Instrumentation and Control Technician - Exam Information
Table of Contents
Each Red Seal exam's questions are developed to assess the activities laid out in the Red Seal Occupational Standard. This trade's Red Seal exam has 125 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:
Block A - Common occupational skills - 7 questions
Block B - Process measuring and indicating devices - 35 questions
Block C - Safety and security systems and devices - 9 questions
Block D - Hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems - 10 questions
Block E - Final control devices - 24 questions
Block F - Communication systems and devices - 14 questions
Block G - Control systems and process control - 26 questions
All Red Seal exam questions are written in multiple-choice format. A multiple-choice question consists of question followed by four possible responses (A, B, C, D). Every question has exactly one correct answer and three incorrect options. They are not misleading or trick questions, but the incorrect options are not always obvious.
There are three types of questions that you will see on Red Seal Exams:
- Knowledge and Recall
- Procedural and Application
- Critical Thinking
Knowledge and Recall
This type of question tests your ability to recall and understand definitions, facts and principles.
For this trade, between 25 and 35% of questions that are this type.
Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:
What is the principle of operation of a bullseye level gauge when used on a steam boiler application?
- Conductivity of water.
- Voltage change of a thermocouple.
- Differing refractive indexes of steam and water.
- Resistance change of a resistance temperature detector.
Procedural and Application
This type of question tests your ability to apply your knowledge of procedures to a situation.
For this trade, between 35 and 45% of questions are this type.
Example of a Procedural and Application Question:
Which procedure is required when terminating a 4-20 mA, 2-wire RTD transmitter in the intrinsically safe (I.S.) barrier panel in the control room?
- Connect the red lead at the ground and the blue lead at the respective positive (+) point of the barrier.
- Connect the wires at the respective positive (+) and negative (-) points of the active barrier only and leave the shield open.
- Connect the wires at the respective positive (+) and negative (-) points of the active barrier and run a bonding jumper from the negative (-) point to the ground.
- Connect the shield to the barrier ground and the signal wires to the respective positive (+) and negative (-) points of the active barrier.
This type of question tests your ability to interpret data, solve problems and arrive at valid conclusions.
For this trade, between 25 and 35% of questions are this type.
Example of a Critical Thinking Question:
After installing a new smart valve positioner, the valve does not respond to process changes. What is a possible cause?
- Positioner in auto mode.
- Improper actuator bench set.
- Controller in manual mode.
- Air supply set at 100 kPa.
Try more sample questions for this trade and check out the Exam Preparation Guide. It will give you practical insights on what goes into Red Seal exams, and how you can best prepare yourself to do well.
For more information about exam preparation materials contact your provincial/territorial apprenticeship office.