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

Total 580 commentsLeave a comment

Design Architect, United World Infrastructure (UWI)
hi everyone, i have a quick question please, i want to select the date for the exam and they ask me to pay first without asking the dates, is this okay and they gonna ask me later or once i pay i will join the next exam directly ? thanks , regards
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
You do have the option to check the availability at a test center before you purchase 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. We hope that you find an appropriate test location and will then elect to purchase the exam. Thank you for your interest.
Design Architect, United World Infrastructure (UWI)
thank you so much it was very helpful for me.
graduate student, University of Toronto
Hi, I want to know if there is any official reference materials in Chinese that I could use to prepare for the LEED GA exam? For It's hard for me to use English materials and I chose the Chinese translation for the exam.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Siqin Liu, Thank you for your question. We have two study guides in Chinese: The Core Concepts Guide in Chinese http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-core-concepts-guide-chinese and the LEED Reference Guide for Building and Construction: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-... Both of these resources will be helpful. We wish you the best on your exam!
Student, N/A
Hi, i want to register for my exam with in the coming 2 weeks. i want to know who are considered as students while availing the discount for the students exam fee. Right now i am studying in a part time study program at a local college and would like to know if i am eligible to fill the test as a student. Thanks.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Currently, students eligible for the discount can be part-time or full-time as long as they provide a graduation date. There is a question at registration which also prompts you to enter your student ID number and graduation date. Please see this link for more helpful information regarding student pricing http://www.usgbc.org/articles/discounted-leed-green-associate-exam-prici....
Projects facility Manager , Zahran Operation & Maintenance
good
Project and Communications Coordinator, TREC Renewable Energy Cooperative
Hi, would we need to memorize the individual credit points for the LEED GA exam? Or is having a general understanding if the categories and credit systems sufficient?
Manager, Ferrovial Serviços
Hi Yvonne, thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate credential. The LEED Green Associate exam tests your general knowledge of green building practices for both commercial and residential spaces and both new construction and existing buildings as well as how to support other professionals working on LEED projects. You should be aware of general credit pathways, specifically for the LEED BD+C rating system. To prepare for the exam, we recommend starting with the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook, which you can download for free here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-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. 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. 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 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. Good luck on your exam!
Pls respond to my Quary
Pls respond to my Quary
What is the basic requirements (educational and professional) to sit for LEED Green Associate Exam.
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Ohidul, thank you for your interest in earning the LEED Green Associate credential. GBCI strongly recommends that candidates taking the LEED Green Associate Exam have exposure to LEED and green building concepts through educational courses, volunteering, or work experience prior to testing. However, no prior professional or educational experience is required to sit for the exam. For more information regarding the LEED Green Associate exam, including eligibility requirements and exam specifications, you can download the free LEED Green Associate Candidate handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. Good luck on your exam!
Senior Sales, Trane a business of Ingersoll Rand
I am scheduled to take the LEED GA test on Sep 18. I want to start studying now, How I can get LEED Green Associate book
Marketing Engineer & Outreach Coordinator , Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi George, There are exam prep packages you can purchase that will help you prepare for LEED Green Associate exam.Our packages include access to online modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! You can get 30% off of this package with "LEED30" coupon code at checkout! https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Thanks! Nandini - GBRI
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi George, thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate Credential. A great place to start are the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook, which you can download for free here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-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. 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. 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-.... 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. Good luck on your exam!
What is the best way to gain the overall LEED knowledge needed to begin preparing for the exam?
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Diane, we're sorry for the delay on responding to your question. We'd be glad to help. Since each candidate seeking a LEED Green Associate 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. A great place to start are the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbookhttp://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide, 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. 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-.... 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. Good luck on your exam!
Civil Engineer, Alrai Engineering & Consulting
Is GBRI's LEED exam prep. sale offer BONUSGA and BONUSAP still exist? If not is there any offers coming soon?
Marketing Engineer & Outreach Coordinator , Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Ibrahim, I'd like to inform you that right now coupon code " BONUSGA and BONUSAP" does not exist. But We do have sale available on our LEED Exam Preparation. You can save $100 of our LEED Exam Prep package with "LEEDGA and LEEDAP" coupon code at checkout! Click here https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio.... Thanks, Nandini
I am going to seat for LEED GA Exam. How can I start my preparation? Can anyone guide me?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Shahadat, Thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate Credential. Since each candidate seeking a LEED Green Associate 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. A great place to start are the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide, 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. A great place to start is to 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-... 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.
