What you need to know about the LEED AP exams

What you need to know about the LEED AP exams

Photo courtesy of USGBC

In today’s global job market, those earning a LEED AP designation are recognized as experts with a deep technical background in a specific LEED rating system and sustainable building codes, principles and practices.

With green construction expected to account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs by 2018, according to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, employers are looking for qualified staff fluent in sustainable building—and passing the LEED AP exam does just that.

From the U.S. Green Building Council Help Center, here’s a quick briefing on LEED AP exams and the value it can have.  

Types of LEED AP exams

Five types of LEED AP exams are offered:

  1. LEED AP Building Design and Construction (BD+C)
  2. LEED AP Operations and Maintenance (O+M)
  3. LEED AP Interior Design and Construction (ID+C)
  4. LEED AP Neighborhood Development (ND)
  5. LEED AP Homes

Learn more about which test would be best for your career

Exam format

The LEED AP exam is computer-based and comprises two parts: the LEED Green Associate exam and the LEED AP with specialty exam. Each part contains 100 random, multiple-choice questions, and each part must be completed in two hours. 

Candidates who already have passed the LEED Green Associate exam can register for the specialty-only portion of the exam and don’t need to sit for the entire composite exam.

All LEED professional exams are scored between 125 and 200. A score of 170 or higher is required to pass. 


The LEED AP exam is ideal for professionals who have prior LEED project experience.

For the standalone LEED AP with specialty exam, candidates must be at least 18 years old and must have earned the LEED Green Associate credential.

Top five Help Center FAQs 

1. How do I schedule a LEED AP exam?

Once registered, you will be able to schedule your test session at a Prometric testing center near you. Exam sessions are available year-round.

2. If I pass the first part (the LEED Green Associate exam), but not the second (the specialty exam), can I call myself a LEED Green Associate?

No. If you pass only the first part of the LEED AP exam, you are not a LEED Green Associate. This is because you applied to be a LEED AP. With that application, you must pass both parts of the LEED AP exam. 

3. How much does it cost to take the LEED AP exam? 

  • Specialty-only exam (for active LEED Green Associates): $250 for USGBC members, $350 for nonmembers
  • Full exam (LEED Green Associate and LEED AP): $400 for USGBC members, $550 for nonmembers 

4. Can I reschedule a LEED AP exam? 

Yes. To reschedule, cancel or confirm an exam appointment, you’ll need your Prometric-issued, 16-digit confirmation number.

5. What happens to my LEED Green Associate credential after I become a LEED AP with specialty?

If you’re a LEED Green Associate when you earn the LEED AP credential, your LEED Green Associate credential expires and is replaced by the LEED AP with specialty credential.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Certifications, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, USGBC

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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