Cook - 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 150 questions Footnote *, which are distributed as follows:

Major Work Activity A – Hygiene, sanitation and safety - 13 questions
Task A-1 Performs safety and hygiene-related functions
5 questions
Task A-2 Practices food safety procedures
8 questions
Major Work Activity B – Common occupational skills - 11 questions
Task B-3 Uses tools and equipment
2 questions
Task B-4 Organizes work
1 question
Task B-5 Manages information
1 questions
Task B-6 Manages products
2 questions
Task B-7 Performs trade activities
2 questions
Task B-8 Adapts cooking practices to meet dietary requirements
2 questions
Task B-9 Uses communication and mentoring techniques
1 questions
Major Work Activity C – Produce - 12 questions
Task C-10 Prepares herbs and spices
3 questions
Task C-11 Prepares vegetables
5 questions
Task C-12 Prepares fruit
4 questions
Major Work Activity D – Stocks, broths and soups - 12 questions
Task D-13 Prepares stocks and broths
6 questions
Task D-14 Prepares soups
6 questions
Major Work Activity E – Sauces - 13 questions
Task E-15 Prepares thickening and binding agents
4 questions
Task E-16 Prepares sauces
9 questions
Major Work Activity F – Cheese, dairy, plant-based dairy alternatives, eggs and egg products - 10 questions
Task F-17 Uses cheese, dairy products and plant-based dairy alternative products
5 questions
Task F-18 Prepares eggs and egg-based dishes
5 questions
Major Work Activity G – Pastas, noodles, stuffed pastas and dumplings - 10 questions
Task G-19 Prepares pastas and noodles
6 questions
Task G-20 Prepares stuffed pastas and dumplings
4 questions
Major Work Activity H – Grains, pulses, seeds, nuts and alternative proteins - 11 questions
Task H-21 Prepares grains and pulses
4 questions
Task H-22 Prepares seeds and nuts
3 questions
Task H-23 Prepares alternative proteins
4 questions
Major Work Activity I – Meats, game, poultry, game birds and variety meats - 16 questions
Task I-24 Prepares meats and game meats
8 questions
Task I-25 Prepares poultry and game birds
6 questions
Task I-26 Prepares variety meats
2 questions
Major Work Activity J – Fish and seafood - 15 questions
Task J-27 Prepares fin fish
7 questions
Task J-28 Prepares seafood
8 questions
Major Work Activity K – Salads and sandwiches - 9 questions
Task K-29 Prepares sandwiches
3 questions
Task K-30 Prepares salads
3 questions
Task K-31 Prepares condiments, preserves and dressings
3 questions
Major Work Activity L – Specialty preparation - 8 questions
Task L-32 Prepares hors d’oeuvres and other finger foods
3 questions
Task L-33 Prepares charcuterie and cured products
2 questions
Task L-34 Prepares gels and glazes
1 questions
Task L-35 Prepares marinades, rubs and brines
2 questions
Major Work Activity M – Sweet and savoury baked goods and desserts - 10 questions
Task M-36 Prepares dough-based products
2 questions
Task M-37 Prepares batter-based products
2 questions
Task M-38 Prepares creams, mousses, frozen desserts, fillings, icings, toppings and sugar works
2 questions
Task M-39 Assembles cakes
1 questions
Task M-40 Prepares savoury and sweet pastries and pies
2 questions
Task M-41 Prepares chocolate
1 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 knife is used for removing excess fat and tissue when preparing boneless chicken breasts?

  1. Paring knife.
  2. Chef's knife.
  3. Boning knife.
  4. Serrated knife.

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 55 and 65% of questions are this type.

Example of a Procedural and Application Question:

How is raw ground beef stored in a refrigerator?

  1. By storing below ready-to-serve products.
  2. By covering with a cloth.
  3. By storing below raw poultry.
  4. By storing in original shipping container.

Answer: A

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:

To maintain a 29% food cost, what must the menu price be of an item costing $1.00 to produce?

  1. $2.95
  2. $3.45
  3. $4.35
  4. $5.45

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.