LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation -Everything You Need to Know!

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What is the LEED Green Associate Exam Like? Who is this Exam For? How should I prepare for it? GBRI – a USGBC Education Partner has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the LEED Green Associate exam. We hope this article explains the essentials of LEED Green Associate and what you need to know before scheduling the exam. We have also prepared a video version of this article with audio titled “9 Things You Need to Know About LEED Green Associate Exam Prep”. Need a helping hand for LEED Green Associate Exam Prep or LEED Accredited Professional Exam? Don’t forget our best in class LEED Green Associate Exam Prep with 100% money back guarantee.

The LEED Green Associate credential is intended for professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice. The LEED GA exam requires general knowledge of LEED prerequisites and credits. After passing the LEED Green Associate exam, you may choose to take the LEED AP exam with specialty in Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Operations and Maintenance (O+M), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), Neighborhood Development (ND) or LEED for Homes, which requires specific knowledge of the prerequisites and credits for a particular rating system. If interested, you may read our blog on LEED AP Exam.

Alright back to LEED Green Associate – LEED Green Associate Accreditation is important for anyone involved in the building industry, especially in building projects looking to attain LEED Certification. A LEED Green Associate credential is beneficial for students, teachers and professionals that represent the building industry. A LEED credential validates your knowledge in Green buildings, sustainability and LEED rating system. As LEED becomes popular in more than 150 countries, there are countless opportunities for building professionals with LEED accreditation.

LEED Green Associate Exam Prep

About the Exam

The LEED Green Associate credential demonstrates basic knowledge & principles of USGBC & the LEED rating system. The exam is made up of 100 questions. The passing score is 170/200 (85%). The exam is 100 multiple choice questions, worth a total of 200 points weighted on difficulty. No Partial credit is awarded on the exam. You should answer all questions or you will automatically lose points.

How long is the LEED Green Associate Exam?

The LEED Green Associate exam is 2 hours in length, plus a 10 minute introduction and a 10 minute optional survey.

What Language Is The LEED Green Associate Exam Offered?

The primary language for the LEED Green Associate exam is English. Translation is offered solely as an aid to non-native English speakers and is currently provided in French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese.

Where Can I Take The LEED Green Associate Exam?

The LEED Green Associate exam is computerized and held in a Prometric testing center. The exam is taken in-person at a Prometric Testing Center, and appointments are available 6 days a week, year-round.

How Much Does It Cost To Take The LEED Green Associate Exam?

The LEED Green Associate exam fee is $200 and $250 for non USGBC members.

Note that students have a discount as you see on the screen

How Do I Register For The LEED Green Associate Exam?

Create a USGBC account if you do not have one. It’s FREE to create a USGBC account. To Register for an Exam – Log in to your Credentials account by using your USGBC site user account. Verify that the name you enter in matches the name on the ID you will present at the test center. If it does not match, please update your name in your site user account “settings”. Select the credential exam you wish to apply for and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the application.

Note that you will be redirected to prometric.com/gbci to schedule your exam date and location. You can schedule your LEED GA Exam anytime you wish around the year.

What are the eligibility requirements to take the LEED Green Associate Exam?

There are no restrictions or prerequisites to take the LEED Green Associate exam. It is recommended that candidates taking the LEED Green Associate Exam have exposure to LEED and green building concepts through educational courses, volunteering, or work experience prior to testing but it’s not required. For the LEED® AP with specialty exams, prior LEED project experience is strongly recommended. Practitioner experience is critical to the LEED AP designation and, as such, project proficiency will be tested objectively within the LEED AP with specialty exam itself.

What will I be tested over for the LEED Green Associate Exam?

All LEED® exams are developed and regularly updated by a global network of Subject Matter Experts and meet the specifications of a job analysis.

The exams assess candidates’ abilities at three hierarchical cognitive levels: Recall, Application, and Analysis.

Recall Items: These items assess a candidate’s ability to recall factual material that is presented in a similar context to the exam references.

Application Items: These items provide the candidate with a novel problem or scenario that the candidate can solve using familiar principles or procedures described in the exam references.

Analysis Items: These items assess a candidate’s ability to break the problem down into its components to create a solution. The candidate must not only recognize the different elements of the problem, but must also evaluate the relationship or interactions of these elements.

