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A Step-by-Step Guide for NEWBIES: How to Earn your LEED AP Credential for LEED Version 3

This article is dedicated to those of you who are just starting out with LEED. If you are already a LEED AP from a previous exam, or have happened to taken the LEED exam already and failed – please click here.

First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on making a choice to pursue a LEED professional credential. You may not know it, but LEED is quickly becoming an industry norm, and no matter what experience you have in the architecture and construction industry (and even if you have no experience whatsoever), I believe you’re making a wise decision for your career.

Before we begin, I’d just like to introduce myself. My name is Pat, and I passed the LEED AP exam back in March of 2008. Passing the LEED exam was one of the hardest career related tasks I ever had to do. Some people say the LEED exam was harder than the ARE (Architectural Registration Exam), which is a process I plan to begin very soon. Anyways, I started this website as an easy-to-use (and free) resource to make the exam process less of a headache for you and to hopefully be there to answer any questions you may during your journey. Since I started this website in 2008, it has earned over 500,000 visitors and over 3,000,000 page views! I’d like to thank you for adding to those numbers.

Since losing my job at an architectural firm late last year, helping people pass the LEED exam has become my full-time job and passion.

Becoming a LEED Professional in LEED v3

If you have questions about what LEED is all about and how becoming a LEED professional can benefit you, click here.

The LEED credentialing process is a 3-tiered system:

  • Tier 1: LEED Green Associate
  • Tier 2: LEED AP Specialization
  • Tier 3: LEED AP Fellow

The LEED AP Fellow is reserved for elite participants in the LEED community, so we’ll just be talking about the first two tiers: the LEED Green Associate and the LEED AP Specialization paths.

Because you’re new, you can either take a LEED AP Specialization test to become a LEED AP+, or the LEED Green Associate exam to become a LEED GA. Which test you should take depends on your experience and your career paths. Let’s keep on reading to find out more about each exam.

LEED AP Specialization Exams

We’ll talk first about the LEED AP Specialization exams because there is a major eligibility requirement that many people will be unable to meet.

A LEED AP Specialization exam is a two-part exam. Part 1 is actually the LEED Green Associate exam, and part 2 is related to the specialization that you choose.

The specialization part tests you on your green building knowledge within a specific LEED rating system. It’s mainly for the people who will be working on LEED projects in the field, such as architects, engineers, contractors, etc.

After you pass, you will then be able to work on certifying LEED projects in your specialization as the LEED Accredited Professional. Here is a list of the various specialization exams:

  • LEED for Building Design & Construction (BD+C)
  • LEED for Interior Design & Construction (ID+C)
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance (O&M)
  • LEED for Homes
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND)

However, like I said, there is an eligibility requirement to take one of these exams:

You MUST have previous experience with a LEED registered project within three years of your application submittal date. This must be documented in the form of a letter from a supervisor, client, or project manager, etc. and must describe your involvement on the LEED project. This information is uploaded during your application process for the exam.

If you don’t have this experience, then you’ll have to enter LEED v3 by taking the tier 1, LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) exam. You can take the specialty exam later once you become eligible. Click here to go to the LEED Green Associate exam section below.

If You Are Eligible for a LEED AP+ Exam

If you happen to be eligible, you may be wondering which specialty exam you should take. This decision is up to you, and should be based on your career path and the career goals you have. That being said, here is a short description of each specialization exam for your information:

  • Building Design & Construction (BD&C): This exam actually covers three different rating systems: New Construction (which includes major renovation), Schools, and Core & Shell.
  • Interior Design & Construction (ID&C): This rating system is mainly for tenant spaces that don’t occupy an entire building, i.e. tenant improvement projects.
  • Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance (O&M): This rating system is applicable for buildings with commercial occupancies that involve building operations, process & system upgrades, minor space-use changes, facility alterations and additions.
  • Homes: This track covers single-family, low-rise multi family (under 4 stories), affordable housing, production, manufactured & modular homes.
  • Neighborhood Development (ND): Mainly developmental projects, such as neighborhoods, infill projects and larger mixed use developments.

What to Study and How to Study for a LEED Specialty Exam

The LEED AP Specialty exams are all based off of the Reference Guide of the particular rating system you choose. The Reference Guide is the manual that is used when certifying a LEED project, so you’re going to want to pick one up, even if you plan to use a study guide to help you study. It does help to use the Reference Guide along with a study guide at the same time. Reference Guides can be purchased from the USGBC on the publication list via their website.

In addition to what’s located in the Reference Guide, information from the USGBC website and the GBCI website are all fair game for the exam as well. This includes information about the LEED Application Process, Minimum Project Requirements (MPRs), Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs), etc.

As you can probably tell, there is a lot to learn, which is why I recommend using a study guide to supplement your studying. You can check out the study guides for your exam of choice in the left hand side of this website, or by clicking here.

Probably the best way to practice for the exam after you believe you’ve learned what you need to know is by taking practice tests. Again, you can view the best practice exams for each test in the left hand side of this website, or by clicking here.

Lastly, you are free to use any of the free resources found on the homepage of under the category for the specific exam you plan to take. There are helpful tips and charts that are free, which should help you memorize and understand the information even further.

Here is some more info about the exam:

  • 2 part exam, 2 hours each (4 hours total)
  • The 1st part is actually the Green Associate Exam (see below)
  • 100 multiple-choice questions for each part (200 total)
  • Computer-based test
  • For two-part exam: USGBC national members: $300, All others: $400
  • For specialty exam only: $150/$250

For more information, please check out the handbooks which can be found on the GBCI website.

The LEED Green Associate Exam

The LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) exam is the 1st tier in the LEED credentialing process, and is the stepping stone to earning your LEED AP with specialty.

The GA exam is less detailed than the specialty exams, but can cover general green building concepts that span across all LEED rating systems.

The GBCI website states that the Green Associate exam is “for professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice…[it] denotes basic knowledge of green design, construction and operations.”

This exam is geared toward the product manufacturers, the marketers, the finance people, students, people in customer service for a large construction firm, etc. It’s also for people who are not yet eligible to take a LEED AP specialty exam.

In order to take the LEED Green Associate exam, you must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must have previous experience supporting a LEED-registered project, or
  • You must have experience working in a sustainable field of work, or
  • You must have attended an education program that addresses green building principles.

Your experience must be documented in the form of a letter from a supervisor, client, project manager, or teacher, and describe your involvement. A completion certification from an educational program, or an official transcript will suffice. This information is uploaded during your application process for the exam.

Let’s go through each of these eligibility requirements one-by-one:

You must have previous experience supporting a LEED-registered project

This is self-explanatory. If you’ve worked on a LEED registered project in any way, shape or form – then you qualify for the LEED Green Associate exam. Again, you’ll need documentation (as described above) to prove this.

You must have experience working in a sustainable field of work

I believe all they are looking for is for you to explain how you and your company or profession has anything to do with sustainability, environmentalism, or the green building industry. Of course, if you’re an architect or engineer, then you should be able to meet this requirement very easily. If you work for a product manufacturer (i.e. a carpet manufacturer),  then you’ll have a little bit of explaining to do as to how you and your company relate to the green building industry.

You must have attended an education program that addresses green building principles

The GBCI has yet to be absolutely clear about what exactly qualifies as an acceptable education program for the LEED Green Associate exam. I will be asking for clarification from the GBCI very soon, and I’ll update you as soon as I find out.

This is what I’ll be asking:

  • Is there a list of acceptable education programs to choose from?
  • Can certain college courses count?
  • Can these programs be taken online, or only live?
  • What about continued education programs at work?
  • If you have more questions, please comment below and I’ll ask!

