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What is the Alberta Trade Entrance Exam?

Posted by: Gavin Au-Yeung Date: March 9, 2020 Category: Blog

Apprenticeship is a necessary path for many who are interested in working a Skilled Trade. In many parts of Canada, aspiring apprentices must meet the proper educational requirements. Often, this is referring to a grade 12 education or equivalent. Many skilled Internationally Trained Individuals (ITIs) move to Canada and look for work. Some Canadian institutions may require you to upgrade your foreign credentials. In order to begin training, ITIs need to meet the correct educational requirements. In Alberta, individuals who do not possess the right educational credentials will need to take the Trades Entrance Exam (TEE) before they can begin technical training or apprenticeship in their desired trade.

What is the Trade Entrance Exam?

Candidates who are unable to prove they possess the basic educational requirements must take the TEE in order to begin training. The test consist of 100 multiple-choice questions. Passing the TEE requires a score of 70% or higher. Test takers will need to prepare for three subjects: English/Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Science. Test takers have three hours to complete the examination.

The Five Clusters

There are five different versions of the TEE which correspond with the five different clusters of trades. Clusters are groups of trades which require similar skills and knowledge. This means that the amount of English, mathematics, and science questions will change depending on which cluster your desired trade falls into.

For example, a Baker and a Roofer both fall into Cluster 2. While these two careers will require different training, the educational requirement require similar knowledge. Cluster 2 trades rely on mathematics more than science and English, as a result 50/100 questions will be focused on math.

A breakdown of question distribution is provided in this chart:

TEE Subjects

For more information about the TEE and the trades included in specific clusters, please see this study guide prepared by the Alberta Government.

While the TEE is used in Alberta, the Alberta entrance exams are also used to determine entrance for apprenticeship programs in Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut territories. Each province may have their own unique testing method to determine educational credentials. In Ontario, a Certificate of Qualification may be required in order to do an apprenticeship. In Saskatchewan, online entrance requirement training is available to prepare people with the essential skills required before training.

Interested in returning to your career?

ITIs who are living in Alberta and Saskatchewan may be eligible for the free career counselling services provided by Career Loans. Our expert counsellors will work with you to map out career goals and get you back to your desired career. Career Loans also helps with loan applications of up to $15,000. To find out more and register for our services, visit

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