LAMDA Exam Information

What is a LAMDA Exam?

A LAMDA Exam is the speech and drama equivalent of a music grade. Like music grades, LAMDA Exams culminate at Grade 8.

You can take LAMDA Exams in the following areas:

  • Acting
  • Devising Drama
  • Miming
  • Speaking Verse and Prose
  • Reading for Performance
  • Using Spoken English
  • Speaking in Public

At The Young Creatives we focus on the Acting LAMDA Exams.

Acting Exams can be taken at four levels:

  • Entry Level
  • Level 1 – Grades 1, 2, 3
  • Level 2 – Grades 4 and 5
  • Level 3 – Grades 6, 7 and 8 (Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal)

There are also Introductory Examinations for young performers (5–7 years) who are taking the first steps in memorising, reciting, and communicating.

Why take LAMDA Exams?

Benchmarks

LAMDA Exams offer an ongoing measurement of progress in speech and drama. The gradual progression through the LAMDA grades provides benchmarks for every stage of a student’s development. The LAMDA grades provide a useful underpinning for all students interested in becoming an actor and help us to support a steady improvement in self-confidence, vocal and physical technique, and language awareness.

LAMDA Exams are well tailored to the abilities of students of different ages. For a five-year-old, reciting an eight-line poem is an achievement to be celebrated, and for a sixteen-year-old, delivering a Shakespeare soliloquy or giving a speech on a pressing moral or ethical issue is equally praiseworthy. LAMDA Exams recognise these achievements, provide a context within which they can be assessed, and reward them with nationally recognised qualifications.

Inclusiveness

LAMDA’s reasonable adjustment policy makes allowances for students with particular education needs, as well as those with English as a second language.

 

Who could take a LAMDA Exam?

All kinds of people could benefit from taking LAMDA Exams:

  • Anyone who loves drama and wants to do more
  • Drama students who want to polish their skills, improve stage technique, work with interesting texts and prepare for auditions
  • Those who want to improve their spoken English and work on presentation skills
  • Students who could use drama as a way of gaining extra UCAS points.

What happens in a LAMDA Exam?

A LAMDA Exam comprises two elements. First the candidate or candidates give a performance, which an examiner watches. Then the candidate or candidates have a short discussion with the examiner.

A performance will consist of two prepared monologues.

At one end of the scale, a young beginner taking an Introductory Exam recites a short poem of around eight lines and then talks informally to the examiner about a favourite toy. At the other end, a Grade 8 Acting student present three monologues or scenes, at least one of which is classical, and then has a lengthy formal discussion with the examiner about the technicalities of the acting process and acting theory.

How is a LAMDA Exam marked?

The maximum score in a LAMDA Exam is 100. 40 marks are awarded for Interpretation, 40 for Technique and 20 for Knowledge.

The Interpretation mark reflects the candidate’s imaginative engagement with the written word – how well has he or she grasped and communicated

  • the surface message
  • the underlying emotional content?

The Technique mark reflects the candidate’s vocal and physical performance – how well does he or she use the voice and body to

  • engage the listener
  • give a sense of conviction and truthfulness?

The Knowledge mark reflects the candidate’s

  • theoretical understanding of language and/or performance
  • ability to share their ideas in discussion.

Overall marks are awarded as follows:

80+ Distinction
65–79 Merit
50–64 Pass

What is LAMDA?

LAMDA (founded 1861) is the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom and has a global reputation for excellence. You can find out more about LAMDA at www.lamda.org.uk

LAMDA began offering speech examinations to the public in the 1880s. These examinations have been refined and developed over the years. They now form a comprehensive system of performance evaluation.

LAMDA’s mission is to improve standards in communication through the spoken word, foster an appreciation of literature and support creative, intellectual and social development

Students who attend classes at The Young Creatives Portsmouth students take two LAMDA Exams every year, round May and November. Allowing them to move up two grades each year.

A rough guideline of Grades is shown below:

The Playing Space level LAMDA level LAMDA exam Age School year
Introductory 1 INTRODUCTORY Introductory 5 Reception
Introductory 2 Preliminary 6 Year 1
Introductory 3 Preparatory 7 Year 2
Foundation 1 ENTRY Entry 8 Year 3
Foundation 2 LEVEL 1 Grade 1 9 Year 4
Foundation 3 Grade 2 10 Year 5
Intermediate 1 Grade 3 11 Year 6
Intermediate 2 LEVEL 2 Grade 4 12 Year 7
Intermediate 3 Grade 5 13 Year 8
Advanced 1 LEVEL 3 Grade 6 14 Year 9
Advanced 2 Grade 7 15 Year 10
Advanced 3 Grade 8 16 Year 11

Please be aware his table is only a guide. Students move around according to confidence, experience, or because siblings or friends want to be in the same class. Our goal is to challenge our students without overstretching them. We aim to help them develop and progress at a rate with which they are comfortable. Our small classes enable us to consider the particular needs of every individual student.

Accreditation of LAMDA Exams – the QCF

All LAMDA Exams have official accreditation as part of the national Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). This framework organises qualifications at a range of levels and across a range of disciplines into a single standardised structure. Within this structure, each qualification has a specific value. The idea is that learners can gain qualifications at their own pace and along flexible routes – standardisation means that the value of assorted qualifications can be instantly appreciated by a potential employer or admissions officer.

The QCF arranges qualifications into 8 levels of difficulty. GCSEs (grades A*–C) are at Level 2 and A Levels are at Level 3. A PhD (doctorate) is at Level 8. LAMDA Exam levels are in line with the QCF levels.

The QCF also arranges qualifications into three sizes:

  • Award
  • Certificate
  • Diploma

The size of a qualification is determined not by its difficulty but by how long it takes to complete.

So here is how LAMDA Exams look within the context of the QCF:

QCF Level LAMDA Level LAMDA Exam Size
Entry Entry Entry Award
Level 1 Level 1 Grade 1 Award
Grade 2 Award
Grade 3 Award
Level 2 Level 2 Grade 4 Award
Grade 5 Award
Level 3 Level 3 Grade 6 Certificate
Grade 7 Certificate
Grade 8 Certificate

LAMDA Exams and the UCAS Tariff

The Level 3 LAMDA Exams (Grades 6, 7, and 8 – the Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal Exams) are further recognised within the UCAS Tariff. The UCAS Tariff is the system for allocating points to qualifications used for entry to higher education. It allows students to use a range of different qualifications to help secure a place on an undergraduate course.

Universities and colleges use the UCAS Tariff to make comparisons between applicants with different qualifications. Tariff points are often used in entry requirements (although other factors are taken into account).

Here is how LAMDA Medal Exams look within the context of the UCAS tariff:

LAMDA Grade UCAS Tariff Equivalent
Grade 8 Grade 7 Grade 6 Points A Level AS Level
Distinction 65
Merit 60 D A
Distinction 55
Merit 50 B
Pass 45
Distinction 40 E C
Pass Merit 35
30 D
25
Pass 20 E

For information about LAMDA Exams, see www.lamda.org.uk/exams/

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