If You Are Eligible for the LEED Green Associate Exam

If you are eligible for the LEED GA exam, you may be wondering exactly the exam is about. Here’s a quick breakdown:

The Green Associate exam will test your knowledge of:

  • The LEED Application Process
  • Project Site Factors
  • Water Management
  • Project Systems and Energy Impacts
  • Acquisition, Installation and Management of Project Materials
  • Stakeholder Involvement in Innovation
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach
  • Synergistic Opportunities between various LEED strategies

Here is some more quick info about the exam:

  • 2 hour exam
  • 100 multiple-choice questions
  • computer-based test
  • USGBC national members/full-time students: $150, All others: $200.

For more information, please take a look at the Green Associate exam candidate handbook, which can be found on the GBCI website.

What to Study and How to Study for the LEED Green Associate Exam

You should definitely take a look at the Green Associate handbook found on the GBCI website. The handbook will tell you important information about what is covered on the exam and where you can find that information.

In addition, you are always free to use the information on to help you along the way.  On the homepage you’ll find information about you’re the exam, including summaries, tips and charts to help you organize all of the information for you.

I also have published helpful study guide called The Green Associate Exam Walkthrough, which you may find very useful.

Last Note from Pat

I hope this article has at least pointed you in the right direction and you now have an idea of how you want to participate in LEED version 3, either as a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP with specialty.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to find you the correct answer as soon as I can. Since this is an open forum format website, people in the future with the same question may benefit from you asking yours now – so please don’t hesitate to do so.

Lastly, thank you so much for your support. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

Kindest regards,


Click here for the best Study Guides & Practice Exams

158 Comments On This Post

  1. I want to thank you for putting all of this information in one spot, it is priceless to me!

    • Thanks Stephanie for your comment – I know how confusing it can be, so I do my best to make it as clear as possible for everyone.

      • How can i be associated with leed project (which is the basic requirement for eligibility) through GBCI

  2. I am interested to take the LEED GA exam and I want to take the USGBC seminars. Does anybody you know attend this classes? Do they really help?

    • I don’t know anyone who has personally taken any classes, but I know that they would probably be very useful, since they are administered by the USGBC themselves.

    • I have taken the LEED AP exam prep class with USGBC and is very useful.Go to there website and check the dates.

  3. Pat,

    What exactly is the difference between the eligibility requirements for the LEED GA and LEED AP? It looks the same to me. Do I need to apply separately for both the exams?

    Thank you so much

  4. Hi Pat,
    I took the LEED NC exam in June but unfortunately, I only got a 166 so I didn’t pass. My company requires everyone be accredited so I’m trying to take the LEED GA test instead. I just submitted a certificate from a LEED seminar I took in January and received confirmation this was acceptable. I am going to sign up for the LEED GA test but I don’t know what I should be studying? Were there changes made to the prerequisites (SSp2?). I have gone through the NC reference guide, numerous tests, etc. but I do want to fail the test again! Any info. you have would be most appreciated!! Thank you 🙂

    • I am a sole practitioner uninterested in working on a project from another office but my own. Does this mean I would need to have a letter from a client or consultant for a Leed registered project from my own office to be eligible for Leed AP.

      • Hi Jim. I totally understand, and I’m sure that the GBCI would understand just the same. I believe a letter from a consultant would probably do the trick, just explaining you own the business that is working on a LEED registered project. You may want to contact the GBCI just for confirmation, but I’m sure this is what you need.

  5. Oops…that would be I DON’T want to fail the test again!!!

  6. Pat
    Thank you first of all for this absolutely brilliant and helpful website.This is really a commendable stuff.

    My questions are:
    1. What kind of experience in a LEED Registered project is required?Should i be in the design team or the implementing team?

    2. LEED GA exam also requires some experience in a LEED Registered project. How is the experience criteria for LEED GA and LEED AP+ different?


    • Hi Divjot,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Here are my best answers to your questions:

      1. The amount of LEED experience needed on a registered project in order to be eligbile for a LEED specialty exam is not exactly defined yet by the GBCI or USGBC. My educated guess is that if you are associated with a project in a way that allows you to begin to understand green building design and strategies, you’ll qualify with the appropriate letter from your supervisor. If, for example, someone in an office is just serving coffee to those working on a LEED project, then obviously that wouldn’t be enough. Once I find out more information, I’ll definitely post it here.

      2. For the LEED GA exam, you just need experience in a field of work related to green and sustainable design. If you’re an architect or engineer, then you obviously fulfill this “related field of work” requirement. If you’re part of a manufacturing company, then a little bit of explaining needs to be done about how your company relates to green principles. Please understand that you can also qualify for the GA exam by participating in an education program that addresses green building principles.

      I hope this helps! Thanks and best of luck to you.

  7. Hi, Pat,
    I am an architectural student at the moment and not involved in any green projects, is it possible for me to take the test for LEED Green Associate ?

    • Hi Ekaterina, most definitely. If you’ve taken any courses dealing with green education, or can sign up for any seminars or online classes, through the USGB or other third party provider, you’d then be eligible to take the LEED GA exam.

      • Pat,

        You mean that you can take seminars from any other third party provider not just from USGBC and you can eligible to take the test? Is that right? Thanks.

  8. Hi Pat,

    I am an architect and an urban planner – practicising as an urban planner, we work on a number of redevelopment plans where we recommend LEED certification – would my architecture degree be okay? or planing experience be enough to qualify for LEED GA?

    I failed LEED NC by 1 point on June 29th 🙁

    thanks and really appreciate your help.

    • Hi Rach, sorry to hear you were so close with the previous exam. Your planning experience will be enough to qualify since it is related to a field that has to do with green and sustainable design. Just make sure you have a letter that explains this per the requirements in the GA handbook, which can be located at:

  9. Hi Pat,

    Thanks so much for the info. I am an architect interested in taking the LEED GA exam. I work for a small residential firm, however we’ve not done any LEED projects or even worked on any projects that consciously set out to be green.

    Am I correct in understanding that even though my firm is not specifically implementing sustainable/green practices at this time, I can still qualify for the exam because I work for a firm that is in the field of architecture?

    Do you know of any sample letters I might be able to point my office manager to in terms of wording the letter of eligibility?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Hi Leigh, yes. As far as I understand it, and I’ve heard from multiple sources, you can qualify because you work for an architect.

      As far as a letter, I don’t have any sample letters, and don’t know where I could find any at this moment. If you download the LEED GA handbook, it will tell you exactly what the letter needs have. If i find any more info, I’ll let you know and post it on the website.


  10. Pat:
    Thanks so much for all this help.
    I was wondering if you can actually reccomend me some books that prepares for the LEED. I was looking at the PPI books and live courses and also the UF-TREEO books and live courses or i should just stick to the green building education services that i saw linked in this website..

    do you know of any web site the reviews all this courses?


    • Hi Carlo, I do not know of any sites that review these courses and study guides, although that would be really helpful I think.

      Anyways, all of the material found on I definitely recommend. I cannot say how good the other products or other courses are because I have not used them myself or heard much about them from other people. Best of luck to you!

  11. Pat:
    Thanks so much for your fast response.
    coincidentally my boss came to me yesterday and he is taking A LEED course in tampa next month so i signed up with him but i just bought the walkthrough e book so i can start with my studies this weekend.

    Your website is amazing!!! and has helped me understand the whole process
    Thanks again


  12. Hi Pat,
    I can’t find LEED GA allows me to take LEED AP+ exam in the GBCI Handbook. Only LEED project experience makes me eligible, to my understanding – but you have different idea!
    How possible?


    Seyong (Massage from Korea)

    • Seyong – Sorry for any confusion here. Passing the GA Exam will not automatically qualify you for the LEED AP+ exam. The only way to qualify is to have experience on a LEED registered project.

