We recommend that children sit their Pre-Primary Class Award as it is an introduction to the exam system without the pressure of a Pass or Fail mark. It also introduces parents to the strict rules, regulations and expectation of the exams. The dancers enter the exam studio with their teacher who is present throughout. Their individual report, medal and certificate arrives at the same time as the graded exams and will be presented in class as detailed below.
Why attend extra classes?
With the exception of the Pre-Primary Class Award, children enter their examination without their class teacher. We recommend that candidates attend as many extra classes as possible in preparation for their exam to both improve their memory and confidence and to reinforce technique so that they can perform to the best of their ability on the day. Children who regularly attend more than one ballet class a week progress quicker, gain higher marks and enjoy the experience much more.
The RAD has published a table of the recommended hours of study for each grade (see left). To give you an idea of how much work should be done in preparation for an exam, a child attending one 45 minute ballet class each week would only accrue 27 hours of class time in a year (36 weeks). Please see notice board for recommended hours per grade.
The RAD publishes specifications for each grade which include the uniform requirements, exam procedures, marking criteria and aims of the syllabus. These are a useful reference for both parents and students. You can view or download a copy here:
The Class Award is offered as an assessment option to those students who may require additional support in an exam situation, for example, if they are nervous, need help to remember sequences, or struggle to perform the work accurately. The difference between the Class Award and Exam is that the teacher can enter with the students and prompt as required. The examiner provides a written report for candidates rather than points, and candidates receive a report, certificate and medal as they would for the exam. Gaining the Class Award is still a good achievement and indication of progress.
The RAD issues a print out of the results to the class teacher 4 weeks after the last day of the exam session; this can mean a wait of up to 7 weeks. You will be notified when your results are in. Certificates and medals usually arrive after another 4 weeks and will be presented in class time where the other students can applaud the chidlren for their success and they will have their photo taken by the class teacher.
An explanation of the marks and what each level means is provided in the RAD exam specifications (link above). For graded exams, candidates will have an overall mark of Pass, Merit or Distinction and will receive a bronze, silver or gold medal accordingly. The exams are now SQA accreditted and Higher or Vocational Grades also carry UCAS points. Parents should note that a pass at any level is a great success as these exams are particularly challenging and they should not compare their child’s mark or achievement with any other child in the class.