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Top Tips for Exam Days

Planning and running an exam day can seem daunting for new dance teachers who may be unsure of the practical requirements and correct procedures. Melanie Curtis, Head of ISTD UK Examinations has put together the below guidelines to help you run exam days smoothly, and to make them an enjoyable and stressfree experience for everyone involved.

Contact your examiner before completing your timetable to confirm

  • Start and finish times – we recommend a 10am start. However, the examiner  may request an earlier or later start time depending on travel arrangements
  • The length of your timetable – ask your examiner for approval if your timetable is scheduled  to run over 6.5 hours examining time as it should not exceed 7 hours, then confirm this agreement  with UK exams. Please note timetables over 7 hours require approval from HQ
  • Travel arrangements – ask if your examiner needs collecting  from the station or hotel (if you are able to do this)
  • Dietary requirements/food allergies – you will need this information for snack/meal breaks


Preparing your venue

  • Make sure the exam studio has adequate lighting and heating/ventilation
  • Cover any studio mirrors
  • The examiner will need a writing table (suggested dimensions are 5ft x 2ft) with  a chair of suitable height, a small bell, drinking or mineral water and a glass
  • Make sure the examiner has an unobstructed view of the candidates
  • If possible provide a spare chair and cushion for the examiner
  • Check that you have iPod connection/CD player
  • CDs (if used) must be of good quality and clearly labelled
  • Provide a chair for the music operator (please remember that your  CD operator must not have taught the candidates)
  • Place a sign on the studio door to restrict entrance
  • Make sure there are handwashing and drying facilities in the washroom
  • Ensure that the changing room for candidates is separate from the examination  room and not a screened-off partition


On exam day

  • Encourage your exam candidates to arrive in plenty of time to prepare for their exams
  • When the examiner arrives he/she should be greeted formally (Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs and surname)  and not by their first name. You may wish to offer them a tea or coffee
  • Remember to inform the examiner of any ‘on the day’ issues (such as an absent candidate)
  • In all breaks, including lunch, the examiner should be left alone and uninterrupted
  • Try to keep the area around the exam room as quiet as possible