Jump to content
Lema

Roughly how long does it take to prepare for an RAD exam?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, just wondering if anyone can advise on how long a student would normally take to be ready to take an RAD exam? My dd has been in her grade 3 class since January last year and has yet to take the exam, she only attends an one hour class each week but the other girls in her class attend 3 times per week, surely that's a long time to be preparing for an exam?? Or is this normal?? I know there will be no set rule but in dad's other school which takes AAD exams they only prepare for around 12 weeks so nearly 18 months and still no exam seems excessive to me and I don't want dd falling behind when she was already a late starter!! Thank you in advance for any advice ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new work takes far more time to study and I'm not sure when your teacher changed over but this might be why they have spent longer. On one hour a week though I would say judging by the RADs suggested period of study that it could take up to two years to be entered depending on age and other classes being studied.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you balletqs, wow two years!! Okay so 18 months isn't unreasonable then!! Thanks for the help ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with balletqs. At grade 3 level, if only attending once a week and presuming that the students were not doing lessons in the holidays, then 2 years is reasonable.

 

Especially at the moment as the syllabus is so new and many students have had to make the transition from the old syllabus.

 

I currently have grade 4s that I've taught for a year, once a week and I don't anticipate them being ready for an exam until next summer. Especially as I don't restrict my classes to only syllabus as there is so much more to Ballet than that!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you hfbrew, can I just ask what the normal age is for grade 3, roughly? Thank you ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I began RAD grade 7 in September 2014 and I took my exam yesterday. I only had an hour a week class for it but I was more than prepared :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you hfbrew, can I just ask what the normal age is for grade 3, roughly? Thank you

Currently the average age of my grade 3 is 10/11 across about 30 students. Some are nearly 13.

 

re grade 7 I often find this is a a fairly quick grade to get through as by then the dancers are far more competent and have a good grasp of what constitutes good technique. Many of my students have already done vocational work by grade 7 so are easily able to learn the syllabus quickly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's fantastic thank you for your replies, I do love this forum!! ????

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the ones going three times a week are doing something other than syllabus work or they must be bored to tears! If she's doing ballet elsewhere as well I would have thought 18 months was quite a long time for grade 3. How many hours of ballet does she do a week?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No they just do syllabus work moomin! And my dd was doing JA's, so depending on the month she would have maybe 2 or 3x2.15hr JA classes plus her once monthly class which is 2 hours x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have known some older G3s who took the exam after just two two terms of study. They had CDs of the exam music and they had practice notes so that they could practice at home. The students had an hour lesson a week - they passed with flying colours! I think passing the exam within a short time-frame depends on the individual and individual circumstances - but two years seems a bit excessive!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My students come once a week so 2 years quite normal.

 

But if students really are doing just the same syllabus 3 times a week, well that's a different matter.

 

Lema, it might be worth asking what the long term plans are for this class are.

Edited by hfbrew
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lema my DD did grade 3 after about 10 months after attending a new school. She did 3 hrs a week of classes since she was studying grade 2 as well. I really wantedher to do the grade 2 exam because time had been so short but the teacher wantedto push her. Unfortunately my instinct was correct because she scored merit ( IMHO if we had waited and done it the next year she would have scored higher) though they did have a very strict examiner. I would say 18 months is a reasonable time to spend on the RAD syllabus if she is only doing once a week. At my sisters school this is the average time spent on each grade, with probably 2 years on vocational exams. Don't worry their exam level is not important if your DD wants to go to vocational school, my DD didn't do RAD exams or any other external exams for 5 years at her Vaganova school and still got offers from all the upper schools she auditioned at.

 

DRSC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your replies, as some I you will already know my dd has only been doing ballet for 18 months and so I have no idea how any of this works, it just felt a long time to be doing one exam, but to hear others are also taking this long it has put my mind to rest! I will speak to her teacher and see what the plans are as you suggested hfbrew and get an idea of where she is heading. We are currently going through a lot of changes with my dd and her dancing so I just want to make sure she's not falling behind as I know other 11 year olds who are already working in grades 4/5 and IF....I'm not sure dd's teacher even does IF as there is no class for it on the timetable?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure dd's teacher even does IF as there is no class for it on the timetable?!

 

That might be just because none of her students have reached that level yet, especially if it's a fairly new school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a long standing school, I will have to ask the teacher about it and see what she says!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be she doesn't teach IF but moves the pupils straight onto intermediate. Or all her IF pupils have moved up the grades and none are ready to move into the class yet so the time is used for another class. This used to happen frequently at the schools my dd attended, the vocational classes were smaller so if everyone has taken exam over the year and moved up but no one teacher thinks suitable the class would disappear until a few were ready for it to be re-established.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well as the number of classes each week, something else to think about is the length of the class. If they are say, 45 minutes, it will take longer to progress than if they are an hour or more.

 

My dd's adv classes are 1.5 hours plus 1/2 hour pointe afterwards, much different from her previous school where they were an hour and a quarter including pointe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

