The LEED GA (Green Associate) Exam

LEED GA exam

What is the LEED GA (Green Associate) exam?

The LEED GA exam is the first official step a person takes for becoming a LEED accredited professional.  When a person passes the exam, they receive a certification, which will give that person international recognition and a professional advantage.  LEED GA’s are preferred in the industry because they are well-informed of green standards that are used in the design and construction of buildings. If you want to know the origings, check out: What Does LEED Stand For?.

Requirements for taking the exam

To be eligible to take the LEED GA exam, you have to be working in a building project that is seeking LEED certification, have experience working in any sustainable construction project, or have attended a green education program.  The exam cost is $250 ($150 for members of the USGBC), and you can sign up for it online.   There are several facilities that host the exam around the world, so you can probably take it in a city near you.

Exam format

The exam will test your knowledge on the project site development, water conservation, energy use of mechanical systems and their impact on the atmosphere, building materials management, education of green matters to the public, innovative measures that go beyond LEED requirements and the LEED application process.

The exam will be 2 hours long with 100 questions.  It will be multiple choice, and you will have to select the answers on a computer.  The exam will test your knowledge of fundamental green building concepts.

Tips for taking the exam

There are several practice exams and reference guides that can be found on the internet that will help you study and make you more comfortable for the exam.  Since I passed the LEED AP exam, here is my personal advice:

  • Memorize the names of standards in the reference guide.  The exam will test your knowledge of key green building concepts, but it will also try to trick you to make sure you know the name of a particular standard and which section in the reference guide it refers it.  For example, ASHRAE Standard 90.1 belongs to the energy section for credit EA–C1 in the LEED reference guide.
  • Study a month before the exam for at least 2 hours a day, every day.  Study 4 hours a day on weekends.
  • Use flash cards to help you with memorization.
  • Take as many practice exams as you can before the final exam.  It will boost up your confidence, which will make your head clear when it’s time to take the exam.

You can get more information by using the candidate handbook from the Green Building Certification Institute.

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