Reading Examinations 2017-21

2017-21 Syllabus

Being able to read aloud in such a way as to convey effectively the content of a selection and to sustain an audience’s interest is a valuable skill.

The purpose of these examinations is to provide candidates with the opportunity to become clear, fluent and confident readers who can convey story, character and mood to an audience. Using appropriate posture, holding the book in such a way as to allow the audience to see the candidate’s face, and using eye contact will be important during the examination.

From Grade One, it is expected that candidates will be familiar with the book/ story from which the extract is taken.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’  for some detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary Grade One – Suggested ages: – 7 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 100 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Preliminary Grade Two – Suggested ages: 7 – 8 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 200 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade One – Suggested ages: 9 – 10 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 300 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 11 – 12 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 350 words from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the technique of reading

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 12 – 13 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately pages from a chapter of a book by an Irish author
  2. Discuss the book with the examiner
  3. Read at sight a selection provided by the examiner

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 13 – 14 years

  1. Prepare in advance a chapter from a book written before 1920 and bring the book to the examination
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the chapter to be read aloud by you
  3. Discuss the content of the chapter with the examiner

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 14 – 15 years

  1. Read aloud three pages from a book of your choice
  2. Read aloud a poem of your choice
  3. Discuss, with the examiner, the technique of speaking verse and prose

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 15 – 16 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared extract (of your choice) from any version of the Bible
  2. Read at sight an extract from a book selected by the examiner
  3. Read a prepared extract of your choice from a national newspaper
  4. Discuss your programme with the examiner

Final Grade – Suggested ages: 16 – 17 years

  1. Prepare in advance, and bring to the examination a book of your choice
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the book to be read by you
  3. Prepare and present to the examiner a short oral review of the book
  4. Discuss both book and author with the examiner
  5. Read a prepared extract of your choice from any Shakespearean play

Public Speaking and Presentation Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

Public speaking and presentation relates to the communication of information or ideas to a group or audience in such a way as to maintain their interest. Speaking to a group, in the context of a job interview, a presentation on a topic or issue, a sales pitch, or a formal speech or debate is increasingly common. Through our syllabus, we wish to encourage candidates to feel comfortable and confident in these situations. The purpose of these examinations is to encourage clear, fluent and expressive speaking on a variety of topics and in a variety of imagined settings.

The standard of presentation and communication skills expected from students taking examinations in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills is considerably higher than that expected in Communication Skills examinations.

Presentations should be well-structured and should be delivered with a full range of communication and vocal skills.

We do NOT expect candidates to read or to have memorised their presentations. If notes or aides mémoire are used, they should be used in such a way as to not cause distraction from the speaker.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’  for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Grade One – Suggested ages: 10 – 12

  1. Give a prepared talk about yourself (one minute)
  2. Tell a tale from folklore in your own words (two minutes)

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 11 – 13

  1. Give a prepared talk about a hobby or sport (one minute)
  2. Bring a book into the examination and describe the story to the examiner OR describe the story of a film you have seen to the examiner (two minutes)

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 12 – 14

  1. Give a prepared talk about an event, visit or holiday (one minute)
  2. Bring a small object or collection into the examination and talk about it to the examiner (two minutes)

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 13 – 15

  1. Give a prepared talk on any aspect of Ireland (two minutes)
  2. Tell an Irish legend in your own words (three minutes)

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 14 – 16

  1. Give a prepared talk on any topic of your choice (two minutes)
  2. Give a prepared eye-witness account of a famous historical event, as if you witnessed it (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 15 – 17

  1. Give a presentation on yourself and your key achievements to date (two minutes)
  2. Present your view on a topic of current public interest (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public

For further Transition Year Examination Options, see Communications Skills syllabus,

Grade Seven – Suggested ages: 16 – 18

  1. Give a presentation, as if to a prospective employer, outlining your most positive achievements, characteristics and attributes (two minutes)
  2. Present your view on a moral/ ethical issue (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public
  4. Theory: Be able to discuss with the examiner the use of emphasis, gesture and visual aids in public speaking

