Ballet Exam Information
A useful guide for parents and ballet exam candidates with all you need to know about RAD ballet exams.
Your class teacher needs to decide when each child is ready to sit their graded exam. They try as much as possible to keep peer groups together but this is not always possible. When your child is ready for their exam, the class teacher will give them a permission slip which must be signed and returned with payment before the given closing date. Please take time to read the form as it indicates the dates of the exam session and highlights the fact that exams can be scheduled during school hours.
The exact day, time and venue of your examination will be provided within approx. 14 days of the closing date. The dates and times for these SQA accredited exams are set by the RAD Regional Administrator and CANNOT be altered. Candidates will receive a reminder slip with the date, time and venue from their class teacher.
Pre-Primary Grade Class Award... The first step!
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 atending one 45 minute ballet class each week would only accrue 27 hours of class time in a year (36 weeks) and of this, approx. 8 hours would be devoted to dance display work.
We follow the guidelines set by the RAD for our ballet uniform. Download a copy of our ballet exam uniform guidelines... and don't forget your ballet socks!
All items of required uniform are available to purchase from our online shop, CSBS Supplies.
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 for each level:
- RAD specifications for Pre-Primary and Primary Grade
- RAD specifications for Grades 1-3
- RAD Specifications for Grade 4-5
- RAD Specifications for Grades 6-8
- RAD Specification for Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate
- RAD Specifications for Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2
The Class Award is offered as an 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 candiates rather than points, and candidates receive a report, certificate and medal as they would for the exam.
On the day...
You must arrive around 30 minutes prior to your exam. This gives the exam candidate plenty of time to get dressed in their uniform, have their hair done by a CSBS teacher and get calm before they enter the exam studio. It is the parent's job to be calm and encouraging (no matter how nervous you actually are!). Each venue has a waiting room where parents can wait... although we recommend taking the opportunity to go to one of the nearby cafes for a coffee and cake to calm your nerves!
find out what happens in an RAD exam in this lovely video:
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 (links above). The children 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.
We strive to meet the following objectives: