Thinking about earning a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP credential, but don’t know where to start? If your answer is yes, then this article will be a great help for you. In this article we will take a look at the LEED credentials and the best LEED exam prep materials that will enable you to pass your LEED exam on your first try. Let’s first start with the basics.
What is a LEED Green Associate credential?
LEED Green Associate credential is the first step of becoming a LEED Accredited Professional, and demonstrates that the professionals with the LEED Green Associate credential have a documented, up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices. Without passing the LEED Green Associate exam, test-takers cannot take the LEED AP with a specialty exam. Test-takers can take the LEED Green Associate exam in all the Prometric testing centers around the world (there are lots of Prometric testing centers in all the major cities). The exam is computer based, which contains 100 questions that should be solved in 2 hours.
What is a LEED AP credential?
LEED AP credential is the second tier of the LEED credentials and can be taken by anyone holding a LEED Green Associate credential. The LEED AP credentials demonstrates proficiency in sustainable design, construction and operations standards, and are ideal for people who want to coordinate the LEED certification process. There are five types of LEED AP credentials:
- LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C)
- LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M)
- LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C)
- LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND)
- LEED AP Homes
The LEED AP BD+C credential is the most popular one, which is created for new construction projects and major renovations. The LEED AP exams are also computer based, and the exam contains 100 questions that should be answered in 2 hours. Test-takers can take the exam in all the Prometric testing centers around the world.
Now let’s take a look at the best LEED exam prep materials.
The Best LEED Exam Prep Materials
The Best LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Package
If you are looking for an exam prep bundle that contains all the tools you need to pass your exam on your first-try, I would recommend the LEED Green Associate Complete Exam Prep of Leeducate Inc. This powerful pack features a detailed 9-hour online course, 400 online practice questions, the best-seller LEED Green Associate Complete Study Guide (Second Edition) and downloadable study sheets. What I like the most about this package is that it comes with a passing guarantee meaning that you can request a refund if you fail your exam. Their online course and the study guide covers everything in great level of detail. The online course is not a regular static slide kind of presentation, rather it is highly visual and engaging. The first one-hour section of the course can also be previewed on their website.
The online practice tests are well prepared and they are very similar with the actual LEED Green Associate exam. You can use the online exams to track your progress and to get to know the LEED exam format. They also provide PDF study sheets that summarizes the critical information you will need during the exam.
If you think that you learn better by watching rather than reading, then this package is very suitable for you as you can follow from the study guide while watching the course as both have the same flow. Here is the link for the LEED Green Associate Complete Exam Prep.
The Best LEED Green Associate Study Guide
If you learn better by reading, I recommend the LEED Green Associate Complete Study Guide (Second Edition) by A. Togay Koralturk (ISBN: 0994618018), which is the best-selling LEED study guide on the market. It contains 300+ pages and definitely covers every tiny bit of information that you will need for passing your exam. It is also being used by many universities as the course material for courses on sustainable design. You can order it from all the major online book retailers.
Now let’s take a look at the study tools for the LEED AP BD+C exam.
The Best LEED AP BD+C Exam Prep Package
LEED AP BD+C exam costs $350 for non USGBC members and you definitely cannot risk failing the exam on your first-try. Therefore, I again recommend the LEED AP BD+C Complete Exam Prep of Leeducate. They provide a passing guarantee for this package and promise to give a refund if you fail your exam on your first-try. The package includes a detailed 15-hour online course, 3 full-length online practice tests, the best-seller LEED AP BD+C Complete Study Guide, and downloadable study sheets. You can watch course and follow through the study guide as they both have the same flow, which can save you a lot of time during your study. The LEED AP BD+C exam is not a piece of cake, therefore taking online practice tests will also help you assess your knowledge on the topics. Here is the link for the LEED AP BD+C Complete Exam Prep.
The Best LEED AP BD+C Study Guide
LEED AP BD+C exam scope is broad. For that reason, I would heavily suggest having a hard copy material with you during your study as you will need to go back and forth to make sure you thoroughly learned them all. You have two options to ace the LEED AP BD+C exam. The first option is to buy the LEED BD+C reference guide and thoroughly study it. However, since it’s a reference guide, you will not find any guidance for your exam preparation. The second option is to purchase the LEED AP BD+C Complete Study Guide by A. Togay Koralturk (ISBN: 0994618026), which is a 600+ pages book that covers the whole exam scope. The book provides good guidance on the things that you need to watch out for and it is not boring to read even though you will need to go through lots of pages (be prepared for that for the LEED AP BD+C exam). Luckily, unlike the PMP exams, you don’t need to purchase any additional study guide to compliment this book. You can take a look at the book from all the major online book retailers.
Even if you don’t have any LEED project experience, LEED exams are not hard if you spend enough time to study, however they can definitely become quite challenging if you start your preparation three days before the exam. Give yourself enough time, go step by step, and you will enjoy being a LEED accredited professional.