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Should I take the LEED Green Associate exam, or a LEED AP specialty exam?

Before you can answer this question, you should determine first if you are eligible to take either one, and secondly, what is best for you and your career path. Please click below to find out more about each exam:

Green Associate Exam

LEED AP Specialty Exam

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21 Comments On This Post

  1. I have some time on my hands (recently laid off), and am anxious to get started and get LEED qualifications on my resume. Since BD+C doesn’t go live until 15 September, I wonder if it is worth the hassle to take the Green Associate Exam now, and take the BD+C portion later… in terms of fees and/or potential headaches. I’d appreciate any insight. Your site has been extremely helpful – thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Addled – in terms of fees, I believe it all works out to be the same in the end. I’ll confirm that in a little bit for you. Headache wise, it actually might be advantageous to take the GA exam first and focus on that material, then sue your knowledge from that to make it easier to learn the BD+C stuff later on. Just my opinion though – anyone else have any thoughts about this?

      Another thing to consider, is that you’ll be sitting for a 4 hour exam (two 2 hour exams) if you were to take both at the same time – which can be a headache for a lot of people too. It depends on the person I guess.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. I am planning to buy the LEED Green Associate Exam walkthrough for V3. My question is; Though it is not ‘GREEN’ idea, I like to read hardcopy. Would I be able to print the walkthrough once I buy it?

    Reply
    • Hi Madhavi, I completely understand. The Green Associate Exam Walkthrough is definitely printable. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Hi!
    I am currently a LEED AP and I am going to coach others in taking the new version. I have been searching to find the answer to this question; can you take the Green Associate test first and then at a later date take the specialized test? Thank you, Lani

    Reply
    • Hi Leilani,

      Yes, you can do that. I’m sure a lot of people who do not yet qualify for the Specialty exams will do just that. Good luck!

      Reply
  4. Hi
    What type of educational courses we can take from GBCI.org to ful fill the eligibility requirement? Can you provide me some link for this?

    Thank you

    Reply
  5. Hi Pat, what does the Green Associate Credential really do for one’s career? I do not see any jobs or ads for Green Associates? Is it really worth anything as a “Stand Alone’ designation.

    Reply
    • Hey David,

      Employers don’t actively search for Green Associated, but if they have two identical candidates, and one has a GA credential and one doesn’t, then definitely they’ll go for the one with the GA.

      Also, it is the stepping stone to the LEED AP credential, and having that on your resume will definitely show any employer that you’re staying updated with the industry (because the exam is still fairly new).

      I definitely think it’s worth something, because a lot of employers know LEED is the in thing, and that it takes some work to pass the exam.

      Just my 2 cents. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  6. Hi Pat, I am planning to appear for the GA exam. Do they provide some preparatory material when you qualify for the exam or does one have to buy it? How does that work?
    Txs,
    :ab

    Reply
    • Hi Abhi,

      They have a free handbook that you can download here: http://www.gbci.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=97

      However, that is all they provide, and you’ll definitely need to get some study material in order to have the knowledge to pass the exam. The USGBC & GBCI offer some great material, and you can always use the resources here on GreenExamAcademy as well. Thanks, and best of luck to you!

      Reply
  7. I took the Green Associate test stand alone for the same reasons. It does not have any additional expense, allows you to focus on (2) 2 hour tests, and allows you to concentrate on your specialty exam with general knowledge under your belt.

    I am studying for BD&C now and it is much more intensive.

    Good Luck!

    Reply
  8. I am qualified Architect. I have never worked or involved with Green Architecture building. Can I directly appear for LEED AP exam? Is it mandatory to clear Green Asso. exam first & then only I can appear for Leed AP?

    Reply
  9. I ultimately plan to become a LEED AP, but I’m considering taking first the GA, and later the specialty test to become AP. Based on a couple comments here, it led me to believe that breaking it out like this would cost the exact same as if I took everything at once, but upon reviewing the USGBC website further I don’t think that’s the case. The GA exam has a $50 application fee and the AP exam has a $100 application fee. So, my interpretation is that you’d have to spend an extra $50 (the application fee for the GA) if you wanted to break it out into 2 exams.

    I would not be surprised if USGBC’s website was a little misleading (confusion is what led me here) – does anyone have any experience with this?

    Reply
  10. I plan on taking the LEED AP specialty exam. I was told that it is a 4 hour exam; 2 hours GA and 2 hours AP. Is it smart to take both tests at the same time? What are the suggested study guides or methods I should use?

    Reply
  11. I would like to apply for LEED GA and LEED AP Exam. I m associated with any such project in past. Am I eligible for that or not. Pls advise. Regards
    Vineet

    Reply
  12. As far as I understand the GA exam is the first part (2 hours) of the AP exam. In that case do I need to buy the GA exam walkthrough or does the AP study guide include all GA required material?

    Reply
  13. I plan to be leed ap. To be leed Ga is mandatory step to be leed AP? If it’s not necessary, I wanna to take leed ap directly.

    If leed GA is necessary step to be leed AP, Do I need to register both GA and AP letter of attestation from USGBC?
    I don’t understand why these exams are devided.

    Reply
  14. Hi Pat, I am a Mechanical Engineer here in the Philippines, currently a LEED Green Associate, and planning to take the AP exam. I have almost 9 years experience in Facilities Management (8 years in Building O&M, and currently 1 year in Construction Management) May I ask, what specialty exam do you think has the greatest benefit for me in my present and future career – BD+C or O+M?

    Reply

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Hi! My name is Pat and I’m the guy behind GreenExamAcademy.com. 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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