LEED: Self-study or Study groups?

Questions, answers, and discussion specifically related to practical working issues with LEED and other robust green certification systems.

LEED: Self-study or Study groups?

Postby mx2 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:01 am

I'm thinking of taking the exam and one question I had was whether it is better to study with local groups or do the self-study. Any advice?

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Postby joelmckellar » Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:39 am

I've taught a LEED class in our firm, and frankly I'm not sure how much it helped out. I spent a lot of time on it, put together a practice test, homework questions, and a massive slide presentation we had the AIA provide CEU's for.

We had great attendance... until the practice test review. During the classes there were about 80 people a week that would attend, and then when I had the review that dropped to maybe 10. The lesson I learned is that everyone wants to be accredited, but once they realize the amount of time it takes they tend to back off. I was very worried about having people fork over $250 to fail a test, so I made it very clear how much they needed to study. Two months later we have 1 person who's passed the test, though I think the next month will see a great deal more, as I've heard many people say they've scheduled their tests.

On a more positive note, I did see a great model for studying that a local college EGB chapter put together. They had about 10-15 regular attendees, and each week they were required to present an assigned credit in that week's credit category. It forced participants to read in detail at least one credit a week, and kept everyone up to date in a way that didn't require a knowledgable instructor. It also made it so everyone kept everyone else involved. If someone didn't present their credit the others suffered, so they tended to regulate each other. Our firm's class was much too large to make this work, but in the future I think I'll setup smaller groups and use this format.

I studied for the exam (alone) by working on a LEED project. I would say this is the best way to do it, though not available for everyone.

Finally, I highly recommend purchasing both the reference guide and the USGBC Colorado's study guide. The reference guide will be your bible on any LEED project anyway, and the study guide has good info and a practice test included, with good explanations of why the answers are the way they are.

Good luck and I hope you pass!
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Postby mx2 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:47 pm

Great advice...priceless. I'm glad to see the reality of the test before-hand and I'm now thinking I need to focus on the license first (studying for ARE). But I stillwant to go for LEED sooner than later. I had assumed it would be quicker, easier than ARE, but the load will be too great from what I see. I would rather set aside serious time and effort on focus strictly on LEED when the time arises so in the meanwhile I'll just read up on the study guides and get familiar with the basics...

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Postby gleearch » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:31 pm

I studied on my own. I picked up a few tips from the areforum.
Mainly used the reference guide. I studied the CIRs to understand the intent of the credits. Read the welcome package. I spent about a month studying in my free time (not a lot). I tried a few sample test.
At least with LEED you know if you pass or failed at the end of the test. It's quite gratifying.
I worked on two projects that were LEED (one was not completed). So that helped a lot.
My mechanical engineer studied less than a month and passed it easily. So it really depends on whether you prefer studying in groups or by yourself.
Good luck.
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Postby mx2 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:55 pm

Interesting...thanks! It's clear that working on a LEED project is the best way to learn the real ins and outs...but the basics seem to be something easily picked up. Test time will need serious focus regardless of group or self...from what I've concluded by the comments from the both of you. I appreciate the responses...

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LEED Study Guide

Postby fwg001 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:06 am

I found this study guide to be helpful:

Anyone have other tips?
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Postby Architorture » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:52 pm

mx2- i literally studied for the exam the weekend before and took the whole day off for an afternoon exam studied in the morning with some notes on various requirements and such...

really it isn't such a big deal that you should worry about it interfering with registration...

its a basic memorization exam
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Postby ucb_pat » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:56 pm

I know this thread has been dead for a few months, but I'd like to also offer the blog I started, devoted to helping anyone pass the LEED AP Exam. Thanks!


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Postby RSCarcht » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:10 pm

LEED 2009 is coming and will be dramatically different so be aware! Here is the link to the USGBC page describing the changes:
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leed sites

Postby catrinat » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:48 am

I think everyone pretty much covered all the sites here!
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Postby archisage » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:11 am

I just studied the LEED Ref Manual. my previous office arranged for weekly workshops for senior staff to prepare for the exam. I think they were more confused at the end of it and many of them never took the exam. I say just go for it. it's not like the AREs where they may ask pretty much anything.
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LEED Self study or Study groups

Postby Kabanga » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:46 pm

That was nice and enlightening article Dan....

surely helpful as I am also considering going for self study for CEH.

PS: would you like to share your notes here, if possible

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