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Apprenticeship Training

Exam Preparation Summary


What can I do to prepare for my Red Seal exam?

The National Occupational Analysis (NOA) for your trade is the most important resource, and a great tool to help you plan what and how to study for the Red Seal exam. NOAs are available for all Red Seal trades and provide the content upon which Red Seal exam questions are based. The steps below are a guide to assist you in using the NOA 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. Step 2:  Select your trade from the list and then click on the link. You will be taken to a page that contains the trades Exam Counseling Sheet, which provides: the percentage of questions for each topic area on the exam a copy of the applicable National Occupational Analysis (NOA) sample multiple-choice questions for the trade Step 3:  Click on the link for the National Occupational Analysis (choose html or pdf). Step 4:  Review Appendix F, Task Profile Chart. This can be used as a self-assessment tool to help you compare what you know with what will be tested. It is found at the back of the NOA and See example is a simple visual tool that outlines the scope of the next page trade as practiced in Canada. Dont review the SUB-TASKS that are (NOT COMMON CORE), as there will be NO questions about these on the Red Seal exam.  he chart is organized into T 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. For a video about Using the NOA to prepare for your exam, visit www.nsapprenticeship.ca and click on the Exam Preparation link (found under Quick Links).

Begin your self-assessment by reviewing each SUBTASK in the task profile chart. For 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 it. Department of Labour and Advanced Education Apprenticeship Training Division 2021 Brunswick St, PO Box 578 Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

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 n the chart, place a ( ) beside the SUB-TASKS you fully understand. Highlight and O place a ( ?) beside SUB-TASKS you are less familiar with.


1. Maintains and uses tools and equipment. 1.01 Uses PPE and safety equipment.

1.02 Maintains hand tools. 1.03Maintains power tools. 1.04 Maintains stationary machinery.

1.05 Maintains layout and measuring tools.

1.06 Maintains cutting and welding equipment.

1.07 Uses access equipment.

Step 5:  Review Appendix E, Pie Chart. The Pie Chart provides the percentage of exam questions assigned to each BLOCK of the NOA. In the example chart below, BLOCK A represents 17% of the exam content, which means that 17% of the exam questions are from BLOCK A. As noted earlier, the exam questions are actually based on the SUB-TASKS. D 41% A 17% B 20% C 22% BLOCK A, Occupational Skills: 17% of exam questions BLOCK B, Preparation for Welding Processes: 20% of exam questions BLOCK C, Cutting and Gouging: 22% of exam questions BLOCK D, Welding Processes: 41% of exam questions

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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. After you have completed these steps, 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. This exercise identified the SUB-TASKS you need to focus on and spend the most time studying. However, dont forget to do a general review of all topics that will be on the exam. 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. For a video about Getting Ready for the Exam, be sure to visit www.nsapprenticeship.ca and click on the Exam Preparation link (found under Quick Links).

Study Materials and Resources


The division neither endorses nor recommends the use of the following materials. They are provided merely as a guide to known available resources.

Practice Exams and Sample Questions

T  he Red Seal website provides exam counseling sheets. Go to www.red-seal.ca and click on the side bar for Red Seal Examinations, then select your trade from the list. The exam counseling sheet contains the following:  A weighting of the exam (identifies the number of questions that are related to a particular topic). Most Red Seal exams have between 100 and 150 questions.  A link to a free sample of questions for the trade (approximately 20 questions). Page 3 of 6

F  ree practice certification exams (containing 100+ questions each) have been published by Albertas Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education: Automotive Service Technician (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Carpenter (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Construction Electrician (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Plumber (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Steamfitter / Pipefitter (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Truck and Transport Mechanic (Practice Exam and Answer Key) Welder (Practice Exam and Answer Key)  Free sample questions (approximately 30 questions) are available from British Columbias Industry Training Authority. Click on a trade below to open a pdf document; read a question; click in the box next to a response to determine if it is correct: Boilermaker Motor Vehicle Body Repairer Bricklayer Steamfitter/Pipefitter Glazier Truck and Transport Mechanic Insulator (Heat and Frost) Welder  Practice exams in several trades are available for purchase at www.exambank.com. A  n Electricians Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT) is available for purchase from the Canadian Standards Association. This CD-ROM contains more than 1100 sample questions to test your knowledge of the Construction Electrician National Occupational Analysis. Click here for information. C  entennial College Press has several trade-related handbooks for purchase (available here), which contain sample tests in the following trades: Automotive Service Technician Construction Electrician Truck and Transport Mechanic  Online textbooks and quizzes covering electricity and electronics are available at www.thelearningpit.com and www.allaboutcircuits.com. Trade-Specific Courses,