      However, many people are taking the GA exam as a “stepping stone” towards earning their LEED AP+, which means they will become a LEED Green Associate, then look to work on a LEED Registered project, which will then qualify them for the LEED AP+ exam.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  13. Hi Pat,

    I have purchased the material as listed on your website (intheleed) for preparation of GA. My only concern is – it should cover everything as required by USGBC & GBCI requirement. If you refer to GA handbook as listed on
    Please refer to page 8 and it describes Primary & ancillary references for study & preparation of exam. I couldn’t find any of this material in your study guide. I hope i have the right content for my GA preparation. I understand GBCI is the offical website for USGBC education.

    Kindly advise.

    • Hi Jignesh,

      Thanks for your message, and I understand your concern. You may be happy to know that quite a few people who have used my guide have already passed their GA exam.

      My guide is meant to summarize and break down the material that is listed in those specific references, and present it in a way that’s easy to read and understand. If I were to go one by one through each of those references and describe each one of them, then the study guide wouldn’t be doing it’s job.

      Thanks and please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. All the best to you!

  14. Pat,

    I am currently laid off from a homebuilder in Charlotte, NC. Prior to the downturn in the housing market, the company I worked for had begun implementing a few green building aspects. However would my experience as a construction supervisor for homebuilding count for the LEED GA requirement?

    • Hi Jim, sorry to hear about your layoff.

      Regarding your experience, I believe you will have no problem qualifying for the Green Associate Exam. All you would need would be the appropriate eligibility letter as explained in the GA handbook.

      You may want to double check with the GBCI by shooting them an email or giving them a a phone call.

      All the best to you!

  15. Hello Pat,
    Thank you for all the information on the page which was very helpful and did clear a lot of my queries.
    Next, what I want to know is the registration process. I have completed the address and contact part and have also sucessfully uploaded the LEED Eligibility Letter. My application # is 5435. I do not understand how I am to continue further with the payment and things like that. The company I work for is registered with the USGBC. Could you please help me with the above mentioned so that I can go ahead and give my LEED exam. Awaiting your response.
    Thank You

    Amal Jacob

    • Hi Amal, thanks for your kind words and support for

      The process of signing up for the exam is a three part process. You’ve completed the application process, where the GBCI will determine your eligibility. It may take some time, but so far you’re doing everything correctly and just have to wait for a response from the GBCI that your application is approved. You can also check your status by signing onto the GBCI website and going to “My Credentials” at the top.

      The next phase is exam registration, which is accessible from “My Credentials” after your application is approved. Here, you can register for an exam and take care of payment information.

      Registration will generate an ELIGIBILITY ID, which you’ll need when you enter the next phase, which is scheduling your exam.

      With your eligibility ID, you’ll then head over to to pick a date, time and location for your exam.

      Hopefully this makes sense. By the looks of it, it seems like all you need to do right now is just wait a few days before the GBCI comes back to you regarding your application. Thanks for your question, and best of luck to you!

      • hii Pat,
        Its been quite a while since i have submitted the eligibility letter . No response yet from gbci. Anyways went into my credentials and i submitted the letter again and they came with the payment of 50, but i have no clue as to int wat currency the fee(50) is to be done. Couls You please assist me with my concern. Awaiting your response

        Thanks and regards
        Amal Jacob

  16. Hi Pat, Thanks for your help.

    To answer your education program requirement for LEED GA question:

    At the following link

    you will find:
    GBCI has confirmed that all of USGBC’s education programs, with the exception of its webinars, satisfy this requirement. Become eligible today by taking these current USGBC courses:

    * Green Building Basics and LEED
    * Introduction to LEED for Homes
    * Introduction to LEED for Schools
    * LEED Core Concepts & Strategies
    * Green Building Operations & Maintenance: The LEED Implementation Process
    * Green Building Design & Construction: The LEED Implementation Process
    * Green Interior Design & Construction: The LEED Implementation Process
    * Green Home Design & Construction: The LEED Implementation Process
    * LEED for Schools Technical Review
    * Integrative Approach to Successful LEED Projects
    * LEED for General Contractors / Construction Managers
    * Understanding LEED Project Costs & Returns
    * Using Energy Modeling on LEED Projects

  17. Hi Pat,

    I bought your handbook for GA prep. The guide is really well written. 🙂

    But I am really confused. Would the guide cover everything or will I have to go through the references as well ?

    Please advice.



    • Hi Harry,

      The guide does cover the information in the references, but it doesn’t explicitly say what information came from where. If you have access to those materials, it wouldn’t hurt to check em out. Quite a few people have passed already without taking a look at those references and just using the guide – but it’s up to you. Good luck with everything!

      • Hey Pat,

        Thanks for the reply…I am really looking at GA right now..I dnt have much time coz I am going to get busy wid some assignments. So i intend to study for a week and take the exam. Studying credits in detail will need a lot of effort. So, thats the fact.

        Anything u want to suggest?



  18. Pat:

    I am not working for a company so I cannot get a USGBC National membership but a local USGBC affiliate membership. Do you know if I would receive the discount on the exam fees etc. as a member of a local – in this case the state – affiliate of USGBC?



    • I’m not exactly sure, but in order to get the discount, you’ll have to enter a corporate ID number, which I’m not sure if they give out to local/state affiliates of the USGBC. If you do have some type of “number” from them, you can give it a shot.

  19. Is anybody aware of any other “educational seminars” that will qualify me for LEED GA exam, other than the ones listed on the USGBC website? The ones I found are all out of state i.e. Mass. So I was wondering if there were any other source of seminar etc. near Boston. Thanks.


    • I’m still looking into a definite answer for this. I have overheard that some online courses and classes may qualify for the requirement, but I’m not exactly sure what the USGBC thinks about this. I will try and find out for you. Thanks!

  20. Hi Pat,

    Great website, well done and thanks for providing so much valuable information.

    I am about to start my second year of a real estate masters. In year one we covered building appraisal and as part of the course we had to undertake a project on sustainable/greener buildings and materials. In year 2 i imagine we will cover further topics surrounding green bulidings as it is such a topical issue at the moment. if you have the time to answer i have a few questions which i hope you might be able to help me out with.
    1. can i take the LEED exams in Ireland? if so where are test centres?
    2. Are the exams held on certain dates?
    3. would i qualify to take the exams even though i currently do not work in the field?
    4. How have the LEED exams benefitted you and are they a good stepping stone toward working in this field?

    Thank you very much for all your time and help.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your questions. Here are my answers:

      1. I’m not exactly sure if you can take the test in Ireland, but I know you can in many other countries, so I would suspect that you could. You’ll have to check with and see if they have test locations in your area. You’ll be able to see exactly where they are located on that website.

      Also, here’s a page from prometric with the European customer service phone number which may help:

      2. The exams are not held on certain dates. You’ll be asked for YOUR preferred test date, and then given the first available time slot available as an option, but you can choose what time of day based on availability as well.

      3. I believe you’ll qualify for the Green Associate exam because you are in a field that can deal with sustainability. In order to take the Specialty exams, however, you need direct experience on a LEED registered project.

      4. The LEED exams and the LEED credential have benefited me in many ways. When I was still working in an architecture firm (before I got laid off), I was given a promotion right after I passed. Now, I cannot promise this will happen for everyone, and I can’t say that my credential was the only reason for my promotion, but it definitely helped and showed my colleagues and my boss that I was serious about my career and my career path. Also, on resumes, it definitely makes people look twice.

      I hope this information helps. Best of luck to you!


