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RAD Intermediate Foundation Examination


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#1 DaPixie

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:39 PM

I've decided to take the RAD Intermediate Foundation Exam in Bangkok, Thailand this November. Of course I am nervous. I only seriously restarted ballet in April after a 15 year break. I am being trained by my teacher here in Cambodia, and will only travel to Bangkok to take the exam. Also, all the students taking the exam with me will be between the ages of 11 and 13. I will be 32! So, yes, I am NERVOUS!

I have a few questions about the exam. Maybe some of you here can answer them. I am getting conflicting answers from the school in Bangkok where I will be taking the exam.

1. Who chooses which Variation I will have to dance? The examiner or me?
2. Is the music for the Variation going to be played by the pianist or is it going to be from the CD?
3. Do I have to wear Demi-Pointe shoes for the exam or are slippers still okay for that level? The school says all their students will be wearing soft block shoes, but the RAD specs say either is okay. Should I just wear what everyone else is going to be wearing so as not to stand out?

4. How does the free enchaînement section work and how much weight is given to it? All I found in this forum refers to the old syllabus.

#2 Doubleturn

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:00 PM

In answer to your questions:-

1) This is for you and your teacher to decide beforehand.
2) The Variation is played from the CD.
3) Demi-pointe shoes are optional, so wear what you feel will help show off your dancing best. (If you aren't used to Demi-pointe shoes don't wear them).
4) The free enchainment carries 10 marks out of 100. The examiner will tell you the sequence of steps to be seen and will tell the pianist the type of music needed. Candidates then mark it through several times to the music before performing it.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Oops, just realised this is Adult ballet students - are Teachers allowed to post?

#3 DaPixie

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:07 PM

Thank you for that Doubleturn.

#4 chocakety

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:27 PM

My IF exam, we wore ballet slippers with ribbons on. Then when we went to Inter and higher, we all had to wear soft blocks already.

The free enchainment style has changed, examiners would give a set of just 3 steps in different directions, it can be a glissade devant/derriere, changement and something else. It isn't as complicated as the old syallabus where examiners are free to put in any steps :)

Good luck for your exam!

#5 olgahk

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:28 AM

Oh, what a coincidence, I also want to take IF exam - whenever is the next one. I decided yesterday :grinning:

Before I speak to my ballet teacher, can someone suggest where I can find information about exam dates and places? In HK it seems that everyone does it once a year, in May...

#6 Miss Persistent

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:29 AM

Oh, what a coincidence, I also want to take IF exam - whenever is the next one. I decided yesterday :grinning:

Before I speak to my ballet teacher, can someone suggest where I can find information about exam dates and places? In HK it seems that everyone does it once a year, in May...


Your local RAD branch should be able to provide you with closing dates and exam session start dates. They may be available online or else contact your district co-ordination or national office, or if you receive dance gazette they are published in the "Focus on Exams" supplement which comes with it (atleat it does here in Aus!)

DaPixie, the focus and linking steps for the free enchainments are published in the specifications. You receive and exercise with one focal step, most probably in both variations (eg. Deviant and derrière or under and over) and it will be 8 counts repeated 4 times in 2/4, 3/4 or 4/4 time, or 12 counts in 6/8. It is given between the 2nd and 3rd allegro exercises.

Good on you both for taking up the challenge, it will be a great experience for you :)

#7 DaPixie

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 09:41 AM

Olgahk, looks like in Thailand most schools hold exams just once a year too.
I have to take my exam in Thailand because there is no RAD branch in Cambodia, there are no RAD registered teachers here, and I am the only person in the country who is even interested in taking an RAD exam at the moment. I got into an arrangement with a school in Bangkok. They agreed to enter me into the exam and let my (non RAD RTS) teacher in Cambodia prep me for it.

Miss Persistent, thanks for the encouragement. By the way, Focus on Exams can even be downloaded from the RAD website. :-)

I just did and read it. Looks like they are now allowing split-sole shoes in exams but underneath say they discourage it in all classes and exams. Um, I don't know but it strikes me as a bit weird. If you don't advocate something then don't allow it to be used in the exams. Hmmm...

Thanks Chocakety. Did you take the old exam or the new one?

#8 olgahk

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

In Hong Kong, the November exam is only available almost by a special arrangement, and is organised by HK Examination Authority. The deadline for registration for that exam was 1 June. May exam is much easier to register for.

I think I will take IF syllabus classes in the next few weeks and see how I do in those. Luckily, one of my ballet teachers run them at least once a week.

Good luck with your exam!!

#9 DaPixie

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

I am going to BCB from the 25 to 31 of August for a special RAD exam prep intensive. We'll have 2.5 hours every day. This is making me really nervous. There will only be 11-13 year-olds in class.

Olgahk, at least you have a lot more time to prepare. Actually, since you have so much time (and given that the exams are so expensive), why don't you start preparing for the Intermediate exam rather than the IF one? I don't really know what level you are at, but 10 months should be plenty of time. I am already doing some things much more difficult than what's in the Intermediate syllabus in my regular classes, and if you managed to follow Misha Bart's classes, it should be okay.

