Often times, companies will spend tens of thousands of dollars to help their employees pass the LEED exam. While it is a worthwhile investment to get your employees to be LEED accredited, spending exorbitant amounts of money isn't necessarily the best way to do it.
The employees just need to study hard with a good study strategy. A good strategy would be one that helps you organize the information in a logical way in your mind so that you can remember and relate to it more efficiently. There is a lot of information that you need to remember, and straight memorization is not always the way to go.
I have found that when people start studying for the LEED exam, they are immediately overwhelmed. They figure the best way would be to read the entire LEED manual from cover to cover at least a few times and then they will be prepared. I thought the same thing when I first started trying to study for my own exam.
Trying to sit down and read the manual like you would a book is a good cure for insomnia. The guide is written as a reference manual, not an exciting page-turning novel. I thought I should memorize everything about one credit before moving on to the next. I was wrong again.
The best way is to lay the foundation of LEED in your mind first, and then build upon it. It would be like sorting a bunch of files. You wouldn't just start going through the files and making up the file structure as you go along. You would create a structure and then start filling the structure with data. Similarly, you want to start out by learning the basics of LEED.
Start by studying the basic points system. Memorize how many points it takes to achieve certain certifications, and the differences between prerequisites and regular credits. Make sure you understand what the procedures are and how you can go about certifying a building.
Next, lay the foundation for the credits by simply memorizing the name and general idea of the credit. Start by memorizing the six categories (SS, WE, EA, MR, IAQ, and ID) and what each category focuses on. Then start memorizing the name and number of each credit and why it would be a sustainable practice. You should be able to write down every single one of the credits simply from memory. It seems tough to memorize all 50 or so credits, but it is a lot easier when you break them down into the six categories.
Next, build upon all the credits by memorizing how each is achieved, the documentation requirements and any standards that are referenced. It helped me a ton to build a huge spreadsheet, print it out and carry it around with me at all times. I could easily and quickly reference it and study it whenever I wanted.
Once you have built an organized wealth of knowledge in your mind, it is time to start practicing. Do as many practice tests as you can until you feel comfortable with taking the exam. If you are having trouble with the practice problems, you might want to study your spreadsheet more. See if you can re-create the entire thing from memory. Once you can do that, you are probably ready to take the exam!
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