Public Speaking Proficiency Examination – Suggested ages: 17 – 20

  1. Imagine yourself at a job interview for a position of your choice. Give a three-minute presentation to the three-person interview panel on why you want the position and on the experience and personal qualities/attributes you have that make you the ideal candidate for the job Give a presentation, as if to a prospective employer, outlining your most positive achievements, characteristics and attributes
  2. Give a prepared talk on any aspect of Ireland, as if to a group of 20 (three minutes)
  3. Introduce an eminent keynote speaker to a large audience at an international conference (one minute)
  4. Make a presentation on a topic of your choice, using appropriate visual aids (seven minutes, including setting up and striking the visual aids)
  5. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation)
  6. Theory:

a  Identify and discuss with the examiner the different techniques used during the presentations

b  Understand and be able to discuss your use of vocal modulation (pitch, rate and pace, tone and tone colour, inflections, emphasis, power and intensity, and pause)

A high standard of presentation is required for this examination. Candidates will be assessed on their communication skills, vocal technique and use of visual aids.

70% is required to pass the examination. Candidates receiving 70% or more will receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama Proficiency certificate. Candidates who obtain 85% or more will also receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama medal.

Grade Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

The Irish Board of Speech and Drama Grade Examinations syllabus encourages a process of progressive learning from an early age, with each grade signifying an increase in skill and achievement. All aspects of speech and drama performance and theory are covered in the syllabus and the Examinations represent a rigorous assessment of technique and interpretive skills. We expect candidates in the Grade examinations to display a higher level of achievement than those in the Communication Skills examinations, and that the pieces chosen for performance will represent some challenge to the candidates, while being appropriate for their age and examination level.

Informal interaction with the examiner is introduced from Preliminary Grade One, in order to encourage candidates to respond to questions and explain aspects of their selected piece. This is developed in Grade One with an informal talk and in Grade Two with a presentation based on an illustration of the performed poem.

Theory is also introduced in Grade Two. The objective of the theory requirements in the Grade syllabus is to facilitate the candidate’s understanding of techniques and skills relevant to their verse, prose and drama selections, and how these techniques and skills affect performance. Candidates will therefore be asked mostly to explain theory with reference to or by using examples from the pieces they perform. Examiners will not necessarily ask candidates to discuss all items of theory set for each grade.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’ for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary Grade One – Suggested ages: 4 – 6 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Be able to answer simple questions about the poem and the meaning of the words

Preliminary Grade Two – Suggested ages: 5 – 7 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Be able to answer simple questions about the poem and the meaning of the words

Grade One – Suggested ages: 6 – 8 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Be able to answer questions about the story/theme of the poem and the meaning of the words
  3. Give a one-minute informal talk about yourself OR a toy/book that you have brought to the examination (the talk should not be memorised)

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 6 – 9 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Give a short (about one minute) presentation on the poem performed using an illustration (drawing, painting, model or collage) made by you on the story, character(s) and/or the theme of the poem, and be prepared to discuss the poem and illustration with the examiner.
  3. Theory: Be able to list the organs of speech, identify their locations and be able to identify the organs of speech used to make common sounds (such as M, P, B, K and L)

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 7 – 10 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and read a short (approximately 10-12 lines) prepared extract from a book of your choice and be able to carry on a short conversation about the book with the examiner
  3. Theory:

a  Give a simple definition of a vowel and a consonant

b  Be able to define a pause, and to demonstrate your understanding of the breath pause and the sense pause by explaining where and why you took these pauses in either your poem or prose performance

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 9 – 11 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and perform a one-minute story mime of your choice
  3. Theory:

a Be able to define mime and give a simple description of character mime, occupational mime, story mime, abstract mime and pantomime blanche

b Be able to demonstrate and describe the appropriate posture/stance used for verse-speaking and to explain why adopting a good posture is important

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 10 – 12 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection using appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Theory:

a  Be able to describe and discuss the character you performed

b  Be able to follow simple stage directions

c  Be able to discuss with the examiner what it means and why it is important to be able to speak clearly, naturally and expressively

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 11 – 13 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem by an Irish poet
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection using appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Read at sight a poem chosen by the examiner
  4. Theory:

a  Be able to discuss the meaning and mood of the prepared poem with the examiner

b  Be able to define and demonstrate pitch and vocal projection

c  Be able to discuss with the examiner the technique you used for your sight reading

