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Drama & Communication Exams

Drama Syllabus

New Syllabus

Our new Drama Examination Syllabus seeks to honour RIAM's longstanding commitment to integrity, rigour, and a love of learning. This Syllabus has three main priorities:

  • to empower student performers to seek greater challenges and greater achievement. 
  • to provide an accurate measure of relevant theatre skills 
  • to offer students an opportunity to think creatively and independently while having a great time.

This Syllabus builds on the many strengths of the curricula that have come before it. Changes from the previous Syllabus primarily serve to make this version as streamlined, contemporary, and user-friendly as possible, including: 

  • Major skills are outlined clearly at the beginning of the document to help students to prepare to the best of their abilities. 
  • Text selections are more diverse, relevant, and directly linked with academic curricula and state exams.
  • Exams now favour the strengthening and enhancing of the most relevant skills. In many grades, Devising, Improvisation and Acting Through Song are now options alongside Mime
  • Group Exams are now found in one category with the inclusion of Group Devising and Group Musical Theatre (in place of previous Stage School Performance Group Examinations). 
  • More opportunities to select own choice material. 
  • Irish Language options available for Drama & Communication

The Communication Examination Syllabus has been devised and streamlined to reflect modern requirements for communication from 10 years through to adulthood in Public CommunicationEducational CommunicationBusiness Communication, and English as a Foreign Language

The RIAM has been providing learning support through its Drama and Speech exams since the 1890s. 

We have a dedicated team of highly qualified and experienced examiners who engage consistently in a positive and respectful manner, ensuring the work of both teacher and student is valued at all times. 

Our Grade Exams encompass performance in poetry, prose, drama, mime, reading, theory and conversation. These are available from Kindergarten level through to Grade 8 and Senior Certificate. 

All graded exams are marked out of 100. The pass mark is 60–69, pass with Merit 70–79, pass with Honours 80–89, and pass with Distinction 90+

For those who wish to take a break from graded examinations, our Solo and Duologue Acting exams further stretch the candidate’s ability and develop technique in performance.

Recital Programmes also enhance the student’s ability in performance skills, and have become very popular over the past number of years. We offer Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal Recital Examinations and cater for age groups from 12 years to 18 years. 

The Recital Programme is intended to entertain an audience with a varied range of selections, including verse speaking, drama, prose and mime. It calls for a high standard of performance. The chosen programme should be balanced and suitable for the candidate's age and level of the Progamme. 

The Programme has three levels: Junior, Intermediate and Advanced. The pass mark is 70. 

These exams are suitable for groups from Primary/Secondary School who would like to participate in Speech & Drama. 

These are similarly aimed at students in primary and secondary school and beyond. 

The Public Speaking exams run from Grade 1 (10 years and over) through to Grade 8 and Senior Certificate (17 years and over). 

Oral Communication have four levels: Junior (10 years and over), Intermediate (Transition year students), Senior (17 years and over) and Advanced (suitable for adults). 

We recognise the need to cater for students whose first language is not English and we now offer examinations in English as a Second Language to facilitate this educational requirement in the spoken word.

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