Writing the Red Seal Exam


Exam Preparation

Review the exam preparation checklist


What to bring to the exam?

  • Photo ID (government-issued personal identification, such as a valid driver’s license)
  • Apprenticeship I.D. from your jurisdiction (if applicable)
  • Exam confirmation letter
  • Any other materials listed in your exam confirmation letter

What to expect during the exam?

  • You will not be allowed to talk to other candidates.
  • During the exam you are not allowed to access personal items, such as bags, mobile phones or any type of electronic or communication devices.
  • In some trades, you may be provided with reference documents such as code books. Your exam may include a diagram booklet, an acronym sheet and a mathematical formula sheet.
  • You will have to fill out the personal information section on your answer sheet. Wait for the signal from the invigilator of the exam before marking the answer sheet.
  • All materials must be returned to the invigilator of the exam.
  • If you don’t follow these rules, your exam may be invalidated.

What is the exam format?

  • The maximum time allowed is 4 hours.
  • There are between 100 and 150 questions per exam depending on the trade.
  • You will receive an exam package containing the questions, an answer sheet and scrap paper.
  • All questions are multiple choice and of equal value.
  • Each question has four possible choices (A, B, C and D). Only one answer is correct.
  • The pass mark is 70%.


What happens after you take the Red Seal exam?

Red Seal exam results

  • Your provincial or territorial apprenticeship and certification office will send you your exam results. This can take up to four weeks. Refer to your exam confirmation letter for more information.
  • Results are not released over the phone.

Receiving your Red Seal

  • If you are completing your provincial or territorial certification at the same time as your Red Seal exam, the Red Seal may be affixed to your provincial or territorial certificate.
  • If you already have a provincial certificate and you want to have the Red Seal affixed to your card, you may need to send your current card to your provincial and territorial apprenticeship office. Refer to your exam confirmation letter for more information.

What if you do not pass your exam?

  • The Red Seal is the standard of excellence in your trade. As such, Red Seal exams are designed to test the national scope of the trade. If you have less experience in some of the tasks and sub-tasks, you may not pass on your first attempt.
  • If you do not achieve the 70% pass mark, the number of times you can attempt the exam and the waiting period between attempts are determined by each province and territory. A course of study, approved by the jurisdictional certification authority, must be successfully completed before the third and every subsequent attempt. Contact your local apprenticeship and certification office for clarification.