Study for your Red Seal Examinations

The Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) or National Occupational Analysis (NOA) is a great resource for studying as the Red Seal examinations are based on it.

How to Use the RSOS or NOA to Study

An NOA is divided into the following sections and sub-sections: Blocks, Tasks and Sub-Tasks.

The Task Profile Chart at the end of the NOA shows how these are organized. Use it as a self-assessment tool - identify the activities you have mastered and those that you need to brush up on.

The new standard, RSOS, is divided into Major Work Activities (MWA), Tasks and Sub-Tasks.

For trades that have an RSOS, there is a Red Seal Exam Preparation Guide based on the standard to help you prepare.

Examination Breakdown

There are three sources that show the breakdown of the Red Seal examinations.

These sources identify how many questions can be expected on the different sections of the RSOS or NOA.

Blocks/MWAs: A block or major work activity with a national average of 40% means that 40% of the questions on your exam will be on this area.

Tasks: A task with a national average of 10% means that 10% of the questions related to that block will be about this task.

So, in this case, if the exam has 100 questions, there should be 4 questions on this task on the examination (10% X 40% X 100 questions).

Knowing how many questions there are per section will help you prioritize your studying.

Review your Terminology

Other appendices of the RSOS or NOA contain information on the terms used in Canada in the trade.

  • Tools and equipment
  • Glossary
  • Acronyms

Other Resources

  • Make sure you know how to use the code book for your trade (if applicable).
  • Read textbooks. You may ask for recommendations at the library or at your local apprenticeship office.
  • Try the sample questions for your trade to become familiar with the types of questions you can expect.
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