Overview of the Red Seal Examination

Learn about the structure of the examinations and how they are built, their format and duration, what you need to bring for the examination and what to do if you don’t pass.

While the above video mentions National Occupational Analyses as the basis on which examinations are developed, the new Red Seal Occupational Standards will be replacing the NOA over time. Where an RSOS has been developed for a particular trade, it will be the basis for the development of the exam for that trade

Examination Format

There are 100 to 150 questions per exam, depending on the trade.

All questions are multiple-choice and of equal value.

Each question has four possible choices (A, B, C and D). Only one answer is correct.

Examination questions may:

  • check your trade knowledge
  • test your ability to apply mathematical formulas to a trade-related situation
  • check problem solving skills related to your trade
  • use metric and/or imperial systems
  • be related to diagrams

The examination is scored by a computer, so when marking your answers:

  • use an HB pencil only
  • press firmly with the pencil to ensure the circle is filled in completely
  • to change an answer, erase cleanly
  • do not make stray marks on the answer sheet
  • ensure your mark is on the correct line, especially if you have skipped questions

Time Limit

The maximum time allowed is 4 hours.

Pass Mark

The pass mark is 70%.

What to Bring to the Examination

  • Photo ID (government-issued personal identification, such as a valid driver’s license)
  • Apprenticeship ID from your jurisdiction (if applicable)
  • Examination confirmation letter
  • Any other materials listed in your examination confirmation letter.

What is Not Allowed during Examination

You will not have access to personal items:

  • Bags
  • Mobile phones
  • Any type of electronic or communications devices.

Reference Documents that may be Provided at your Examination

  • Code book
  • Diagram booklet
  • Acronym sheet
  • Mathematical formula sheet

Check if you are ready for your Red Seal Examination.

What If You Don’t Achieve 70%?

  • The number of times you can attempt the examination and the waiting period between attempts are determined by each province and territory.
  • An approved course of study must be successfully completed before the third and every subsequent attempt.

Contact your provincial or territorial apprenticeship and certification office for clarification.