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RAD exam mark moderation


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I am interested to know how RAD exam marks are moderated at head office at the end of each exam session.


I have been led to believe that marks are adjusted according to previous marks achieved by each student and by marks achieved by students in general from the dance school they are from and even according to age. This would effectively mean that a student that has improved greatly since the last exam or comes from a school with less able pupils could be penalised. Is anyone able to sunbstatiate or dispel this theory?

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I've had it explained to me by the RAD before. Basically if an examiner does a tour and overall gives lower or higher marks for the region or a particular school they do compare them to previous marks and make an adjustment if necessary (although in theory it shouldn't be necessary and I don't think it happens that often). As far as I'm aware though they don't compare individual students and wouldn't adjust only one child's mark.

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I have not heard of the scenario you describe. Rather, I have heard something along the same lines as CDR.


My younger dd did RAD exams for a few years (Grades 2-5), but her last exam was the year that the marking scheme changed. I felt that as a parent I had less information than I had the previous years, but the overall result was still good. Not stellar, but good.



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Thank you for your comments.


I can see the reason for this moderation, inasmuch as it can lessen the effects of a particularly harsh or generous examiner but I do still wonder if the system could be to the detriment of a particularly able child from an otherwise mediocre school.


Widening the discussion a little and prompted by Mom2's comment about the change to the marking system, I wonder if anyone has any views as to whether this has led to generally higher marks being awarded, or lower? I'm not sure when the change was made but I beleive my daughter has only taken exams since the new system was introduced. Also, we currently, get a mark out of 10 in a total of 10 different areas but am I right in thinking that personal feedback was previously offered? This would be a lot more useful as some of the areas are subdivided into 2 or 3 sub sections and no information is given about performance in each of these. Putting it crudely, a 5 overall could be 5 accross the board or 0 for one element, 5 for one and 10 for the other!

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Quite a few years ago now, there was a lot of unhappiness among RAD teachers because the examiners seemed to be very inconsistent in their marking. In the region in which I teach many of the teachers wrote to headquarters to complain after a particular examiner awarded an average of 20 marks less than the one the previous year. Through friends elsewhere in the UK I gathered this problem was widespread.


The RAD's answer was to start this moderated system where all results are compared at headquarters and if any examiner appears to be marking consistently lower, or higher than others, all their results would be adjusted.


Hope this answers your question.


We were posting at the same time. Yes orginally there was a section for comments - much like on Music exams. It was just two or three phrases, such as "Nice light jump, now try to get your heels down". Not an in depth analysis.

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I think the change in the marking system came about 6 years ago. To begin with the marks seemed to be a lot higher than previously but they returned to normal within one or two years.


A comment did used to be given on the reports and the teachers in my region at least are keen to have it back (or to have a teacher's report like the IDTA do) but the RAD isn't budging! Their view is that the teachers should be aware of the weaknesses in our students and if we aren't we should attend more teacher training/refresher programmes so that we understand better.

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Please excuse my posting here - but I thought it important to note that there is an official guide book for teachers, which explains exactly how the marking system works and what the examiners are supposed to be looking for. It seems to be all about percentages. I don't think that the marks are higher or lower, but because the pass mark is now 40% instead of 50% more of the weaker students are able to pass. I'm not sure if you can download the guide book or view it on the website, but your teacher should have one and you could ask her if she would allow you to look through it

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  • 4 weeks later...

We got back the results of the exams today and I'm hoping someone can tell me what to think about it,because i've only got them by phone and wasn't able to ask for some more explanation.

Maybe i'll better start by saying that my daughter is 10yo and was in grade 2 and 3 this year but we only had her take exams in grade 2 because it was her first year in ballet,so i think she is a bit behind for her age.That's why i have no idea what to think about her scores.

her scores were:

9/10 technique

9/10 coordination

8/10 legs and feet

9/10 musicality

9/10 performance

8/10 free movement

8/10 dance study

9/10 characterdance

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Yes, good marks, I'd say, so nothing to worry about there! Will your daughter be doing Grade 3 soon?


I am intrigued, though, by your mark breakdown. The RAD exams my daughter takes have 10 categories, including 3 separate ones for technique. Performance and musicality I think are grouped together but are marked twice, once for general and once for the study. There is also one for rythm in the character section.


Is it that different systems are used in different countries?


Were you still given a final mark as a percentage or as a mark out of 80?

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looking at my daughters grade 7 there are 3 classical technique areas, grand allegro, music classical,performance classical, free movement sequences, character enchainements, dance technique and dance- music and performance.

It may depend on the grade for the content.

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I have just had a look at her grade 2 result breakdown and there are indeed 10 categories. There were for every grade except Primary, where there were only 8.

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Those are wonderful results indeed!


Kudos to your dancer, and her teacher!




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thank you for you kind reactions.

about the categories,I think there are indeed 10,but I had to write them down so quickely on the phone I put them together,and now I don't know anymore what the different categories were.So if there were different categories in technique she scored 9 in all categories,but I have to ask her teacher when the classes start again.That's one of theproblems over here,classes don't start again untill september.

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Aah, that makes sense! It is all a bit confusing, especially as it is your daughter's first exam. You will eventually be given a sheet with all the marks as well as the certificate.


We have a long holiday from regular classes too, although most schools here seem to go on for a few more weeks. Will you daughter be doing anything over the summer to keep in practise?

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