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Who can apply for examinations?

Only registered ISTD teachers with a current membership can enter candidates for examinations. You will find all the information you need to apply for examinations on QUEST by clicking here.

What are the requirements for holding a private examination session?

An examination can be arranged at a teacher’s studio provided there are guaranteed entry fees totalling a minimum of £677 per day from April 2021. Half days must be consecutive to a full day of the same genre, and the minimum fee for the half-day is £577. For example; 1.5 days is £1254, 2 days is £1930.

Please be aware that fees tend to increase on a yearly basis. Advance notice will be given, and the updated fees published on the website.
A rebate of 10% will be allowed outside of peak periods on entries totalling over £838 per day, providing the timetable and fees are submitted through Quest a minimum of four weeks prior to your exam date. Peak and non-peak period exam dates are on the website here.
For exams of two or more days, the rebate can only be taken on each day that totals over £832. For example, if your first-day totals £840 and your second-day totals £675, the discount applies on the first day only.
Please note that we are unable to accept requests for triple exam sessions during our peak periods. Triple sessions are those that would require a multi-genre examiner. For example Ballet and Modern, Ballet and Tap or National and Tap. Please note that Modern Theatre and Tap are not triple sessions. Triple sessions are mainly offered to assist new teachers, who have fewer candidates of a single genre. New teachers may apply for three triple sessions before they are required to apply for separate genre sessions.

When can I hold my exams?

Exams can be held throughout the year, except for the period between Christmas and  New Year and Good Friday through to Easter Sunday.

When do I need to apply for a private examination session?

Applications for traditional and remote exams must be submitted with preferred and alternative dates at least 12 weeks before the date of the first exam. This will help us to allocate an examiner. Please note that we only accept applications for examinations up to five months in advance.

How do I book an examination session?

Applications for examination sessions are made through QUEST.

What if I do not have enough candidates to meet the minimum fee?

Teachers wishing to enter a small number of candidates may apply for a remote examination session, as these have no minimum fees. Please apply on Quest and state on the Application Page in the Teachers Notes box that you are requesting a remote session. Please submit timetables and payment at least four weeks prior to the examination date.
Alternatively, teachers may collaborate and jointly enter candidates, basing exams at one or two venues. However, if two venues are used, these should be close enough together for an examiner to travel to without exceeding the daily hours. This should be organised between both parties and should not involve the administration team at HQ. All payments must be made to the Primary Organiser of the examination session to then be paid to the Society. Unless otherwise stated in the Teacher Notes box on the Application Page, all results will be sent to the Primary Organiser.

Can Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 candidates be examined in a private session?

For traditional examination sessions, 60% of the exam day must be made up of vocational candidates (this includes Intermediate  Foundation and Intermediate levels).  There are no restrictions for remote examinations, however, please provide alternative examination dates for us to work with.

When are the busy periods?

You will find the peak period dates here on the UK Examinations page of the website. During these periods, there is a high demand for exams and we may not always be able to allocate an examiner on your preferred date. Teachers should carefully consider the dates of exams and, where possible, avoid peak periods.

What happens after I submit my application form?

You will receive an acknowledgement from QUEST that the application has been approved. Once we have allocated an examiner to your session you will receive an email from Quest to confirm your examiner has been booked. If you have not heard from us regarding your examination after 28 days, please contact the UK Examinations department.

Should circumstances change regarding your examination please inform the office as soon as possible.

Should I contact my examiner?

When you receive confirmation that an examiner has been booked, please contact your examiner to agree the timetable start time, assist with any travel, parking, accommodation information and to ask if a meal/snack is required. You will find your examiner’s contact details on the emailed confirmation.

Are there any cancellation fees?

Charges apply for cancellations six weeks prior to the examination date of £100 per day.

How do I register candidates for exams?

New students will require a PIN registration form to be completed. The application spreadsheet for PIN numbers can be found on the help page on Quest This can be uploaded through the request pin button on the candidate tab of your session.
The names of candidates must be their full legal names. This is a legal requirement with which the ISTD must comply. If a student has previously been registered for ISTD exams with another teacher, it is important that we have this information to avoid unnecessary duplication (students will find their PIN on any certificate they have received following an examination).

When should I register candidates for PIN numbers?

Pins should be applied for once you have applied for your session. You can then begin to add your candidates on the candidates tab in preparation for your timetable.

When do I submit my timetable and pay my fees?

Timetables and fees must be submitted no later than four weeks prior to your exam date. For sessions of two or more days, all timetables must be submitted at the same time.

