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How is the LEED Exam Graded? Is there Partial Credit?

How the LEED exam is graded and scored has always been a kind of mystery in the LEED community. My take is that you should not worry about how the exam is graded, and just worry about getting as many correct answers as possible – but I know we’re all curious, which is why I’m writing this.

Both the Green Associate exam and the LEED AP Specialty exams consist of 100 questions each. In order to pass, you must get a score of at least 170 out of a possible 200 points. However, it’s not as simple as each question being worth 2 points. From an article from my friends at, we learn that it’s a little more complicated than that. Even so, I assure you that the USGBC and the GBCI has done a lot of research and spent a lot of time trying to make the exam process as fair as possible.

We know from the GBCI website and the candidate handbooks for each exam that they are graded on a scale, but they don’t really go into much detail about exactly what this means. Based on the BuildingGreen article, each exam has different versions (how many exactly is unsure), with a different set of questions for each. Instead of trying to make each exam set equally difficult, a “difficulty coeficcient” or “multiplier” is given to each exam. Your “raw score” on the exam is multiplied by that coefficient and your scaled score is the resulting number. If it’s above 170, you pass. Again, they do this so your scores are fair no matter the difficulty of the exam set you take.

Many questions on the LEED exams require more than 1 correct answer. Based on the information from, we can also assume there is no partial credit for answering just part of the question correctly when multiple answers are required.

I recommend reading the article from as it goes a little more in depth with the analysis.

Again, don’t worry so much about this – just do your best to get 200 out of 200, in which case, how the exam is graded doesn’t mean a thing.

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13 Comments On This Post

  1. hey pat
    i passed my exam on 29 June and was given a stamped letter immediately.
    Is this my final LEED certificate??

    • Hi Asmitha, your official “diploma style” certificate comes in the mail 6-8 weeks later. However, that letter you received confirms that you did pass your LEED AP exam. Congrats!

      • pat congrats to you for such a lovely site. i only studied from your site and passed on first shot.
        keep up the good work and hope u get time after your baby arrives. congrats on that account too.

  2. Hey pat since the time Prometric has started exam service in India we are very excited and enthusiastic to earn the LEED AP+ certification.Appearing for GA coming Aug and would like some help from those who have cleared as to how was the exam.Already working on LEED projects for last 3 years.
    Thanks Pat for guiding us right from day one.


    • hey rakesh
      i passed the exam frm mumbai last month.
      all i can say is that exam is tricky. so be well versed with the content.
      and ofcourse you are on the right website.all the best 🙂

      • Thanks asmitha for ur guidance.

        I am from Mumbai too.Could you give me ur contact details so that I may spk to you as per ur convenience.

        Best Regards,


  3. Pat,

    This site is the best around regarding leed certification. I learned more in 10 minutes here than all my other research combined. Thanks.

  4. hi amisha,
    can you kindly guide the procedure to appear the LEED AP + Certification Exam Please?

    • Hi Deb, follow the instruction in the FAQ section, and when signing up, look for a prometric testing center in your area to schedule the time and date of your exam.

  5. I just came across this site, despite having looking at LEED resources online for a number of months. I’m due to take my exam in 4 weeks (GA) and there’s loads of great info here. Thanks for putting together such an awesome site!

  6. Asmita,

    Congratulations first of all for passing the exam.
    I would like to know apart from online available references on GBCI Candidate handbook which other books / references u used for reading.

    and any other information that u would like to share as ive started preparing for this test recently.

  7. I bought the practice materials to help with Leed 2009 as advertised and I believe some of the questions on the exam simulator are wrong and refer to old information. I cannot post the questions that I am referring to but please let me know. thank you


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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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