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Help! Merit at RAD intermediate


dancinglily
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Hi, i'm 14 and i took my RAD intermediate exam in November, i got a merit (2 marks away from distinction) and I'm worried that it is going to affect auditioning for ballet/dance college. It is the first merit i've ever received as i have always got distinctions in all my grade exams with my best at 95 so i was very disappointed in myself when i found out i got a merit. I did have some issues, my pointe shoes were too strong for me at the time which meant i couldn't get fully onto pointe which resulted in a 6 in pointe work. I just wanted to know if you think it is worth redoing my exam to try and get a distinction or if i am better off to try and keep working towards other exams and not worry about it, also wanted your opinion on whether it is important when applying to a ballet or dance college 

Thankyou! 

Lily

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I would say, please don't worry adjust work hard towards your next goal. When you audition for Upper School, the panel are interested in seeing you dance, definitely not what your past or even latest grade was.

Goodluck with everything

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9 hours ago, dancinglily said:

Hi, i'm 14 and i took my RAD intermediate exam in November, i got a merit (2 marks away from distinction) and I'm worried that it is going to affect auditioning for ballet/dance college. It is the first merit i've ever received as i have always got distinctions in all my grade exams with my best at 95 so i was very disappointed in myself when i found out i got a merit. I did have some issues, my pointe shoes were too strong for me at the time which meant i couldn't get fully onto pointe which resulted in a 6 in pointe work. I just wanted to know if you think it is worth redoing my exam to try and get a distinction or if i am better off to try and keep working towards other exams and not worry about it, also wanted your opinion on whether it is important when applying to a ballet or dance college 

Thankyou! 

Lily

Please don’t overthink your results. Some potential pupils at vocational schools may not have taken any ballet exams or other boards. The schools whilst asking for past results they look at your ability and potential at the audition. After all how do they know that those with a Distiction were one point inside that band and the pupil standing next to them was just one point below within the other band grading. 

 

Dont let it put put you off. Put it behind you. Move on and focus on the future. Use the exam as a learning curve. As you’ve mentioned your Pointe shoes were an issue. Now you know what to look for (or not) in a Pointe Shoe. 

 

Good Luck and keep going. 🙆‍♀️

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 You have received a very good mark for your Intermediate exam - congratulations. It is not at all unusual for students to score less highly in the vocational grades than they have been used to in the graded exams so you are certainly not alone. And remember that an exam result is only a snapshot, just one person's opinion of how you performed on one occasion. On another day or with another examiner you may have scored a few marks differently, who knows? What REALLY matters about exams is not your final mark, though naturally we all like to do as well as we can in any test, but what you have learned from studying the course. 

As others have said, many students dont even take exams, particularly those who have studied abroad. No audition panel will discount you on the grounds that you "only" have merit for Intermediate, I promise. They will make their decision on what they see on the day. Prior to auditions it is often stated that candidates need to be working at Intermediate standard or above, but that is just to give a guideline of the level that is to be expected, in a language that most students and teachers will understand quickly. It doesn't mean you have to actually have done the exam.

The only value in re doing the exam would be to satisfy your personal pride. It wont affect your career one way or the other. Even if you opt to train as an RAD teacher the entry requirement is that you need to have passed intermediate, not gained a distinction.

If you were my DD I would advise you to put it behind you and move on, unless you feel there are elements of the syllabus that you genuinely need a significant amount of  additional work on, which seems unlikely. In fact that is exactly the advice I did give my DD nearly a decade ago when she did get a merit for Intermediate! 

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Don't be discouraged, dancinglily. It looks as though your lower mark on pointe was all that brought you slightly lower than the distinction threshold, so just keep working at that and find which shoes might suit you better. Most auditions look only at what you do on the day, and if any college applications ask for specific grades you may sometimes be able to give the mark as well in brackets, so they'll see it was almost a distinction. A merit is still very good. Look ahead and don't let it put you off your ambition. Good luck.

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Please don't be discouraged, my dd got a merit at Intermediate and was successful in her upper school auditions. Don't bother re-taking the exam unless you really want to. Continue with your training, and if you have issues with your pointe shoes, then it would be a good idea to be re-fitted at a different shop to where you usually get them. People's feet change all the time, especially as you gain in strength and start to do more pointe work at a higher level, and there may well be some shoes that suit you better. Best of luck :)

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Exams are not an end in themselves. They are simply a marker of where you are at the moment. It's the work that is important. Don't put the cart before the horse!

 

And look what you've learned from the experience about what you need to do to develop your work on pointe - you now know a bit more about what sort of pointe shoes you need for your feet at the moment, and that you need to focus on getting over the box - this is a piece of very useful feedback for you to use in your classes in the future.

Edited by Kate_N
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5 hours ago, RHowarth said:

Doesn't Darcey Bussell say in her autobiography of the late 1990s that she got a Pass Plus (in the days when it went pass, pass plus, commended, highly commended, distinction) in her first RAD vocational exam? And look at her now! 

Really?!  That is comforting news!  I always tell my students that as far as I'm concerned the work that they put in to preparing for the exam is what's important - anything can happen on the day!  If you're only 14 you still might get a chance to take Advanced Foundation before you need to apply for vocational school and passing that will impress far more than Inter with a slightly higher mark.