  21. Hi Pat,
    I’m planning to give the LEED Green Associate exam & the only way I qualify is by attending an education program that addresses green building principles.So I was looking at online courses which are eligible for the exam.
    I did find quite a few at Boston architectural college ‘’ related to sustainable design. Also USGBC has a few online couses which they say are also eligible for the exam Plus they cost a lot less than the BAC college.
    What I want to know is will doing a detailed course of 8 weeks at BAC be helpful for me to appear for the LEED GA exam? OR even the ones at USGBC which are short term in duration & a lot less inexpensive help me achieve the same thing?
    Thanks & Regards,


    • Hi Supriya,

      I’m not exactly sure if going with the detailed course of 8 weeks will teach you exactly what you need to know for the GA exam. It may be too much information and just be overkill if you know what I mean.

      I know the USGBC online courses are great, and since they administer the exam (along with the GBCI), you know the courses will be related to the exam material.

      That being said, if you are looking down the road and really want to know as much as you can about the subject of sustainability and green building design, the 8 week course may be a great fit for you. It’s totally up to you though.

      Thanks and best of luck to you!


  22. To anyone willing to give input:

    I currently just graduated college with BS, majored in Regional Development. I want to become a LEED Accredited Professional, as soon as possible. I took several classes throughout college covering sustainability, energy and water conservation, etc. Having a few internships, mostly standard commercial development, although, worked on a Protected Riparian area and developed a mitigation plan for a particular client), but have not worked on any specific LEED projects. With my college credentials and some work experience, exactly which exam would I be qualified to take? If anyone has the time, I would greatly appreciate the input/help, thank you.

    • Hi Brandon,

      I definitely believe you are eligible for the Green Associate exam. However, you don’t qualify for a LEED AP specialty exam yet because you don’t have direct experience working on a LEED project.

      Thanks and good luck with everything!

  23. Pat,

    I’ve chatted with you before. Can I purchase a hardcopy of the LEED GA study guide?


  24. I apologize if you’ve answered this already, but if I have passed the GA exam and then went on to work on a LEED accredited project, would I still have to take both parts of the AP exam, or just the second? Thanks.

    • Hi Christopher,

      Good question, one that I actually haven’t answered directly just yet.

      If you pass the first part (the GA exam), and later work on a LEED registered project which would then qualify you to take a LEED AP Specialty exam, you would only have to take the second part (the Specialty part), since you’ve already passed the first part.

      Thanks and best of luck to you!

  25. Pat,
    I am a licensed architect and contractor who has been practicing residential design/build for over 20 years. I own my own small firm, and don’t want to have to work outside of my firm to qualify to take the exams. So my questions are…

    1. Can I contract out a LEED AP certified individual to oversee a LEED qualified project of my own in order to to become eligible to take the LEED AP myself without having to become LEED GA certified first?

    2. If not, would I be considered qualified to take the LEED GA exam simply because I am a Builder / Contractor, and these are inherently of “green” concern?

    3. If I become LEED GA certified, can I oversee one of my own projects to become qualified for the LEED AP exam?

    4. If not, can I contract someone from outside my firm (once I have GA status) to observe (or work with on) one of my own projects that meets LEED specs?

    Many thanks for your efforts. This is an invaluable resource.


    • Hi David,

      I’ll do my best to answer your questions:

      1. This, I’m not sure of. You’re definitely in a unique place having the ability to do this. In my opinion, I think that even though you are hiring someone to oversee the LEED registered project for you, as long as your name is somehow tied to the LEED registered project and you do have some kind of responsibility with it, you should be able to take the LEED AP exam straight away. I definitely recommend at least sending an email or calling the USGBC with this very unique question.

      2. If not, yes – you are correct. Because you are a Builder / Contractor, and that is inherently of “green” concern, you’d be able to take the GA exam.

      3. I believe so, yes. Again, this is special situation because you have your own firm and want to keep the work within.

      4. Again, I believe you can go with #3, but what it comes down to is if you have work experience working on a LEED registered project. The way it happens isn’t very clear, but you’d obviously have this by observing and working with someone on one of your own projects.

      I hope this helps. Sorry it’s a little unclear. Like I said, a unique situation, but I’m sure the USGBC or GBCI will be able to clarify things for you.

      Best of luck!

  26. Hello,
    Hello Pat,
    I am planning to take the LEED AP (Homes) exam. Should my involvement in a LEED registered project be necessarily in the Homes specialty, or could it be in any other area?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Laurence,

      Your involvement with a LEED registered project doesn’t have to correspond to the type of exam you want to take. Of course, it probably would help you out since you’d already know exactly what kinds of things are involved in registering a project with the same specialty that you are taking the exam on – but no…I don’t believe the USGBC or the GBCI specify that you have to take the exam for the rating system that you have LEED experience with.

  27. Hello,
    You’re site is far more informative than the GBCI’s site. Thanks. Anyway I gather content and maintain the “Green Living” portion of a radio stations website. We showcase green products and ideas. Do you think this would qualify for any of the LEED AP certificates or only the basic certification.


    • Hi Ben,

      Based on my experience, I believe you’ll only qualify for the LEED Green Associate Exam.

      The GBCI is very specific and strict with their requirement, which is restated for you below: (for the specialty exams)

      “You must have previous experience with a LEED Registered Project within three years of your application submittal date.”

      You could use your GA certification as a stepping stone to work on a project that would then qualify you for the LEED AP exam. All the best to you!

  28. I am in the commercial services industry, mainly contract surety bonds. When someone says they are LEED Certified, what does that mean? If I were take the LEED GA test only, would that mean I am LEED Certified? Or, to be certified are all/many exams to be passed.

    • Hi Alan, good question. When some says they are LEED certified, they are wrong because people cannot be LEED certified. Only buildings and projects that meet the requirements of the LEED rating system they are applying for can be dubbed as “certified.”

      Now, people can indeed be “Accredited Professionals”, which is where the LEED AP comes from. People who are LEED APs help and understand the process to make buildings LEED certified.

      Lastly, products or materials cannot be LEED certified. Products and materials could only help projects become LEED certified by contributing to whatever requirements are necessary for a project to become LEED certified.

      If you were to take the GA test and pass, you would be a LEED Green Associate. If you were to take one of the specialty exams, you would become a LEED Accredited Professional. If you worked on a project that registered for LEED and met the requirements, you would help that project become LEED certified.

      Hope that helps! Thanks and best of luck to you!

  29. Is there a handbook for the LEED-Green Associate exam? I would like to study from that vs buying different classes. Also, I was laid off from a residential developer awhile ago, where I work as the Director of Design. We didnt have any LEED projects under our belt at the time, however, I did work on a project that was meeting the standards of Chicago Green Home. Would I be able to qualify for the LEED AP for designers?

    • Hi Briana,

      The USGBC offers a text called “Green Building and LEED Core Concepts Guide”, which will give you some great information that is necessary to pass the exam.

      There is also a list of study guides in the left hand side of this page offered by third party, non-USGBC companies.

      Best of luck to you!


      • I just read your last question, sorry about that. You must have experience on a LEED registered project in order to qualify for the LEED AP exam. You are almost more than certain to qualify for the Green Associate exam, however.

  30. Dear Pat,

    I see the words LEED-registered and LEED certified used interchangeable when describing the pre-reqs. for taking the GA and AP exams. I am currently assisting on 2 LEED aspiring projects which are registered and now “in process” with the USGBC. Our work is done, but the USGBC is terribly behind on certification awards. Am I at the mercy of their timeline to award in order to get my pre-reqs met? ….or is it enough that they are registered and pending approval?

    Thank you.

    • KKL, looking at the candidate handbooks for the LEED AP Specialty exams, it specifically says, “You must have previous experience with a LEED Registered Project within three years of your application submittal date.”

      Based on this, I would believe you are definitely qualified right now to take the exam.

