Tens of thousands of sustainability professionals worldwide have earned their LEED AP with specialty credential to advance their green building careers and demonstrate their expertise. There are plenty of reasons to earn your credential, but once you've signed up for the exam, how do you get started on studying? We've broken down the resources that will help you prepare.
1. LEED AP with specialty candidate handbooks
What it covers: These handbooks include current test policies and procedures, exam question topics, sample questions and what you can expect on test day. The LEED AP BD+C and LEED O+M handbooks are also translated into Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French and Spanish.
Download the LEED AP Candidate Handbook for your specialty:
- LEED AP Building Design and Construction (BD+C)
- LEED AP Operations and Maintenance (O+M)
- LEED AP Interior Design and Construction (ID+C)
- LEED AP Neighborhood Development (ND)
- LEED AP for homes
2. LEED AP BD+C Exam Preparation Guide
Price: $105 ($95 for USGBC members)
What it covers: If you're going for your LEED AP BD+C credential, this resource is for you. The guide is a comprehensive study reference written by a LEED Fellow. It provides an efficient approach to studying through the use of concise text and detailed, full-color illustrations and photos from the LEED v4 Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction.
3. LEED AP exam prep cheat sheets
What it covers: USGBC has a series of articles for each LEED AP with specialty exam with a quick rundown of exam topics; example questions; and links to useful references, flash cards and study resources. For an overview of what the exam entails, view the exam prep article for your specialty:
- LEED AP BD+C exam prep
- LEED AP O+M exam prep
- LEED AP ID+C exam prep
- LEED AP ND exam prep
- LEED AP for homes exam prep
4. LEED BD+C Reference Guide introductory and overview sections
Price: Free (a hard copy of the full reference guide is $259 and discounted for USGBC members at $199)
What it covers: When project teams have a question about LEED requirements, they reach for the reference guide. The guide walks project teams through credit categories, minimum program requirements and rating system selection.
5. LEED AP exam: Four-week study plan
What it covers: Created by USGBC to make scheduling your study sessions easy, these self-guided plans can prepare you for the LEED AP BD+C or LEED AP O+M exam in just four weeks, outlining what material to cover each day.
In addition to the free resources included on the daily plans, it’s recommended that users purchase the Study Bundle: LEED AP BD+C Study Guide and BD+C Reference Guide (the study bundle is $319 and discounted for USGBC members at $269) or the LEED v4 Reference Guide for Building Operations and Maintenance, if you're taking the O+M specialty exam.
Review the Education @USGBC four-week study plan:
6. Practice tests on Education @USGBC platform
What it covers: The Education @USGBC platform hosts several mock exams created by our Education Partners that will help you identify what you already know, as well as topics to brush up on.
7. Regional workshops
What it covers: Local USGBC communities and regions sometimes host exam prep workshops to help emerging professionals pass their LEED Green Associate or LEED AP with specialty exams, and they always have events that pertain to important aspects of LEED and trending topics in green building. Check out local events on our online listing, or contact your local community directly.
Planning to take the LEED Green Associate exam along with the LEED AP exam? See our test prep resources for the LEED Green Associate.