ISTD Exam Guide

ISTD Exam Guide 2017-12-27T23:24:09+00:00

ISTD exams are an exciting experience! Students are selected for ISTD exams at the recommendation of the Principal. While we encourage students to take up the opportunity, please note, exams are not compulsory at VBDance.

VBDance Mid Sussex Times Article

Marking Criteria

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is one of the world’s leading dance examinations boards. The marking criteria for ISTD examinations is as follows:

  • DISTINCTION 80 – 100 Marks (Reflects a high to extremely high standard of achievement)
  • MERIT 60 – 79 Marks (Reflects a good to very good standard of achievement overall)
  • PASS 40 – 59 Marks (Reflects a satisfactory to fairly good standard of achievement overall)


Exam fees are made up of the exam entry fee set by the ISTD plus expenses to cover venue hire, staff, insurance, pianist/CD operator, administration and other related sundries.

Coaching Classes

These sessions run in addition to the regular timetabled dance classes. It is very important students attend ALL sessions. There will be an opportunity within these extra coaching classes for a Mock Exam.

Practice at Home

Dancers are strongly encouraged to practice at home. If you require the set music to practice at home you can purchase it from the ISTD online shop by visiting

What you will need

Presentation is very important! All uniform must be in a excellent condition and fit well. Ballet candidates will need to wear pink satin ballet shoes with ribbons (Grade 3 and upwards) or elastics (Pre Primary – Grade 2) which should be a snug fit. You are advised to get these fitted at least two weeks before the exam. Our recommended supplier is G.Lois Dancewear, Burgess Hill.


Please provide the following items for all exam sessions:

  • Hair elastics
  • Hair pins
  • Hair grips
  • Fine bun net (Ballet and Modern)
  • Hair gel
  • Hair spray
  • Brush
  • Comb.

These can be purchased from Boots or Superdrug. Staff will be available on the day to groom hair into a style appropriate for the exam.

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