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Exams

Exams
Each year around 230,000 candidates from all over the world take RAD dance exams.

We offer a wide range of exams and assessments to motivate and reward students of all ages and abilities. Our focus is on creativity and musicality, with our graded system providing opportunities to progress and achieve. 

Find out more about graded exams

All candidates who pass an exam receive a certificate of achievement and a breakdown of their result. Some grades also offer medals.

How does it work?

Starting with Dance to Your Own Tune, students move through our Pre-Primary and Primary levels before moving on to graded and vocational graded levels.

  • Graded syllabus: grade 1 to 8 incorporates ballet, free movement, and character, and is suitable for candidates from seven years (Grades 1–5) and eleven years (Grades 6–8).
  • Vocational Graded Syllabus: This develops the technique, music and performance skills of the older ballet student to an advanced level, preparing them for a dance or dance-related career.

Graded and vocational graded exams lead to recognised achievement at a high level in dance.

A real measure of achievement
These higher levels are accepted as a measure of achievement by vocational schools attended by young people aiming to dance professionally. They are also highly valued by universities and other HE institutions offering degree courses and programmes in the performing arts.

Other awards

A well as exams we also offer:

  • Class Awards - available from Pre-Primary in Dance to Grade 5. These are conducted by the teacher and assessment is less detailed than for exams, allowing candidates to demonstrate their progress and to receive feedback.
  • Solo Performance Awards are available at Grades 1–5. Candidates perform three solo dances; (one of which is freestyle and can be in any dance genre, not specifically ballet) giving them a chance to perform and express themselves whilst benchmarking their development.

All exams and awards are assessed externally by one of our panel of 200 examiners, appointed, trained and monitored by the RAD, and based in 25 countries around the world.

Non-assessed classes

Demonstration Classes are an optional part of the Dance to Your Own Tune curriculum, and Presentation Classes are available from Grade 6 to Grade 8. Neither are assessed but all candidates receive a certificate of participation.