How to pass an exam on the first try

Put my 4-step PASS method to the test:






Plan Ahead

Plan means to make a game plan. Or plan of attack. However you frame it, you need structure when studying for an exam. A good structure will begin with the end in mind. Specifically, your exam date. Don’t just aimlessly skim the rating system. Study with purpose.


Create urgency

Give yourself 14-40 days of study time prior to that end goal. Divide the initial review of the material over the 50% of those days. Then work through it in a consistent manner, and take notes as you go. Once you have that complete, the next 25% of your calendar should be spent assessing your retention. (*hint* that’s the next step) The final 25% of your time is spent following up on the tough concepts.

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Assess Your Progress

Assess means to measure. Check your progress against something outside of your own brain. Use a friend or feedback mechanism to identify your strengths and weaknesses. These observations will help focus the rest of your study time.

Lucky for you, when you use GBES’s practice test, that tool is built into the architecture of the product. Every time you complete an entire 100 question practice test, you get an overall score and a category score.

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Study the Hard Parts

Study means to focus. Spend the bulk of your time on the areas where you need the most improvement. Use the feedback from the previous step to tell you where to focus. Also, to study doesn’t just mean read.


Study smarter; read-record-repeat!

Find a concept you missed on the practice test? Read about it in a published resource. Then write it down. Finally, read it out loud to yourself. Then, repeat for additional concepts as needed.

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Surrender to the Unexpected

Surrender means let go of expectations. You don’t need to be perfect. Just visualize yourself passing the exam, not acing the exam. Allowing errors is especially important since we know that LEED exams have un-scored questions.


You’ll do great if you believe it

Another way to think about surrender is to think positively. Believe in goodness, and let go of the rest.