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DeveloppeD

New RAD Mark Bands

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I read in the latest issue of Focus on Exams that from 2021, the result bands for RAD exams will be changing to include High Merit and High Distinction. 
0-39 Standard Not Attained

40-54 Pass

55-64 Merit

65-74 High Merit

75-84 Distinction

85-100 High Distinction

As someone who would fall into the High Merit category based on the exams I’ve taken so far, I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it would be nice to be acknowledged as being on the upper end of the Merit spectrum. But on the other, I’ll have gone from achieving the second highest possible grade to the third highest.

Over all, I do think it’s a good idea. Clearly those who achieve marks in the 90s deserve some recognition for scoring so highly. I just find it frustrating from a personal point of view, that now even if I do finally achieve my dream of a Distinction one day it still won’t be the top grade. 

Just wondered what everyone else’s opinion on this change is?

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The bbo changed their mark scheme earlier this year to Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction* 

I think if anything it’s made distinctions harder to come by? Although I’ve had 2 students gain a Distinction* they have both been the truly truly exceptional- and rightly so. 
With any change it takes a while to get used to not just for teachers and students but examiners too. I’m old enough to have been examined on the Pass, Pass Plus, Commended, Highly Commended, Honours system.

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6 hours ago, DeveloppeD said:

I read in the latest issue of Focus on Exams that from 2021, the result bands for RAD exams will be changing to include High Merit and High Distinction. 
0-39 Standard Not Attained

40-54 Pass

55-64 Merit

65-74 High Merit

75-84 Distinction

85-100 High Distinction

As someone who would fall into the High Merit category based on the exams I’ve taken so far, I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it would be nice to be acknowledged as being on the upper end of the Merit spectrum. But on the other, I’ll have gone from achieving the second highest possible grade to the third highest.

Over all, I do think it’s a good idea. Clearly those who achieve marks in the 90s deserve some recognition for scoring so highly. I just find it frustrating from a personal point of view, that now even if I do finally achieve my dream of a Distinction one day it still won’t be the top grade. 

Just wondered what everyone else’s opinion on this change is?

Having just experienced my DD taking her GCSE’s with the new grading system I can sympathise. However for those with a higher mark for RAD it was about time they were recognised. There is a noticeable difference between a 76 and a 92. Didn’t realise they would shuffle all the other grade boundaries as well. Unsure what they are hoping to achieve .  

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I have mixed feelings about this, but as lots of dance schools unofficially use the terms ‘high merit’ and ‘high distinction’ anyway then perhaps it makes sense? 
 

It does makes me wonder about how the children achieving a ‘merit’ would feel. That band would then feel quite low and disappointing. BUT the merit marks are so broad that perhaps those getting a ‘high merit’ do need that recognising, as do those ‘high distinction’ wow marks? 

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Not that marks play a part in auditions, but when filling in application forms would you put high distinction if the last results met the new boundary?

 

DD only took her last exam in the summer and is unlikely to take another for a good while.

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The current grade boundaries are 40-55 pass, 56-75 merit and 75+ distinction so they haven't changed the grade boundaries around at all, just added in high merit and high distinction. As HowMuch says, lots of people use those terms unofficially anyway so there's not much difference. A merit is still a merit, it just identifies those who are closer to distinction. A distinction is still a distinction, but those exceptional few who get the higher marks are also recognised.

5 hours ago, balletbean said:

Having just experienced my DD taking her GCSE’s with the new grading system I can sympathise. However for those with a higher mark for RAD it was about time they were recognised. There is a noticeable difference between a 76 and a 92. Didn’t realise they would shuffle all the other grade boundaries as well. Unsure what they are hoping to achieve .  

 

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Also - no need to panic just yet as this doesn't change until 2021.

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1 hour ago, drdance said:

The current grade boundaries are 40-55 pass, 56-75 merit and 75+ distinction so they haven't changed the grade boundaries around at all, just added in high merit and high distinction. As HowMuch says, lots of people use those terms unofficially anyway so there's not much difference. A merit is still a merit, it just identifies those who are closer to distinction. A distinction is still a distinction, but those exceptional few who get the higher marks are also recognised.

