Monday, May 21, 2007

Passing the LEED® AP Test

Taking the LEED® AP test was very grueling. The room was cold, and the noise-muffling headphones sure didn’t muffle any noise. But I shouldn't be complaining. I passed!

Here are a few things about the test to keep in mind:

  • Formulas. Do more than just memorization. Make sure you know how to apply the glazing factor formula to building design and the LEED credit, for example.

  • Credit responsibility. I thought this would be common sense so I didn’t study it much. Make sure to know who signs off on a credit, and remember that it is different for each one.

  • Credit relationships. Understand how changing stormwater management design may affect heat island affect, for example. A lot of questions focus on the integrated systems approach to design.

  • Prerequisites and the different ASHRAE standards. Know these inside and out!

  • The LEED registration process. If you can, try to register a project online before taking the test. It really helps in understanding how the registration process works.

There are many helpful resources for test preparation. Here are a few:

  • Study Groups. Contact members of your local USGBC chapter and form a study group.
  • LEED NC v2.2 Flashcards. These are great, and well worth the $35
  • LEED Bootcamp. An informative blog for anything you need to know for your LEED test (remember to study for the updated version of your test)
  • LEEP AP Candidate Handbook. Very important information about registration, scheduling, exam preparation, test-day procedures, and more

Until now, the USGBC has not required any dues or re-testing to maintain LEED AP status. So the good thing is that I probably will not ever have to take the test again. However, they have mentioned that starting in 2007 this may change, and they are now in the process of developing an accreditation maintenance program for future implementation. Stay tuned for future developments!

UPDATE***Please see here for changes to the LEED-AP exam***

18 comments:

kathryn said...

i see that there's a candidate handbook, but what about actual test study materials? Is there a book if I don't want to take classes?

Pat said...

Kathryn,

Most people who take the exam actually do not take any courses. Most people use various study guides and the LEED reference guides for their curriculum.

Here's a helpful website that is a free online LEED study resource for you to take a look at. It has summaries of the credits you need to memorize and tips as well.

http://www.intheleed.com

Good luck!

-Pat

sawsan said...

can anyone tell me what are the prerequisites needed to enable me to take the leed test or te3ll me where can can i find them . i am an architect from jordan (middle east)

Priti said...

Can someone tell me if there are different exams for LEED NC and EB? If so, what woukd help me decide which one to take? Mike

Christian said...

There are different exams for NC and EB, but over 90% of people take the NC exam. Once you pass any of the three current versions (NC, EB, CI), you are a LEED AP and can work on any project.

Chris

Everblue Energy

Author of 'LEED AP Exam Guide,' LEED AP, AIA said...

Many people ask me this question:

Do I need to read the reference guide from cover to cover to pass the LEED AP Exam?

My answer: It is good to read the reference guide from cover to cover if you have the time. The problem is not too many people have time to read the whole reference guide. Even if you do read the whole guide, you may not remember the important issues to pass the LEED AP exam anyway. You need to repeat your reading several time before you can remember any study materials.

I passed the LEED AP exam in my first trial without reading the reference guide from cover to cover. I studied the USGBC workshop study materials, and LEEDPass, and only refer back to the reference guide if there are some confusing issues.

It should take you about one or two weeks of full time study to pass the LEED AP exam, I have met people spent 40 hours to study and pass.

I have done additional research and I have just finished a LEED AP Exam prep book called "LEED AP Exam Guide: Study Materials, Sample Questions, Mock Exam, Building LEED Certification (LEED-NC) and Going Green." It includes all the advantages of existing LEED books and my own experience and tips as well as the latest LEED AP Exam information. It can be very helpful to you. It is available now as an e-book at:
http://outskirtspress.com/examguide
The paperback version should be available at amazon and bn.com as well as other major online stores in several weeks.

Gang Chen, Author of "LEED AP Exam Guide" & "Planting Design Illustrated"

Alan said...

