7/1/09 Update: The LEED AP exam has significantly changed, and the following sample exam has not been updated to reflect this. Please use the information if it's helpful--but no guarantees of anything. And by the way, if you are looking to learn about the LEED 2009 rating systems, there's no better tool out there than our own LEEDuser.com.
4/4/09 Update: For all those who have asked questions about specific questions on this sample exam, I have posted a comment below with comprehensive answers. The exam has also been updated as of today for minor corrections.
11/21/08 Update: I've posted a report from Greenbuild on what GBCI has planned for overhauling the LEED AP credit. Get ready to be a "Legacy LEED AP"...
Dear LEED-AP Exam Taker,
The attached document
(see the end of the post) is a sample LEED-AP exam, available to members of BuildingGreen.com. You can join for as little as $12.95 for one week
, which is all you need to downoad the exam.
I designed it to help me assess my command of the LEED-NC material in preparation for the LEED-AP exam. I wrote many of the questions based on fairly specific tenets of the LEED Reference Guide and associated materials. You'll have to not only understand the general intent and requirements of credits, but you may also have to go back to the material and and dig in deeper to understand the answers. The questions are challenging, so unless you really know the material, you will have to go back to the LEED Reference Guide and other sources to understand the answers.
This approach helped me study and pass the exam, and I think it will help you.
I want to pause here and emphasize that passing the LEED-AP exam, and more importantly, working in green building in general, is about more than memorization. I spent a year and a half immersed in green building – on staff at Environmental Building News
and taking sustainable design classes through the Boston Architectural College's online certificate program
– before I decided to study intensively and take the exam. Without the broader understanding of green building that I gained in that way, I would have had a much harder time passing the exam. Even if I had passed it, I wouldn't have known what to do with it.
Therefore I'd like to recommend the following resources to you:
- Environmental Building News. Since 1992, EBN is the authoritative source on green building news and information, including keeping you up to date on LEED. Subscriptions are well worth the modest price tag.
- GreenSpec Directory. Our editors screen out the greenwash, and organize over 2,000 green products by CSI section, and cross-reference them by green attributes (such as recycled content) and by LEED credits. Available in print and online.
- BuildingGreen Suite. Our online resources are rolled into a product we call BuildingGreen Suite, which lives on our website, BuildingGreen.com. There are numerous membership options.
Before you download the exam, I leave you with these last notes:
- This exam is not designed to simulate the actual LEED-AP exam. I wrote it myself with no firsthand knowledge of the exam. Now having passed the test, I think it's great training material.
- I have taken several of the sample exams out there, and I most highly recommend the USGBC Colorado Chapter practice exam. The Colorado exam is particularly helpful because it comes with an entire study guide, and the answers are explained, which is not the case here, although you can refer to many of the comments below for explanations.
- I recommend taking at least two sample tests – one fairly early in your process, and one fairly late. The first one helps you orient to the demands of the exam, assess where you're at, and focus on where you need to work. The second one helps give you confidence before the exam, and refine your approach. So while I recommend the Colorado exam, this exam can be a second option.
- There is an answer key but not explanations of answers. All questions are drawn from available materials such as the Reference Guide and the USGBC and GBCI websites, so answers can be explained through reference to those materials. If you want to discuss any specific questions or aspects of the exam, however, please do so in the comments section below.
- Use of this sample exam, like all material on BuildingGreen.com, is subject to this disclaimer.
- You may only obtain this exam from this website: do not share it with others, or accept it from others. Please share the link to this page instead. If there are any revisions or updates, you will be getting the most recent version. When this test becomes outdated at the end of June 2009, we may withdraw it from use pending writing a new exam.
Finally, good luck!
Tristan Roberts, LEED AP
Editor, Online Commercial Products