Making the grade

Examinations of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing can be taken from five years of age.

Every pupil in the school will be given the opportunity to study for examinations, with the opportunity of being entered if all the examination classes have been attended and the required standard has been achieved.

It is not compulsory to do the examinations, however, pupils are encouraged to do so, partly as a measure of progress and also as a reward from months of hard work. That said, please remember, primarily, dancing is fun and should be enjoyed.

I.S.T.D examinations are of a very high standard, entry for these exams requires dedication. Pupils may be entered if they reach the required standard at the sole discretion of the Principal. We have examinations twice a year and have external examiners come in to our school.  

On commencing examination work, it normally takes one-to-two years before being entered for an examination. Those pupils working towards examinations must take two classes per week in that examination subject. In the few weeks prior to examinations additional classes may be added in to the timetable for pianist rehearsals and for examination pupils to have a chance to perform their variations, amalgamations and dance solos individually. These classes are compulsory and vital for the pupils as they can be between 10 and 20 per cent of the examination mark.

Exam fees

All examination fees are charged by the examination body and are additional to term fees.



Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing 

I.S.T.D examinations are in line with, and are now accepted as part of the Government National Framework of Qualifications. The ISTD is an awarding body approved and regulated by Ofqual.   They can be listed and recognised alongside the student’s G.C.S.E and ‘A’ level qualifications.(NQF) and are outlined below: 

All graded examinations are accredited on the national qualifications framework

I.S.T.D. Grade 1 – 3 – NQF Level 1 (equivalent - GCSE grade D-G)
I.S.T.D. Grade 4 – 5 – NQF Level 2 (equivalent - GCSE grade A* - C)
I.S.T.D. Grade 6 – NQF Level 3 (equivalent – A Level)

The I.S.T.D’s Level 3 Graded and Vocationally Graded dance examinations have now been awarded UCAS points, if you are applying to University and wish to enter these on your UCAS application please see Miss Jenny.