Who can apply for examinations?
Only registered ISTD teachers with 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 £697 per day. For exams from the 1st April, 2022 half days must be consecutive to a full day of the same genre, and the minimum fee for the half-day is £597. For example, 1.5 days is £1294, and two days is £1394.
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 applied outside of peak periods on entries totalling over £863 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.
For exams of two or more days, the rebate can only be taken on each day which totals over £863. For example, if your first-day totals £870 and your second-day totals £675, the discount applies on the first day only.
A rebate of 10% will be applied on entries totalling over £808, providing the timetable and fees are submitted through Quest a minimum of two weeks prior to your exam date. Please contact the UK Exams Department at firstname.lastname@example.org when you are ready to make payment to ensure the rebate is applied to your session.
For exams of two or more days, the rebate can only be taken on each day that totals over £808. For example, if your first-day totals £870 and your second-day totals £675, the discount applies on the first day only.
For teachers who have held 3 or fewer traditional exam sessions, the minimum fee for entries is £400 per day. This is to assist new members with fewer candidates holding traditional exam sessions. Please note that for these sessions, teachers must supply us with several alternative dates when applying for their exam day.
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
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 ISTD. Unless otherwise stated in the Teacher Notes box on the Application Page, all results will be sent to the Primary Organiser.
Each term London and Regional Exam Centres across the UK are also available for teachers to enter candidates. Please see further information on our London and Regional Centres here.
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 5 months in advance.
How do I book an examination session?
Applications for both traditional and remote examination sessions are made through QUEST.
Can Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 candidates be examined in a private session?
For traditional examination sessions, 60% of the exam day should 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, if you are holding a traditional examination session please contact your examiner to agree on the timetable start time, assist with any travel, parking, accommodation information and ask if a meal/snack is required (for traditional examinations only). You will find your examiner’s contact details on the emailed confirmation.
Are there any cancellation fees?
Charges apply for cancellations 6 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 at https://questhelp.istd.org/. 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 exam 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 not be withdrawn from a timetable.
Can I get a refund if my candidate is injured/ill?
Teachers may apply for a 50% refund if your candidate is injured/ill (inc. Covid illness) provided we receive a completed refund form within four weeks of the exam date, accompanied by the medical evidence of the illness or injury.
Please notify us immediately of any timetable changes by emailing email@example.com.
Can my candidate(s) fees be transferred across to another session if they are injured/ill?
100% of a candidate’s fees can be transferred across to another session (traditional or remote) if they are unable to take their examination due to illness/injury (inc. Covid illness). Please note that a medical note or evidence must be provided. We must also be notified before the exams take place - please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note should your exam fees fall below the minimum daily fee for UK exams after the ill/injured candidates are withdrawn the session must be held remotely.
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.
If we are unable to find a replacement examiner to examine your candidates on the original date booked the ISTD is not liable to pay for venue hire if the session is cancelled. We, therefore, advise teachers to book refundable venue hire when possible.
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/exams conditions 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, heating, and ventilation: teachers are responsible for the health and safety of their exam candidates, examiner, and pianists/music operator during examinations. The exam room must be kept at a suitable temperature, with adequate ventilation as required and access to drinking water at all times. The optimal temperature for a dance studio is recommended to be 65-75° Fahrenheit (18-24° Celsius). Please note that if an examiner feels that the safety of those involved in the session is at risk due to the venue conditions, they may stop the exam session.
- Drinking or mineral water
- Soap and towel in the washroom
- Music player connection, CD player, and CDs (if required). CDs should be of good quality with adequate volume
- Mirrors should be covered
- Please ensure that any windows/doors which allow outside observation of the candidates’ exam room are covered
- Formal exam conditions must be observed at all times – please ensure no one enters the room whilst the exams are taking place (only the examiner, candidates and pianist/music operator should be present).
- 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?
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.
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 (http://www.istd.org/examinations/quality-assurance/) or for further advice please contact 020 7377 1577 or email email@example.com.
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.
Will the Society provide a letter of absence for students?
We are aware that a number of members have asked for a letter from the Society regarding the absence of their students from a school in relation to exams. Please note that this document is no longer issued by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. It is the individual private business owner/teachers’ choice as to if, and when, they schedule exams and the dates they take place (in school time or at weekends), or not.
Any previous versions of this letter are outdated and should therefore not be used. If any member owns a copy or is using this document, please cease and delete it as we have no longer got any affiliation with said document. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our examinations team.