Exams & Assessments

find your own personal challenge

Are you ready for a challenge?

We offer students the opportunity to take exams in Ballet, Tap, and Acrobatic Arts.  We hold exams once or twice every academic year and students of all ages and abilities, including adults, are invited to take part.
Exams are an essential part of dance training as the extra work, concentration and effort required makes students work all that bit harder. This can be a very rewarding endeavour which fosters self-confidence and a sense of achievement.  We do request that all students attending the Children’s School take an exam before progressing on to the next level.  Exams are not mandatory for adults to progress to the next level, however we strongly advise that all students from Grade 5 and above work towards taking the exam before progressing on as the requirements in these grades is very demanding. 

Brighton Ballet School is an inclusive school and our examinations and assessments are available to everyone. Students with disabilities or extra needs will be given the support they need to achieve success.

brighton ballet school primary ballet leotard

live classes, taught in person

We have a 100% pass rate, with the majority of students receiving the highest mark of Distinction at all levels.

BBO Dance Examinations & Assessments

or Ch

Exams are taken in small groups of 4 – 6 students and friendships are often forged and strengthened through the process. 

Children’s Exams

Children can take exams, assessments or performance awards in Ballet and Tap once or twice in an academic year.  The first exam our children take is their Primary Ballet exam, which is our only non-vocational examination.  From Grade 1 – Grade 8, including Intermediate-Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced 1 & 2 the examinations are vocational and carry UCAS points.


Adult Exams

Our adult students take exams at all levels and achieve amazing results.  These exams also come with UCAS points as they are vocational exams.  We have been given special permission from BBO dance for our adult students to be examined in the school’s adult uniform, (the BBO uniform does not come in adult sizes until Intermediate Foundation level.)  Therefore all students who want to be entered for exams must be wearing the correct school uniform purchased from the school for this to continue.


Will I need to take extra classes?

Children taking ballet exams are required to take a second class per week in the run up to their exams.  This is usually introduced a minimum of 8 – 10 weeks before their exam date.  This class is only offered to students taking their exams and therefore much more focus and attention will be given to your child to ensure they achieve the best possible result.

Adults may need to take a second class in the run up to their exams, especially from Grade 5 Ballet upwards.

We also offer private and shared coaching which is often hugely beneficial to achieving success.

We find that students really benefit from having a go before they are faced with a real examiner, therefore we also hold a compulsory dress rehearsal one week before the exam date.


Exam Fees

BBO Dance sets their own examination fees which need to be paid at least 1 month in advance of your exam date.  We also ask that you pay towards the cost of hiring the venue and staff for the day.  These are also payable 1 month in advance.


What will I need?

  • Brighton Ballet School Adult or children’s uniform
  • Clean  ballet shoes with ballet ribbons attached (we sell the ribbons please do not purchase your own!)
  • Ballet tights, no seams, stains, holes or ladders

Hair pins to make a ballet bun, including kirby grips, bun pins, fine bun net, hairspray or gel, hairbrush, hair elastics (for short hair you will need a plain hairband and net)

How long does it take to get results?

It can take from between 4 weeks to 12 weeks to receive results.  Each exam student will receive a detailed personal report written by the examiner, a certificate and a badge (up to grade 4).


What to expect on exam day

Students take their exams together in small groups, without teacher or anyone else present.

  • Arrive early – Please arrive at least 30 – 40 minutes before your scheduled exam session as we need to prepare your hair and check your uniform.  You may also need to warm up a bit depending on the level of the examination you are taking.
  • Arrive on time! – If you arrive late we may not have enough time to prepare you for your exam which could result in you being disqualified.
  • Arrive quietly – Exams run all day consecutively so it is important you do not talk loudly or bang doors as this may be distracting to the students in their exams
  • Hair – 
    • Do not wash your hair at least 2 days before your exam.  Newly washed hair is really tricky to put up.
    • Do not put your hair up yourself.  When you arrive a team of helpers will take over, ensuring you are presented impeccably!  We even tie your skirt, tie your shoe ribbons and do your hair.  We ensure you feel very pampered and look stunning before you go into your exam!
  • Smile and enjoy!  Make sure you smile at the examiner, most of all they want to see you perform! Remember you have paid to be formally assessed and they want you to do your best, so if you feel like you have not done your best at an exercise then you can ask politely to do it again (but be careful you can only ask once as a rule!)
  • After your exam – We usually have a get-together once the results have arrived to celebrate the end of the exams.


BBO Exam Rules

  • NO PANTS to be worn under leotards, or tights (sorry I will be checking!)
  • NO TALKING in the exam.  You (and possibly your fellow examinees) will fail automatically if the examiner suspects you are communicating in any way to another candidate
  • MINIMAL MAKE UP PLEASE.  Only very natural make up is allowed.
  • TATTOOS MUST BE COVERED with flesh coloured plaster or body paint
  • NO NAIL VARNISH is allowed whatsoever.
  • NO ENTRY is permitted for late arrivals under any circumstances.
  • NO PAPER, NOTE PADS, MOBILE PHONES this is an exam room and nothing is permitted to enter the exam room with you.


AND FINALLY …   Good Luck!

you will be great!