      Best of luck to you!

  31. Hi Pat,
    If I am already a LEED AP before the 2009 change. Would I qualify as having Professional Credentials with Respect to LEED for Homes with my “old” LEED AP? I need to know if I could count as a point on home projects?
    Thank you

    • Honestly, the USGBC is pretty unclear about exactly what the situation is, but if I remember correctly, I think I read somewhere that as long as you’re a LEED AP, even if you’re a Legacy LEED AP, you will qualify as a point for the LEED rating system.

      I recommend contacting the USGBC just to double check. Thanks and best of luck to you!

  32. Hi, Pat

    While going through CAGBC site I found that if I choose to writ an exam before Dec2009, I can do that.
    Can u guide me what I need to do. I have already created a profile on CAGBC site and requested for an exam…what next.
    Where to get the study material. They didn’t asked about any experience.

    I am not a certified architect in Canada but have a degree in Architecture from India and having 11 years of experience.

    Please advice.

    • Hi Sid,

      FOr the CaGBC exam, you have until December to pass. You do not need to meet any eligibilty requirements. If you wait until the next version of the exam, you probably will have to, so it’s good that you’re getting it done now.

      The best thing to do would be to get a copy of the reference guide for the exam you want to take. Check on the CaGBC website, I’m sure they have a publications area where they have that reference guide, as well as some other helpful information about that particular exam. Download something called the “handbook” if it’s there too, which will give you all the basic information about signing up and showing up for the exam.

      The test is mostly based on that reference guide, as well as whats on the website. Many people use study guides to supplement their studying, however. I offer one, which you can find in the link below:

      It’s actually a study guide for the older US version, which is VERY similar to the Canadian version that you would be taking. Many people have used it to pass the Canadian version of the exam. It’s up to you if you’d like to use it or not.

      Also, I recommend using practice exams – they are one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam, which is on a computer and can be different and new for many people. On the left hand side of this website, you’ll see a section for practice exams. There is a practice exam for the Canadian version there too.

      I hope this information helps. Best of luck to you!

  33. Dear Pat

    I am very much impressed by your website and the lucid way you way explained the process involved in getting a LEEP AP certification.

    I am a practising architect involved in luxury retail consultancy and based in Dubai.
    I have completed the LEED basic certificate course online from the USGBC website
    I have registered for a LEED workshop being conducted in Dubai in a couple of weeks time.
    I am also currently doing my Masters in Architecture from the University of East London with Sustainability as the main theme.
    Can you please point me in the right direction wheteher im eligible for LEED AP exam directly or should i start with LEED GA? And what kind of assistance would you be able to provide me in this regard and what would be the associated charges.

    Best regards


    • Hi Srinivasa,

      Wow, you have a lot of great experience for sustainability under your belt, and it seems like there is more to come. That’s great!

      The GBCI is pretty strict about their eligibility requirements to take the LEED AP exam. You must have working experience on a LEED Registered Project at least 3 years prior to your application approval date. You will, however, definitely qualify for the Green Associate exam, because you are a practicing architect, and you have taken and will take courses/classes regarding sustainability.

      As far as costs and charges, you can visit the link below:

      Best of luck to you!

  34. Thanks Pat,

    I am all scheduled tp go for a test on Dec 7th in Toronto.

    Thanks to your forum

  35. I was recently let go by a major commercial real estate owner/operator where I was Manager of Construction Services within the Operations & Construction Group. I was involved with all types of base building improvements and tenant fit outs where efforts were employed to use sustaianbly materials. There were a few projects completed during the later part of my employement that acheived LEED ratings and more recently our Operation Group has been acquiring various Energy Star designations. Would that experince suffice to satisfy ‘sustainability’ requirement to be eliable for the LEED GREEN Assoc exam?

  36. Hi Pat,

    I am currently in the process of specing out a fleet of Hybrid/Alternative fuel transit buses for our department. I have just completed an accredited Hybrid/Alternative fuels program to assist in this project. My question is, Would Leeds benefit me in this endevor? The site at which the vehicles are to be housed and maintained in is being specifically built for these units, And I am in constant contact with the project manager.



    • Hi Boris,

      You may want to look at certifying the building that is being used to house these vehicles, but remember, LEED is about buildings and projects more so than the vehicles itself, so there will be many requirements that you’d have to meet in order to earn certification.

      It may be a special case that you might want to contact a LEED consultant about. Sorry I can’t be of much help with this for you. Best of luck!

  37. Pat, this is a great site. I am an unemployed facility manager and was looking at taking the LEED class”s but was a little confused on all the options. You did a great job of explaining it.


  38. I believe you have to be working on a registered building not just any building to meet the prereq for the LEED AP specialty exams.

  39. Hi Pat I am a licenced Realtor and I also a partner in a green staffing health care agency with a nurse friend of mine. Would being be realtor qualify me for the LEED GA exam? I do not have any new built experience.

    • Hi Dee,

      I believe that just being a realtor would probably qualify you for the exam, however I’m not 100% sure. Because it’s related to green staffing, it may give you an edge in case just being a realtor alone wouldn’t suffice.

      You may want to contact the GBCI just to make sure, and you can always have a letter written up and see if they deny it or not as you apply.

  40. Hiii Pat.
    I have registered for the LEED GA exam and I have recieved the date and time and venue of the exam, which is on the 24th of Jan in Doha. Thanx to all the support from your end to all my queries.
    Now its about the study material. I have seen the LEED GA study guide in your site which is 29$. Is that all what I require to learn to successfully pass the LEED GA exam. Please guide me and advise what I am suppose to refer to.
    Awiting your response.

    Thanking You

    Amal Jacob

    • Hi Amal,

      I do have a GA guide, but that’s just one of your many options. You can take a class given by the USGBC or another third party to learn the material. You can also purchase some of the material directly from the USGBC as well. Practice exams are also important, which you can find in the left hand side of this website.

      People have had success with my guide, but I’m sure many of the other resources available are just as good. If you can spare the change, the more resources you can pull information from, the better – in my opinion.

      I hope that helps! Best of luck to you!

      • Alright thanx Pat
        I did see the reference guide on the usgbc website… just want to be sure which one is it…
        from what i see i guess it is the
        GREEN BUILDING AND LEED CORE CONCEPTS GUIDE first edition(e book) which i have to purchase for LEED GA. am i right?.

  41. Yep, that’s it! It will help you understand the core concepts of LEED across all rating systems, which will be tested upon on the real exam.

    It’s missing some information, however, as far as the LEED application process, registration and the tools that are used to certify projects, but overall, it’s a great read, and easy to read.


  42. Hi Pat,

    First of all a HUGE thank you for creating this site. It really is a time saver and so much information in one spot…I love it!

    On to my question, not sure if has been asked and answered already.

    I am an interior designer, I own my own business and would like to become an LEED certified designer. My dilemma is this…I currently have no green projects, have not worked on any and my school did not teach green design. So where does this leave me?

    Are there seminars that I can take online to be qualified to take the LEED GA? Help!

    Thanks a million!

    • Hi Christine, I’ll still doing some research as far as classes and which ones qualify for what and all that kind of stuff. I apologize for the delayed response. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can on your questions. Thanks!

  43. Hi Pat,

    New question…through ASID I ordered a “Creating Sustainable Interiors” monograph book. By reading it and taking the test in it I am able to complete CEU’s (continuing education units) that I need to keep my ASID membership. Do you know if this would also satisfy the Green requirement to take the LEED GA exam?

    It would be awesome to kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Thanks again!

