Tilesetter - 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 100 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Block A - Occupational skills - 12 questions
Task 1 Performs safety-related functions
4 questions
Task 2 Uses and maintains tools and equipment
4 questions
Task 3 Organizes work
4 questions
Block B - Substrate preparation - 15 questions
Task 4 Removes existing finishes
4 questions
Task 5 Evaluates and prepares surface
7 questions
Task 6 Installs specialty products
4 questions
Block C - Layouts - 21 questions
Task 7 Lays out work area
16 questions
Task 8 Evaluates joints
5 questions
Block D - Material preparation - 14 questions
Task 9 Inspects materials
3 questions
Task 10 Prepares material for installation
6 questions
Task 11 Mixes materials
5 questions
Block E - Material setting - 24 questions
Task 12 Installs tiles
13 questions
Task 13 Installs stone slabs
7 questions
Task 14 Pours terrazzo mixture
4 questions
Block F - Finishing - 14 questions
Task 15 Finishes installed product
9 questions
Task 16 Finishes terrazzo and stone
5 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 20 and 30% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

Which type of tile is considered non calibrated?

  1. Handcrafted tile.
  2. Quarry tile.
  3. Anti-slip tile for Olympic pools.
  4. Standard 6 in. x 6 in. wall tile.

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 55 and 65% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

What should be done to limit damage when removing part of a tiled wall on a gypsum board backing?

  1. First cut the joints in the covering surrounding the area concerned using a diamond blade and remove with a crowbar.
  2. Begin chipping at the centre, using a chisel and mallet, then cut the edges with a diamond blade.
  3. Scrape the surrounding joints, cut the edge with a diamond blade and proceed with chipping using a hammer and chisel.
  4. Scrape the surrounding joints with a utility knife before proceeding with partial demolition using a hammer drill.

Answer: B

Critical Thinking

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

For this trade, between 10 and 20% of questions are this type.

Example of a Critical Thinking Question:

A room is 10 ft. by 20 ft. How many units of epoxy mortar are needed for installing tile? (One unit of epoxy mortar covers 27 sq. ft.)

  1. 4
  2. 6
  3. 8
  4. 10

Answer: C

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.