 

I understand but thinking of those pupils currently awarded Merit which links them nicely with many others. With the new awards a Merit will now separate those pupils into the lower middle end of the scale.  Just looking at it logically from a Children’s perspective as the majority of examination entrants are quite young. Marks don’t mean so much it’s what’s written on their certificate. Maybe a compromise would be to introduce the additional Awards for the higher or vocational  grades? Another thought. Will they adjust/tweak the Points per award re UCAS? 
 

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@BellaF personally I wouldn't. Application forms generally ask when an exam was taken as well as the result so anyone in the dance world is likely to know that  High Distinction wasn't an official thing in 2019. In the same way, when I did my A levels I know I got one of the highest marks in the country in one subject, but I wouldn't say I got an A* as they didn't exist then.

Personally I would never put anything that isn't entirely factual on an application form. 

As you say, exam results are largely irrelevant when it comes to auditions anyway.

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4 hours ago, BellaF said:

Not that marks play a part in auditions, but when filling in application forms would you put high distinction if the last results met the new boundary?

 

DD only took her last exam in the summer and is unlikely to take another for a good while.

When my DD applied for SS’s and then Vocational School we did include the mark next to the award as standard on the application forms even if they didn’t ask. Nothing to lose was our motto. Otherwise what’s the point of receiving the mark? 😉. Use it or lose it. 😊

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2 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

@BellaF personally I wouldn't. Application forms generally ask when an exam was taken as well as the result so anyone in the dance world is likely to know that  High Distinction wasn't an official thing in 2019. In the same way, when I did my A levels I know I got one of the highest marks in the country in one subject, but I wouldn't say I got an A* as they didn't exist then.

Personally I would never put anything that isn't entirely factual on an application form. 

As you say, exam results are largely irrelevant when it comes to auditions anyway.

 

Ah yes I had forgotten that date of exam would be included.

 

1 hour ago, balletbean said:

When my DD applied for SS’s and then Vocational School we did include the mark next to the award as standard on the application forms even if they didn’t ask. Nothing to lose was our motto. Otherwise what’s the point of receiving the mark? 😉. Use it or lose it. 😊

 

Why not! 😊

 

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22 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

The bbo changed their mark scheme earlier this year to Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction* 

I think if anything it’s made distinctions harder to come by? Although I’ve had 2 students gain a Distinction* they have both been the truly truly exceptional- and rightly so. 
With any change it takes a while to get used to not just for teachers and students but examiners too. I’m old enough to have been examined on the Pass, Pass Plus, Commended, Highly Commended, Honours system.

Ha. Me too. I was in this system too

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After a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that change is scary in general and just takes time! 
I got my result enquiry report back today which has highlighted the exact areas that let me down. I actually feel really relieved and happy to know what the examiner wanted that I didn’t manage to show. It means I can work hard on those areas and (hopefully!) fix it for next time! 

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This is very selfish of me but I don't want it to change because I have absolutely zero chance of ever getting a high distinction now I only have advanced 1 and 2 left 😂 There's something really satisfying about getting the top grade, even if you barely scrape in. I know the people who do manage to achieve highly should be recognised but since I will never be one of them, I cannot support these change haha :D

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My girls do ISTD so still just pass, merit, distinction for them but I actually would welcome more of a breakdown. The only merit one of them has had only just missed a distinction and in one dance style one of my girls has always had a mark over 90 and the other one has always had marks over 90 in all her dance styles (she is unusual) so they have always been jealous of friends who do BTDA where they have a platinum award for marks over 90. I think it is nice to distinguish a bit within a 20 mark range as there will be a large number of dancers who will always fall into the high merit boundaries.

 

I was in the pass plus days! 

