Around the world, RAD exams are recognised for their quality, and each year, nearly a quarter of a million candidates across the globe choose to take their dance exams with us.
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, providing opportunities to progress and achieve. It’s not just professional or young dancers who take our exams; age is no barrier to success. At any stage of your life or career you can develop your fitness, musicality and artistry. Our candidates range in age from 2 to 60+!
The RAD offers a portfolio of examinations and assessments designed to encourage, motivate and reward students of all ages and abilities, outlining a progressive structure for learning and achievement.
Students may start with Dance to Your Own Tune (the curriculum for students from 2½ to 5 years), move up through the first Graded levels (Pre-Primary in Dance and Primary in Dance), and then into eight further Graded levels and six Vocational Graded levels. Students may move from the Graded pathway to the Vocational Graded pathway at an appropriate moment and they may also study both pathways simultaneously.
Students may choose to undertake Solo Performance Awards or Class Awards at anytime and do not need to complete an Examination at the same level to progress. For example a student make take a Grade 1 Class Award, followed by a Grade 2 Examination, followed by a Grade 3 Solo Performance Award.
Dance To Your Own Tune
- Demonstration class led by the teacher and observed by the examiner.
- for candidates 2.5 – 5yrs old
- for candidates studying Pre-Primary in Dance – Grade 8 and Discovering Repertoire.
- following the class award syllabus and including a selection of exercises and one dance, led by the teacher and assessed by an Examiner.
- for candidates from 5yrs old for the Graded Syllabus and 12yrs old for Discovering Repertoire
- great option for students who enjoy a less formal assessment environment with the support of their class teacher and fellow dancers.
Solo Performance Award
- for candidates from Grade 1-5
- includes 3 solo dances including at least 2 from the RAD syllabus assessed by an Examiner
- for candidates from 5yrs old
- great option for students with strong performance and musicality skills
The Graded Examination in Dance Syllabus:
- focuses on ballet (including elements of freer and progressive styles, appropriate for today’s dancer) and Character
- includes Graded Examinations (Primary in Dance – Grade 8), Class Awards (Pre-Primary in Dance – Grade 8), Demonstration Classes (Grades 1-8) and Solo Performance Awards (Grades 1-5)
- is appropriate for candidates from the ages of 5 years
The Vocational Graded Examination in Dance Syllabus:
- builds on the elements covered in the Graded syllabus, focusing on the performance of ballet to an advanced standard, and is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in dance
- comprises examinations at six levels from Intermediate Foundation to Solo Seal Award
- is suitable for candidates form the age of 11 years.
Examinations are administered by the RAD Examinations Board. In Australia RAD Vocational Graded qualifications are endorsed by State awarding bodies in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania for credits towards the Certificate of Education. RAD Graded qualifications are recognised in Tasmania for credits toward the Certificate of Education.
The Solo Seal is still the RAD’s highest Vocational Graded examination and remains a true test of a dancer’s ability; though over the years the format has changed. Candidates are required to perform three contrasting variations from the 19th, 20th & 21st centuries, each selected to meet the stylistic and movement demands of today’s choreographers and directors.
- candidates perform three variations and a virtuoso finale
- is suitable for candidates who have received a distinction at Advanced 2 level in the Vocational Graded Examinations Syllabus
- unlike Examinations the Solo Seal is performed for a panel of judges and an audience
Find out more in our quick guide to exams here
Learners have the option of taking regulated examinations recognised at the following levels on the UK qualifications framework:
- Level 2 (equivalent to Grade 5/Intermediate Foundation standard)
- Level 3 (equivalent to Grades 6-8/Intermediate & Advanced Foundation standard)
- Level 4 (equivalent to Advanced 1 & 2 standard)
The levels in the Discovering Repertoire programme are aligned to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) according to the degree of demand (difficulty) at each level. The required knowledge and understanding of the fundamental and relevant technique for the Discovering Repertoire programme means that there is currently no Level 1.
The assessments are designed to be taken in a modular format as individual units:
Unit: Class (barre and centre)
Unit: Variation 1 (development exercises and Variation 1)
Unit: Variation 2 (development exercises and Variation 2)
On completion of each individual unit, candidates will receive a unit certificate.
Candidates who successfully complete all three units of a single level as an exam will be awarded the total level qualification certificate.