Ironworker (Generalist) - Exam Information

Table of Contents


This tool can be used to reflect on your own experience and knowledge in the trade compared with what is on the exam.

Exam Breakdown

Each Red Seal exam's questions are developed to assess the activities laid out in the National Occupational Analysis. This trade's Red Seal exam has 120 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Block A - Occupational skills - 15 questions
Task 1 Interprets occupational documentation
4 questions
Task 2 Communicates in the workplace
2 questions
Task 3 Uses and maintains tools and equipment
5 questions
Task 4 Organizes work
4 questions
Block B - Rigging and hoisting - 22 questions
Task 5 Selects rigging equipment
10 questions
Task 6 Uses hoisting and lifting equipment
12 questions
Block C - Cranes - 11 questions
Task 7 Selects, assembles and erects cranes and components
7 questions
Task 8 Disassembles cranes
4 questions
Block D - Reinforcing - 19 questions
Task 9 Fabricates on-site
6 questions
Task 10 Installs reinforcing material
13 questions
Block E - Pre-stresses/post-tensions - 8 questions
Task 11 Places pre-stressed/post-tensioning systems
4 questions
Task 12 Stresses tendons
3 questions
Task 13 Grouts tendons
1 question
Block F - Erection, assembly and installation - 34 questions
Task 14 Installs primary and secondary structural members
17 questions
Task 15 Installs ornamental components and systems
9 questions
Task 16 Installs conveyors, machinery and equipment
8 questions
Block G - Maintenance and upgrading - 11 questions
Task 17 Repairs components
5 questions
Task 18 Dismantles and removes structural, mechanical and miscellaneous components
6 questions

Types of Exam 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 50 and 60% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

Which colours of the colour code represent a reinforcing steel bar 5280 mm in length?

  1. Dark blue, pink, light blue, red.
  2. Light blue, red, dark blue, pink.
  3. Dark blue, red, light blue, pink.
  4. Light blue, pink, dark blue, red.

Answer: C

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:

What is the proper sequence prior to disconnecting the conveyor chain from an existing system?

  1. Disengage the take-up, check the elevations and secure the chain.
  2. Disengage the drive, remove the pins and secure the chain.
  3. Remove the chain pins, check and secure the take-up.
  4. Remove the drive chain, check the take-up and remove the pins.

Answer: A

Critical Thinking

This type of question tests  your ability to interpret data, solve problems and arrive at valid conclusions.

For this trade, less than 10% of questions are this type.

Example of a Critical Thinking Question:

How many 20 ft. sections of tower weighing 3400 lb. each can be hoisted and placed inside an elevator shaft at the same time with a crane capacity of 5 tons, a building height of 210 ft. and an under-hook height of 273 ft.?

  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 4
  4. 5

Answer: A

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.