How do I put a timetable together?

Candidates should be added to Quest through the candidates tab on your session. They will then appear on the timetable page for you to add to the timetable.

Timings of the day

Information about the timings of each exam for all dance genres can be found here, in the UK Exams documents section.

The day should not exceed 6.5 hours excluding breaks. QUEST will calculate the breaks that should be entered based on your examining time. As a general rule, a break should be included approximately every two hours.

Can I make any amendments to my timetable?

Candidates can be deleted at any point prior to submitting your timetable and you will not be charged for their fee. Once the timetable has been submitted, amendments can be made up to five working days prior to the exam by emailing the exams department.
Once your amendment has been made you will need to log onto your session to make any additional payments due on the Fees tab. Failure to do so will delay your results and certificates being issued.
Once a timetable has been submitted candidates may only be withdrawn from a timetable. No refund will given for withdrawn candidates unless accompanied by the application for refund form and a medical certificate, in which you may be entitled to 50% of the exam fee. Please note this will only be granted to those cancellation forms where the refund is received at HQ up to four weeks after the examination date.  

Your examiner

Unfortunately, there may be times when an examiner needs to be replaced at the last minute. In these circumstances we will make every effort to appoint a replacement examiner. However, if we are unable to do so, we will reschedule your exam session.
Please check with your examiner on the day of the exam that you both have the same copies of the timetable.

How do I enter DDE candidates?

When applying for DDE exams please ensure you have listed as many of your DDE candidates as possible on the candidates tab. Listing these at the point of the application will give you time to resolve any registration issues that might occur. If you are having difficulties adding a candidate please contact the Customer Services department for registration queries.

Can I cancel my examination session?

Yes, however, if you cancel an exam day within six weeks of your exam date then you will be liable for a £100 cancellation fee for each day cancelled. Please be aware that examiners make travel and accommodation arrangements several months in advance of your exam day. Cancelling your exam session at any point after they have been appointed to you, therefore, causes considerable inconvenience. We would kindly ask that you avoid cancellations wherever possible.

What facilities should I provide for the exam day?

  • A firm writing table (suggested 5ft x 2ft)
  • A comfortable chair of suitable height with a cushion and one extra chair
  • Adequate lighting and heating
  • Drinking or mineral water
  • Soap and towel in the washroom
  • MP3 or AUX connection, CD player and CDs (if required). CDs should be of good quality with adequate volume.
  • Mirrors should be covered.

    Please note:
  • The changing room for candidates must be separate from the examination room and not a screened-off partition.
  • In all breaks, including lunch, the examiner should be left alone and uninterrupted.
  • For class assessments every child must have their number pinned to their uniform.

Do I need a pianist for Ballet exams?

Imperial Ballet

CD&'s may be used for class and graded examinations only. A pianist must be used for all vocational examinations. Music for the graded 3 - 6 is available from the ISTD shop, by clicking here. The existing music for all other levels remains unchanged.

Cecchetti Ballet

CD's may be used for Cecchetti Ballet class examinations and graded exams. Teachers may select their own music for class examinations, apart from the music for the improvisation section. The improvisation music will be provided by the examiner on a CD or iPod. For graded exams, the music can be obtained from the ISTD shop. A pianist will still be required for vocational examinations and performance awards. Music for the dance may be played on audio equipment and this should be operated by the pianist.

Who can operate the CD in an exam session?

Teachers are reminded that under no circumstances can CDs be operated by the teacher, a candidate, or a parent of a candidate. The CD operator should conduct themselves professionally. They should not face the candidates or communicate with them in any way.

What is a ULN?

Please find information explaining ULNs here on the UK Examinations page of the website. ULN’s can be entered on the spreadsheet when applying for a pin number or you can contact the office to update a student’s record with this information.

What is a Reasonable Adjustment?

For full information and how to apply please download the ‘Application for Reasonable Adjustments’ document here in the Quality Assurance section of the website.

When do I apply for a Reasonable Adjustment?

Applications must be completed each time the candidate is submitted for an examination and be returned with any supporting evidence directly to the Customer Services and Quality Assurance Department at least 3 weeks before timetables are submitted. You can download the application form here from the Quality Assurance page on our website ( or for further advice please contact 020 7377 1577 or email

Where can I find out more about Teaching Qualifications and Professional Qualifications?

For more information about the ISTD's teaching qualifications and professional qualifications, please see the Teach section of our website.

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Any further queries?

If you have any further queries please contact the UK Examinations Department at

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