Marketing Engineer & Outreach Coordinator , Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Shahadat, You can use GBRI's LEED GA Exam Prep material for your exam. Our exam prep packages are all-inclusive so you would be given all of the information needed to pass your LEED exam. Our material will include online access to modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! This material can be viewed from anywhere at any time as long as you have internet access. Checkout! https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... If you have any other questions, please contact me at nsharma@gbrionline.org
Project Manager, IFA Hotels & Resorts
Hi, I would like to register for the LEED AP BD + C exam, but before that I need some clarifications please on the following points: 1. The description of this exam says "core + speciality", does that mean it will cover both LEED GA & LEED AP BD + C? Since I have not yet applied for the LEED GA and I am planning to sit for both exams at the same time. 2. When trying to register for the exam, I have reached to the payment step while I have not yet selected my preferred date or location of the exam taking into consideration that I reside in the UAE, please advise. Appreciating your kind response, many thanks in advance.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Khalid, Thank you for your questions. The LEED core + specialty exam (also called "combined") is the correct option for you if you plan on completing the Green Associate and LEED specialty at the same time (the Core stands for LEED Green Associate and the Specialty is the BD+C portion). Customers first register and pay for their LEED exams. Once you have completed your registration/payment you will then have one year to schedule and take your LEED exam. Therefore, you pay for your exam first and schedule your exam afterward. Please follow the below instruction 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 "Building Design and Construction Combined" 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 bought LEED Green Associate book online and was using it on my office system through adobe digital edition. However now i have copied it in my personal system and after copying the book it is showing as a PDF file now. I tried downloading Adobe Digital Edition now . However I am still not able to open the file. Any help here?
Interior Designer, Summertown Interiors
I am scheduled to take the LEED GA test on July 24. I want to start studying now. However, I'm concerned the new exam will come out July 1st with whole new material? As I prepare I will take practice tests, but these are based on the last year and the reference guides. How will I know what to prepare for in 24 days of a new exam? Will all the exam prep guides be updated on July 1st? Kind Regards, Carley
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Carley, Thanks for your question. After July 1, the only additional information that may show up in your LEED Green Associate exam would be found in the addenda published in April. Here is a link to that addenda: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/leed-addenda-update-april-2016 The LEED Green Associate exam in July will still be LEED v4. We wish you the best on the exam!
Architect
even I want to know how to prepare...
Architect
Please guide me which book to refer for LEED green associate exam.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in the LEED Green Associate exam. Since each candidate seeking a LEED Green Associate 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. A great place to start are the references listed on page 21 of the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide, 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. A great place to start is to 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-... 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. I hope this helps!
LEED GA Green Associate, Metalmaster Roofmaster
Hi I did pass the green associate exam on today......thanks for everyone who did support me.... I'm looking for the next step which is LEED AP .... Can you please advise which the closet exam reference I could study to earn AP I'm reading GBRI reference guide for that puts purpose actually. Thank you
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Congratulations on passing your LEED Green Associated exam. That is a wonderful achievement. Depending on the LEED AP Specialty exam you would like to sit for we have different webpages created to help guide you through preparation. Please see this link and click on the preferred LEED AP Specialty: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials#preparing. Any one of the webpages will have a link for the corresponding Candidate Handbook. The resources listed in this handbook are your best bet to study for and pass the exam. Some candidates also find success in taking the exam prep courses offered by our Education Partners which you can find here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc. I hope that helps and good luck on your LEED AP Specialty exam!
LEED GA Green Associate, Metalmaster Roofmaster
thanks Dawn,,appreciate, actually its LEED AP BD+C exam. on the first I took the combined exam which is 200 questions, and passed in GA, but not AP BD+C, so Im wondering for the best reference you could let me know about it. thanks
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
I would recommend you consult and study all of the references listed on page 21 of The LEED AP BD + C Candidate Handbook for the best chance at passing the test. You can download the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Perhaps one of the best resources is the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design + Construction available for purchase here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... You may also find the LEED Exam Prep courses for LEED AP BD + C offered by a couple of our Education Partners very beneficial : http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. Thank you!
