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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RAD Info for us oldies


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I'm posting their reply here as a service to other oldsters:

My questions:

Hello, I am studying RAD syllabus and have a few questions. For the higher Grades 6, 7, 8, are there prerequisites? For example, is it possible to take Grade 8 without taking 6 or 7? Or 7 without taking 6?


I am over the age of 25 but would like to sit for my Intermediate exam. Are there any accommodations for mature candidates such as omission of pointework or do mature candidates have to fulfill exactly the same requirements as young dancers?


Their reply:

With regards to the Grades, you are able to enter for Grade 8 without having achieved a previous Grade. However, if in order to attain Student Membership it is a requirement to have achieved Grade 6, 7 and 8.


All candidates are assessed against the same criteria, however, it is possible for candidates to accumulate enough points to achieve the Intermediate exam without demonstrating the Pointe work. A mark of 0 would be given if the Pointe work was not shown.


I hope that this information assists you.


I think I would still take all my higher grades. As for Intermediate, I haven't looked at the marking scheme in detail but surely it would be very difficult to pass if you got zero in one section?


Can those familiar with the Intermediate marking scheme enlighten me?



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There are 10 sections, each worth 10 credits. In total, you must accumulate 40 credits to pass. I think, from Adv onwards, you have to pass each section to get an overall pass, but this does not apply to Inter (please double check with RAD).


I would not worry about the pointe section at Inter level. It is really basic, and with some training, I am sure you can achieve a satisfactory grade for pointe.

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4/10 in each section would get you enough marks to pass (40%) but if you got 0 in the pointe section you would just need to get 4 extra marks somewhere else to pass.


I agree with DSL that it is quite basic pointe work. I took the exam at 30. The pointe work was by far the hardest part for me, but I managed it and made up for it not being wonderful in other areas.


If you want a more detailed breakdown of the mark scheme pm me and I'll give you more info.

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I was always told that if you failed a single section in RAD that you failed the whole exam, good to know thats not the case. Thanks Sakura.

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Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced Foundation are marked on the total scores. As long as you get 40 overall you've passed.


Once you get to Advanced 1 and 2 you are not marked on your barre work and you have to get 4 or over for every section. I know someone who got 42 overall, but failed because she only got 3 for her pointework. She was actually an older student and she was very disappointed, but she tried again the following year and passed, so the moral is - don't give up!

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It's printed in the Handbook for Teachers on Vocational Graded exams that was sent to us from the examinations department. The first 10 marks are awarded for Ports de Bras, Centre Practise and Pirouettes - nothing for barre work. There's 10 for adage technique, 10 for allegro 1, 10 for allegro 2, 10 for pointe. The pointe variation gets 20 in Advanced 1, for technique and music and presentation and then there are 30 more points I believe for music and presentation in general. I don't remember exactly, but I do know that, although the barre is performed and possibly the examiner might take it into consideration even if she's not meant to, it is not marked. For that reason the candidate is not asked to perform all the barre due to time constraints and therefore should be thoroughly warmed up before going into the exam studio.

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So in advanced 1 & 2 do you have to get 8 marks or over in the pointe variation and 12 for musicality and presentation in general to get the marks to 40? Otherwise 4 marks in each section adds up to 28. :)


Thanks Sakura for starting thread and everyone posting! This is VERY informative, and my teacher never has time to explain to us the exact rules, we usually rely on rumour for our information and now you have all given me confidence. :wink:


My teacher said that sitting pointe is NOT a requirement in sitting Intermediate, but, of course preferred, as you get a potentially higher mark. It is a requirement for a candidate sitting the pointe section to be "proficient and secure" on pointe doing the basics otherwise they may not enter this section. One year she had two students pass Intermediate without entering the pointe exam, one was one of her top students for the year (dancing on flats), but she didn't have the right feet for pointe (couldn't get over the box enough and hated pointe), and the other hadn't practiced enough and was too insecure, so the teacher wouldn't let her sit this section. I think this rule is for safety.

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Knock Knock. A RAD student.

It is in the grade 8 RAD exam which the barre does not get marked. The exam is parked upon so many dances ( four?) and preformance. To pass that exam you need to pass every dance in order to recieve your grade 8 award.

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Tinkerbelle, I can't find my handbook at home, so possibly it's in the studio. I don't want to give you info that's not accurate. When I find it, I'll post again with the details of the marking sections - I think it's important for the student to know what gets a lot of points, but obviously you should work at all sections, including the barre in Advanced 1 and 2. As I noted above, I'm sure examiners take it into consideration even if they can't mark it. I know that I expect my students to show a well placed barre, because the barre is the foundation for the work you do in the centre. It's very important to connect what you do at the barre with what you follow on with in the centre. For example, there are children who do well turned out fondues at the barre with well pointed foot derriere, and then they do balances or jetes with a flapping foot and a turned in thigh. When I see that I refer them to the barre and it makes them realise that they need to follow through with their knowledge.


Angel_lissa_91, you are quite right that also in Grade 8 the barre is not marked, but the discussion here has been mainly about the marking in the Vocational Grades not the Higher Grades (6, 7 and 8) although perhaps the Higher Grades might be more suitable for a late beginner, as the emphasis there is not as firmly on technique as in the Vocationals.

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Just a thought: if you don't do the pointe work in intermediate, it will not allow you to progress to Adv1. The amount of pointe work (and the level) seems to increase dramatically in Adv1.

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OK here is the breakdown of marks for Advanced 1 and 2 - Female Candidates


Technique: Ports de bras, centre practise and pirouettes - max 10 points

Technique: Adage - max 10 points

Technique: Allegro - max 10 points

Technique: Free work - max 10 points


Minimum pass mark - 16 overall out of the 40


Pointe (including pointe barre and pointe free work) - max 10 points


Minimum pass mark - 4 out of the 10


Music: Timing and rhythm - max 10 points

Responsiveness to music - max 10 points


Minimum pass mark - 8 overall out of the 20


Performance: - max 10 points


Minimum pass mark - 4 out of the 10


Dance: Technique - max 10 points

Music and Performance - max 10 points


Minimum pass mark : 8 overall out of the 20


Total Minimum pass mark : 40 out of 100 (but you need to pass all the individual minimum mark requirements, so for example if you get below 4 in pointe work, you'll fail the whole exam, even if you have above 40 overall)


Result Classifications: Standard not attained - 0% - 39%

Pass - 40% - 54%

Merit - 55% - 74%

Distinction - 75% - 100%

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Just a thought: if you don't do the pointe work in intermediate, it will not allow you to progress to Adv1. The amount of pointe work (and the level) seems to increase dramatically in Adv1.


The gap is, as you say, quite significant, even between Intermediate and Advanced Foundation. Personally, unless you want to take your Intermediate in order to get your RAD teaching qualifications, I don't see much point in doing it without the pointe work. If you are unable to do pointe work, then you would probably be better off following the Higher Grades syllabi, (6,7 and 8) rather than the Vocational grades, which is primarily intended for those looking toward a career in classical ballet. :thumbsup:

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By the way RAD Intermediate is no longer the level needed to do the teaching qualification, they're asking for at least Advanced Foundation now although they do say Intermediate will also be considered.

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