LEED Certification

LEED AP Exam Feedback: Test Driving the LEED v3 BD+C Beta Exam

The main point of his observations confirm that the LEED AP BD+C exam is no joke.

LEED AP Exam Feedback: Test Driving the LEED v3 BD+C Beta Exam

One of our LEED NC 2.2 students was selected to take the LEED AP BD+C beta exam. I also took the LEED v3 beta test. Between the two of us, I think we have some good takeaways and ideas based on our LEED AP exam feedback.

He took the beta exams for LEED Green Associate and LEED Building, Design, and Construction. Next week, he takes the LEED NC 2.2 exam, just to be sure he earns the credential, since he will not get his beta exam score for a few weeks. There are many calculations, and the exam really tests a candidate’s knowledge of the rating system.

We believe that these new LEED exams are less tricky than the old LEED exams but more difficult because they test much more specific content and calculations from the LEED rating systems.

Taking the Full LEED v3 Exam

I took the LEED v3 beta test today. It was 4 hours long and divided in two parts. The first part was aligned with the LEED Green Associate program, and the second part was aligned with the specifics of the LEED New Building components. I believe I did ok on the first part, and I’m sure I did not do well on the second part. The test had some pretty complex calculations and the need to remember specific formulas to do the calculation. It asked the evapotranspiration rate for a given set of variables, some of which did not apply to the equation. I hadn’t memorized the equation…I only thought I would have to recognize it. The new test format has a built-in calculator function to assist with the calculations…you can click a calculator icon, and the calculator appears to do the math. There were half a dozen questions or so having to do with Integrated Project Delivery as well as Life Cycle Cost analysis. Clearly USGBC intends that the test applicant refer to a much broader base of resource materials than what is necessary for v2.2. As I said, I am certain I did not do well…I will receive results in about 6 weeks. My only hope is that the other beta testers did equally poorly or worse!

Using the LEED Reference Guides

Here are some observations I had as I went along, and I’m sure you are already aware of this stuff. The new LEED Reference Guide for Green Building and Construction, 2009 edition, is very cumbersome and not user friendly. The material is not as neatly organized and presented as is done in the LEED New Construction & Major Renovation v2.2 Reference Guide, 3rd edition. I have had a devil of a time trying to make heads or tails of the material in the new guide after becoming familiar with the v2.2 Reference Guide. The new guide is graphically superior in regard to illustrations and examples. However, the organization of the credit subheadings is awkward at best. There is much more material in the new Reference Guide.

I’ll be taking the v2.2 test a week from today and might as well provide the LEED AP exam feedback for that test as well.

About Lesley Baulding

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.