It was Sunday morning. So, I did what I do on almost every other Sunday morning, I plodded downstairs, fired up the coffee maker, fed the cats, got the newspaper and flipped on the TV to watch CBS Sunday Morning. My wife soon joined me, and as she did, she handed me a card. CRAP! It was Easter and I hadn’t gotten her a card; in fact, it was a few minutes before I even realized WHY she was handing me a card in the first place. How had this happened? How had I forgotten Easter? How had I forgotten a major holiday, when, normally the whole famn damily descends upon us (just kidding, I LOVE doing dishes and cleaning the house! Really!)?

Let me tell you how…it seemed that I, in my infinite wisdom, had scheduled to sit for a major exam on Monday, the day following Easter. I scheduled to take the LEED Accredited Professional Exam on April 13 the day after Easter, AND almost as important, the day after The Masters. This exam is hard to describe, it is brutal (all those who are still planning on taking the test, you should probably turn your eyes from your computer monitors). This test covers the material found in a resource guide that is about 27 inches thick in about 4 point type and covers such exciting information as the pressure differential required between a designated smoking room and the rest of the building in order to control the containments in the air. So, instead of watching Tiger and celebrating the Easter holiday, I was studying.

Leading up to the final weekend, I read the resource guide cover to cover three times. I had read three other study guides and worked through the sample exercises and assignments. I had underlined, highlighted and agonized over every detail. Then I started getting the emails…the emails advertising the review classes. “Take our class and double your chances of passing the exam. Our students have a 30% success rate on the exam.” WHAT? Do you mean to tell me that typically 85% of the people that sit for the exam FAIL IT?!!? I better study harder!!

At the urging of my wife, I decided to take a practice exam on Friday night, in that way I would know what to study on over the weekend. So I sat down with the exam, checked the time (you only have two hours to complete the test) and read the first question. “){(ikfj;djm,k dl;ksfadjdlsa8973kk. Dfhsdofudkjdsfn nfd;jkldj lsdjfdlaf”. No, that is not a typo. That is EXACTLY what the first question looked like to me…and the second…and the third. When completed, I scored a whopping 51%. I guess I knew what to study now…EVERYTHING. (Passing on the exam is 170 out of 200 or roughly an 85%).

Saturday came and I tore into the books…Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality…

Saturday afternoon, I took another practice exam…78%….CRAP!!!! I reviewed the questions I missed to see if I could identify a pattern so I could focus on something…nope, all over the board. Early evening I tried again…81%…ok progress. Study, study, study, study. About 10 pm, I took another test….73% WHAT!??! Why on earth is an IT guy trying to learn this stuff? Exhausted, I dropped into bed for sleep. Yeah, right, sleep…The next morning, AFTER, not giving my wife a card, I went back at it. I took break to have lunch with the family at a local restaurant and bored them by reciting endless factoids from my studies. Probably reminded my sons of their childhood, when I would read them from computer text books (yes I AM a fun guy!).

After lunch, I studied a bit more then took another exam…83%. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening studying all the materials again. I took one last practice exam and got an 81%. Monday dawned and I was back at it. Reviewing and re-reviewing the material. I walked into the testing center a bag of nerves. When the young lady behind the counter checked me in, she looked at the exam I was registered take and said, “Oh, you’re taking the hard one.” Oh great! Give me some confidence!

If you have gotten this far you are either a) related to me, b) getting ready to take this monster exam yourself, or c) like to watch train wrecks…but I have to say I passed! I have never been so relieved! I passed! (and yes Ryan, I over studied!) By the way…can anyone tell me who WON The Masters?

0 replies
  1. Tim H
    Tim H says:

    Wow, obviously I’m coming into this late – but CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a great accomplishment.

    My brother-in-law graduated with Masters in Architecture and immediately sat for the LEED AP and was still extremely nervous going into it. He said that the people most likely to pass the first time are Architects or Builders who have years of on-the-job experience and can related to the material first hand.

    Guess it’s good to know the exam hasn’t been watered down for easy passing…

    Anyhow, so great to hear! You’re LEED Certified now! (just kidding… I can hear you groan from across Indianapolis)


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