Bricklayer - 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 125 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Block A – Performs common occupational skills - 14 questions
Task 1 - Performs safety-related functions
3 questions
Task 2 - Uses and maintains tools and equipment
3 questions
Task 3 - Uses scaffolding
3 questions
Task 4 - Organizes work
3 questions
Task 5 - Uses communication and mentoring techniques
2 questions
Block B – Performs general masonry practices - 24 questions
Task 6 - Performs substrate preparation
7 questions
Task 7 - Performs fundamental masonry tasks
10 questions
Task 8 - Uses mortars, grouts and adhesives
7 questions
Block C – Builds masonry systems - 27 questions
Task 9 - Builds masonry walls
12 questions
Task 10 - Builds horizontal masonry surfaces
6 questions
Task 11 - Builds and installs prefabricated masonry units
3 questions
Task 12 - Installs surface-bonded masonry units
6 questions
Block D – Builds natural stone systems - 13 questions
Task 13 - Builds natural stone walls
7 questions
Task 14 - Performs mechanically-fastened natural stone cladding procedures
6 questions
Block E – Builds chimneys and fireplaces - 13 questions
Task 15 - Builds chimneys
7 questions
Task 16 - Builds fireplaces
6 questions
Block F – Installs refractories and corrosion resistant materials - 10 questions
Task 17 - Installs and maintains refractories
6 questions
Task 18 - Installs and maintains corrosion resistant materials
4 questions
Block G – Performs restoration - 14 questions
Task 19 - Rebuilds masonry work
8 questions
Task 20 - Repairs and cleans existing masonry work
6 questions
Block H – Performs additional masonry - 10 questions
Task 21 - Installs glass blocks
2 questions
Task 22 - Installs ornamental and sculpted masonry
2 questions
Task 23 - Builds arches
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 30 and 40% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

Which chisel is used to remove deteriorated mortar joints in restoration work?

  1. Cold.
  2. Pointing.
  3. Plugging.
  4. Brick set (bolster).

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 50 and 60% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

Given a non-reinforced concrete block foundation, how is a bed joint spread for the first course?

  1. By spreading mortar under the webs.
  2. By spreading under the webs and face shells.
  3. By using face shell bedding.
  4. By spreading a full bed.

Answer: D

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:

What is the effect of using a mortar that is stronger than the material?

  1. The mortar joint will crack.
  2. The material will be damaged.
  3. The wall will have greater strength.
  4. The existing mortar will have greater strength.

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.