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Royal Academy Of Dance Exams


All students have the opportunity to complete annual examinations or presentations.

To ensure safe dance practice, candidates must have reached the following minimum age by: 



Level                                                          Minimum age


Pre-Primary in Dance                                     5

Primary in Dance                                            6

Grades 1-5                                                      7

Grades 6-8                                                     11

Intermediate Foundation                             11

Intermediate                                                  12

Advanced Foundation                                  13

Advanced 1                                                    14

Advanced 2                                                    15

Solo Seal Award                                             15



Examination Sessions Dates 


March – Spring Entry 

May – June - Summer Entry

October – November - Winter Entry


Below is a helpful guide for parents to better understand the hours of study and practice required to complete each grade.


Recommend Hours of Study


Qualification                   Guided Learning        Practice           Study (National Learning)



Primary                                   40                               0                                 40

Grade 1                                  60                               10                               70                                         Grade 2                                  60                               10                               70                                          Grade 3                                  60                               10                               95                                         Grade 4                                  75                               20                               95                                     

Grade 5                                  75                               20                               95

Grade 6                                  90                               40                              130

Grade 7                                  90                               40                              130

Grade 8                                  90                               40                              130

Intermediate Foundation     150                           125                               275

Intermediate                          150                           125                               275

Advanced Foundation          150                           125                               275

Advanced 1                            150                           175                               325

Advanced 2                            150                           225                               375

Exam Coaching

Additional exam coaching classes are charged at the rate of £7 per class and will be invoiced separately.​

Exam Day


Normally the venue will be open one hour before the start of the exams and closed half an hour after the end of the exams. 

An examination attendant will be present at the venue to greet and register the candidates. 



An area will normally be available for candidates to warm up before the exams. Those accompanying candidates to the venue, including teachers and parents, are not allowed into the warm-up area. 


Rosin can be provided for candidates if appropriate (NB. it is not appropriate to use rosin on specialist dance flooring).


Candidates will be registered on arrival by the examination attendant and will be asked to sign to confirm their identity (proof of identity is not required). Where candidates are too young to sign, a parent/guardian may do so on their behalf. 


Candidates are allocated their number when registering at the venue. This number is worn throughout the exam as a means of identification. If candidates fail to arrive or have cancelled after the timetable has been issued, the original allocated numbers will stay in place for the remaining candidates. 


Admission to the exam studio 


Normally only the candidates, the examiner and a pianist / music operator may be present during an exam. The RAD may at its discretion permit additional examiners (e.g. trainees or standardisation examiners) and / or (for exams in RAVs) additional pianists (e.g. for training / monitoring purposes) into the studio. 

Occasionally, the presence of an additional responsible adult may be necessary in order to comply with safeguarding requirements.

Additionally, the examinations regulators have the right to send representatives for monitoring / auditing purposes. In such cases teachers will be notified in advance. 

During the exam, unauthorised persons should only enter the studio in an emergency. 


Warm up 


Candidates should arrive in time to warm up, and be ready to begin at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. 


Illness and injury before or during the exam 


Candidates who feel unwell before or during any exam or suffer an injury resulting in them not being able to continue, should withdraw and leave the studio. 

Temporary withdrawal from the exam room should be for as brief a time as possible, during which the exam, if under way, will be stopped and the remaining candidates advised to keep warm. 

If, having left the exam, the candidate is not able to return within about three minutes, the examiner should be informed by the examination attendant, so that the exam can be started or resumed as soon as possible. 


If a candidate is unable to complete an exam due to illness / injury or for any other reason, they may choose to either (a) accept the result of the exam based on the completed sections, or (b) withdraw from the exam and, if they wish, apply for compensation.

In the event of (a) above, the examiner will assess the candidate on the basis of the work seen, as if no response had been given by the candidate to the parts of the exam which were not completed. This may result in 0 being awarded for some components; however, candidates may still be able to pass provided that the minimum required marks have been obtained. 



Withdrawals and non-attendance 


Notice of withdrawal of any candidate who cannot be present for an exam must be submitted as soon as the inability to attend is known, and certainly no later than the day of the exam, to the RAD office where the original entry was sent, with an explanation of the reason. 

If a candidate is unable to attend an exam due to circumstances beyond their control, such as illness, compassionate reasons e.g. family bereavement, serious adverse weather conditions, compensation may be sought, on the basis of evidence submitted, as detailed in the Fees section. 

The RAD is not liable to offer compensation for the withdrawal of any candidate who is entered for an exam and does not meet the published criteria for entry. This includes the candidate meeting the minimum age requirements, and having the correct pre-requisite exam qualification. 

A candidate in quarantine for any infection must be withdrawn. 

In the exam 

Candidates can take a plastic water bottle into the exam studio. Normally water should only be drunk during official rest breaks.

Candidates who are diabetic can take their insulin or a snack into the exam studio. Candidates who require asthma pumps and sprays can take these into the exam studio.


Candidates taking vocational graded exams can take a hand towel into the studio.

Candidates using pointe shoes may bring an additional spare pair of pointe shoes into the studio,
All items taken into the exam studio should be placed where they will not impede any candidates’ dancing. 


Candidate numbers 


Numbers must be worn during the exam as a means of identification. They should be large enough for the examiner to see, and securely pinned to the front and back of each candidate. 

In an AEC the numbers should match the entry form.
In an RAV, the numbers will be pre-allocated and provided on arrival. 

If any candidate fails to arrive or cancels after the timetable has been issued, the original numbers remain in place. 

Additionally, for graded exams, candidates may wear coloured badges or ribbons in the following order: pink/red, blue, white, yellow. Numbers must still be worn. 


Entering the exam studio 


A few minutes before the start time, the exam attendant should line the candidates up in the correct order outside the studio door. 

Checks should be carried out to ensure that the candidates are wearing the correct number/badges etc. 

Where relevant, candidates should have with them their character skirts, character shoes, pointe shoes, tutus, and/or props if these have not already been placed in the studio. 

The examiner will ring the bell when s/he is ready for the exam to begin. The exam attendant will then direct the candidates to enter the exam studio. 


The candidates enter the studio and form a line in front of the examiner (see order below), make a simple reverence and greet the examiner in English or the candidate’s own language.

For a class award, the teacher will lead the students into the exam studio in numerical order. 


Order of candidates in an exam: 


candidate1     candidate 2     candidate 3     candidate 4 




The examiner will then check the name and number of each candidate.

For class awards, the teacher will introduce the candidates individually to the examiner. 

No candidates should enter the studio once the exam has started. 

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