Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tip #6: How to Get Started!

Let's face it, the Reference Guide just puts you into sleep whenever you attempt to read it. I had such a hard time keeping my eyes open after a 10 hour work day. The key is to read the Colorado Study Guide first! It breaks down the materials into easier to digest chapters, and it gives you a general background without the boring details. Not to mention the bonus mock exam in the back.

If you have any other tips, share them!


Derrick Payne said...

Where would I find the Colorado study guide? And you're right I've tried reading the reference guide twice now and can't absorb more than 1 chapter at a time. It's as if a dentist wrote it.

Could you reply to
I would be grateful.
Many thanks..Derrick.

M.L. said...

I am also curious to where I could find the Colorado study guide?

Can you reply to the site? if not you can e-mail me at


TJ said...

I also want to have one. I have the exam next Sat. Please email me:

Anonymous said...

omg i thought it was just me - falling asleep on the train home while trying to read it.

Anonymous said...

Study guide $35 for pdf format:

Anonymous said...

I checked the web below

it was $50 not $35

JSW said...

I am also interested in the CO study guide but the link did not work. Pls advise as I'd really like to purchase it. I am frustrated that I studied the ref guide and walked away with a 166 therefore failing. There were a few errors on the test and I appealed to USGBC but to no avail. I even gave specifics but they were not helpful.

Moebius said...

Is the updated link for the the Colorado Study Guide, and it is USD 50.00 for either the printed version or the PDF version.

Gang Chen said...

There are a number of books that you can use to prepare for LEED AP Exam:

1. USGBC Reference Guide. Since you need to pass at least one of the three LEED Exams (LEED-NC, LEED-CI, LEED-EB) to become a LEED AP, you first need to decide which one of the 3 exams you want to take. You need to select the correct version of the Reference Guide for your exam. Most people tend to take LEED-NC exam to become LEED AP.

The USGBC Reference Guide is comprehensive, but it gives too much information (about 400 over-size pages). A lot of the calculations in the book are too detailed for the exam. It is also expensive (about $200.00 each, most people will not buy it for personal use, and will share an office copy instead).

It is good to read the reference guide from cover to cover if you have the time. The problem is not too many people have time to read the whole reference guide. Even if you do read the whole guide, you may not remember the important issues to pass the LEED AP exam anyway. You need to repeat your reading several times before you can remember any study materials.

Reading the reference guide from cover to cover without a guidebook is the most difficult and inefficient way of preparing LEED AP Exam, because you do NOT know what USGBC and GBCI is looking for in the exam.

2. The USGBC workshops and related handouts are concise, but they do not cover extra credits (exemplary performance). The workshops are expensive, costing hundreds of dollars each.

3. Various books published by third party and available on Amazon. Most of them are not very helpful.

I listed them below because I think they are helpful enough to be listed. They are:

1. LEEDPass. This book is a hidden treasure. It is the second best book for preparing for the LEED exam. It is pretty comprehensive, and has 400 sample questions. It can be a great book but need a major “make-over.” The problems with this book are:

a. Numerous errors in Grammar. Don’t even bother to get this book if you are easily bothered by errors in English grammar.

b. There is NO detailed discuss on the LEED rating system, only several words or notes for each credit. This book cannot stand alone. You have to refer back to the reference guide constantly. Otherwise, you may not know what his words or notes mean.

c. Too many sample questions. The questions are very confusing. Some of them are simply wrong. He basically asks a question on every technical note that he has in the technical section. That means you have to waste a lot of time and effort to read and remember the wrong answers within each question to remember each note. What a waste of the readers’ time and effort.

2. "Leed Prep: What You Really Need to Know to Pass the Leed NC V2.2 and CI V2.0 Exams" is one of the few books that cover both LEED NC and LEED CI exams.

It has 392 pages, and can be a helpful resource for you in preparing for these two exams. It provides a concise review on the subject of the tests, 50 sample questions, a glossary, an introduction to green building, and lists of commonly used acronyms and resources.

Its advantage is also its disadvantage: I have never met a single person who takes both Leed NC V2.2 and CI V2.0 Exams. Because you just need to pass at least one of the three LEED Exams (LEED-NC, LEED-CI, LEED-EB) to become a LEED AP.

Why do you want to waste your time to take both exams? So, if you buy this book, you are paying for the other half that you probably will never use. It is a waste of money.

3. "LEED NC Sample Exam: New Construction" is not a study guide or an exam cram book. It is a sample exam. The nice and helpful feature is that it gives you the answer and explanation. This can save you time and let you know if you are ready for the exam. You can download the sample exam from USGBC website, but it only has 12 sample questions.

"LEED NC Sample Exam: New Construction" has 39 pages. It is a useful book for preparing for the LEED-NC v2.2 exam.

The problem with this book is its price. You are paying $61.25 for just ONE set of sample exam. That is expensive.

Copyright Gang Chen, LEED AP, AIA
Author of
1. LEED AP Exam Guide

2. Planting Design Illustrated

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