2018 General Exam Information

Official 2018 RAD EXAM schedules are now posted at each studio location.

Please check this posted list for your dancer's official RAD exam* date and time. 

  • Dublin studio exams are during March 9-11, 2018 
  • Fremont studio exams are during March 13-15, 2018. 

*The exam schedule is set by the RAD and not Rachel's Ballet, and please note your dancer's exam time may require early release from school. We apologize for this, and appreciate your support for this important day we have been preparing for all year. 

All students must arrive for the RAD exam at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time, wearing a clean proper uniform and with hair pulled back in a neat, professional manner. 

Also please read each tab below for more information about preparing for exams. 


RAD offers not just one, but three different types of examinations. All of the exam options are to accommodate growing bodies and children, at all stages. There is no “wrong” exam but simple variations dependent on the stage the dancer is at when entered. Regardless of which exam is selected, everyone is included and will be working to their fullest potential.

(Please note that no parents are allowed to observe or be present in the room for the examinations.)

There are three formats of examinations, two of which the same syllabus is demonstrated:

(1)  Class Award Examinations

  • A teacher will be present for support should students need it
  • Students will receive feedback from the examiner, but not a numerical mark

Candidates are assessed by a RAD examiner through observation of the performance of all the exercises and a dance. The standard of achievement is not measured in specific categories indicating levels of success but, instead, all students who achieve at least “occasionally” in each component are awarded an assessment report, certificate and medal. A teacher will be in the examination room conducting the examination with the students in the presence of the examiner.

(2)  Graded Examinations (Primary, Grades 1-8, Vocational)

  • A teacher will not be present
  • Students will receive a numerical mark from the examiner based on 60% classwork and 40% solo work
  • Exam results are one of the following: Standard Not Attained, Pass, Merit, Distinction
  • For Vocational exams, the marking standard is higher. Pointe work is included for females.  Free enchainements (unset work) are included in Vocational exams
  • Some grades (such as Grade 3, Grade 5 and the Vocational Advanced levels) have more syllabus content to learn and may require two years to complete that level

Candidates must meet criteria set in the relevant section of the standards prospectus. All candidates will pass an examination if the required standard has been attained. If successful, the examiner will award one of three pass classifications based on their performance on the day, in accordance with the established criteria. The marks awarded by the examiner will indicate to students, teachers, and parents, the strengths of the candidate’s performance and the areas that require improvement. Successful candidates will receive a result form, a certificate, and a medal. The examiner conducts the examination with students in groups and a teacher will not be in the room with students.

(3)  Solo Performance Awards (Grades 1-5)

  • This exam emphasizes solo performance for students who have already achieved the foundation technique of that level. Three solos are marked for technique, musicality, and artistry.  A specially choreographed solo may be chosen in addition to two solos from the RAD syllabus
  • Students will enter the exam room one at a time
  • The teacher will not be present
  • Students will receive a numerical mark from the examiner
  • Exam results are one of the following: Standard Not Attained, Pass, Merit, Distinction

Candidates must meet criteria set in the relevant section of the standards prospectus. All candidates will pass an examination if the required standard has been attained. If successful, the examiner will award one of three pass classifications based on their performance on the day, in accordance with the established criteria. The marks awarded by the examiner will indicate to students, teachers and parents, the strengths of the candidate’s performance and the areas that require improvement. Successful candidates will receive a result form, a certificate, and medal. The examiner conducts the examination with students and a teacher will not be in the room with students. Three dances are performed as a solo.

Assessment
Candidates are assessed through the performance of the entire class aware content on several criteria. The component marks are awarded through the assessment of related elements, as appropriate to each assessment area, which contributes to the skill and ability of the dancer, i.e. co-ordination, control, line, spatial awareness and dynamic values, and where applicable, the specific studies of pointe work for females and allegro for males. All these elements require a sound classical technique incorporating correct posture, weight placement and use of turnout. 
Please CLICK HERE to learn more about RAD assessments, reports, and awards. 
 
RAD Exam Results

RAD Ballet exams are the hardest in their field and as such are extremely highly respected and very difficult to pass. We are very proud of our students for succeeding in these challenging and demanding exams, however, some children expect unachievable results. There is huge pressure to always “be the best”, but the RAD’s mark-scheme has been created to actually allow for all achievements to be recognized. As such, the RAD examiners are rightly tough which is integral to the respect shown to them and their exams; they don’t give “Distinctions for all”. Merits and Passes are wonderful achievements in themselves and must be celebrated.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about RAD results explained in detail. 

This is an exam rehearsal for all of the students in each grade level. It is important for students to practice their work in the studio where they will take the exam. Parents are invited to observe, and see the progress the students have made. Please be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to your mock exam time, so that we can seat you, and keep to the schedule. Late arrivals are very disruptive on this occasion, and your child may miss instruction of how to enter the studio on exam day. Students should be groomed as for the exam, and have all of the components of their uniform. Please be sure that you have the correct location, date and time for your dancer. If you have any doubt, check with your teacher. 

Dancers must arrive to the exam studio 30 minutes before exam time. We need to put the children's numbers and ribbons on, warm them up and prepare them to enter. Please be sure that they have had a little drink and a trip to the bathroom. Please also be sure that their grooming is immaculate, and their uniform is clean and in good repair. Jewelry and nail polish is not allowed. On exam day, we need silence in the lobby, to maintain the atmosphere in the examination room. Please drop your child, and wait outside or in your car. Duration of examinations are from 30-60 minutes, depending on the level. Late arrivals will not be admitted, and children may not leave and re-enter the examination studio once the exam has begun. If you are unsure of your exam day/time, check with your teacher.
 
View/download the RAD document: Getting ready for the Exam

The exam schedule is set by the Royal Academy of Dance, and no changes can be made. Our school has 5 days of examinations, and this means that some students may have to miss a partial day of school. Please explain to your child's teacher that they are participating in an educational experience. Teachers will be proud of the efforts and accomplishments of your dancer to prepare for this event. There are no regular classes held during the exam period.

Neatness and pride in appearance is essential in the examination. Hair should be styled in a ballet bun, covered with a plain hairnet that matches the hair, with plenty of hairpins to secure it. Bun should be in the back of the head, and not visible from the front (see Hair Grooming). Bangs and wisps should be hair-sprayed or gelled smooth. Students with hair too short for a bun should wear a headband or clips (color of the hair) to secure any hair from the face. Uniform leotard and tights should be clean and in good repair. Undergarments, if worn, should not show. Character skirts should be free of wrinkles. Don't forget character shoes! Please no jewelry or nail polish. Makeup is not worn for Children's exams. Senior students may wear a light make-up. Also see "General Dress Code" in our Student Handbook.
Please watch this video to see what happens during a typical RAD exam and learn about the benefits and significance of taking the exams.
RAD ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE TO OFFER RAD TEACHING QUALIFICATION
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Formerly, the RAD Access Route was only delivered with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia. Boston Conservatory at Berklee will become the only other institution in the world and the first performing arts institution in the United States to offer students a ballet teaching qualification in partnership with the Royal Academy of Dance. 
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The two year program is in addition to the students' Boston Conservatory education and will consist of a combination of online and onsite studies. Successful completion of the Access Route leads to eligibility for Registered Teacher status (RTS) with the Royal Academy of Dance. 
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