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LEED Green Associate Exam Guide (LEED GA): Comprehensive study materials, sample questions, mock exam, green building LEED certification, and sustainability Paperback – 22 Dec 2011

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About the Author

Gang Chen holds a master’s degree from the School of Architecture, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree from the School of Architecture, South China University of Technology. He has over 20 years of professional experience. Many of the projects he was in charge of or participated in have been published extensively in Architecture, Architectural Record, The Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register, etc. He has worked on a variety of unusual projects, including well-known, large-scale healthcare and hospitality projects with over one billion dollars in construction costs; award-winning school designs, highly-acclaimed urban design and streetscape projects, multifamily housing, high-end custom homes, and regional and neighborhood shopping centers. Gang Chen is a LEED AP BD+C and a licensed architect in California. He is also the internationally acclaimed author of other fascinating books, including Building Construction, Planting Design Illustrated, ARE Mock Exam Series and LEED Exam Guides Series, which include one guidebook for each of the LEED exams. For more information, visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8d2239e0) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce22b10) out of 5 stars Comprehensive Review 23 Oct. 2011
By J. N. Park - Published on
Format: Paperback

My review was originally posted in October 2011. However, I consented to the author's request (via personal email) for it to be removed because it was "hurting book sales." Instead of using the criticism to improve the book, the author made no changes since then. In retrospect, if the author truly believed in his product and its ability to help others, he would neither focus on sales nor make requests for negative reviews to be removed. Therefore, I am compelled to re-post my review to share my unbiased opinion.


For the LEED GA exam, because the information covered is an overall approach to LEED, it is more efficient and cost effective to use a study guide as your primary source rather than force through the detailed, dry materials provided by the USGBC. Granted that all exam questions come from USGBC material, it's a waste of time to try and master every detail. Remember, the test is only 100 questions, so it's best to understand the general concepts and big picture items.

I received a copy of the "LEED GA Exam Guide" to review AFTER passing the exam. Having previously reviewed several other guides as well as the USGBC study guide, it was interesting to see the comparisons.

1. Provides clear introduction for those unfamiliar with LEED and in the dark about sustainable design.
2. Content follows a coherent flow.
3. Language is straight forward and easy to understand.
4. Offers basic study tips and strategies using mnemonics.
5. Contains several practice exams and sample questions.
6. Good preparation and transition for Tier II (LEED AP) exams.

1. One of the larger guides out there in terms of pages.
2. Layout and editing of content is distracting and confusing. Too many words are underlined or in bold.
3. Too much information can be overwhelming. The reader should filter out and extract only key points.
4. There are no helpful charts or illustrations supplementing the concepts being discussed.
5. Filled with only text and bullet points - very data driven.

Overall, the guide is successful in serving its purpose: provide necessary information to pass LEED GA exam. The user may have to invest some time into organizing their own notes into tables and charts. I would recommend this guide to those who study well with information presented in PowerPoint-style bullet form.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce22ca8) out of 5 stars Just what is needed 10 April 2012
By N. Kong - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm glad I used this book for my LEED GA test, which I passed today. I tried other resources (stay away from the USGBC ones on their website!) but none were as organized as this book. When you're studying to pass the exam, you just need to know what to memorize (this would be different it you are trying to learn the concepts for work, which I think you're better off getting LEED project work experience!). Gang Chen's book gives you most of what you need to memorize in the core 120+ pages as opposed to other resources that are 250 pages full of fluff. Just remember, you only need to answer about 60% of the questions correct to pass the exam.

My only critique of the book is that I wish Gang Chen used different mnemonic acronyms or helped you concentrate on what is more important to memorize. "Find My Fun! Oh! Oprah Enters Energy Management Group" makes less sense to me than memorizing Fundamental Commissioning, Minimize Energy Performance, Fundamental Refrigerant Management, etc. The test itself asks for specific numbers in order to gain a certain credit in a category. That's more important to memorize!

My tip is to get this book, read it three times (yes, three) to memorize the facts, take the mock test included to see where you need to improvement, and do a little outside research. You just need a 60% passing score...
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce22e4c) out of 5 stars Tedious and Unnecessarily Time Consuming 4 Mar. 2011
By ArchiMark - Published on
Format: Paperback
I wish I had read all of the other reviews before purchasing this book. I am in strong agreement that this is not a helpful resource for the GA exam. I started with this book, but quickly found that it contained far more information than was in any way necessary for this test, and that continuing with it would be a waste of time. I only wish I had not wasted the money.

You do not need to read or memorize the vast majority of the information in this book to do well on this exam - nor do you need to read the original USGBC sources from cover to cover. If anything, the time I spent with this book negatively affected my preparation for the test, because this book initially intimidated me into thinking that the test would be much more difficult and involved than it is. I put this aside and just skimmed the USGBC summaries of each point, and this served me quite well on the test. I realized after taking the test that it's not at all designed to measure memorization - it requires nothing more than a solid understanding of the intent of each point. So, in general this book seemed to miss the mark in terms of relevance to the test, and I had to wonder whether the author has any first-hand experience with this test.

I have noticed in reading the reviews from others that the author of this book has a tendency to personally reply to every low-rating review - so before he responds to this one with an accusation that I must be one of his competitors, be assured that I am not - I'm just a test-taker - now LEED AP BD+C - who found better success with more concise USGBC materials than with this 3rd-party offering.
I would strongly suggest that anyone considering purchasing this book first click on some of the author's comments to other Amazon reviews of his products. The tone and writing style exhibited in those comments is EXACTLY how this book reads.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cfc333c) out of 5 stars Perfect Concise Study Guide 28 Nov. 2012
By sxrs12 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just passed my LEED Green Associate test yesterday and I am very pleased to say that this book was a perfect Study Guide.
I first started to read this book 2 months before my scheduled exam date, of course I read the book once and then it stayed on my book shelf till 2 days before my exam.
With only 2 days to study I reread the material, memorized as best I could and took the practice test in the back, which I barely passed. At this point I was very nervous, but it was too late to postpone or cancel, so I took the test. To my surprise I passed the test with quite a high score.
This book's format of concise bullet point, memorization devices and tables was exactly what I needed.
If you have trouble with concise bullet point information this is not the book for you.
I know that when I take my LEED AP test I will be using GANG CHEN's study guide.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d0c2abc) out of 5 stars not that good 7 April 2011
By James - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this study guide contains too much information and is not organized in an easy-to-digest way. i'm not sure how relevant all this information is to the test. it may be a good reference guide for leed professionals, but it is not very effective as a study guide.

there are no lists of key terms, illustrations, or diagrams. there are some misspellings and awkward phrasings, such as "environ-mental." even the mnemonics don't make much sense - "CLAMPES CAM"? this does not read/study like a professionally-edited book.

i ended up abandoning this study guide after 4 days in favor of one from, and am much happier with that product. i expect the marginal additional cost to be well worth it.

btw, i am not out to slander the author. i am just a guy going for his leed ga with 30 days left to study. make the most of your time and skip this book.
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