Tool and Die Maker - 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 135 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Major Work Activity A – Performs common occupational skills - 20 questions
Task A-1 Performs safety-related functions
5 questions
Task A-2 Maintains machine-tools, accessories and cutting tools
3 questions
Task A-3 Organizes work
5 questions
Task A-4 Performs benchwork
5 questions
Task A-5 Uses communication and mentoring techniques
2 questions
Major Work Activity B – Operates machine-tools - 45 questions
Task B-6 Operates power saws
4 questions
Task B-7 Operates drill presses
4 questions
Task B-8 Operates conventional lathes
9 questions
Task B-9 Operates conventional milling machines
9 questions
Task B-10 Operates grinding machines
9 questions
Task B-11 Operates computer numerical control (CNC) machines
6 questions
Task B-12 Operates electrical discharge machines (EDM)
4 questions
Major Work Activity C – Performs heat treatment - 13 questions
Task C-13 Heat treats materials
10 questions
Task C-14 Tests heat treated materials
3 questions
Major Work Activity D – Performs design and development of prototypes and production tools - 57 questions
Task D-15 Performs production tool design
9 questions
Task D-16 Develops prototype
6 questions
Task D-17 Fits and assembles production tools
15 questions
Task D-18 Proves out production tools
14 questions
Task D-19 Repairs and maintains production tools
13 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 25 and 35% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

What is used to check the angles of two adjoining 90° surfaces on a workpiece?

  1. Vernier calliper.
  2. Spirit level.
  3. Straight edge.
  4. Solid square.

Answer: D

Procedural and Application

This type of question tests your ability to apply your knowledge of procedures to a situation.

For this trade, between 40 and 50% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

When producing a part in a blanking die, what is done to reduce the required tonnage?

  1. Increase the cutting clearance.
  2. Decrease the cutting clearance.
  3. Decrease the spring pressure.
  4. Increase the shear angle.

Answer: D

Critical Thinking

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:

What is the result of unrestricted material flow in a shallow draw die?

  1. Fracturing.
  2. Wall thinning.
  3. Side wall burnishing.
  4. Wrinkling.

Answer: D

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.