Royal Academy of Ballet

A Royal Academy of Dance School

Royal Academy of Dance Exams / Class Award & Solo Performance

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are R.A.D. Examinations?
A: The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) stresses that each student should have an

achievable goal. This is measured either by an annual R.A.D. Examination/Class Awards.  

For the Pre-School level (Just Tots, Pre Ballet I, and Pre Ballet II), the RAD offers the "Demonstration Class" for students who need the teacher’s support to present their work to the RAD Examiner, hence they will not be graded.


For Grade 1 through 5 students. They have the option to enter as an Exam candidate, which is a graded exam; Pass, Fail, Merit or Distinction OR enter as a "Class Awards" student who needs teacher support to present their work to the RAD Examiner. Subsequently, Miss Vivienne will facilitate the session and the student will not be graded.


A solo performance is assigned at a separate presentation date and time. The performance will require the student to perform 3 solo dances within a 20 minute session. Upon completion, the student will receive an official report, medal, and certificate which will be presented in the RAB Annual Recital in June.



Q: Who decides the R.A.D. Exam dates and the scheduled times for each student?
A: All exam scheduling is done by RAD USA and approved by RAD, UK. Exam/presentation class dates can occur on a school days. The RAD UK office determines when the examiner arrives, which days the testing will occur, and which times each registered student will be tested. Exam schedules cannot be changed and students have individual IDs, thus swapping test times with another student is prohibited. Upon request, an excuse note for school attendance can be provided and certified by an RAD Registered Teacher if the student will be missing a portion of their school day. While we cannot guarantee the date of the exam year by year, the RAD USA office projects 3 days testing yearly.


Q: What are the possible R.A.D. Exam results?  When do we receive the results of the R.A.D. Exams?

A: RAD Exam results are one of the following: Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. An individual test score sheet (report card) provides details of the RAD Exam. The RAD examiner's evaluations are sent to London for review before they are released and sent to a certified school. RAD sends a preliminary summary to the school to verify that all student names are spelled correctly before they prepare the actual certificates.  The final test score sheets (report cards) and RAD certificates are then mailed to our school.  An email will be sent to all students once the report cards and certificates are received and are ready for pick up at our studio. Students who pass their exams will receive a medal, an RAD Exam Certificate along with their test score sheets.  


For the Pre-School level the Academy's goal is to nurture and help children gain confidence. Their demonstration class is non graded, hence the child cannot fail. As long as the child is able to demonstrate the work in the presence of the examiner in a formal setting, the child will receive a certificate of achievement for their effort. 

  
Q:  Are students guaranteed to pass the R.A.D. Exam?  Does the R.A.D. Exam score indicate how well a
student is doing in the class?

Attending the required number of classes per week does not guarantee that students will pass the RAD Exams. Vocational examinations are difficult and become even more so with each level. Some vocational students should be satisfied with a "pass" score and not worry about receiving a "distinction."

Our instructors are responsible for students knowing the syllabus work by a certain deadline, and for helping each student achieve the highest RAD Exam score based on their individual potential. Often times, students question why instructors ask them to do the same exercises repeatedly. It is important to note that knowing the basic movement itself is not enough; repetition brings about subtle changes to refine their movements. We pride our efforts in cultivating the best results in each of our students.

RAD Exams provide a standard, but they should not be considered as the only measure of success. Each child's potential is displayed uniquely and in different performance settings. Parents should not judge students solely upon the RAD Exam score as to how well they are doing in class. For example, a student may not have felt well the day of the exam or had some other issues on exam day. More often what we see is that some students just need more time for their bodies to develop and mature. Periodic growth spurts or weight gain during the middle school years can by especially frustrating for students as they struggle to maintain their current skills while adjusting to their growing bodies. Sometimes those who are slow to develop actually become the stronger dancers.

Also, the RAD Exams are meant to provide a structured approach to dance, where one level builds upon another. The Exams give students a goal to work towards and added motivation while providing a standard that is universal.

Exam scores reflect a performance on a given day. Exam scores also provide a basis for objectively filling roles in our school production. RAD Exam results are not the only criteria used, as instructor recommendations are also considered along with the commitment of both the student and family.

The mission of RAB is to develop a love and enjoyment of this beautiful art form and to bring out the best in each child regardless of body type and ability. To discourage a child from dancing because their scores are not as high as it's expected to be is to truly defeat the purpose of the school, which is to nurture the individual as a person first. Very few go on to become professional dancers, but they come away with a body that improves with respect to strength, coordination and balance. They develop self-discipline which benefits them in college and later in the work place. For many, it builds self-esteem and develops a love for the arts that will last a life-time and contribute to many enjoyable hours at the theater.



Q: If my child has just started ballet and he/she is invited, should he/she take the exam/presentation?
A: Yes! If he/she gets an invitation, that means the teacher has assessed the consistent attendance and the child's ability as an independent learner. Participating in the RAD presentation/exam provides a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon completion. Each participant will receive a certificate for completing the presentation/exam. It is also a great way to get him/her into a performance setting.


Q:  Who is conducting the exam?
A: All exams and awards are assessed externally by a highly qualified RAD trained examiner who follows strict quality assurance procedures. One of our panel of 200 examiners, based in 25 countries around the world who have been appointed, trained and monitored by the RAD will be flown in from Europe, South Africa, North America, or Asia to conduct the exam.
 

Q: How long is the exam/Demonstration Class?
A: Depending on your level generally is between 30 - 45 minutes long.  However, all dancers must be present 20 minutes prior their scheduled time. Once the examiner rings the bell, no students are allowed into the testing room as it will disrupt the focus of other dancers in the room.
 

Q: Will Miss Vivienne be in the room with my child?
A: Depending on the type of exam. For ages 2 through 5 years old, Miss Vivienne will be facilitating the session and guiding the students to demonstrate their performance, hence they are not graded. Miss Vivienne will be in the studio with this age bracket of dancers and the format will be just like their regular weekly classes. "Primary" grades and above have the option with the dancer to perform in front our examiner without an instructor in the room.
 

Q: Can the parents watch?
A: The goal of the exam is for the examiner to evaluate the work demonstrated by the children to make sure that the highest classical standard in achieved through the teaching of their teacher. Therefore, it will be a closeddoor session, and all parents will be asked to wait outside the studio during presentation/exam times.



Q: Is my child at the appropriate age for the exam?
A: Yes! Remember from ages 2-5 it is a demonstration class, no different than what they do every week. Development of their performance aptitude is a big goal of ours, and the exam is a format that will help them excel in their confidence levels to perform in a formal fashion. They will have the security of having Miss Vivienne in the studio with them.


Q: Why take Demonstration Class with the R.A.D?
A: R.A.D. examinations provide students with an achievable goal to work towards. The exams also provide recognition from the world's largest ballet examination board who are accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in England. The certificate is globally recognized and is a fantastic component to build up your child's resume.



Q: What does my child wear for his/her examinations?

A: Your child should be dressed in their normal Ballet dance dress code as if they are coming to a normal class at the Royal Academy of Ballet. Make-up, jewelry or special hair do's are prohibited.
 

Q: When do students register for the RAD Exams/Presentation Classes?
A: RAD requires that registration for RAD Examinations and Presentation Classes be done in December in order to allow enough time for processing in London, England. We generally start accepting registrations for the exams at the beginning of each calendar year. You will be notified in advance of exact registration dates each year. For families who will be travelling please feel free to submit a completed registration form and payment in advance.