Chances are you’re here because you’ve either considered or have already decided on going into the business of designing green buildings. If you’re still at the stage of understanding what green buildings are really about, worry not, I’ve got you covered in the coming weeks where I’ll address that.
Back to what you really came here for, ah, taking the LEED exam. To be honest it’s easy peasy. Everything’s easy peasy when you PREPARE for it. But in order to be prepared, you need to equip yourself with the RIGHT tools. Are you ready for this? No? Please see future topic “WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A CAREER IN LEED GREEN BUILDINGS OR SHOULD I REALLY TAKE THIS LEED PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL EXAM?” Let’s proceed:
Eligibility: It is necessary to know if you meet the criteria for the exam so you don’t have your head in the clouds dreaming about the possibilities when you don’t have half of the requirements. Not to worry, it’s pretty simple stuff for the LEED Green Associate. To take the LEED Green Associate exam, you must be over 18 & not necessarily need prior experience in the field of sustainability. The LEED AP on the other hand requires that you have documented evidence of your participation in a LEED project in the last 3 years. I would recommend that you read through the LEED V4 handbook for more details.
Sign Up & Register: Baby steps okay. I mean you do have to register if you want to take an exam. Start by creating and verifying an account on the USGBC page. After this step, you’ll want to log in to your account and click on the credentials section. Here you can choose which of the credential exams you wish to take. Note that the fees vary depending on your membership status and type of exam you have chosen. At the time I was taking the LEED Green Associate exam, I paid $100 as a non-member student. A member would have to pay $200 while a non-member would pay $250. For the LEED AP Specialty, USGBC Members would have pay $250 while non-members pay $350. To take the combined exam, members pay $400, non-members pay $550. You catch the drift.
Exam Format: Each one of the exams are 2 hours and consists of 100 multiple choice questions. A score of 170 is required to pass the examination.
Study: The LEED Green Associate exam preparation guide was a really concise and helpful textbook I used. It’s available on Amazon and possibly your university/public library. I definitely took advantage of its availability at my school’s library. There are also some other sources for study material and some organizations offer classes for this exam. For the LEED AP exam, study materials vary based on the specialty you choose. There are more resources provided on the USGBC website for taking this exam, and in your spare time you can review the Education section of the organization’s website. Like I said earlier, it may be easy peasy but study way ahead of time, even if it’s 30 minutes a day. I would also recommend that you find yourself a study buddy, to bounce of knowledge and teach what you have learnt, that’s one of the easiest ways to retain knowledge.
Take the test: Make sure you have all your necessary documents at the test centre i.e your valid ID! Shikena. You won’t be allowed to take any other item except your ID into the testing room. My center had a secure locker area to store belongings that weren’t allowed into the testing room. While taking the exam, if you can’t answer a particular question, you’re allowed to flag it and return to it when you want, provided there is enough time. You’re also allowed to have a ten minute break in between. (because sitting for 2 hours is no joke bruh)
Maintain credential: Yay! You aced it!! But wait, our work isn’t done yet. You would still need to maintain your credential with different activities, it’s a lot of information that I would not want to bombard you with at this moment because we’re celebrating. But I promise I will cover it two weeks.
Be sure to leave comments or questions in the box below, they are there for a reason, don’t be shy.
Note that I skipped talking about the option of failure? Well, cos I don’t believe in you failing after taking all the advice given to you here.
All the best with starting & be sure to check back for more posts soon!
More to come:
My country doesn’t have a green building council, how can I participate?
Notable work by global green building councils.
Learning about the energy markets, thermal & electric supply.