RAD Ballet Exams / ISTD Modern & Tap Exams
Students from each class that are judged to be ready (usually after 4 – 5 terms of study) take exams in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) & Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) syllabi. Ballet Class Awards start from age 5 + and Primary Tap/Modern aged 6 years +.
Taking an exam is the culmination of all work put in by the pupils throughout their classes. From Grade 3 Ballet students are required to attend two weekly graded classes in order to be considered to be entered for an exam. The exam is an opportunity to showcase what they have learned and have an external dance specialist reward their efforts. Through taking exams, pupils learn the value of hard work and understand the concept of working towards a goal; essential life lessons regardless of whether pupils intend to make dance their career.
Exams also give a purpose and meaning to their dance classes; the sense of achievement upon receiving their certificate further inspiring them for the future.
Royal Academy of Dance graded and vocational graded examinations in dance at RQF Level 3 are allocated points on the UCAS tariff. This means that candidates who have achieved a pass or higher in Grades 6, 7, 8, Intermediate or Advanced Foundation, can use their RAD exam result towards their points tariff when applying to a relevant course at a university or higher education in the UK.
ISTD exams are recognised by the National Qualifications Framework and, as such, from Grade 6 level, pupils accrue UCAS points with their exam results. Exam results are also recognised Duke of Edinburgh Award goals.
Parents will be informed at least 6 weeks in advance by the class teacher if their child is judged to be ready for an exam. This is entirely at the discretion of the teacher. They will receive a detailed email, outlining times, dates + fees. (Please note that exams are not compulsory, if you decide not to take part you will still progress to the next level & can take exams at a later stage).
Students need to ensure consistent attendance throughout the year however, in ʻexam termʼ it is particularly important. In addition to the once a week classes, pupils taking exams will be required to take part in additional coaching sessions and mock exams. Any pupil who fails to attain the exam standard through lack of attendance, or any other reason, will be withdrawn from the exam at the discretion of the teacher.
As students take their exams in small groups, they need to rehearse doing so. This includes where to stand, which order to dance in and in general familiarise themselves with dancing some exercises solo.
Below is an explanation from the Royal Academy of Dance about the difference between taking an examination and a Class Award:
Exams are conducted by an examiner, with no teacher present. Up to four candidates perform the syllabus and are marked against set criteria. They are available for every level from Primary in Dance to Solo Seal Award. Successful candidates receive a percentage mark, certificate and a medal.
Class Awards are available for Primary in Dance and Grades 8. Candidates perform the syllabus (only one dance is required rather than two). Class Awards are led by your teacher, and the examiner assesses the candidates. The mark scheme for Class Awards is less detailed than exams, providing candidates with a broad overview of standard rather than a detailed breakdown. Successful candidates receive a certificate and a medal with no percentage mark.
Exam fees must be paid in advance and are non-refundable.
Payments can only be made through the payment link provided on your invoice.
If you miss the payment before the due date your child will not be entered on the application form, we cannot accept late entries.
Any student who cannot take the exam due to illness or injury will require a doctor’s letter in order to obtain a 50% refund of the exam fee only.
• Please consult our timetable in order to secure a place in the following term in your new level.
• Please do not hesitate to contact the office via email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries regarding the matter.
Approximately 6-8 weeks after an exam session takes place (held either at the school or at the RAD/ISTD headquarters if a smaller group), exam results are sent via email to the school principal, Mrs Jennifer.
Successful candidates receive a percentage mark, certificate and a medal for ballet exams and percentage mark & certificate for modern/tap exams.
Students receive either a Pass, Merit or Distinction
They are awarded marks in several criteria and the overall percentage totalled to ascertain their result. Following this, the school receives the certificates/medals from the RAD/ISTD.The school then distributes the mark sheets in a sealed envelope to each student. Students have no obligation to share their results with anyone other than their parents.
The mark scheme for Class Awards is less detailed than exams, providing candidates with a broad overview of standard rather than a detailed breakdown. Successful candidates receive a certificate and a medal with no percentage mark.