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Higher RAD exams - how long between them?


siana
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My daughter did Intermediate Foundation in 2011 and got merit, she did grade 7 in 2012 and got merit then as well. However her dance teacher isn't putting her in for any exams this year and has told her you have to leave 2 years between grade 7 and 8 . I am a bit concerned that she is just keeping my daughter back as it wouldn't be convenient for her. My daughter is the only student at the moment who has grade 7 and uptil last year the only intermediate foundation so the senior classes she dances in are all at least a year behind her. Is this length of time between these exams normal? My daughter turned 15 this year and would like to finish her grades and vocational exams before going to college. Is this situation normal when you get to the higher grades?

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Hmmm, good question. I'd say anything up to 2 years is normal between Vocational Grades as there is quite a leap required in terms of strength, technique and maturity. For this reason the Advanced Foundation is useful in the time between Intermediate and Adv 1. So I wouldn't worry too much about the gap after Inter Foundation.

 

I wouldn't have thought there is such a big gap between Graded syllabi though - but to be honest my dd looks as if she will skip Grade 7 to concentrate on Vocational work so I'm not 100% sure. I know the gap between 6 and 7 isn't huge and dd took a year (as usual) to do G6 from G5.

 

Have you spoken to her teacher and asked why the long gap between 7 and 8?

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Graded exams take about a year at dd dance school depending on the child though I have heard it can take longer with the higher grades.  I'm also thinking of DD dropping from doing grades at grade 7 to concentrate on the vocational grades and non syllabus classes.  At our school there is only one G7 class per week so it would seem its not intended for quick progress anyway.

Does the teacher know that your dd wants to be able to progress more quickly and why?  I found when I made dd's plans clear with the teacher it opened the doors to other classes and opportunities but our local dance school is relatively large and has a range of classes/choices.

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I would say 2 years to do grade 8 based on one grade 8 class a week is about normal, there are a certain number of hours that RAD recommend for the grade to take (her teacher will have this in their syllabus notes) , these are based on a certain number of graded classes a week working on that specific grade (they would not class additional hours doing other grades or unset work).   I'm sure your DD could do the grade in less time but it is likely that they would be simply learning the steps to pass the exam which is not the intention of the process, longer gives more time to perfect the technique underpinning it all and also gives time to develop as a dancer.

 

I'm sure your teacher will enter her when ready :)

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Inter-foundation to intermediate I would expect a 2 year gap - especially if she switched from the old foundation to the new intermediate syllabus.  I don't think you need a 2 year gap between grades 7 & 8 but it is the last grade and perhaps the teacher would like to keep her a little longer in the grade to 1/get the best mark possible and 2/to give her a class at a suitable level as she does need to keep building core strength and doing enough hours training as she progresses in her vocational grades.  Grade 8 lends itself as an exam that can be taken by an individual though.  My DD took it on her own just before she left for college at 16 but the girls she was with in grade 8 are just taking their grade 8 this term.

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They take about 18 months to 2 years between all graded exams at dd's ballet school. Usually they have two exam sessions per year but only those who are ready are entered. Dd did her Grade 2 in Autumn 2011 and will do her Grade 3 next term (they have had to learn the new syllabus though as the Spring 2012 children were the last ones who did the old I think)

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I suppose it really depends on how many lessons a week they have to train the Higher Grades.  I don't do Grade 8, but it's quite difficult and the dances are long and need a lot of strength and style.  Difficult to teach in just one 60 minute lesson a week, I would imagine.  We get about 6 months to prepare our students for the next exam session, although we also do some preparatory work at the end of the previous year, but we have twice a week lessons of 90 minutes for anything over Grade 5 and 2 x 75  minute classes for Grade 3 and 4.  I teach Grade 7 between IF and Inter, because I do think they need to mature a bit before taking Inter and the Academy recommends taking 2 years between the Vocationals.  Grades 6 and 7 are actually interchangeable - you can take 6 after 7 if you want to, but you have to have passed both to take Grade 8.

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Oh do you? I didn't know that. Dd will probably want to take Grade 8 sometime but I didn't know G7 was mandatory.

 

Edited to add - not sure that's correct for Graded Exams - found this on the RAD website:

 

"There are no pre-requisites for RAD Graded Examinations or Class Awards. It is not necessary for candidates to have taken the previous Graded Examination or Class Award (or, for Grade 1, the Primary in Dance Examination or Class Award) before being entered for an examination."

 

I know in most cases the a pass at the previous *vocational* exam level is required (e.g. pass at Inter to study Adv Foundation) but this doesn't seem to be the case for RAD Graded exams.

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Oh do you? I didn't know that. Dd will probably want to take Grade 8 sometime but I didn't know G7 was mandatory.

