Exam Presentation Guideline
Candidates enter the examination in groups of up to eight candidates (4 candidates for Advanced grades).
In the examination candidates can expect to present exercises in the groupings below (although it is important to advise the students to be prepared for other groupings if requested):
Barre exercises: up to 4 candidates at a time
Centre exercises: up to 4 candidates at a time
Travelling and Turns: individually
Pull backs (Int 2 upwards): pairs
Speed exercise: pairs or threes
Student Choreography: individual
Solo Seal is the final examination of the syllabus in which the dancer showcases their training and choreography in a final performance presentation.
An audition amalgamation is set by the examiner and taught to the candidate/s at the beginning of the examination (the dancer to wear appropriate class/audition dancewear). Candidates then have three self-choreographed pieces to perform, each with a change of costume.
Solo Seal candidates are expected to arrange their own choreography, costumes, props (if required), music (choice and edit), which is overseen by the teacher.
As this is the pinnacle performance examination which completes all syllabus training, candidates are permitted to invite an audience to view the performance pieces if they wish. Filming by the audience is permitted if agreed by the candidate and teacher.
Solo Seal components: (25 marks each):
Audition Piece (set by examiner)
Dance #1: Theatrical Tap – compulsory – music can be chosen from ANY musical (ie. not just classic ‘tap’ musicals)
Dance #2: Optional Style - Stomp, Waltz or Latin
Dance #3: Optional Style - Stomp, Waltz or Latin (must be a different style to dance # 2)
Pre-Primary to Junior Tap Two can wear any style of tap shoes (preferably the same for all junior students, as part of the studio uniform).
From Junior Tap Three onwards, students will require split-sole tap shoes. These come in lace-up or no lace options.
In New Zealand and Australia, examination entries are due by the closing date in term one (1st April for term two examinations) or term two (1st May for term three examinations). This enables a timetable to be set. Teachers are notified of their examination timetable in the second term.
Asia examination entries are due on the 1st April for June/July examinations.
South Africa examination entries are due on the 1st May for examinations in the second half of the year.
Examination Season/ Candidate Withdrawal
The New Zealand/Australia examination season can be anytime during June/July/August/September.
Most New Zealand/Australia examinations take place in term three between late July to early September. Examinations can be scheduled for weekdays or weekends between 9am and 6pm. This will normally be during school hours. It is important that studios communicate this information to their students/parents at time of examination entry.
Examination refunds are only possible for medical reasons (see refund policy below).
If teachers require examinations outside of these times then this must be specified on the exam entry form. Requests will only be considered for valid reasons, namely if there are dates which conflict with other examinations or major competitions. Requests will be considered but cannnot be guaranteed due to the number of studios and regions which need to be accommodated with a fixed timeframe.
If a student has travel commitments or possible event clashes during the examination season, we recommend you enter the student as a late entry (once your examination dates have been finalised) to avoid forfeiting the examination fee, due to withdrawal, if there is a conflict with dates.
Entries are required on the APDA website.
Students are entered in height order, shortest to tallest.
Examination mark forms are created from this information. All data is pre-populated in the system, therefore it is imperative that the correct spelling of student names is entered by the teacher. All data entered by the teacher will appear on student reports and certificates. Any replacements required due to teacher error incurs a reprint/postage charge.
Student entries cannot be replaced by alternative students if a candidate withdraws.
Small numbers of late entries will be accepted subject to timetable availability (late entries can only be accepted if they fit within the timetable provided). An additional late fee is required. Entire school entries cannot be entered as late entries. The late entry deadline date is generally one month after the general entry closing date.
Student Support Initiative
Our APDA student support initiative assists students with limited means. Teachers can nominate one student in their studio for an APDA sponsored examination. Applicants with genuine circumstances will be considered for the student to enter an examination/assessment free of charge. Teachers can apply for one student per studio.
To apply, please email us briefly outlining the student circumstances. If we consider that the circumstances are of genuine hardship, then the student will be granted a free examination/assessment.
All personal information will be kept strictly confidential. Student support applications must be received seven days prior to examination entry closing date so that the support credit can be applied before examination fees are due for payment.
Communication with registered studios is via email therefore it is imperative that any change in contact details are notified immediately.
Examination refunds are strictly given on receipt of an original medical certificate. This must be provided within 30 days of the examination date. It is important that this policy is communicated to students and parents at examination time.
Refunds are not given for lack of attendance for any other reason.
A $10 administration fee is deducted from refunds.
Students are permitted to sit more than one examination in an annual session but this must be pre-approved by the Asia Pacific Dance Association. The student will then be timetabled to sit the lower examination level first. They must pass this level to sit the next level.
Entry Levels and Grading Rules
Students can enter the syllabus and sit examinations at any level up to, and including, Advanced Tap One. From Advanced Tap Two students must have sat and passed the previous grade to move up to the next level (ie. no student is permitted to start at Advanced Tap Two or Solo Seal without having sat and passed Advanced Tap One).
The Examination Room
- A heater and jug of water should be provided throughout for the examiner.
- All mirrors must be covered. This includes mirrors on rear and side walls.
- All viewing windows must be covered so outside sources are unable to view examinations.
- Music must be cued and back-up music is highly recommended.
- The music operator must not talk or have any interaction with the students. If the music operator is a teacher, then a screen between the teacher and students is compulsory.