#10 Miss Persistent

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:42 AM

I just did and read it. Looks like they are now allowing split-sole shoes in exams but underneath say they discourage it in all classes and exams. Um, I don't know but it strikes me as a bit weird. If you don't advocate something then don't allow it to be used in the exams. Hmmm...


I think this is because some brands of pointe shoes now come in split soles, and there was some confusion over if this was appropriate or not. Whilst the RAD always encourage certain things, there is always the clause of "or an appropriate substitute" in the fine print. They are not so rigid that they would not allow a student to sit an exam due to a legitamte resons of not being able to wear the official uniform. However I agree with their discouraging split sole shoes.

Olgahk, at least you have a lot more time to prepare. Actually, since you have so much time (and given that the exams are so expensive), why don't you start preparing for the Intermediate exam rather than the IF one? I don't really know what level you are at, but 10 months should be plenty of time. I am already doing some things much more difficult than what's in the Intermediate syllabus in my regular classes, and if you managed to follow Misha Bart's classes, it should be okay.


As a teacher, I would generally allow atleast 12 months of preperation for any VGE level exam. It is not just knowing the work that is important, but building the underlying technique, artistry and musicality. Unless you were training at an Intermediate or above level already, I wuold not attempt the new Intermedite syllabus on less than 12 months training - it is very demanding!

#11 chocakety

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:39 AM

I agree with Ms P about the Intermediate syallabus. I find A2 and Center Practice for Pirouettes needs super alot of concentration. The pirouettes combined singles, doubles, tendus in croise devant, derriere and en face and then grand battements with tendus with change of direction. Alot of concentration needed to control everything. A2 is just confusingggggg, so much change of directions and precision of arms. BUT it is super fun and challenging! I actually liked it more than the old Intermediate where there is like thousands of exercises to be covered but most of the time during class, I feel like I am just covering the steps than giving details.

I also agree about the less than 12 months training, We started in Jan and then now going in this coming Sept for Intermediate, I actually was thinking to go in April since now we have a choice to choose whether we would like to go for Sept or April but my teacher says that I am fine (I actually think that my teachers REALLY over-estimate what I can do.... but like what most teachers say, if a teacher believes in you then you should be okay)

I took the old IF and taking the new Inter now. I skipped my Intermediate last year due to my internship that was conducted away from home.

And don't worry about your age, I have a classmate who is a mother of a 11 yr old boy and is in her 40s I think, she is doing her Intermediate next April :)

#12 DaPixie

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

Hmmm... I only have three months to prepare for the IF exam. I have one 1.5 hour private syllabus classes every day and one to two 1.5 hour other ballet classes per day. Some of those are at a higher level than Intermediate. Plus I spend another hour or so a day practicing on my own.
At the school at which I will be taking the exam, they don't even start actual syllabus classes until the first week of September and they only have one syllabus class a week. The exam is in November.


#13 Miss Persistent

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:51 AM

Hmmm... I only have three months to prepare for the IF exam. I have one 1.5 hour private syllabus classes every day and one to two 1.5 hour other ballet classes per day. Some of those are at a higher level than Intermediate. Plus I spend another hour or so a day practicing on my own.

Without knowing you or seeing you, it is difficult to comment. For a students who had come up through the lower grades and already has established technique, a good rule of thumb would be 3 classes per week at an Intermediate Foundation level for 9 months to learn the vocabulary, and then around 3 months could be adequate to learn the syllabus (but might be a stretch depending on the individual or not). If the teacher in Cambodia is not an RAD teacher, she may not be aware of the way the new syllabus has been designed. It is not meant to be taught straight from the book from the outset, rather the individual vocabulary for the level should be taught first, and then developed into the syllabus structure.

If you are coming to the syllabus without atleast Grade 5 technique up to scratch, It may be a stretch by November. Again,my personal opinion only - I have never seen you dance, hopefully you look fabulous!

#14 DaPixie

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:13 AM

I have one other question that came to my mind. Is there just one free enchaînement for all the candidates to do or does the examiner give a different enchaînement for each candidate? And if it's the same for everyone, do all the candidates perform it together or is it in pairs or solo?

#15 DaPixie

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:29 AM

If the teacher in Cambodia is not an RAD teacher, she may not be aware of the way the new syllabus has been designed. It is not meant to be taught straight from the book from the outset, rather the individual vocabulary for the level should be taught first, and then developed into the syllabus structure.


My teacher isn't an RAD teacher, though he did do part of the RAD Vocational syllabus himself before going to a pro school. He doesn't teach from the book. I get to learn the vocabulary in many ways through many different exercises he devises himself. Only then do I learn the RAD combinations and fine tune things in preparation for the examination. And then he looks for 'problem areas' and then we address them by working on them, but not through the syllabus exercises.

If you are coming to the syllabus without at least Grade 5 technique up to scratch, It may be a stretch by November.


It definitely is a stretch, but then again I'm nuts! I've picked up the gauntlet! It's a very very steep learning curve for me, but there's no going back now. That's why I am really pushing now with 17 hours of ballet classes a week and half of those are private classes just focusing on the technique I need to master for the exam and the syllabus. I also even 'shadow' the kids' classes in soft blocks/pointe shoes to work even more on my technique. :)
I'm in my ballet studio from 2pm to 10pm during the week and in the morning on Saturdays.
Hopefully this will be enough to help me pass my exam.