Automotive Refinishing Technician - 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 Red Seal Occupational Standard. This trade's Red Seal exam has 120 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Major Work Activity A – Performs common occupational skills - 20 questions
Task A-1 Performs safety-related functions
4 questions
Task A-2 Maintains tools and equipment
8 questions
Task A-3 Organizes work
6 questions
Task A-4 Uses communication and mentoring techniques
2 questions
Major Work Activity B – Performs preparation - 50 questions
Task B-5 Prepares surface
32 questions
Task B-6 Uses repair materials
18 questions
Major Work Activity C – Performs refinishing procedures - 50 questions
Task C-7 Prepares refinishing equipment
8 questions
Task C-8 Prepares refinishing materials
14 questions
Task C-9 Applies refinishing materials
20 questions
Task C-10 Performs post-refinishing functions
8 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 35 and 45% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

What is determined from a work order?

  1. Panels to be refinished and mil thickness.
  2. Colour variations and type of top coat.
  3. Panels to be refinished and repair times.
  4. Repair times and rental car coverage.

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 45 and 55% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

What is done to remove dust nibs from a surface that was painted 24 hours ago?

  1. Verify cured finish, lightly block sand, then polish.
  2. Verify cured finish, polish with a coarse compound, then glaze.
  3. Lightly block sand, then polish.
  4. Verify cured finish, then remove dust nibs with razor blade.

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:

The air pressure is too high when matching a solvent-borne metallic colour. What is the result?

  1. Darker colour.
  2. Lighter colour.
  3. Change in hue.
  4. Change in chroma.

Answer: B

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.