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4 hours ago, Mrs Brown said:

My girls do ISTD so still just pass, merit, distinction for them but I actually would welcome more of a breakdown. The only merit one of them has had only just missed a distinction and in one dance style one of my girls has always had a mark over 90 and the other one has always had marks over 90 in all her dance styles (she is unusual) so they have always been jealous of friends who do BTDA where they have a platinum award for marks over 90. I think it is nice to distinguish a bit within a 20 mark range as there will be a large number of dancers who will always fall into the high merit boundaries.

 

I was in the pass plus days! 

Congratulations to your DD’s.
My DD has also been in the 90+ for both RAD & ISTD examinations. I haven’t heard of BTDA but I do like that top award recognition. There is as you’ve said, a huge difference of abilities with a mark of 75/76 compared to a mark of 92/94. 
I just feel that there’s no need to re-jig all the awards. 
Boxes on application forms are small enough as it is. Longer award titles isn’t helpful. Just needed to add a * to a Distinction would have sufficed. Think of the additional costs with the Increased variations of medals that accompany the certificates. 
ps. What happens where a pupil is awarded 90+ in their exam just before the new grading system is introduced? All of a sudden their Distinction doesn’t carry the same recognition as another pupil who takes their exam and awarded the same mark a few weeks/months later. 🤔. Can they apply the ‘High’ retrospectively?  

Edited by balletbean
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that is very true balletbean. hard if you are just before it changes.

 

We don't get any medals, is that RAD do that? 

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4 hours ago, balletbean said:

Congratulations to your DD’s.
My DD has also been in the 90+ for both RAD & ISTD examinations. I haven’t heard of BTDA but I do like that top award recognition. There is as you’ve said, a huge difference of abilities with a mark of 75/76 compared to a mark of 92/94. 
 

well done to your DD too

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15 hours ago, Mrs Brown said:

that is very true balletbean. hard if you are just before it changes.

 

We don't get any medals, is that RAD do that? 

Maybe. RAD started awarding metal badges with a pin along with certificates when my DD reached Grade 3 (2013) just for the graded exams not Vocational.  Just not too sure when and where they are supposed to wear them 😉

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14 minutes ago, balletbean said:

Maybe. RAD started awarding metal badges with a pin along with certificates when my DD reached Grade 3 (2013) just for the graded exams not Vocational.  Just not too sure when and where they are supposed to wear them 😉

 

I've wondered that too!

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31 minutes ago, Pixiewoo said:

 

I've wondered that too!

I think most parents would prefer to drop in the exam fees rather than a badge! 😉😂

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I have no personal interest in this as DD’s exam days are over, but at the risk of sounding unnecessarily grumpy (I’m having a bad day 😉) I really don’t see the point in this. It would have been much easier to add the mark received to the certificate, as I remember used to be the case (but isn’t now) on Associates Board music exam certificates - or for the RAD to advise that it is perfectly acceptable to confirm the mark received when confirming the ‘band’ eg when completing application forms. 

There is still a considerable difference between the highest and lowest mark of the new ‘High Distinction’ and (less so) of the new ‘High Merit’ (and those new band titles sound vaguely G&S-ish to me 😉.)  In addition, I’m unfortunately certain that there will be some people referring to the new Merit and Distinction as ‘Low Merit’  and ‘Low Distinction’ - and to be fair that would make sense. 

Edited by Legseleven
Clarity

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On 22/10/2019 at 12:18, balletbean said:

Maybe. RAD started awarding metal badges with a pin along with certificates when my DD reached Grade 3 (2013) just for the graded exams not Vocational.  Just not too sure when and where they are supposed to wear them 😉

 

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I love the medals. I wish they’d introduce them for the vocational grades and discovering repertoire as well! 

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On 30/10/2019 at 22:02, Dopedeedoo said:

My daughter has a friend who pins them on her bag strap! They look great 😁

Lovely idea but are the badges sturdy enough. We’ve just displayed them in a cabinet and even then one medal lost its small link that joins the two parts together. One solid badge would be more robust? 

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