Edited by Dance*is*life
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21 hours ago, Kat09 said:

I would say, please don't worry adjust work hard towards your next goal. When you audition for Upper School, the panel are interested in seeing you dance, definitely not what your past or even latest grade was.

Goodluck with everything

 

13 hours ago, valentina said:

You may be disappointed with your mark but the audition panel will only care about what they see on the day of the auditions. So as Kat 09 has said, keep working and improving and use your exam experience to help you do things differently next time.

Thankyou! This has definitely taken a weight off of my shoulders, i'm just going to keep working towards different goals rather than worrying over that exam now thankyou!

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11 hours ago, balletbean said:

Please don’t overthink your results. Some potential pupils at vocational schools may not have taken any ballet exams or other boards. The schools whilst asking for past results they look at your ability and potential at the audition. After all how do they know that those with a Distiction were one point inside that band and the pupil standing next to them was just one point below within the other band grading. 

 

Dont let it put put you off. Put it behind you. Move on and focus on the future. Use the exam as a learning curve. As you’ve mentioned your Pointe shoes were an issue. Now you know what to look for (or not) in a Pointe Shoe. 

 

Good Luck and keep going. 🙆‍♀️

Thankyou! I will definitely try to keep that in mind and move on from the exam also i have recently bought new pointe shoes and i can already see an improvement, thankyou!!!

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11 hours ago, RHowarth said:

Doesn't Darcey Bussell say in her autobiography of the late 1990s that she got a Pass Plus (in the days when it went pass, pass plus, commended, highly commended, distinction) in her first RAD vocational exam? And look at her now! 

 

6 hours ago, Dance*is*life said:

Really?!  That is comforting news!  I always tell my students that as far as I'm concerned the work that they put in to preparing for the exam is what's important - anything can happen on the day!  If you're only 14 you still might get a chance to take Advanced Foundation before you need to apply for vocational school and passing that will impress far more than Inter with a slightly higher mark.

Wow that's crazy! Definitely makes me feel better about my mark, and yes i'm working towards that in my lessons now so hopefully i'll be doing it by November Thankyou!!

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11 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

 You have received a very good mark for your Intermediate exam - congratulations. It is not at all unusual for students to score less highly in the vocational grades than they have been used to in the graded exams so you are certainly not alone. And remember that an exam result is only a snapshot, just one person's opinion of how you performed on one occasion. On another day or with another examiner you may have scored a few marks differently, who knows? What REALLY matters about exams is not your final mark, though naturally we all like to do as well as we can in any test, but what you have learned from studying the course. 

As others have said, many students dont even take exams, particularly those who have studied abroad. No audition panel will discount you on the grounds that you "only" have merit for Intermediate, I promise. They will make their decision on what they see on the day. Prior to auditions it is often stated that candidates need to be working at Intermediate standard or above, but that is just to give a guideline of the level that is to be expected, in a language that most students and teachers will understand quickly. It doesn't mean you have to actually have done the exam.

The only value in re doing the exam would be to satisfy your personal pride. It wont affect your career one way or the other. Even if you opt to train as an RAD teacher the entry requirement is that you need to have passed intermediate, not gained a distinction.

If you were my DD I would advise you to put it behind you and move on, unless you feel there are elements of the syllabus that you genuinely need a significant amount of  additional work on, which seems unlikely. In fact that is exactly the advice I did give my DD nearly a decade ago when she did get a merit for Intermediate! 

Thankyou so much! Intermediate has definitely taught me a lot, vocal and technique wise so it has definitely been helpful and considering the cost and effort of redoing an exam if it is not going to have much affect on auditions i don't see much point in retaking it, thankyou so much for your advice it means a lot!

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10 hours ago, Katia05 said:

Don't be discouraged, dancinglily. It looks as though your lower mark on pointe was all that brought you slightly lower than the distinction threshold, so just keep working at that and find which shoes might suit you better. Most auditions look only at what you do on the day, and if any college applications ask for specific grades you may sometimes be able to give the mark as well in brackets, so they'll see it was almost a distinction. A merit is still very good. Look ahead and don't let it put you off your ambition. Good luck.

Thankyou it means a lot!

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10 hours ago, taxi4ballet said:

Please don't be discouraged, my dd got a merit at Intermediate and was successful in her upper school auditions. Don't bother re-taking the exam unless you really want to. Continue with your training, and if you have issues with your pointe shoes, then it would be a good idea to be re-fitted at a different shop to where you usually get them. People's feet change all the time, especially as you gain in strength and start to do more pointe work at a higher level, and there may well be some shoes that suit you better. Best of luck :)

It helps to know that! Also i havw already visited a shop and bought some new pointe shoes, just a bit too late! And thank you!!!

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5 hours ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

I don't think they even look at exam results until after a student has been admitted and then if its a school that offers the vocational grades to their students its purely to know which level class to put them in due to the exam board pre-requisites.

Oh that's good to know!

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4 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

In most Vocational schools RAD exam classes are optional extras, usually to enable pupils to enter competitions such as the Genee or Phyllis Beddells.  So frequently a dancer might only take their Intermediate after starting at the Vocational school.

Good to know it won't affect me too much!

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