You must contact the Apprenticeship Training Officer in your trade/region to determine your eligibility to write a certification or level exam. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be asked to submit an exam application indicating a ‘preferred’ exam date and location (a listing of all exam sessions is included in the Exam Schedule).
If you are eligible to write, please refer to the exam application and guidelines document. Your application, along with the applicable fee, must be received at the Halifax Office of the Apprenticeship Training Division prior to the “apply before” date indicated for the requested exam session. Applications received after the application deadline will be processed for the next available exam sitting.
A confirmation letter will be sent to you 10 days prior to the exam date. Do not attend an exam sitting without this written confirmation.
Try not to be discouraged! Certification exams are very challenging, but use what you learned from your previous experience to help prepare for your next attempt. Everyone who challenges an exam receives a breakdown of the results they achieved in each section of the exam. Use the breakdown to identify areas where additional study will help you prepare for your next attempt.
Re-write the exam as soon as you feel confident you will pass - don’t postpone it for a lengthy period of time. You will need to obtain another exam application and pay the exam fee prior to the application deadline, which is approximately 1 month before the desired exam sitting date.
If you have unsuccessfully challenged an exam on two or more occassions, you are required to contact your Training Officer to discuss completion of additional technical training.
If you are unable to write the exam on your scheduled exam date, you must notify the division as soon as possible. Contact your Training Officer, or telephone the Halifax Office at (902) 424-5651 (or toll free in Nova Scotia at 1-800-494-5651). An exam may be rescheduled only once without penalty. If you fail to provide notice of withdrawal at least 24 hours in advance, you will be considered a no-show and your exam fee will not be refunded.
Please note: You should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the exam.
Exam scoring starts on the Wednesday following the regularly scheduled exam sitting. The exam results (marks and/or information indicating whether or not you were successful) will not be released over the telephone.
Red Seal exams contain between 100 and 150 multiple choice questions, with an average exam containing 125. Each question has four responses, only one of which is correct. A maximum of four hours is provided to complete the exam. The passing grade is 70%.
|National Occupational Analyses (NOAs) are available for all Red Seal trades, and provide the content upon which Red Seal exam questions are based. The NOA for your trade is the most important resource, and a great tool to help you plan what and how to study for your exam.
Follow the steps below to prepare for your exam.
|Step 1||Go to the Red Seal website (www.red-seal.ca) and click on the side bar for Red Seal Exams, or click here.|
|Step 2||Find your trade in the list and click on the link. You will be taken to a page that contains the trade's Exam Counseling Sheet, which provides the following:
|Step 3||Click on the link for the National Occupational Analysis (choose either the html or pdf version).|
|Step 4||Review Appendix F, Task Profile Chart. This chart can be used as a self-assessment tool to help you compare what you know with what will be tested on the exam. It is found at the back of the NOA and is a simple visual tool that outlines the scope of the trade as practiced in Canada.
The chart is organized into major content areas called BLOCKS. These BLOCKS are divided into TASKS. TASKS are divided into SUB-TASKS. The questions that appear on the Red Seal exam are based on the SUB-TASKS.
Begin your self-assessment by reviewing each SUB-TASK in the task profile chart. If you want more detailed information, read the full description for that SUB-TASK in the NOA to ensure that you understand the knowledge and skills required to perform the SUB-TASK.
On the task profile chart, place a check mark () beside the SUB-TASKS you fully understand. Highlight any SUB-TASKS you are less familiar with.
Note: Don’t review the SUB-TASKS that are (NOT COMMON CORE), as there will be NO questions about these on the exam.
|Step 5||Review Appendix E, Pie Chart. The Pie Chart provides the percentage of exam questions assigned to each BLOCK of the NOA. (You can also find the BLOCK percentages on the Red Seal's Exam Counseling Sheet webpage, along with sample exam questions.) As noted previously, the Red Seal exam questions are actually based on the SUB-TASKS.|
|Step 6||Review Appendix A, Tools and Equipment. This appendix provides a list of the tools and equipment used in the trade. You should be familiar with the names, operation and maintenance of the tools and equipment listed here.|
|Step 7||Review Appendix B, Glossary. This appendix provides definitions and explanations of selected technical terms used in the trade.|
|Step 8||Review Appendix C, Acronyms. This appendix provides the common acronyms used in the trade.|
Here is a video explaining the steps above:
After you have completed the steps noted in Part A above, you should have a better idea of the areas that you need to study for the Red Seal exam. A study plan will allow you to make the most of the time you have to prepare, and give you an opportunity to review all of the topics that are on the exam, particularly those you need to focus on the most.
To create your study plan, you can use the self-assessment exercise you completed in Step 4 above. This exercise identified the SUB-TASKS you need to focus on and spend the most time studying.
Next, determine where you will study and establish a regular routine. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit. It may be helpful to study for short periods of time over a long time frame, as this can be more effective for retaining information than studying for a long period in one session. Be sure that your family and friends understand what you are doing and ask them not to disturb you during study times.
Here is a video to help you prepare for and write your exam:
Red Seal Exam Counseling Sheets are found on the Red Seal website here. Find your trade in the list and click on the link. You will be taken to a page that contains the trade's Exam Counseling Sheet, which provides the following:
Provincial Certification and Level Exam Counseling Sheets are found here. Click on your trade/level in the table of contents. You will be taken to a page that contains the applicable Exam Counseling Sheet, which provides the following:
Provincial Occupational Analyses (POAs)are available for the following trades:
here.POAs describe the skills and knowledge needed to perform competently in the trades. They are the base documents used to develop Provincial Certification exams, and may also be used as a checklist to guide your studies. Copies of POAs are found
Click here for the list of resources, including links to free practice exams (available in several trades) on Alberta's apprenticeship training website.