LEED Green Associate Exam Study Guide

Green Associate v4
LEED Exam Resources

Congratulations, you want to pass the LEED Green Associate Exam. You are ready to embark on a quest of sustainability in your industry. This article contains information on how to pass your Green Associate Exam on your first try. This article includes registration, studying for your exam and tips for passing your exam.

LEED Green Associate

The LEED Green Associate Exam is the first step in becoming a LEED AP. You can choose to take the combined LEED Green Associate + AP exam or separate the exam into two tests. Most candidates take the LEED Green Associate exam first and then take the specialty. We recommend not allowing too much time to pass between the two exams. Although the Green Associate material is more a base for the AP exam material, many questions are similar and overlap topics.
Green Associate Pathway

Step 1 – Register for your exam

To register for your exam from the USGBCs website click “Credential” and “Register for your exam”. We recommend registering for your exam to set a firm date to help you study. 2-3 months of prep time is more than enough when studying for your LEED Green Associate Exam. You can retake your exam up to 3 times with a 6 month break. But don’t worry, with proper planning and study material you will pass your exam the first time.

Remember to apply discounts. Students receive their exam for a student price and member companies can give their members a discounted rate. You then pay your respected exam fee and pick a test day time and location. You will have a window of 12 months when you register for your LEED Exam.

Common Questions

LEED Exam Dates?
The current LEED system is administered at home via webcam or through Prometric testing centers. Scheduling is done in advance and there is no set schedule. You can cancel or reschedule up to three days prior to the exam.

LEED Green Associate Exam Cost?
The LEED Green Associate exam administered at home or at Prometric has a fee rate of $250 ($100 for students) and has no prerequisites.

LEED Green Associate Exam Prep?
We recommend study material that resembles the actual exam in question format and topic. We use: Study Material

LEED Green Associate Practice Exam?
The material covers the USGBC Green Associate Exam and you will have access for 120 days with a recorded history and explanations so you can track your success.


Step 2 – Studying for your exam

So you're looking at the 800-page reference guide from the USGBC and are wondering how you are going to cover all that information. Let’s help you understand the need-to-know information in this section.

The LEED Green Associate Exam is a closed book 2 hour exam with 100 questions. Most are multiple choice, but they contain pick two and pick three answers. This creates multiple correct answers but when the grading comes around the “BEST” answer is selected.



LEED Green Associate Exam Resources and Requirements

LEED Green Associate Exam

LEED Green Associate Exam Resources

The candidate handbook is a need to have information source on taking your LEED Green Associate Exam. You will find questions on the exam directly from your candidate handbook. You should also be familiar the LEED Key Terms section.


Candidate HandbookLEED Key terms

LEED Green Associate Exam v4

  • 16 QuestionsLEED Process - Basic information on the LEED rating system and how it works.
  • 8 QuestionsIntegrative Strategies - Includes the integrative process, team members and standards that support LEED.
  • 7 QuestionsLocation and Transportation – Contains site selection and alternative transportation.
  • 7 QuestionsSustainable Sites – Includes site assessment and site design + development.
  • 9 QuestionsWater Efficiency – Includes outdoor and indoor water use with respect to performance and performance management.
  • 10 QuestionsEnergy and Atmosphere – Includes building loads, energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy practices, energy performance management and environmental concerns.
  • 9 QuestionsMaterials and Resources – Includes reuse, life-cycle impacts, waste and purchasing and declaring materials.
  • 8 QuestionsIndoor Environmental Quality – Includes indoor air quality, lighting, sound and occupant comfort health and satisfaction.
  • 11 QuestionsProject Surroundings and Public Outreach – Includes environmental impact of built environment, codes, values of sustainable design and regional design.
  • 15 QuestionsPretest Questions

The LEED Green Associate exam questions are not just about memory recall. The Exam wants you to apply the information and apply critical thinking to the concepts. The exam also includes 15 not scored beta questions. They are typically harder than the rest of the questions. We recommend marking it as a difficult question and coming back to it so you do not waste time on the rest of the exam.

Memorization and the Green Associate Exam

You don’t have to worry about memorization on the Green Associate Exam. In order to pass we recommend memorizing this brief list of information:

  • Any numbers in relation to the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs).
  • Four ASHRAE Standards (90.1, 62.1, 55, and 52.2)
  • Indoor and Outdoor water use reduction (20% and 30% better than code)
  • Green Score of 40 or more considered a Fuel Efficient Vehicle (FEV).
  • USGBC registration and certification fees as well as Credit Interpretation Request (CIR), Appeal, Technical Appeal, Split
  • Review, and Combined Review fees.
  • Baseline Flush and Flow rates (1.6 gpf toilet, 1.0 gpf urinal, and 2.2gpm faucet). LEED requires 20% better than these baselines.
  • ¼ and ½ mile thresholds in the Location and Transportation Category related to diverse uses and transportation options.
  • Sourcing regional materials they must be sourced within 100 miles.

Step 3 – Passing your Green Associate Exam

Congratulations on passing your green associate exam. You join the ranks of thousands of sustainable like-minded people. Your new accreditation can now be abbreviated on your signature: LEED Green Associate. You are also allowed to use the USGBC logo:

Green Associate Logo

You are now enrolled in credential maintenance and must fulfill the requirements of your new designation. Credential maintenance can be completed in many easy ways and there is a USGBC credential maintenance guide that will help you.