- Candidates are to enter in groups of no more than eight students (or 4 maximum for Advanced grades). Group numbers will be scheduled in your timetable.
- Candidate number one should be standing on the examiner's left hand side. This enables the examiner to mark from left to right.
- Candidates should be lined up in height order with the number one candidate being the shortest and number four the tallest.
The examiner will seek to create an atmosphere that will encourage your students to perform to the best of their ability. Students should be well-prepared to ensure a smooth-running, enjoyable examination.
At the completion of the day, if time, the examiner may be available to go through any teaching points with you. A Teacher Examination Report will be posted or emailed to you as a reference for the next year. This is intended as a helpful guide to further improve your examination preparation and to monitor and assist your staff with syllabus corrections.
The examiners have been instructed to mark in accordance with technical requirements for each exercise. Requirements include; clarity, definition, placement, musicality, timing, travel, lines and definition, knowledge of the syllabus, focus and performance.
All examiners seek to examine consistently according to the marking structure.
It is important to understand that the nature of marking some elements (eg. performance quality), can vary slightly between different examiners and this may be reflected in results. Due to the human element of marking, it is not possible for Examiners to mark identically however they will always endeavour to mark as consistently as possible to one-another and in accordance with the marking procedure.
Examination results are attributed based on the following marks:
- 50 - 55.5 Pass
- 56 - 65.5 Pass Plus
- 66 - 75.5 Commended
- 76 - 85.5 Highly Commended
- 86 - 95.5 Honours
- 96 - 100 Honours with Distinction
The examiner's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Students who are entered for assessments are marked with more weighting on performance and style and less emphasis on technical ability.
Medal test results are attributed based on the following marks:
- 50 - 59.5 Bronze
- 60 - 79.5 Silver
- 80 - 100 Gold
A gold result is an indication that the student should be entered as an examination candidate the following year.
A certificate is awarded with the result (nb. not a physical medal).
The examiner's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Examination Reports and Certificates
The Asia Pacific Dance Association endeavours to deliver examination reports within five weeks of examinations. Certificates may follow separately.
Any report/certificate reprints due to loss or incorrect spelling of student name/s carries a reprint charge of $10 per document plus postage fee.
Tap Evolution Awards
At the completion of examinations, marks are collated to ascertain the top results for each grade.
Top Mark Award Winners (whether individual or joint winners) receive an examination scholarship to sit the next grade, “Highest Mark” certificate, “Top Mark Award” badge, and official recognition on our website. The winner must have a mark in the 90s or above to qualify for this award.
Top Tier Award exam mark candidates (next three highest results after winner) receive a certificate, “Top Tier Award” badge, and official recognition on our website. If there are several students with the same mark in the Top Tier three, then the number of Top Tier students may increase slightly beyond three recipients. Students must achieve in the 90s to qualify for this award.
The Solo Seal Top Mark Winner receives a “Highest Mark “ certificate, “Top Mark Award" badge, NZ$200 financial scholarship which is a contribution toward dance-related expenses/further dance education.
The Asia Pacific Dance Association encourages adult students to sit examinations and believe that participation in assessments is a valuable goal. It shows belief in their abilities and can be an empowering and positive experience.
Adult students are marked less technically than children and teenage students. A candidate over 21 years is classified as an adult. The marking structure takes into account that adults are not always able to meet the physical requirements of some exercises. Turn exercises can be reduced to single turns if necessary.
Due to the different marking procedure, adult student results are not taken into account for top mark scholarship awards.
The examiner must be collected from their accommodation allowing plenty of time for a prompt start. Examiners require 10 minutes to prepare their computers and spreadsheets on arrival. The first class of candidates should be ready to enter the exam room at the scheduled start time.
The studio is expected to provide the examiner with refreshments and lunch. An examiner preference sheet regarding tea/coffee and dietary requirements will be provided prior to examinations.
Return transport to the accommodation or airport is to be provided by the studio.
- Be clearly labelled with an examination number front and back. It is important that teachers have two sets of numbers so that there is no waiting between examination groups.
- Be well-groomed. Light make-up is permitted but not compulsory.
- Have hair secured back and off the face (ideally in a bun using a bun net). Fringes are acceptable but must be clear of the eyes.
- Wear appropriate dancewear. Uniforms are compulsory.
- Candidates must enter the room briskly, stand in their positions and greet the examiner - "Good morning/good afternoon.."
- Transitions to starting positions should be made quickly and silently.
- Candidates may ask a question by raising their hand.
- Candidates may be expected to present travelling steps, amalgamations and dances in groups of two or three (or possibly individually in Advanced levels).
- Candidates must be able to count themselves in with the music. The examiner or teacher may assist with Pre-Primary and Primary Tap One students if this is not possible.
- Candidates must move back to the centre at the completion of the examination for a bow to thank the examiner.
- If a candidate does not conduct themselves in the appropriate manner during an examination, the examiner reserves the right to instruct the candidate to leave the examination.
We strongly encourage teachers to conduct mock examinations to rehearse the protocol of examinations thus ensuring a polished, fast and smooth examination.
Inhalers and medical requirements are permitted in the examination room.
It is advisable to have a box of tissues available in the examination room for candidates with winter colds.
Fluids and Towels
Water bottles and towels are permitted in the examination room for students Elementary and upwards.
Candidates should use the bathroom before entering the examination room however, students are able to excuse themselves during the examination if necessary.