Boilermaker - 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 - 31 questions
Task A-1 Performs safety-related functions
5 questions
Task A-2 Uses tools, equipment and work platforms
9 questions
Task A-3 Organizes work
6 questions
Task A-4 Uses communication and mentoring techniques
3 questions
Task A-5 Performs cutting and welding activities
8 questions
Major Work Activity B - Performs rigging and hoisting - 36 questions
Task B-6 Plans lift
11 questions
Task B-7 Rigs load
10 questions
Task B-8 Hoists load
10 questions
Task B-9 Performs post-lift activities
5 questions
Major Work Activity C - Completes new construction - 27 questions
Task C-10 Performs fabrication
10 questions
Task C-11 Assembles and fits vessels and components
10 questions
Task C-12 Fastens components
7 questions
Major Work Activity D - Peforms repairs, maintenance, upgrading and testing - 26 questions
Task D-13 Services vessels and components
17 questions
Task D-14 Removes vessels and components
9 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:

When opening a sealed vessel, what are the 2 major hazards?

  1. Oxygen deficiency and product.
  2. Pressure differential and product.
  3. Pressure differential and operating temperature.
  4. Oxygen enrichment and operating temperature.

Answer: B

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:

When retubing an evaporator, what is the safest and most efficient procedure to hoist the tubes?

  1. Weld lugs to each tube, then lift with a tugger.
  2. Cut holes in each tube, then lift with a choker.
  3. Use a crane, a lifting device and a tag line.
  4. Use wire rope or nylon slings with a minimum of 3 wraps.

Answer: C

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:

Given the following information:

  • Plate thickness of the shell: 1/2 in.
  • Plate thickness of the 2 ends: 5/8 in.
  • Outside diameter (OD) of the ends: 6 ft 1 in.
  • OD of the shell: 6 ft.
  • Length of the shell: 16 ft.
  • 1-in. thick plate: 40 lb./ft.²

What is the weight of the vessel?

  1. 3 840 lb.
  2. 6 716 lb.
  3. 7 443 lb.
  4. 7 484 lb.

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.