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Are Speech and Drama Exams Really Necessary?

Scope of Speech and Drama Exams

Trinity College of London, London College of Music (LCM), and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) all offer Speech and Drama Exams. These exams are pathways to diplomas and certifications in the areas of speech, drama, and performing arts, from accredited institutions. There are 8 different exam levels, called grades. Students enroll in these progressive classes, leveling up through each grade exam completed. Multiple syllabi are offered depending on the program in which the student is participating. As they level up, students build upon previously acquired skills from lower grades. Students are encouraged to move laterally across different syllabi to pick up a variety of skills before moving up in grades. Exams are designed to prepare students for real-world situations, allowing them to employ creativity and effective communication with confidence to achieve success, especially in their professional and educational lives. Exams are a long-standing badge of honor and dedication to perfecting a craft and enhancing one’s skills in communication and public speaking.

Enhanced Communication Skills by Speech and Drama Exams

One of the basic pillars of Speech and Drama exams is the shaping of communication skills. Communication is a constant theme throughout all grade levels and categories of exams.

Participants learn how to express emotions and ideas through verbal language and non-verbal language. Communication is one skill that is undeniably part of every minute of every human’s life. We conversate with others, communicate messages to strangers through our body language, and even when alone, we communicate with ourselves through self-talk and self-care. Preparing for speech and drama exams allows for intentional growth and development of this essential component of who we are as individuals and how we contribute socially to society.

Listening and observing are essential parts of communicating. Candidates for speech and drama exams naturally sharpen their observational and listening comprehension skills, as well as their ability to respond to verbal and non-verbal communication from others. Speech and drama exams like Trinity, LCM, and LAMDA offer a wide range of syllabi to focus on areas from verse recital and prose reading, to Shakespeare monologues and the recital of other historically relevant texts. The overall growth and development of communication skills through activities that focus on premeditated learning targets help prepare children for effectively communicating across diverse settings and for a variety of purposes.

Preparation Leads to Confidence and Success

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance,” – James Baker, former Secretary of State.

Children who participate in speech and drama exams learn early on the importance of preparation. The prestige of gaining proficiency in each grade level inspires young children to perfect their skills, which in-turn builds confidence in their abilities to communicate and perform. According to Trinity’s current syllabus found at TrinityCollege.com, the “21st Century Employability and Learning Skills” being targeted and developed are, “ Communicative and Interpersonal Skills, Creativity, Working Under Pressure and Deadlines, Organizational Skills Critical Thinking Skills, and Confidence.” Participating in Speech and Drama exams provides children with intentional instruction and development in these essential life skills, giving them a leg-up in their development into successful, thriving adults.

Speech and Drama exams also prepare young children for interviews and discussions that may lead to further opportunities. Many schools require interviews to be accepted including P1 Entrance Interviews, College Admissions Interviews, and interviews for enrollment in prestigious boarding schools. Participating in Speech and Drama exams prepares candidates to ensure they have the skills and confidence to make top-notch impressions on entrance committees, increasing their opportunities for acceptance to prestigious programs worldwide.

What to Expect

Since the onset of COVID, many things have changed and Speech and Drama Exams are no exception. One important note is that all exam boards have now offered the ability for candidates to submit exams in video form or to present their piece online in real-time. These options are in addition to face-to-face exams. Students need to be familiarized with each exam mode and techniques to do well in these exams. This is a great way for participants to prepare for other interview scenarios. Many school admission interviews or auditions are being replaced by video self-introductions or responses to talking points about specific topics.

Participating in Speech and Drama exams prepares candidates to perform well in different modes of delivering information to a group, therefore increasing their odds of acceptance in desired programs.

As students master skills and complete exams, they will move up in grade level. They should also enroll in courses across different syllabi offerings to gain multidisciplinary skills. For most exams, candidates can either participate as a solo candidate or in pairs. This allows for more dynamic performances depending on the learning targets for each syllabus.

Trinity, LCM, and LAMDA are all exam boards that are well established and accredited by UK Ofqual to award graded and diploma qualifications. These qualifications are highly regarded by many academic institutions, including universities and prestigious boarding schools. While Speech and Drama exams are not required, they are undeniably one of the best ways to open doors for participation in some of the most sought after programs in the world and prepare students for success in life!