Textbooks, Learning Materials and Resources

C  onstruction/Industrial Electrician: The following two electrical courses will help you to prepare for the Red Seal Exam: Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) Review Course Canadian Electrical Practices Course (for internationally-trained clients) N  SCC Online Learning has published a list of textbooks and other resources for apprentices in several trade areas, available here. For additional information or pricing, Page 4 of 6

please contact the Nova Scotia Community College at (902) 491-3516. Some of the textbooks may be available at a public library or at your place of employment. You may also be able to borrow them from an apprentice or journeyperson. A  lbertas Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education and its apprenticeship training providers have developed modularized learning materials, in both English and French, for purchase. For a list of available modules by trade, click here, select the Order modules tab near the top-right of the page and follow the instructions. C  entennial College Press has published several trade-related handbooks for purchase, available here: Construction Electrician Red Seal Exam Prep (includes sample tests) Automotive Service Technician Red Seal Exam Prep (includes sample tests) Truck and Transport Mechanic Red Seal Exam Prep (includes sample tests) Many product manufacturers have websites that also contain helpful information. T  he Red Seal website contains a handy Preparation Guide for studying for the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam, available here. It contains frequently asked questions, and offers tips and techniques on how to study for and write multiple-choice exams.

Essential Skills Resources

Essential skills are the foundational skills needed to carry out all work tasks, and are the building blocks required to learn new skills. Detailed information about essential skills for the trades is available here.  The Apprenticeship Training division occasionally offers courses in Math Refresher and Document Use to registered apprentices. The only cost to apprentices is the purchase of textbooks or course materials. These courses are typically delivered two evenings a week over a six week period. For more information, contact your training officer. H  RSDC has published a free booklet called Trades Math Workbook, available here, and a free booklet called Essential Skills Workbook for the Trades, available here. T  he Construction Sector Council has published two workbooks which can be downloaded for free: Construction Workers Workbook, available here Using Trades Math, available here Essential Skills Activities for Trades, available here  The Red Seal website here contains essential skills information for various trades, along with a self-assessment tool available here. W  orkplace Education Manitoba has a Math tutorial series entitled Learning on Demand that contains videos and workbooks on various Math topics, available here. The topics in this series cover many of the math functions that apprentices may be required to perform in class or in the workplace. Page 5 of 6

A  lbertas Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education and its apprenticeship training providers have developed trade entrance exams that test clients essential skills to ensure that they meet Albertas educational requirements. Study guides, including sample math, science and reading comprehension questions, are available here. T  he British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has published a Trades Math Tune-Up workbook and a Reading Comprehension workbook, available here. N  ova Scotia has Learning Networks that offer tutoring in math or reading free of charge. If you feel you could benefit from tutoring in these areas, click on the following link to find a Learning Network near you: gonssal.ca/General-Public/index.shtml

General information about the Red Seal exam

The Red Seal exam is a nationally-recognized certification exam in Canada and is the certification exam for most trades. Red Seal exams are trade-specific theory exams which are available in both English and French. They 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%.

Tips for writing a multiple choice exam

R  ead each question carefully and completely. Do not assume you know what the question is asking after youve read only part of it.  Separate long questions into smaller parts to make them easier to understand.  Try to answer the question without looking at the four responses, then look for the option that matches your answer.  As you read through the alternative options, make a note of those you know are wrong, in order to narrow your options.  If you are answering a question that involves calculation, it is useful to have an estimate of what the correct answer is so that once you calculate the answer, you can decide whether it seems right. Draw a diagram or jot down a formula if it helps answer a question.  If you dont know the answer, move on and come back later. Its better to finish the easier questions first and come back to the more difficult ones later.  Manage your time - it might be helpful to determine how much time you have for each question. For instance, if the exam has 120 questions and the maximum sit time for the exam is 4 hours, then you have approximately 2 minutes per question. At the halfway point of the exam, determine if you have completed approximately half of the exam, and adjust your pace accordingly.  Answer all questions, even if you have to guess (you have at least a 25% chance of guessing correctly). Do not leave any question unanswered.

Good luck on the Red Seal

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