  44. Hi Pat, I can’t tell you how much your site makes finding informtion about LEED certification and the difference’s between levels of certification so much easier to understand. I have been on so many different sites and I was completely confused. With that being said, here is my question.
    Would I be eligible for the LEED Green associate exam through my education. I recently graduated with an associate degree in interior design. I know how important it is to become LEED certified to really move forward in this field. I did not take a class that soley focused on Green issues. I did however take a materials and components class that we had to do a project using the LEED point system. I have some knowledge in this area, but would absolutely need to take a class. Would you happen to know what class would be best for someone like me and where they are available in the Boston area?

    Thank you for your attention and for the time you take to make this process a little easier. It really is nice to have someone to ask. Good luck in your journey and I wish you the best.
    Kim Carbone

    • Hi Kim,

      Let me ask you a quick question. Are you working right now? If you are and it’s in any way related to the design and building industry, you’re good for the GA exam. Let me know, and then we’ll go over your options if needed. Some of the options I’m still trying to make sense of before I publish something about it.

      • Hi Pat,

        Unfortunately no, I am not working at this time. I do some odd jobs here and there for clients on my own, but I am not working in the industry. I am having a very difficult time finding a job and have come to the realization that I really need to continue my education and also having a level of certification in this area will be very beneficial for my career. Since going back to school right now is not in the cards I thought it might be a good idea to focus on the LEED certification. What do you think, if you do not mind me asking.

        Kim carbone

  45. First off, thank you so much for all the information! There doesn’t seem to be much solid information about LEED and nothing comes close to the wealth of organized information you have.

    Second, I am wondering what exam would be the most beneficial for me to take. I recently graduated in May with a Bachelor of Architecture. I am working full time and am keeping track of all my hours so I can become a licensed architect. My firm is starting me on one of their Leed projects very soon, so I would have no problem meeting the requirements to take the Leed AP+. And they are encouraging me to become Leed Certified as soon as I can if I’m interested. Should I starting by taking the Leed GA and take the Leed AP+ later? Or should I just make the jump and take the Leed AP+ now?

    Thanks again for a great site!

    • Hi Megan,

      That’s really up to you. There are lots of things to think about. The first thing, is that if you take both, it’s a 4 hour test. Now, some people are ok with sitting for 4 hours and taking a test, but it’s a LOT of information, and it could burn some people out – so, that’s something to think about.

      Secondly, you can take the GA first, and then the LEED AP+ second, however I think I calculated it out before and you’ll end up paying $50.00 more because of the application fee (I think). It’s not so bad considering you’ll have time in between tests, and preparing for the GA exam will definitely help you prepare for what’s to come for the AP+ test. It’s really up to you though.

      Oh, and one more thing, if you go for both, and pass the GA part but fail the second, you don’t become a GA, since you signed up to take the AP+. I hope that helps!

  46. Pat,
    awesome site..I hope this turns out to be the best career path for you.

    My Question: I am currently working on a LEED registered project (I am the Environmental Manager), as the on-site LEED coordinator (Africa); due to a lack of interest from a LEED AP credited person coming over here to do the job. Our home office (Atlanta GA) has the LEEDs staff who are ‘assisting’ me. I have no LEEDs credentials. The project is 8 months old and not scheduled to be completed until the end of 2010. Can I claim this as my ‘experience’ working on a LEEDs project so I can take the AP test?


    • Hi Pat (nice name!)

      Anyways, as long as the project is registered for LEED, then you should have no problem qualifying for the LEED AP exam. It doesn’t have to be completed in order for you to claim experience on it.

  47. Great site!! Just passed LEED GA with a score of 179! Thanks

  48. Hi Pat,
    Plz help me to make the schedules to study for the exam since i had given the exam NC 2.2 and i couldn’t clear, just 5 marks down ,, I was so sad ,plz guide me hw to study within 1 month i need to tk up the exam. i ve already gt the reference guide version 3…
    Thanks and regards

    • Ankitha, your schedule will depend on what you have going on, and how much free time you have to study. I would break down the reference guide into credits to learn per day until you take your exam. I’d also leave enough room for you to take practice exams and make sure you have all of the information memorized.

  49. Hi Pat,

    Thank you for all of this information. This site has been a real help to me. I just have a couple questions for you. I am a union laborer and last week I took a Green Construction Awareness class for certification to work on a LEED project starting in my area. Now I am looking to take a LEED Exam but wondering which exam would be the best fit for me in my field? I was thinking one with a concentration on maintenance which would allow me to keep a position on the job site even after its completion. I beleive I meet the eligibility requirements with this awareness class. If not I will have to wait until I am on the job site.
    Thank You,

    • Which exam you take is up to you, but it seems like you already know which one is best for you and your career path. It seems like that the O&M exam works out.

      However, in order to qualify for the LEED AP exam, you must have experience on a LEED certified project. A class alone will not suffice. You’ll need a bit of work experience on the project you’re talking about before you should apply. You can, however, qualify for the Green Associate exam, which is the first part of the AP exam anyways, if you don’t want to wait until you have enough experience. I hope that helps. Best of luck to you!

  50. Hi,
    Loads of thanks for ur reply. I am an Architect and working in Dubai, Landmark group company. My working hour is from 8.30am to 6.0pm. Friday and saturday are holidays.Based on above information kindly schedule a time table for me.Plz gimme the tips to memorise certain credites which are more important n exam oriented . May be Flash cards. I ve gone thru’ many problems in my life,I need to clear this exam at any cost. Plz help me. Even though I ve taken dis exam, plz tk me as a layman person to this particular subject LEED n plz guide me from Scratch. currently I ve Reference guide which is really confusing since so many informations, i dont know which among them I need to memorise. Is there any way where I can get in touch with u to study?May be thru online I can chat with u r plz suggest sme other options.I ve taken the online course also for the eligiblity. I Feel u r the right person so Plz show me the way to clear the exam keeping the duration 1 month for studies.

  51. Does anyone know if the LEED AP qualification has any value in European architectural practices?

  52. hi.i am an architect from the philippines working in qatar.I think I am eligible for LEED GA only since i have no leed project experience yet.
    i found in an online program that will give you LEED experience if you have intentions to pursue LEED AP.
    The program costs $499.99 for 30 days. They say you’ll be a registered member of the project team and eligible for the LEED AP exam.
    Is this program acceptable to give you leed experience? i hope you can give me some information on these types of programs.thanks!

    • Hi Sheila,

      That’s a tough one. I never heard of that program, and it seems weird that you’ll have to pay in order to be a part of that team. My thoughts were that one should get real life experience working on a real life LEED registered project in order to understand exactly what it’s like when you will be working on a LEED project as a LEED AP. Is this program all done online? If so, it may be tough to get the USGBC to accept this if you are audited. I’ll look into it and get back to you. Thanks!

  53. Hi,
    Loads of thanks for ur reply. I am an Architect and working in Dubai, Landmark group company. My working hour is from 8.30am to 6.0pm. Friday and saturday are holidays.Based on above information kindly schedule a time table for me.Plz gimme the tips to memorise certain credites which are more important n exam oriented . May be Flash cards. I ve gone thru’ many problems in my life,I need to clear this exam at any cost. Plz help me. Even though I ve taken dis exam, plz tk me as a layman person to this particular subject LEED n plz guide me from Scratch. currently I ve Reference guide which is really confusing since so many informations, i dont know which among them I need to memorise. Is there any way where I can get in touch with u to study?May be thru online I can chat with u r plz suggest sme other options.I ve taken the online course also for the eligiblity. I Feel u r the right person so Plz show me the way to clear the exam keeping the duration 1 month for studies.

  54. Hi! I work for a metal recycling company. We also recycle sheet rock and wood. I am in charge of submitting the spreadsheets for multiple construction companies for their LEED projects. At one time, I was tracking the recyclables of 8 different LEED projects. It is also my job to make sure that recyclables get to their intended destination. Would I need any LEED credentials if I wanted to move to another company doing the same thing I am doing now?