The new syllabus has brought many changes. I read recently that RAD recommend 60 - 75 hours of tuition depending on the grades. So going forward it looks as if everyone will take longer. And grades aren't everything - I think you said that your dd is a JA? In which case she must be the right stuff! In fact the opposite can bring its own problems - the first summer course my dd ever did, the students were grouped by grade. The other girls in grade 4 were pretty annoyed to get landed with a 9 year old and ignored her all week. Still it was character building!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha, Mnemo, DD also had that issue and was also in Grade 4 RAD at 9. She was used to dancing with older students in her classes so it wasn't too much of a problem, but could have been for a less focused child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes my daughter has just finished year 6 JA, and I never know how important grades are, some people tell me they don't matter but then why are you always asked what grade they are at?? And aww bless your daughter!! Must have been tough on her being ignored, how mean!! X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RAD website does give guidelines to learning hours and practice hours for each grade.  It was 60 for grade 3 I think (learning) plus 10 hours practice on top.  At DDs school 18 months to 2 years is quite common for the lower grades as she likes to build a really solid foundation.  They do not move whole classes up together but only those that are ready so generally speaking those with potential/more ability will start moving faster from grade 4 and will do the vocational alongside whereas those not doing the vocational will progress at a rate that is likely to get them to finish grade 8 in year 12/13.  This is because the teacher realises that the majority of the girls love ballet but do it for recreational purposes.  Those that finish grade 8 but have not yet left school and want to do ballet will join an open, non syllabus class at that point.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes my daughter has just finished year 6 JA, and I never know how important grades are, some people tell me they don't matter but then why are you always asked what grade they are at?? And aww bless your daughter!! Must have been tough on her being ignored, how mean!! X

When you are asked on application forms for auditions for associate schemes, vocational schools etc they ask which grade simply to get an idea of how much a prospective candidate has done and whether they are up to the standard stated.

 

Summer schools need to have an idea which group to put pupils in.

 

If you are at a school that doesn't do exams ( there are plenty that don't ) then you just put down the level your teacher suggests that you are currently working at.

 

Other people who ask are probably hung up about which grade their own dc are at. But at the end of the day quality of training is what matters not number of grades.

 

I personally like having a syllabus/ system to give a framework to my classes. However this doesn't mean that I only ever teach the steps or settings for any particular grade.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See the school where my dd does her grades only does grades, no shows, festivals etc it's just RAD Ballet grades that's it. This is why dd dances at another school also, to do none syllabus work! I think from this I will take it that she is not being held back but will speak with teacher about whether she does do IF and what her plans for my dd are, and take it from there. Thank you again everyone for your input!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On paper Lema this is exactly how my school could be described!

 

So I think you are right to consider talking to the teacher. She should have a good idea of where she is going with her classes.It may be that the students attending 3 times a week are doing different aspects of the grade,for example character, rather than just the exercises.

 

Good luck!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to respond to Dramascientist's remark that it would have been better for her daughter to have waited to take her Grade 3 exam, because she only got Merit for it.  In my opinion waiting another year when a child is exam ready is a waste of time and Merit is a good mark, especially if the examiner was strict.  It is very difficult to judge what mark a child will get in an exam, because they don't always perform as well as they usually do under exam pressure.  I always tell my students that we don't do exams for the mark.  The examiner sees them for 45 or 50 minutes and marks them on what she sees during that time. I consider the most important reason for doing exams to be the process of preparing for the exam together with the added motivation that it encourages. We had a very strict examiner this time and some of the girls got disappointing marks - it happens unfortunately.  Do I think that this shows that they weren't quite prepared enough - possibly - but I also don't think that they should have waited - not at all.  I don't know what happened inside the exam studio at that particular time to justify the marks, low and high, but I do know what has been going on throughout the year in their training and regardless of their marks, I can see that the exam candidates have strengthened and improved in all aspects of their technique and dance quality - and forged ahead of those who didn't take an exam this year. 

 

I imagine that her teacher wants to push your daughter on as much as she can, because she sees her potential.  Perhaps she wasn't quite as strong as she could have been by exam time, but that doesn't mean that she has lost anything by taking the exam and not waiting another year.  I am sure that her teacher feels that she will gain more by working at a higher level than simply perfecting a lower one - that's certainly how I feel.  We have one exam session a year and I never keep a student down another year in order to take the exam or pass with a higher mark - eventually they seem to get there!  Anyway, being disappointed with a mark, often encourages them to work even harder to get a higher mark the next year! 

Edited by Dance*is*life
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive just checked on RAD website and here's a link for you ... https://www.rad.org.uk/documents/exam-docs/eirr-sqa-20140117.pdf

 

This says 70 hours recommended for grade 3

 

At our dance school this would usually be about 2 years based on 1 x 1hr class a week x 11 or 12 weeks in a term.

 

However it is usual for students who go straight in at grade 3 to take longer as the teacher covers things that are in lower grades and focuses on technique before getting ready for exams.

 

For people who have worked their way through the grades, they go much quicker. They also do several classes a week. My DD did 2 x grade 3 classes a week and did exam in just under a year.

 

One thing we have found useful is to buy the RAD videos via their app as this helps to understand all the exercises and dances in the syllabus to see how far through the syllabus they have progressed and what hasn't been covered.

 

She doesn't learn directly from the videos and dances with her back to the tv or

iPad, but mostly uses for reference :)

 

Hth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with dance*is*life about exam preparation and marks. I think it's very important not to get too Mark orientated and to recognise that some children are working to the best of their ability at the time. Sometimes greater improvement occurs when a new challenge is encountered. I know that was certainly the case for my ds. I think if just sylabus is followed for 2 years if must get jolly boring (bit different if non sylabus classes are added).

 

At my sons previous school the teacher had a rule that all children took 2 years on IF (there were no grades after grade 4 and any child not suitable for vocational exams kind of got stuck and was just moved up to inter after 3 years!) I thought that was a bit odd, as not all children progress at the same rate. To cut a very long story short ds did his IF in a year with 3 sylabus lessons a week. That particular school never did anything outside of the sylabus and were only impressed by distinction marks - when I moved ds to another school, the difference in teaching was incredible. A mix of higher grades with the vocational exams, free work added into all classes and much more of a sense that the children were in charge of their own destiny with exam sessions when the child was ready. The exam marks between the 2 schools were no different however, the first school were taught to pass exams, the second school were taught to dance.

 

I remember my mum always saying how she liked the highly commended Mark in the old marking system. She thought it showed a good solid technique but gave the child something to work on as they strove for an honours.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...