exam soon after July 1st. Will v4 study materials suggested on USGBC be sufficient for that test date? Are the updates to the exam mostly substantive, and if so, where can I access the most up to date information for studying? Thank you.
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Tomishi, thank you for your interest in earning the LEED Green Associate credential. LEED professional exams are updated on July 1st of every year; this update incorporates LEED addenda published through January of the same year. Reference guides are updated as new addenda are published. A great place to start your studying is with the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. The references listed in the Handbook are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide (see the Study Bundle here http://www.usgbc.org/resources/study-bundle-leed-green-associate-exam-pr... it is a very popular resource for people preparing for the LEED Green Associate exam), 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. Start by downloading the introductory sections to the reference guide for free here (scroll down to 'download for free' button): http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... After these resources have been explored and studied, most candidates seek the structure of study guides (found here: http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications), online or in-person courses (found here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study) 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 direction for you to start.
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