I passed my LEED NC exam yesterday with a minimum score of 170. I spent around 15 - 20 hours reading the reference guide, 25 - 30 hours doing and re-doing online exams at greenexamprep.com (excellent) and 10 - 15 hours reading the scorecard document (78 pages) on the USGBC site (also excellent). That is a total of around 50 - 55 hours starting from a cold start (no LEED experience).

You must know percentages, standards etc. thoroughly and the LEED scorecard is good for this.

Incidentally, I have seen much written about the scoring system but no real answers. For the four sections (as split out in greenexamprep.com results also) I scored 61%, 61%, 80% and 50% in my exam. greenexamprep.com recommends that you score at least 80% in each section when doing their exams to feel comfortable about passing. I agree but it should be possible to pass by scoring less as I did.

Good Luck!

Patrick said...

The best LEED exam study tool for me was to continuously take online practice exams. A good LEED study guide is also very important. Try greenlearner.com. They have an excellent study guide and the online test questions are exactly like the real test.

Heather B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just passed the LEED AP test, on the first try. I took a class from the USGBC and I did the online testing from greenexamprep.com site. I scored a 174 minimum passing score is 170. The online practice test is great, just like the real test. I would highly recommend that you do the online prep test.

JG said...

I passed the exam this morning after two months of study and here were my keys to success.

First, I reviewed the LEED-NC guideline (available on USBGC website). Helpful, but not thorough.

Next, I read the Colorado USGBC guide cover to cover then tok the practice exam to find out how much you don't know. I scored a 52 on the first try and almost cried. Seriously - this thing's not simple.

Then, I happened upon Pat's intheleed.com help manual and it proved invaluable. It boiled it all down to the salient points, percentages and strategies. Thanks a million, Pat. WIMSEE!!

Finally, I spent two weeks reading the 400 page LEED-NC manual fully. Don't skip doing this or you maybe doomed.

Last, I again took the CO USGBC practice test two days before the exam and scored an 83.

FYI - I listened to Kings of Leon on my way to the test center if that makes any difference.

When I sat down for the test I deferred the tutorial and wrote down every LEED prerequisite and point (with a bit of info) on scrap paper to refer to later.

I actually found the exam fairly easy. I wish everyone of you preparing for this beast the best of luck.

Now it's time for a Celebrated Summer!!

-JG

Leed Green Associates said...

The best LEED exam study for me was to continuously take online practice exams. A good LEED study guide is also very important. Try Leed GALeed GA. They have an excellent study guide and the online test questions are exactly like the real test.

Leeditnow said...

can tell me that there are different exams for LEED NC and LEED NB.

Anonymous said...

I have previously recommended several LEED exam portals, such as Trial Exams, 100Questions, and others. I chanced upon this interesting exam portal which is built upon gamification - which is a new idea and concept - The simulation LEED (GA, BDC and NC) exams manifest in the form of Exam Villains which you will have to battle and win, and there are a lot of community-driven achievements, awards and etc. Do take a look and see, even if for the fun of it!

It's called Exam Fight and is at http://www.examfight.com

PS: I have no vested interests in the portal, btw!

Anonymous said...

I have previously recommended several LEED exam portals, such as Trial Exams, 100Questions, and others. I chanced upon this interesting exam portal which is built upon gamification - which is a new idea and concept - The simulation LEED (GA, BDC and NC) exams manifest in the form of Exam Villains which you will have to battle and win, and there are a lot of community-driven achievements, awards and etc. Do take a look and see, even if for the fun of it!

It's called Exam Fight and is at http://www.examfight.com

PS: I have no vested interests in the portal, btw!

Ella Mark said...

Great Post! It is the good opportunity for all to appear for a LEED exam and to start their career with a green building courses.

Monirul Islam said...

I am very excited for my LEED exam. I think LEED exam very important for all who want to know about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. you can learn it easily. It is not so hard for us to learn. So you can attend your LEED Green Associate Exam Prep without any hesitation.

Graeme said...

Just passed my LEED exam, used a GBRI's website as a study strategy and it worked perfectly. Check out https://www.gbrionline.org/