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

A – Performs common occupational skills - 12 questions
Task A-1 Uses and maintains tools and equipment
4 questions
Task A-2 Performs safety-related activities
3 questions
Task A-3 Builds and uses temporary access structures
3 questions
Task A-4 Uses communication and mentoring techniques
2 questions
B – Performs planning and layout - 14 questions
Task B-5 Interprets documentation
5 questions
Task B-6 Organizes work
3 questions
Task B-7 Performs layout
6 questions
C – Performs concrete work - 16 questions
Task C-8 Constructs formwork
12 questions
Task C-9 Installs concrete, cement-based and epoxy products
4 questions
D – Performs framing - 20 questions
Task D-10 Constructs floor systems
6 questions
Task D-11 Constructs deck systems
3 questions
Task D-12 Constructs wall systems
6 questions
Task D-13 Constructs roof and ceiling systems
5 questions
E – Performs exterior finishing - 14 questions
Task E-14 Installs exterior doors and windows - 5 questions
5 questions
Task E-15 Installs roofing
4 questions
Task E-16 Installs exterior finishes
5 questions
F – Performs interior finishing - 14 questions
Task F-17 Applies wall and ceiling finishes
3 questions
Task F-18 Installs flooring
2 questions
Task F-19 Installs interior doors and windows
4 questions
Task F-20 Constructs and installs finish components and stairs
5 questions
G – Performs renovations - 10 questions
Task G-21 Performs renovation-specific support activities
5 questions
Task G-22 Performs renovation-specific construction activities
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 5 and 15% of questions that are this type.

Example of a Knowledge and Recall Question:

What is the minimum safety factor when a rope is used for hoisting materials?

  1. 5:1
  2. 10:1
  3. 15:1
  4. 20:1

Answer: A

Procedural and Application

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

For this trade, between 75 and 85% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

How are balusters attached to handrails?

  1. Nail balusters to the edge of the handrail.
  2. Glue balusters to the underside of the handrail.
  3. Fasten the balusters into a plow in the handrail.
  4. Create a mortise and tenon joint to attach the balusters.

Answer: C

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 minimum lineal metres (feet) of 38 mm × 38 mm (2 in. × 2 in.) horizontal strapping at 600 mm (24 in.) o.c. are needed for a wall 2 900 mm (9 ft. 6 in.) high and 9 m (29 ft. 6 in.) long?

  1. Metric: 45 m, Imperial: 147 ft. 6 in.
  2. Metric: 54 m, Imperial: 177 ft.
  3. Metric: 56 m, Imperial: 206 ft. 6 in.
  4. Metric: 63 m, Imperial: 236 ft.

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.