Taking Exams with the Royal Academy of Dance

RAD exam group
RAD exams offer young dancers the opportunity to gain recognised qualifications that will serve them well in a career in dance as well as being of value later in life when considering further career development.Matz Skoog, Artistic Director, English National Ballet

What is the Royal Academy of Dance?

A worldwide organisation founded in 1920 to advance the standards of teaching in classical ballet. RAD Registered Teachers provide the best training in classical ballet for children and young people.

Why take exams with the Royal Academy of Dance?

  • To attain your personal best
  • To learn dance in a safe and fun environment
  • To have a goal to work towards
  • To receive recognition from the world's largest ballet examining body
  • UCAS tariff points for Graded & Vocational Exams - new for 2012!
RAD exams provide a good bricks and mortar foundation for a sound technique.Gary Harris, Artistic Director, Royal New Zealand Ballet

What types of exams do the Royal Academy of Dance offer?

Whatever your age or level of ability, RAD offers an examination program to suit you - whether you're new to ballet or already an advanced student of dance. Students usually begin by following:

Graded Syllabus

As well as Classical Ballet, this also includes Free Movement and Character.

Graded Examination Age Requirement
Primary 7 years and over
Grade 1 8 years and over
Grade 2 9 years and over
Grade 3 10 years and over
Grade 4 11 years and over
Grade 5 12 years and over
Grade 6 13 years and over
Grade 7 14 years and over
Grade 8 Award 15 years and over

Note that the Royal Academy of Dance has strict age requirements for exam entry. Also please note that students are entered by invitation only from a Danz Royal teacher.

What will I achieve at each different stage?

At Grades 1 to 3 you will be able to:

  • Co-ordinate simple movements to produce a combination of steps
  • Respond sensitively to music
  • Perform with confidence before an audience

At Grades 4 to 5 you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an increased range of movements in longer and more complex sequences
  • Show an increased sensitivity to music
  • Perform with increased confidence before an audience

At Grades 6 to 8 you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of dance movements
  • Interpret music sensitively in performance
  • Perform with confidence and self-awareness

Vocational Graded Syllabus

Students aged 11 and over who want to study classical ballet in greater depth with a view to pursuing a career in dance, can follow the Vocational Graded Syllabus.

Vocational Graded Examination Age Requirement
Intermediate Foundation 12 years and over
Intermediate 13 years and over
Advanced Foundation 14 years and over
Advanced 1 15 years and over
Advanced 2 16 years and over
Solo Seal Award 16 years and over and must hold
Advanced 2 with Distinction

How should I prepare for an exam?

  • For Graded Examinations you'll need to do a minimum of one class a week. Extra coaching in the period leading up to the exam may also be necessary.
  • For Vocational Graded Examinations you should expect to take a minimum of two classes a week at the lowest level, increasing as you progress towards the higher levels.

How do I know the exam will be fair?

RAD examiners are highly trained and follow strict quality assurance procedures. Each student is marked against a set of assessment criteria specific to that examination. A few weeks after completing an exam you'll be given a result form listing the marks you've been awarded and the result obtained.

I advise students in all the schools I direct to take RAD exams. Not only will they achieve a high level of excellency, but they will also receive a certificate that is accepted all around the world.Maria Luisa Noronha, Director, Maria Olenewa State Dance School, Brazil

What's the next step?

You can only be entered for an RAD exam by a teacher who holds Academy Registered Teacher Status.

Danz Royal is the only ballet school in the Brussels region that is authorised to enter candidates for RAD exams.