How to Prepare for the LEED Green Associate Test

Recently two members of our staff, Geoffrey Cavalier and Jason Cole earned their LEED Green Associate accreditation. Congratulations! USGBC says, “LEED Green Associates have a documented, up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices, and are committed to their professional future.” We couldn’t agree more!


We asked Geoffrey and Jason to share their tips for preparing for the LEED Green Associate exam.

Becoming a Green Associate is the first step before becoming a LEED Accredited Professional; (LEED AP). The Green Associate test is general and covers basics of multiple rating systems while the LEED AP credential signifies one has in-depth expertise in a particular LEED rating system.

The LEED Green Associate Exam consist of 100 multiple choice questions, adding up to 200 points. ”It is frequently recommended that you allot three months to study, however we all studied for about 3 weeks and passed on our first attempt” Jason said. “Working on active LEED projects combined with our interest in sustainability was especially helpful to passing.” While we also used several materials for study, the most comprehensive printed material was, LEED Green Associate: Exam Preparation Guide v4 Edition. This book covered almost all of the questions on the test and Geoffrey said he “couldn’t imagine passing the exam without it.” If you want to be thorough, read or skim a few of the LEED reference guides too. Another reference that was helpful was the GBCI Candidate Handbook and it is free to download. This resource recommends study materials, how to apply for and schedule the exam, what to do during the day of the exam, and how the exam is structured. The most useful practice test was the 100 question test on USGBC’s website that was very similar to the actual test.

Geoffrey added that “there are many different ways to go about preparing for this exam, and we wanted to share what worked for us. We would recommend to anyone who is working on a LEED project to pursue their LEED Green Associate accreditation so they may increase their understanding of LEED and green design.”