Challenging Level Exams

How to challenge an SkilledTradesBC Standard Level Exam (SLE)

At a Glance  

Submit your completed Level Exam Application Form and Sponsor letter of support to Accepted exam applications take approximately 10-15 business days to schedule.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) can be found at the bottom of the page


Step 1. Eligibility

Apprentices registered with a sponsor are required to provide a sponsor letter of support. The letter must include:

  • The trade and level you are applying to challenge.
  • The reason the sponsor representative believes you should be eligible to write the exam.

The letter can be submitted in either of these two formats:

  • Scanned letter on sponsor organization letterhead, signed by a sponsor representative or
  • In the body of an e-mail sent from the sponsor representative e-mail listed on their Direct Access account.

Note: The sponsor representative must be on the sponsor organization SkilledTradesBC staff list. If your sponsor needs to be added to the sponsor organization staff list, they will need to submit an Add-Remove staff form, available on our forms page.

Apprentices not registered with a sponsor are not required to submit a sponsor letter of support.

Apprentices who have failed a level of technical training must wait a minimum of 6 months from the final day of failed training before applying to challenge a level exam.

Step 2. Apply

Documents that SkilledTradesBC must receive to process a Level Challenge application:

  1. Sponsor letter of support submitted either via scanned letter or e-mail from sponsor domain address. (if sponsored)
  2. Level Exam Application Form or call Customer Service to request an exam once you or your sponsor are notified that we’ve received your sponsor letter of support.

Please send completed forms to

Note: Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to you.

Step 3. Verification SkilledTradesBC will review your application package. The processing time is approximately 10-15 business days.
Step 4. What's next?

If approved

  • You will be immediately scheduled to write your exam based on the requested date provided on the Level Exam Application Form, if available. If a seat is not available for that date, you will be scheduled for the next available date at the location you requested.

If not approved

  • An SkilledTradesBC representative will inform you why your application was denied and advice will be provided.

Note: Prior approval does not guarantee future rewrites. Please view the SkilledTradesBC results and rewrites page for additional information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost money to challenge a level exam?

The first two exams that you schedule are free. The third and subsequent scheduling attempt is $50. For more information please view

Does challenging the level impact my Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG)?

Apprentices must complete technical training to be eligible, as per Service Canada. Level challengers are ineligible for this grant.

What do I do if my sponsor won’t sign the letter of support?

Some sponsors do not support their apprentice to challenge level exams because they feel that the apprentice benefits by taking technical training. For any dispute with your sponsor, including exam challenging, you may reach out to an apprenticeship advisor

Where will I be writing my exam?

You can write your exam at one of our regular sessions or at a Service BC office. For a list of locations please view

English is my second language. Can I write the exam with a dictionary?

You can apply to write any SkilledTradesBC exam with a translation dictionary. For more information on exam accommodations please view

How do I know what to study for the exam?

For information on how to prepare and where to find study resources for your exam please view

Other study resources can also be found here:

What happens if I fail my exam?

Depending on how many times you have written the exam, you may be required to do upgrading. Please view for more information.

Can I challenge Level 2 if I haven’t achieved Level 1?

No. You must complete the levels of your program in sequence.

Can I challenge the certification (Red Seal) exam?

If you have extensive experience in your trade, you may be eligible to challenge the certification  exam. Challenging a certification exam is a different process than challenging a level exam. For more information, please view