 

Edited to add - not sure that's correct for Graded Exams - found this on the RAD website:

 

"There are no pre-requisites for RAD Graded Examinations or Class Awards. It is not necessary for candidates to have taken the previous Graded Examination or Class Award (or, for Grade 1, the Primary in Dance Examination or Class Award) before being entered for an examination."

 

I know in most cases the a pass at the previous *vocational* exam level is required (e.g. pass at Inter to study Adv Foundation) but this doesn't seem to be the case for RAD Graded exams.

 

I think it is also possible to take higher RAD vocational exams if you have passed the previous one with another examining body ie ISTD.

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Well, we were originally told that you have to pass both 6 and 7 before taking 8, but as you were so surprised I checked on the website and it seems that they have changed the rule and now there are no pre-requisites for the Childrens or Higher Grades only for the vocationals.  Sorry about that!

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Well, we were originally told that you have to pass both 6 and 7 before taking 8, but as you were so surprised I checked on the website and it seems that they have changed the rule and now there are no pre-requisites for the Childrens or Higher Grades only for the vocationals.  Sorry about that!

 

I wonder if dance teachers sometime have their own rules? :)  

 

At dd's previous school we were told that you had to do Inter foundation, and Adv foundation - that they were compulsory, when in fact they aren't. She made up the rule herself.

 

She also said that you had to spend two years in each of the vocational grades, and usually wouldn't let students start Inter foundation until they were 12/13. So - absolutely no chance of being able to do all of them by 18, even if the potential was there...

 

I once overheard her telling an older student that she would never be able to get to Advanced 2, as only full-time vocational students did it.

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I think it's not that we make up rules, just that sometimes when we learn a new syllabus as I did with the Higher Grades, we are told something which we then keep in our minds as gospel and don't notice when they change them!  :(  I do think that this was the case with Grade 8, because I remember thinking that as I didn't intend to teach both grade 6 and 7, I wouldn't be able to enter them for Grade 8 anyway and actually didn't bother learning it well because of that!!!  They may have changed it years ago, but I didn't need to know so missed the info :wacko:

 

I am rather surprised, however, that your teacher insisted that IF and AF are compulsary, because that has always been clear that they weren't.  They are however good preparation for the Inter and Adv.1 and worth teaching. I find that my IF's are usually around 11/12 and therefore about 13/14 by the time they are ready for Inter, although sometimes they are as old as 15 by the time they take Inter.  However, in my experience in order to get to a high enough level you really need to have taken Advanced 1 by age 16, when if you are accepted by a vocational school you will have two years to take Advanced 2 and then Solo Seal the third year.  Of course it is possible to take Advanced 2 from a private school, but it's not easy as you really need to be having multiple ballet lessons and pointe lessons a week in order to do so.    It's much easier at Vocational school, where, apart from their RAD exam coaching, which is usually extra, they have so many non-syllabus ballet and pointe classes a week.

 

If you are not sure that something is correct, you should be able to check on the RAD site.  They have an internet file called Exam Rules and Regulations I think, which pretty much covers everything.

Edited by Dance*is*life
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Danceislife - it was when I began checking things on the RAD website that I started to disbelieve what this particular teacher had been saying... 

 

Don't worry, I wasn't suggesting that all teachers make up their own rules, just that this particular one did, and I found her out

;)

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  • 2 months later...

First of all do I have to say that I really enjoy reading all the comments. I do learn so much!

My dance schools it just a regular school as many others.
I have done all my vocational exams with one year between, each spring is a new exam.
I did the old IF and Inter syllabus, and my school do not offer Adv found so we usally spend two years in adv1 instead of doing adv found.

 

I did my advanced 1 exam last spring, and my advanced 2 exam this spring and I have commit it was really really hard. I haven't done my grade 8 yet though!

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My DD moved into IF classes after taking grade 4. She would have taken the IF exam 11 months later, but as it would have been the last exam session for the old IF syllabus her teachers decided that it would be better to wait a few months to take the new IF exam.

 

She then took intermediate a year after taking IF.

 

As next year will be the last year of the old AF and as there is no rush for her age-wise, she and her teachers have decided that she will wait to take the new AF or Advanced 1 in 2015. She will continue to work with the Advanced 1 and 2 girls who arecurrently studying the old syllabi and taking their exams next year and will also learn the new AF and Advanced 1 syllabi from her vocational examiner teacher and very soon from her other teachers, when they have attended the training courses.

 

As with waiting to take the new IF exam, I am sure that waiting to take the new AF or Advanced 1 will benefit DD in terms of consolidation of technique, continuing to build strength and confidence and of course riding out growth spurts etc! There will also be the advantage of taking her next exam in the new syllabus, which I understand will be (as with the new IF and intermediate) 'dancier' and less repetitive than the current syllabi, albeit harder!

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