I have read that after taking the LEED Associate Exam you must earn 15 continuing education hours within 2 years of earning their credential. what type of education hours, do I have to go back to School and take college classes? and if Yes, what type of subjects are recommended?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Sara, Thank you for your question. You are correct, LEED Green Associate credential holders need to maintain their credentials through completing 15 Continuing Education (CE) hours every two years. 3 of those 15 CE hours need to be LEED specific hours. It is not necessary to take college courses to complete your CE hours. CE hours can be completed in a variety of ways, for example, you can earn CE hours working on a LEED specific project, by taking educational courses through Education@USGBC, by volunteering, or through authorship of an article. Many credentials holders will purchase an education subscription through Education@USGBC which offers unlimited and a variety of courses for one price http://www.usgbc.org/resources/education-usgbc-subscription. Please see our CMP guide for more information on maintaining LEED credentials: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/cmp-guide I hope that helps!
Hi, I intend to take up LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE EXAM, I have some queries, 1) Is the study material included in the Exam fees or it has to be bought separately? 2)If it has to be bought separately, do we get in on USGBC website or I need to purchase from Amazon etc.? 3) If to be purchased from Amazon, Could somebody please guide with some suggestions
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Rohit, Thank you for your questions. The study materials are not included with the exam fees. You can purchase exam study materials from our USGBC website. Here an exam prep guide that customers find very helpful: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-green-associate-exam-preparation-gui... Since each candidate seeking a LEED Green Associate 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. A great place to start are the references in the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. All of the references listed are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide, 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. A great place to start is to 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-... 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.
Sr Design Engineer- Architectural, Hyundai-El Seif Consortium
Hi, I have purchased study guides a week ago for LEED GA exam. I intend to take exam in July 2016. Do i need to purchase the study guides again as LEED professional exams are updated on July 1 of every year.
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi, If there is no new revision of study guides for LEED exams, you don't need to purchase again, because the exam updates are on the exam questions alone.
Hi, I know the exam fee for WELL AP is cheaper for LEED AP/GA. Is it applicable vice verse, if I am taking WELL AP exam first?
Landscape Architect, SBA
Hi can I refer to Green Building and LEED Core Concepts (2nd Edition) for LEED GA (v4) instead of the third edition .What is the difference between the two?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Florence, We recommend using the most up to date version to ensure that you're getting the most accurate information. There is likely a lot of overlap between the two editions but the newest edition has updated information that is essential for the v4 version of the LEED Green Associate exam. Thank you for your question.
Hello, I'm an architect who currently working in Brisbane city, QLD, Australia, and I would like to know is there any testing center in Brisbane? or any other close city in Australia? Thanks
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Liang, to locate a testing center near you please use this link. https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/gbci/Pages/landing.aspx Thanks! Felicia Fuller - GBRI felicia.fuller@gbrionline.org
Architect, Affordable Architecture
Hi. i have few queries regarding the preparation for LEED Green Associate exam. As mention on USGBC web site, in addition to going through the study materials, the preparation can also be done through volunteer work and in person courses. My questions are: 1-how can i participate in volunteer work to gain practical knowledge in the field of LEED, during summer 2016 (July-August) in the state of Maryland. 2- is there any course that i can attend a session other than the one day courses listed on the web site, during summer 2016 (July-August). A feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Angie, Thank you for your questions. Volunteering refers to anything you can do to get connected to the Green Build community in your area that allows you to better absorb the LEED information and concepts. Some ideas are participating on the USGBC or GBCI steering committees, or working groups, or local USGBC chapter boards and committees or other volunteer organizations that support the LEED system such as attending meetings, planning events, or performing research. I highly encourage you to get connected to your local USGBC Chapter or Communities. You can be alerted about lunch and learn events or other volunteer opportunities in your area. Regarding additional educational opportunities in your area I would again point you in the direction of the Maryland USGBC chapter. Please visit their site and view resources and educational events: http://www.usgbcmd.org/. I hope that helps! We wish you the best on your exam.
Student, N/A
hi all, i am planning to earn LEED green associate credential. i have a question regarding the registration for the exam. Currently i am not working on a permanent job in my field (Mechanical engineer - building services). So my question what should i mention in the fields of "job title" and "organisation" on the personal information page during exam registration. Can i use my previous job title and organisation / company name. Thanks.
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