    • Hi Debra, I don’t think you’d need a LEED credential for this, as long as the company you are working for realizes this and do not require whoever they are looking for to be a LEED credential. you definitely have the experience, and if it’s ok with your new employer, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  55. hi Pat,
    thanks for all the is indeed very useful. I m new to the process of leeds. Could you please tell me is there any other way also if i am not for the three criterias given for LEEDs GA exam.. if yes then could you explain how i can appear or be eligible. I want to appear for the Leeds exam. i would appreciate if you answer me

    • Hi AJ, the three methods are very specific and the USGBC don’t leave any room for anything other than the requirements they mentioned. If they had other methods to qualify, I would definitely let everyone know, but they are strict about these requirements because if they let one person go for any other reason, they would have to let everyone in for that same reason.

  56. Pat

    You said “A LEED AP Specialization exam is a two-part exam. Part 1 is actually the LEED Green Associate exam, and part 2 is related to the specialization that you choose.”

    Does that mean even though I am qualified to take Specialization exam, I still need take GA? Sounds like GA is the exam everyone must take first.

    In 2006 and 2007, I worked on a LEED registered project. I have asked the project manager to write a letter for me. In my case, do you think I should take GA exam too?


    • HI Danny, the GA part of the AP exam is mandatory, unless you’ve already passed the GA exam. So, because you qualify, based on your experience, you’ll be able to take the LEED AP exam, but that will indeed include both parts. It shouldn’t be that much additional work for you to learn the material, since you’re quite familiar with the process already, and studying for the AP exam will naturally help with the GA part. Good luck!

  57. Hi Pat,

    I just want to say I found your website very helpful, I had a comment/question:
    It seems that it doesn’t matter much if you qualify for the specialty exam since you have to take the GA exam anyway. I qualify for the specialty exam but I feel that it will be easier on me to take the GA first and the specialty after, this way I don’t have to sit for 4 hrs and run the risk of not passing one or the other by 2-3 points. The only downside seems to be that it will be an extra $50 application fee.
    Am I not seeing things clearly or does this thought process make sense?

  58. Hello Pat,
    This is a fasinating site, thanks.
    I would like to know that as a HERS Rater can I take the GA and Ap exams? I am also an HVAC Contractor and Certified Air Balancer.

  59. Hi Pat,

    How can I find the Tesco green factory’s guide? They talk about it here:



  60. Pat,

    I’m confused as to what I can do to fulfill the requirements for the LEED Green exam. I have a few years experience in commercial construction as a specialty steel trade. I also have a few years experience as a project manager for a residential developer. Right now I’m in the process of starting my own company building animal containments for zoos. In which case I am seeking the leed certification so that as I obtain jobs I can build accordingly to the LEED certification requirements. What possible classes or seminars can I go to in order to fulfill the requirements to take the Leed Green exam?


    Alexander Cross

    • Hi Alexander,

      There are a number of classes that you can take. There is a list of live courses listed on the USGBC website here:, and there are other third-party companies that offer courses that qualify, such as from,,, etc. I hope that helps! Best of luck to you!

  61. Ok so i am looking at becoming a Leed AP. I currentley work on leed projects and we always have a commisioning agent come out. Is this person just a Leed AP or do you need somthing more to Certifiy a job??

    • The commissioning agent may or may not be a LEED AP, but in most cases, I don’t believe it’s a necessary prerequisite in order to become a commissioning agent. In most cases, due to the requirements of the commissioning credits in the rating systems, the CxA can’t be the LEED AP that’s on the project, since they must be from a third party company.

  62. Dear Colleague PAT,
    Hope the answer will not take a long time since i saw that u didn’t reply since Nov.17, 2009 🙂
    I wanna start studying for the GA exam right now, and after passing, start with the LEED AP (BD&C).
    While browsing your web, i found 2 different deals that confused me which one to choose:
    the first one is :”Study Guide and Audio package deal” 44.95$
    the second one is:”LEED Green Associate Practice Tests
    with Exam Simulator and Study Guide”
    I am wondering if the second one is the same as the first one but has in addition the 400 practice test and the choice of a 2009 LEED practice test?
    So the study guide and the Audio are the same, but with extra features for the 2nd offer.
    I appreciate your quick feedback to decide which one to purchase.
    Finally, as a previous comment posted before, i would say as i am a member of USGBC, i really found your website more useful and more clear than the official website.
    Good Luck with your career and thank you in advance.


    • Hi Chevy, thanks for your comment. Actually, I’ve been super busy, getting ready for a new baby! But I do apologize for the delays in some of my comment, I just wanted to be honest 🙂

      Anyways, those deals are not the same. The guides that come with each are different. The package for 44.95 is my own study guide and audio guide which is a shorter version of the guide that picks out the most important parts of the material that will indeed be covered on the exam. The other package, which is from a separate website and company, has the 400 questions, but they also throw in a study guide. However, their study guide is quite long and contains a TON of excellent information, but many have said it’s hard and intimidating to understand because it covers EVERYTHING, including things that aren’t necessary to memorize for the exam, if that makes sense.

      Finally, I’d just like to thank you for your comment about the ease of use of my site. I try and make it as easy as possible because I have first hand experience on how confusing most of this stuff can be for people. Best of luck to you!

  63. Dear Sir,

    This is to inform you that I had taken online course in your green academy institute, but i am unable to go through the online course due to continuous unavailability of the internet and now it got expired, unable to view the course both green associate course and the Building Design & Construction.Please assist me to get the course availability through online ASAP since I am planning to take up the exam next month. The details of the login information for the online course is given below… Also please send the course completion cerfication asap so that I can attach that to register for my exam…

    Thanking You,

    With Regards,

  64. Dear Pat,

    I am an architect working for the past 2 and half yrs in Bangalore. I have no prior experience of working on any green building.Am i still eligible to give the exam?

  65. Dear Pat,

    I am an architect with 7 yrs of experience. I am working in a large architectural firm. I would also like to know how I can become eligible for the Leeds GA and AP exam.

    I am preparing for the Leeds AP in new construction and renovation.

    Please help in answering the following points.

    1. I am planning to take up a online course of 200 points. Can I take any course or any specific for my specialization?
    2. Does the online course gives a certificate at the end of it which I can submit at the time of application to make me eligible for the Leeds exam GA or AP?
    3. I also want to purchase your GA course ware guidebook for 29.95$. how will I get the same in pdf format or hard copy. I would surely like to know.
    4. Also how many practice exams paper are included in the same guide

    Also I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers to make my self eligible for the AP

    I would surely appreciate your quick response on this


  66. Hi Pat,,
    This is to inform you that I had taken online course in your green academy institute, but i am unable to go through the online course due to continuous unavailability of the internet and now it got expired, unable to view the course both green associate course and the Building Design & Construction.Please assist me to get the course availability through online ASAP since I am planning to take up the exam next month. u sent a mail saying it got activated for another 60 days but still the online course is not activated..Please help me to get the activation ASAP..Also please send the course completion cerfication asap so that I can attach that to register for my exam…

  67. Dear Pat,
    I have been following the website for some time now and am thankful for the inputs and tips.I passed the Leed GA with a 175.I am not working on a Leed project right now and wld like to know as to how i can come in touch with people working with Leed registered projects in Qatar.Kindly let me know if u have any info on this.Also i wld like to enrol myself in an online CMP. Kindly enlighten.
    Keep up the good work and Thnks.

