LEED AP O+M certification study tips.

LEED Operations and Maintenance Essentials: Study Materials for Success in the AP O+M Exam

Achieving the LEED AP O+M certification is a notable accomplishment for professionals in the building operations and maintenance sector. This certification highlights expertise in sustainable practices, boosting career opportunities. To succeed, a well-planned preparation strategy is essential. Here are the essential study tips to help you excel in the LEED AP O+M exam.

What Is the LEED AP O+M Certification All About?

The LEED AP O+M specialty exam assesses the knowledge and abilities required to engage in the design process, promote integrated design, and facilitate a more efficient application and certification process.

AP O+M Fees:

  • Combined exam: $550 ($400 for USGBC members)
  • Specialty only exam: $350 ($250 for USGBC members)

Prerequisites/Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must hold a current LEED Green Associate credential (or take and pass the exam simultaneously).
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years.
  • Strongly recommended to have experience working on LEED-registered projects.

Format of the Exam:

  • Combined exam: 100 multiple-choice questions per section.
  • Specialty only exam: 100 multiple-choice questions.
  • Exam options: Prometric Testing Center or remote proctored online exam from home.

Language Support:

  • Translation aids available for BD+C and O+M exams in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French, and Spanish.


  • Passing score: 170 out of 200.

Rescheduling and Cancellations:

  • Allowed up to 3 days before the exam date.
  • Fees may apply for rescheduling or cancellations.

Study Tips to Pass the AP O+M Certification:

1. Begin by Knowing the the AP O+M Exam Format:

  • Begin by understanding the structure of the LEED AP O+M certification exam. It includes 100 multiple-choice questions to be answered within two hours.
  • The topics covered are project site factors, water management, energy, indoor environmental quality, and stakeholder engagement. Knowing the format will help you manage your time efficiently during the exam.

2. Study from Official Resources:

  • Invest in the official study materials provided by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED AP O+M Candidate Handbook and Reference Guide are critical resources.
  • These guides cover all exam topics in detail, providing a strong foundation for your studies. Using official materials ensures you are learning accurate and relevant information.

3. Cover All the Materials Methodically:

  • Create a realistic study plan that aligns with your daily routine. Consistency is vital. Dedicate specific times each day or week for studying.
  • Break down the material into manageable sections and set goals for each session. A well-organized study plan helps you cover all the topics methodically.

4. Collaborate with AP O+M Exam Peers:

  • Collaborating with peers can significantly enhance your learning experience. Join a study group or online forum focused on the LEED AP O+M certification.
  • Engaging in discussions, sharing resources, and solving problems together can deepen your understanding of complex subjects. Peer support is invaluable during exam preparation.

5. Assess Your Preparation Level with AP O+M Practice Test:

  • Taking practice tests is essential for exam success. They help you get familiar with the question format and time constraints. Use practice exams available in official study materials or online.
  • Review your answers to identify weak areas and focus your AP O+M studies accordingly. Regular practice boosts confidence and improves performance.

6. Emphasize on Key Concepts:

  • The LEED AP O+M certification exam prioritizes understanding key concepts over rote memorization. Focus on grasping the principles behind sustainable operations and maintenance practices. Understand the reasons and methods for each topic.
  • This approach ensures you can apply your knowledge practically, which is crucial for both the exam and your professional role.

7. Case Studies Help in the Preparation:

  • Case studies are a vital component of the LEED AP O+M certification exam. They test your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.
  • Review case studies provided in the official materials and look for additional examples online. Analyzing case studies enhances your problem-solving skills and prepares you for application-based questions.

8. Keep Up with Industry Trends:

  • Sustainability practices and standards are continually evolving. Stay updated on the latest trends and developments in the building operations and maintenance industry.
  • Follow relevant blogs, subscribe to industry newsletters, and participate in webinars. Current knowledge ensures you are well-prepared for any new topics that might appear on the exam.

9. Reinforce Your Memorization:

  • Flashcards are an effective tool for reinforcing key terms and concepts. Create flashcards for important definitions, principles, and standards covered in the LEED AP O+M certification exam.
  • Regularly reviewing flashcards helps reinforce your memory and aids in quick recall during the exam. Digital flashcards can be convenient for on-the-go study sessions.

10. Prioritize Your Well-being:

  • Maintaining a healthy balance between AP O+M study and personal life is crucial. Ensure you get adequate rest, eat nutritious meals, and engage in physical activity. A healthy body supports a sharp mind.
  • Take breaks during study sessions to avoid burnout. Remember, a well-rested and healthy individual performs better in exams.

Concluding Thoughts:

Preparing for the LEED AP O+M certification exam requires dedication, strategic planning, and the right resources. By following these study tips, you can build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills. Stay focused, practice regularly, and take care of your well-being to maximize your chances of success. Good luck on your journey to becoming a LEED Accredited Professional in Operations and Maintenance!