LAMDA Exam Grades and how they work

The exam grades are not dictated by a young person’s age. There are three introductory exams for younger children, who can start aged 5. Then there is an Entry exam followed by Grades 1 to 8. When appropriate children can skip a grade.

The LAMDA Exam Marking System

After taking a LAMDA exam all children receive a certificate and a written report. For the first three introductory grades children receive a Pass, Merit or Distinction and are not given an individual mark. From Entry level children receive an individual mark, 50% or more is a Pass, 65% or more is a Merit and 80% or more is a Distinction. There is only one examiner in the exam room.

From Entry level the marking is divided into three sections. This system applies for both Verse and Prose and Acting exams. Below is a very simplified explanation of the marking system. As a candidate progresses through the grades, greater understanding and skill are required in each of these areas:-

Interpretation 40% of the overall mark covers how well a pupil understands and creatively imagines the piece they are working on. Also how well the poem they are reciting, or the character they are playing, comes across to the examiner.
Technique 40% of the overall mark covers breathing, voice production, clear diction, eye contact and physical control, including the use of movement and gesture.
Knowledge 20% of the overall mark covers how well the pupil comes over in the ‘interview’ part of the exam. From the first Introductory Grade the examiner will spend a part of the exam engaging a pupil in a question and answer session. The questions will depend on the age, discipline and Grade of the examinee. There is no written component in any of these exams, including Grade 8.

What Happens in a Typical LAMDA Exam?

A LAMDA exam will last between 10 minutes for the lower grades and up to 30 minutes for the higher grades. The selected pieces are performed first and the question and answer session follows.