  68. Hi Pat
    Thanks for this very informative website.
    I wish to take up the LEED exam. I have completed M.Arch (Advanced Architectural Studies)from University of Sheffield, UK.Currently job hunting. My course dealt with Sustainability but my degree certificate just says it as M.Arch Studies. I do not have any work experience in green buildings.
    Could you please tel me if my qualification gives me the eligibility for the exam or should I take any other course.

  69. Hello,

    I’m having trouble with a wording in Stormwater Design credit. What does LEED mean by 1 1/2 year 24hr rate?
    Thanks so much.

  70. Hi Pat, Thanks for all the good infos.
    My question (sorry if it has been answered) is;
    How would you compare your guide for LEED GA with Green Exam Prep GA Cours

  71. I am an Architect and interested in achieving my LEED GA exams. I have gone through your website and find the material you are offering very useful and informative. I tried buying your complete GA Exam Walkthrough ebook but the third-party site link is dead. Please update me or provide me alternative links on how to purchase the material.

    Awaiting your reply at the earliest.

  72. If you are serious about LEED training, I would recommend checking out Everblue Energy. They’ve got some great resources to help you pass this difficult test.

  73. I am taking the Leed GA on April 27th, 2010. I want to be sure that I am studying the correct material. Do you reccomend studying anything else besides the Green Building an Leed Core Concepts (First Edition)? On the GBCI they list this as the primary along with a bunch of other books, I dont have the time to study everything. I want to concentrate on one book.
    Thank you for your assistance.

  74. Dear Pat,
    I am an architect and i m working on a on LEEDs register project in india.
    I have also got a certificate from the Architectural firm that is halding the design of the certificate.
    will that certificate work and also where can i send it for verification?

    please let me know

  75. Hi Pat
    Finally on second trial I passed my Green Associate Exam. Your practice test had been great help.

    Thanks. Now I will looking forward to appear for LEED AP as soon as possibe.


  76. Hi pat,
    this is a very useful information. Please let me know if the continual education programme qualifies me to the GA exam.


  77. I’m studying for LEED AP ID&C. In the EA section ASHRAE 90.1 is mentioned a lot. I get very confused with the prescriptive requirements, performance requirements, and provisions. What is the difference between these, and should I know when I need one or the other? Should I know what each signifies?

  78. Hi Pat,
    Kudos to you for this amazing website. its really very helpful and interesting. i must thank you for this.

    i have a query…

    i am doing post graduation diploma in environment and sustainability from a university in India. besides this i have done a thesis on intelligent interiors which included a case study on green building. does that make me eligible for the LEED AP or GA?? please advice.

    looking forward to your response…


  79. hello, i am interested in taking the LEED exams. Do you have any testing centers here in the philippines? Please let me know. Thanks.

  80. Hi Pat,

    I’m a contractor here in the Philippines. Can I take the LEED AP exam on line right away or should I take the LEEP GA first. My problem would be proof of involvement in green projects since this is relatively new to our country. What proof can I use to qualify other that letters from seminars I attended. Thanks!

    • Hi Elmer. All LEED exams are taken live and are not available online.

      If you’re a contractor, you probably already qualify to take the LEED GA test, with no problem. For the LEED AP exam, you will need proof that you worked on a LEED registered project – not just a green project.

  81. Hi Pat,
    I’m trying ti get started on LEED assoc. exam and have bought the digital audio package but the link that was emailed to me is not recognised nor is it highlighted to click on.I have tried copying the link to google it but its not being recognised.I am anxious to get started so if you can help with the download that would be bril. Thanks

  82. Hey Pat,
    Thank you so much for such a beautiful site. Entering and visiting, I ended up typing “free” in the search box. Interestingly, I couldn’t find a thing…
    So tell me, am I using this wrong or is this just a case misleading advertising?

    • Hi Steven – typing FREE in the search box only looks for the term “free” in the written content on this site. Because no results came up doesn’t mean there is no free information on this site.

      There is a ton of free information, which you can see on the homepage and in the FAQ section of this site, which goes into far more detail than many of the existing sites out there. This post that you and I are commenting on – you did not have to pay to get access to it either.

      Not EVERYTHING on this site is free, I will admit that. The study guides and practice exams I cannot just give away. So, I don’t believe at all that I am false advertising anything, and you are the first person out of millions of visitors to this site who has said anything like that. I apologize you feel this way, and if there’s anything I can do for you please let me know. I work hard here to give people the necessary tools and information to make things as easy as possible for people.

      All the best to you.

  83. Hi Pat,
    Excellent & appreciated.
    The information for LEED, provided by U is very good.

    Thank U Very Much.

    Engr- Muhammad Shafi
    Abu Dhabi – U A E

  84. Hi,
    I am working with an electrical consultant in Ernakulam. I would like to be certified by LEED. But I am slight confused which exam to attend and which one can I attend. I have a qualification in BTECH in Electrical and I havent attended any course from LEED or havent done any LEED projects. Is it possible I can write any of the exams and get a good starting for my career.

    Your webpage is really helpful.


    • I checked through some webpages and the exam being conducted in India is IGBC Exam, but is it same to the LEED Exam.

  85. Hi Pat,

    Thank you so much for all the great info you give to all of us. Amazing!!!

    I am a licensed architect in Brazil, but relocated to the US three years ago. As you might imagine, my license is not valid here, so I decided to go back to school and just graduated with a bachelor’s in interior design here in the US. While in Brazil, I never worked on any green project, but I did green projects while in college here. Would this qualify me to take the LEED GA exam or do you think my best bet is to take a course to become eligible?

    In case my projects from college are enough, do you think the “Green Building and LEED Core Concepts Guide” will be all I need to study for the exam?

    Once again, thank you for all your help!


  86. Hi!
    it is very useful website….
    an commendable work sir…
    Is beneficial for me.. to get a gusidance to start studing..

  87. Hi Pat,

    First of all, sorry about the mistakes i could have writting, but as you will see, english is not my language.

    I have to say thank you for this marvelous website, i have been lookin for something like this in the last 2-3 months.

    I am a civil engeneer from Medellín Colombia, i’m just 24 years old and i’ll be working for a LEED project very soon.

    Next Tuesday, will be starting preparation for the BD&C Exam with the only LEED AP at my region (although i’ve been reading for the last 3 months).

    Do you think there is any obstacle to take the exam before you finish a complete LEED project construction?

    Once again, many thenks Pat.

  88. Dear Pat
    Realy appreciate your work for newbies like me.

    I am planning to take “LEED:Core concept & Strategies” online course to meet the eligibility requirement of LEED GA exam.I need ur advice on the same.
    Is I have to appear for exam for this basic course or it is just at understanding level? & Whether it will truley satisfy the eligibility requirement for LEED GA exam.

    Waiting for ur reply.

    Thanks Pat.

  89. Thank you for your “less money making” but “more info. sharing” web site. I’m wondering if there are any live classes instead of online, held for LEED GA prep exam?

  90. Dear Pat,
    I’m planning to do LEED BD+C exam in one shot.I mean both the green associate and the speciality together in a 4 hours exam.I bought the USGBC refrence guide as well as your al in one LEED BD+C study guide.What else I need to study for the green associate part?
    Many thanks

  91. please tell me the all details related to this exam in india and what i have to do for thais

  92. Pat–Saw you were awaiting a new arrival (daughter) over a year ago. Hope all went & is going well. Saw no follow-up.
    Best wishes!

  93. Pat, thanks for the very helpful and useful website. So far all I have read are comments from individuals who are using the accreditations in their offices or under an employer. However is anyone (beside GBCI)making any real money at this? Where are the professional opportunities in LEED?


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About Me

About Me

Hi! My name is Pat and I’m the guy behind I graduated with a B.A. in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley, and was working in an Architecture firm for the last few years in Southern California...


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