Cabinetmaker - 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 - 16 questions
Task 1 - Performs safety-related functions
2 questions
Task 2 - Maintains tools and equipment
4 questions
Task 3 - Organizes work
4 questions
Task 4 - Performs routine work practices
4 questions
Task 5 - Uses communication and mentoring techniques
2 questions
Major Work Activity B – Performs machining - 19 questions
Task 6 - Machines components using stationary and portable power tools
14 questions
Task 7 - Machines components using automated and CNC equipment
5 questions
Major Work Activity C – Performs forming and laminating - 13 questions
Task 8 - Creates curved components using wood and composite materials
6 questions
Task 9 - Laminates wood and composite materials
7 questions
Major Work Activity D – Installs veneers and laminates - 14 questions
Task 10 - Applies veneers
7 questions
Task 11 - Applies laminate sheets
7 questions
Major Work Activity E – Performs shop assembly - 20 questions
Task 12 - Assembles cabinets and furniture
11 questions
Task 13 - Assembles architectural millwork products
9 questions
Major Work Activity F – Performs finishing - 14 questions
Task 14 - Prepares surface for finishing
7 questions
Task 15 - Finishes wood products
7 questions
Major Work Activity G – Performs on-site assembly and installation - 15 questions
Task 16 - Modifies products to site conditions
4 questions
Task 17 - Installs cabinets and countertops
6 questions
Task 18 - Installs architectural millwork products and mouldings
5 questions
Major Work Activity H – Performs specialized operations - 9 questions
Task 19 - Builds stairs and balustrades
3 questions
Task 20 - Works with solid surface material and custom countertops
3 questions
Task 21 - Creates decorative woodwork
1 questions
Task 22 - Restores woodwork
2 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 5 and 15% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

What is used to prevent mitre joints from opening?

  1. Air-dried lumber and biscuits.
  2. Kiln-dried lumber, biscuits and silicone.
  3. Air-dried lumber and sufficient glue.
  4. Kiln-dried lumber and sufficient glue.

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 80 and 90% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

A large production run is performed on CNC equipment. What is the procedure?

  1. Double-check the X coordinate, then recalibrate the zero stops.
  2. Regularly check the dimensions of the finished products, then make adjustments.
  3. Regularly check the finished pieces for defects, then change tooling as they wear out.
  4. Back up the computer files, then adjust the speed potentiometer.

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 less than 10% of questions are this type.

Example of a Critical Thinking Question:

When contact cementing plastic laminate to the face of a fir plywood core, excessive pressure is applied. What is the result?

  1. The core fractures on the face.
  2. The glue is starved and delaminates.
  3. Telegraphing occurs across the face.
  4. Delamination occurs at the edges.

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.