Signing up for a LEED version 3 exam is a three-step process.
The first step is applying for the exam, then registering for the exam, and finally scheduling your exam. This is a little more complicated than it was in the past, and does involve uploading documentation to prove your eligibility, but I’m sure the following explanation will make it much easier for you.
Before anything, you should definitely download the LEED candidate handbook for the exam you will be taking (the only handbooks currently available are for exams that are currently live and running). The handbook contains important detailed information about the current policies and procedures for taking the LEED exam. Here are the basics:
Step 1: Applying for the Exam
Go to the GBCI website and click on My Credentials at the top. Click on the button underneath “First Time Here?” to create an account. Follow the instructions on the screen to proceed. (If you already have an account from a previous version of the LEED exam, just type in your login information).
Important things to know:
- Make sure your enter your name EXACTLY as it is shown on your ID.
- If your company is a member of the USGBC, you will save $50 on your exam fee (not the application fee). Enter your company’s Corporate Access ID in the additional information section, which you can probably find through your company’s human resources or marketing department.
- Select your credentialing route (the specific exam you’d like to take…if you’re unsure, please visit the FAQ for more info)
- You will then need to upload the documentation that is required to prove your eligibility to take the exam. Get your letter or education certificate ready and scanned before you begin this process. (for more information about eligibility requirements for each exam, please visit the FAQ for more info)
- You’ll also need to read the GBCI’s terms and conditions, disciplinary policy and Credential Maintenance Program guidelines and electronically sign that you agree.
- You will have to pay a non-refundable LEED application fee (which is different from the exam fee). It’s $50 for the LEED Green Associate exam, and $100 for a LEED AP Specialty exam. Credit or debit cards are acceptable payment methods.
- You will then get a confirmation on-screen that your application has been submitted. I would print this out for your records.
- Within 7 days, your application will be reviewed by the GBCI and you’ll receive notice that your application is either approved or incomplete.
- If approved: you can then proceed to exam registration. Your application is valid for 1 year from your approval date, and you are given three changed to pass the exam you chose within the one-year application period.
- If incomplete (or your application expires because you waited too long or failed 3 times, you will have to wait 90 days before reapplying.
Step 2: Registering for the Exam
After your application is approved, go back to the GBCI website and click on My Credentials at the top and login. Select register for an exam from your current options. If you don’t see this, you either:
- Didn’t apply for an exam yet (see step 1 above)
- Your application has not yet been approved
- Your application has been denied
- Your application has expired
Remember, you can register for the exam anything within a year of your application’s approval (from step 1). You can only have one pending exam registration given at any time. However, there is no waiting period in between exams (in case you were to fail and wanted to take it again right away).
Registration will generate an eligibility ID, which you will need to write down so you can finally schedule and pay for your exam.
Step 3: Scheduling the Exam
After applying for the exam, and registering for an eligibility ID, visit the Prometric website to schedule an appointment. Prometric is a third-party testing company that adminsters the LEED exams for the GBCI.
You will need your eligibility ID from the previous step in order to proceed and schedule your exam. Follow the instructions on the screen to select a test site, schedule a date and a time and enter your payment information.
After your schedule, you’ll get a confirmation number on screen and in an email. PRINT THIS OUT! You will need this information if you want to contact anyone about your exam for any reason.
Frequently Asked Questions about Taking the Exam:
- How much does it cost to take the Green Associate exam?
For the LEED Green Associate exam, it will cost you $150 if your company is a member of the USGBC or if you are a full-time student. Otherwise, you will be charged $200.
If you’re taking both parts of the LEED AP Specialty exam (the GA exam + Specialty exam), it will cost you $300 if your company is a member of the USGBC. Otherwise, you will be charged $450.
If you’re taking just the specialty exam portion of the exam, because you’re either a LEED AP from a previous LEED exam, or you already passed your GA exam, it will cost you $150 if your company is a member of the USGBC. Otherwise, you will be charged $200.
- When will I be charged for the exam fee?
If you’re in the U.S. you will be charged the day you take your exam. If you’re outside the U.S. you will be charged the same day you scheduled your exam.
- Is it true that I can get reimbursed for taking the LEED exam from my company?
It depends – some companies do reimburse for the LEED exam, while others do not. Some companies will only reimburse you if you pass. I heard of one person who got reimbursed by his company because he agreed to hold a LEED study course for other employees if he passed. Pretty cool! You’ll have to ask.
- How far in advance should I schedule my exam?
The answer to this question really depends on you and your schedule. Maybe you’re a genius and only have to read through the material once to absorb it all, in which case you could schedule it for next week. However, if you’re like me you’ll need a little more time and effort to grasp all of the information. When I took my LEED exam, I gave myself a generous 2 months. Before choosing your exam date, read through the rest of this guide so you can estimate how much time you may need.
- Can I reschedule my exam if something comes up?
Yes. If you feel you scheduled your exam a little too soon, or something came up on the date of your scheduled exam, you can indeed reschedule. When I took my exam, I actually felt like I was not ready for the initial date I chose, so I rescheduled it for a few weeks later. If you reschedule within 30 days or less before your original exam appointment, it will cost you an extra $30. To reschedule, all you have to is go back to the Prometric website (www.prometric.com/gbci) and follow the on-screen instructions. You must reschedule no later than midnight 3 days before your scheduled exam.
- What happens if I fail? Do I have to pay again?
If you fail your first exam, you can re-register for the exam two more times within a year of your exam application approval. You can reschedule as soon as you’d like, but unfortunately you will have to pay the exact same fee for your exam again.
- Pat, do you have any other helpful tips from your experience with scheduling?
My advice to you is this: don’t just choose a date and time that is most convenient for you. You should also think about how you feel during certain times of the day. Let me explain…
I chose to take my exam on a Monday morning because I know that personally, I am more focused in the mornings, as opposed to after lunch. Also, I knew it would be nice to have the entire weekend prior to my Monday appointment to study without any work items looming over me at the same time. I feel this really made a difference in my score.
It’s really up to you though.