What are the resources used to create the LEED Green Associate Exam?

The resources used by the Subject Matter Experts to write test questions for the LEED GA with specialty exam include the 1. Rating systems, 2. Certification resources, 3. Calculations, 4. Credit forms, 5. Guidance documents and 6. LEED Online registration forms.  Don’t worry about all these terms. GBRI All inclusive Exam Prep addresses all of these elements. Candidates does not have to purchase anything else.

What is the structure, format, syllabus, curriculum for the LEED Green Associate Exam? What are Task Domains and What are Knowledge Domains?

Task Domains reflect the tasks necessary to perform LEED safely and effectively  or it identifies the skills to address “What does a LEED professional need to do?”


  • Serve as a green advocate to clients, team members and the general public (e.g. why green building) 
  • Stay current on any updates to LEED and green strategies in general 
  • Navigate LEED Online 
  • Communicate broad and basic green building concepts to team or colleagues
  • Research and create a library of sustainable building materials
  • Assist others with sustainability goals
  • Create project profiles/case studies/press releases

Knowledge Domains reflect the rating systems’ credit categories and the concepts of “What does a LEED professional need to know?”

There are 9 Knowledge Domains. The number of expected questions from each domain is included in parenthesis.


  • LEED Process (16 Questions)
  • Integrative Strategies (8 Questions)
  • Location & Transportation (7 Questions)
  • Sustainable Sites (7 Questions)
  • Water Efficiency (9 Questions)
  • Energy & Atmosphere (10 Questions)
  • Materials & Resources (9 Questions)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (8 Questions)
  • Project Surroundings & Public Outreach (11 Questions)

Each Knowledge domain explained

  1.  LEED Process (16 questions)
  • Organization fundamentals (e.g. role of USGBC/GBCI; mission/vision; non-profit)
  • Structure of LEED rating systems (e.g., credit categories, prerequisites, credits and/or Minimum Program Requirements for LEED certification)
  • Scope of each LEED rating system (e.g., rating system selection; rating system families: BD+C, ID+C, O+M, ND, Homes)
  • LEED development process (e.g., consensus based; stakeholder and volunteer involvement; rating system updates/evolution)
  • Credit categories (e.g., goals and objectives of each: LT, SS, WE, EA, MR, EQ, IN, RP; synergies)
  • Impact categories (e.g. What should a LEED project accomplish?)
  • LEED certification process (e.g. certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum; LEED Scorecard; 3rd party verification; role of documentation submission; LEED Interpretations; Addenda; awareness of different system versions [e.g., LEED Online])
  • Components of LEED Online and project registration
  • Other rating systems (e.g., in general what other rating systems are out there?)
  1. Integrative Strategies (8 questions) 
  • Integrative process (e.g., early analysis of the interrelationships among systems; systems thinking; charettes)
  • Integrative project team members (e.g., architect, engineer, landscape architect, civil engineer, contractor, facility manager, etc.)
  • Standards that support LEED (e.g., breadth not depth of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers [ASHRAE]; Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association [SMACNA] guidelines; Green Seal,
  • ENERGY STAR®, HERs, Reference Standards listed in ACPs, etc.)
  1. Location and Transportation (7 questions)
  • Site selection (e.g. targeting sites in previously developed and brownfields/high-prioriy designation areas, avoiding sensitive habitats, located in areas with existing infrustructure and nearby users, reduction in parking footprint.
  1. Sustainable Sites (7 questions)
  • Site assessment (e.g., environmental assessment, human impact)
  • Site design and development (e.g., construction activity pollution prevention; habitat conservation and restoration; exterior open space; rainwater management; exterior lighting; heat island reduction)
  1. Water Efficiency (9 questions)
  • Outdoor water use (e.g., use of graywater/rainwater in irrigation; use of native and adaptive species)
  • Indoor water use (e.g., concepts of low flow/waterless fixtures; water-efficient appliances; types and quality)
  • Water performance management (e.g., measurement and monitoring)
  1. Energy and Atmosphere (10 questions)
  • Building loads (e.g., building components, space usage [private office; individual space; shared multi-occupant spaces])
  • Energy efficiency (e.g., basic concepts of design, operational energy efficiency, commissioning, energy auditing)
  • Alternative and renewable energy practices (e.g., demand response, renewable energy, green power, carbon offsets)
  • Energy performance management (e.g., energy use measurement and monitoring; building automation controls/advanced energy metering; operations and management; benchmarking; ENERGY STAR)
  • Environmental concerns (e.g., sources and energy resources; greenhouse gases; global warming potential; resource depletion; ozone depletion)
  1. Materials and Resources (9 questions)
  • Reuse (e.g., building reuse, material reuse, interior reuse, furniture reuse)
  • Life-cycle impacts (e.g., concept of life-cycle assessment; material attributes; human and ecological health impacts; design for flexibility)
  • Waste (e.g., construction and demolition; maintenance and renovation; operations and ongoing; waste management plan)
  • Purchasing and declarations (e.g., purchasing policies and plans; environmental preferable purchasing (EPP); building product disclosure and optimization [i.e., raw materials sourcing; material ingredients; environmental product disclosure])
  1. Indoor Environmental Quality (8 questions)
  • Indoor air quality (e.g., ventilation levels; tobacco smoke control; management of and improvements to indoor air quality; low-emitting materials; green cleaning)
  • Lighting (e.g., electric lighting quality, daylight)
  • Sound (e.g., acoustics)
  • Occupant comfort, health, and satisfaction (e.g., controllability of systems, thermal comfort design, quality of views, assessment/survey)
  1. Project Surroundings and Public Outreach (11 questions)
  • Environmental impacts of the built environment (e.g. energy and resource use in conventional buildings; necessity of green buildings; environmental externalities; triple bottom line)
  • Codes (e.g., relationship between LEED and codes [building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire protection]; green building codes)
  • Values of sustainable design (e.g., energy savings over time; healthier occupants; money-saving incentives; costs [hard costs, soft costs]; life-cycle)
  • Regional design (e.g., regional green design and construction measures as appropriate, regional emphasis should be placed in Sustainable Sites and Materials & Resources)

