10 Quick tips for LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation

I had read somewhere that the LEED Green Associate test is more about breadth, and the LEED AP BD+C is more about depth.

Now that I have completed both exams, I think that that statement hits the nail on the head.

The LEED Green Associate exam tests your overall knowledge on a broad scale of the LEED certification process, whereas the LEED AP BD+C exam more extensively tests your knowledge of the LEED certification process and each credit.
The LEED Green Associate exam tests your overall knowledge on a broad scale of the LEED certification process, whereas the LEED AP BD+C exam more extensively tests your knowledge of the LEED certification process and each credit.
Credit: Shane Global Learning Center via Flickr

Please see below for 10 quick tips you should take into account when studying for the LEED Green Associate exam:

1) M.P.R’s

Minimum Program Requirements. This is exactly what it sounds like. If the project fails to meet any of these requirements, it is not eligible to meet any credits. Memorize these right away!

2) Prerequisites

The LEED Green Associate does not go too far in depth with the individual credits, but it certainly tests your knowledge of prerequisites.

Simply put: If you don’t earn the prerequisites in a credit category, you will not be able to earn any credits.

3) ASHRAE 52, 55,62.1 & 90.1

What are the ASHRAE standards, and what is the difference between them? What is ASHRAE 52? What credit does it relate to?

Study each ASHRAE classification until you are familiar with the categories they correspond with.

4) Refrigerants

Montreal Protocol. CFC’s. HCF’s. GWP. ODP. If you are studying for the LEED Green Associate exam and you are not very familiar with these terms and acronyms, you are in trouble. Know these and know them well.

5) Practice Tests

In my opinion, practice tests are essential to passing both of the LEED exams. They not only teach you question structure, but it also teaches you key words that you need to become more familiar with when re-reading your material. I had only used practice tests that I purchased from the Poplar Network, and I would advise anyone else to do the same.

6) Purchase the Right Study Guide

This is the reason I didn’t touch LEED Reference Guide. I purchased Poplar V4 GA Study Guide and used this exclusively as my study tool. If you know this study guide front to back, you do not need to use the LEED V4 Reference Manual, or the other primary references.

7) Learn One Category at a Time

I found that (for me at least) it’s good to read the study guide one time front to back, and then should focus on each category individually. I am not sure if this works for everyone, but it worked well for me.

8) Definitions, Definitions, Definitions

The Poplar V4 GA study guide has a great section for definitions at the back. Read these a few times over, and make sure to understand where they belong within the context of the categories and credits.

9) Self Motivation

If there is a simple method that isn’t time consuming to study for the LEED tests, I am yet to hear of it. You can certainly save time by learning what to study, where to focus etc., but you will need to motivate yourself to put forth the proper amount of time and focus to absorb the material.

Everyone learns in a different manner, but as far as I am concerned, you cannot cheat any of the LEED exams. You either know the material or you don’t.

10) Arrive Early on Exam Day and Find a Coffee Shop Close to the Testing Center

I know this seems like a common sense thing, but don’t rush your exam day.

Get there early, find a comfortable spot and read the material you find necessary at a pace that you are comfortable with. Simply put: If you don’t know it prior to exam day, you will not learn it exam day. My suggestion? Cue cards. Cue cards, or self-made flash cards, are a good way of refreshing yourself on everything that you had studied without overwhelming yourself. Exam day should be used to brush up, not learn.

Lastly, even though study guides and practice tests do a great job of preparing you for the actual exam, they will not guarantee success. The practice exams are designed to resemble the real exam questions, not mimic. Therefore, do your best to understand how you arrive to your answers as opposed to memorizing.

Good Luck!

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