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early exam low mark v late exam higher mark


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exam time is here again for my daughter.  she has missed quite a lot of classes this year due to other dance performances/rehearsals.  her school has 3 exam dates coming up.  do i   put her in for 1st exam to stop her falling behind or do i put her in for last exam for probably a better mark?

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If her teacher has said she can do any of them I guess she knows the work well enough to pass? Could she practice at home? I wouldn't be so worried about the mark but if she has missed lots of classes may be concerned that she hadn't mastered this stage before moving onto the next.

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I would ask your teacher's opinion. If she has said an earlier exam would probably mean a lower mark how does your daughter feel about this? Is there the posibility of also starting the next grade before taking the exam so she can start to learn the new work and not fall behind her friends whilst still working towards this grade to hopfully get a higher mark.

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shes probably missed about 12 hourly lessons which i guess is a lot.  we do have the dvd so she could practice at home but not sure when we would fit it in, what with school work and other dance lessons.  i`ll have a chat with her teacher and my daughter to see how they feel.   i didnt know whether lower marks would affect any career choices at a later date.

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My daughter certainly takes notice of the marks! She's never happy with anything less than a distinction, being a typical perfectionist.

 

I agree that exams don't have much of a bearing on audition results, festivals. etc, BUT they are useful for summer schools etc. to be able to place the students in appropriate groups. And if your school does exams, why pay money for the fees etc and then not give it your best shot?

 

I always go with the teacher's opinion on when my dd should sit exams. Too early and the student may not know the syllabus well enough. You could of course leave it until the student is almost guaranteed of a distinction, only for them to be ill on the day! It's all about finding the middle ground, and this is where a good teacher should be able to advise.

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I agree that exams don't have much of a bearing on audition results, festivals. etc, BUT they are useful for summer schools etc. to be able to place the students in appropriate groups. 

Not even useful for summer schools really, I find, as our DDs have never sat an exam and have no problem going to summer schools and be placed in the right groups thanks to either stating the number of ballet years they've studied with the number of hours a week or else with a letter from their teacher stating what they can do...

 

As for SS with auditions, either a DVD or pictures seem to be enough...

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Exams and results may be of little interest in the professional world but they are vitally important to many students themselves. Many use it as a good way to measure themseleves against others. Don't be obssessed by them but if you do them it is only natuarl to wish to do your best. But if a mark is lower than expected put it down to experience. Of course though some competitions do require a particular grade achievement.

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thanks everyone for your opinions.  im going to have chat with her to see how she feels but i think the above comment regarding having a solid grasp on technique is probably more important than falling behind.  if she is successful with her  audition again this year then the same will happen again with missed classes

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Guest Autumn days

What is the time difference between the first and last date that she has been offered? It may not make much difference anyway!

 

I echo that exam results don't seem to matter that much and also think that they can only be used as a comparison between those that have taken the exam at the same sitting with the same examiner as there is a lot of variation. To be honest, even two people getting almost the same mark from the same examiner may be quite different dancers as, unless we are talking very high distinctions, some may be marked more highly in some sections and others in others!

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dancetaximumx2 - there's a lot of us taxi drivers about!! I was wondering how old your dd is, and her current grade? Will she want to become a ballet dancer, do you think, or are her interests wider? If she's doing lots of other stuff too, perhaps it might not matter so much about progressing so quickly through the grades... On the other hand, if all her friends take the exam and move up, will she mind if she doesn't? Does she have the time to study both grades side-by-side for a while until she takes the exam?

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When my ds or dd applied for auditions, summer schools or workshops they always asked what grade and result. They never did festivals, teachers didn't like them. Did RAD workshops and Genee. Always got distingtion in exams though. Didn't have time for festivals with Associate classes on saturdays!

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As others have said, in the great scheme of things exam marks aren't that important. No ballet dancer's career ever turned on whether she got a merit or a distinction at grade 3, and audition panels make their decision on what they see, not on certificates. Apart from possibly for older students where the UCAS points gained may tip the balance in acceptance to a course, or a would be dance teacher who needs to pass certain exams to be able to continue training, the outside world doesn't worry about dance exam results.

However, in the world of the dance school changing room, they can be, at least transiently, very important. I would take your teacher's opinion and combine it with your own expert knowledge of your DD's personality. For some kids, a lower exam mark than they were hoping for/used to could be a devastating blow to self confidence, to others it will be water of a ducks back, and yet others will be spurred on to do better next time. For some, the need to do as well as humanly possible is a big thing, but others have the need to do things at the same time as their friends as a high priority How do you think she would feel?

The point that has already been made about being secure in the technique is an excellent one. I would talk to your teacher about this. A "lower mark" that comes from a lack of polish with regard to the specifics of that exam is nothing to worry about really. Yes, it may be disappointing and be the subject of a few tears and even a bit of teasing from friends at worst, but it will soon be "last week's news". But a low mark resulting from not being secure in the technique which that grade requires may lead to problems progressing with harder technique, which whether your DD wants to dance professionally or recreationally in the future may prove disadvantageous.

Edited by Pups_mum
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shes 12 and in grade 6 rad plus intermediate.  she also does  seperate pointe, jazz, tap and hip hop classes.  she doesnt want to be a ballet dancer anymore but maybe a dance teacher.   she has experienced the English youth ballet twice which she loved but decided that doing that full time was not for her.  I've just spoken to her and she wants to wait  and hopefully get a better mark she's not bothered about not moving up with her friends so i guess i will take her lead on it. the exams are 3 months apart.

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That's quite a high grade compared to dd's dance school (she is 11 and about to do grade 3). The 12-13 year olds are grades 4/5 depending on how long they have been dancing so I wouldn't worry too latch about falling behind.

 

But then again as I ssud the girls at dd's school are encouraged to audition for externsl things and many delay exams if they get into something.

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shes 12 and in grade 6 rad plus intermediate.  she also does  seperate pointe, jazz, tap and hip hop classes.  she doesnt want to be a ballet dancer anymore but maybe a dance teacher.   she has experienced the English youth ballet twice which she loved but decided that doing that full time was not for her.  I've just spoken to her and she wants to wait  and hopefully get a better mark she's not bothered about not moving up with her friends so i guess i will take her lead on it. the exams are 3 months apart.

i think she is wise to wait in that case, particularly for the Intermediate as it is a pretty demanding exam from what I can tell. Especially if your DD wants to teach I'm sure she will want to be sure of passing her Intermediate (and getting a pass is no mean feat - I know quite a few girls who have consistently had good distinctions in the grades to struggle with Intermediate). She is young, so still plenty of time to do these exams, and better to get it right first time, so to speak. I think she's made a mature and sensible decision.

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