How Do I Prepare For the LEED Green Associate Exam? Where can I find Study Materials for the LEED Green Associate Exam?

Don’t get scared by the list of topics, exam resources, format and the curriculum. GBRI has everything you need to successfully complete the LEED Green Associate exam. Our advice is to just use one resource. GBRI’s   extensive   Exam  Prep Program gives you everything you need to successfully complete the LEED GA exam   – All   in   one   complete package with a 100% money-back guarantee! You don’t need to buy anything else besides GBRI’s exam Prep materials. Learn More

WHAT’s Included in GBRI’s LEED Green Associate Exam Prep?

  1. Online Modules
    • Designed to help you pass your exam with ease
    • Cover all 9 Knowledge Domains
    • 24/7 on demand access for your convenience
    • Approved through AIA for 8 LU/HSW Hours
  2. Study Guide & Road Map
    • This study guide is uniquely designed to complement our online modules. Includes all you need to know from the Core Concepts Guide
  3. LEED Green Associate Practice Exams /Mock Exams & Practice  Questions
    • 700+ Practice Questions with explanations
    • 5 Simulated Mock Exams
  4. Additional Resources
    • Memorization charts
    • Flashcards
    • Audio files

Click Here to Learn More about GBRI’s All Inclusive LEED Green Associate Exam Prep. If you are planning to take your LEED AP Exam – we recommend enrolling for our LEED AP Exam Prep which comes with LEED GA Exam Prep for FREE. We host online classes, as well as in-person LEED classes at a location near you.

Where can I find sample questions for the LEED Green Associate Exam?

Click here to view sample questions and additional FREE resources from GBRI

What Happens after I become a LEED Green Associate?

Once you become a LEED Green Associate, you are allowed to use the title “LEED Green Associate” with your name. You are also required to earn 15 CE Hours every 2 years towards credential maintenance. You may also apply for a LEED AP with specialty exam. Read our LEED AP Blog to learn more.

Be it a few hours or all your CE hours, Learning Hub @ GBRI is your one stop shop for all your CE needs. Earn hours through watching courses, attending trainings, reading articles, and working on projects. Watch the courses online or on-demand from the comfort of your home, office or mobile device or in-person at a location near you.

More questions? Call 210-858-7783 or email pathway@gbrionline.org

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