Grade Seven – Suggested ages: 12 – 14 years

  1. Speak from memory a poem of your choice
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken, adapted or compiled from a play or book, using appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Announce and perform a two-minute improvisation, prepared by you OR a short piece of movement to music choreographed by you (you are responsible for supplying any equipment you require for your performance)
  4. Theory:

a  Be able to discuss your understanding of the character you performed and his/her place in the play or book from which the selection was taken

b  Be able to discuss the history and uses of improvisation

c  Be able to define emphasis and demonstrate two emphasis techniques you used during your performance of your poem and/or drama selection

Grade Eight – Suggested ages: 13 – 15 years

  1. Speak from memory a short lyric
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken, adapted or compiled from a play of literary merit written by an Irish author, using appropriate interpretation, characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Announce and perform a one-minute unprepared improvisation chosen from a list provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be given for preparation)
  4. Theory:

a  Be able to discuss with the examiner what a lyric is, how lyric poetry differs from narrative poetry, and the mood and meaning of the lyric you performed

b  Be able to define rate and pace and to demonstrate, with reference to your solo dramatic selection, how you used pace and pace variation to enhance your performance

c  Be able to define and demonstrate the use of the following pauses: the suspensive pause, the emphatic pause and the Caesural pause

Grade Nine – Suggested ages: 14 – 16 years

  1. Speak from memory a short selection of prose taken from a novel or short story written by an Irish author (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken, adapted or compiled from a play of literary merit, using appropriate interpretation, characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Announce and perform a two-minute character or abstract mime
  4. Theory:

a  Be able to describe, demonstrate and discuss the importance of intercostal diaphragmatic breathing

b  Be able to discuss your interpretation of your solo dramatic selection, including your use of movement, gesture and voice

c  Be able to define, demonstrate and discuss tone colour

Grade Ten – Suggested ages: 15 – 17 years

  1. Announce and perform an eight-minute recital incorporating an introduction, verse, prose, drama, a script that links the selections and a conclusion, all to be chosen and compiled by the candidate. The recital may be on a theme or represent the works of one author. It should be presented as a continuous performance. (In order to help you to observe the time limits, you may perform suitable lines from poems rather than entire poems.)
  2. Announce and present a one-minute informal talk on a subject chosen from a selection to be provided by the examiner in the examination room.
  3. Theory:

a  Be able to discuss your recital with the examiner, including the theme/author, choice of pieces, interpretation, and techniques used.

b  Be able to define and demonstrate that you understand resonance and inflection

c  Be able to discuss with the examiner techniques you could use to sustain an audience’s interest in a talk.

Grade Eleven (Senior Advanced) – Suggested ages: 16 – 18 years

  1. Speak from memory a sonnet
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken or adapted from a play written before 1800, with suitable interpretation, characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: three minutes)
  3. Announce and perform a short piece of movement to music choreographed by the candidate.
  4. Theory:

a  Be able to discuss the form and structure of the Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnet with the examiner; and the mood, meaning and your interpretation of the sonnet you performed

b  Be able to define, demonstrate and discuss your understanding of phrasing

c  Be able to discuss how you prepared for performance your solo dramatic selection with particular reference to your use of movement and gesture

Final Grade – Suggested ages: 16 – 18 years

  1. Speak from memory a short poem written after 1960
  2. Announce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken, adapted or compiled from a play of literary merit, using appropriate interpretation, characterisation and movement (maximum time permitted: two minutes)
  3. Announce and speak from memory a short selection of prose taken from a novel or short story written by a non-Irish author
  4. Announce and perform a two-minute mime OR a two-minute prepared improvisation OR a short piece of movement to music
  5. Theory:

a  Understand and be able to discuss any aspect of your use of vocal modulation (pitch, rate and pace, pause, tone and tone colour, inflection, emphasis, power and intensity, and pause) in your programme.

b  Be able to discuss in detail how you compiled and prepared your mime, improvisation or movement to music performance

c  Understand and be able to discuss the use of visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile imagery in literature


Proficiency Examination in Speech and Drama – Suggested ages: 17 – 20 years

(The Candidate must be at least 17 years of age)

  1. Introduce and speak from memory a short poem
  2. Introduce and speak from memory a short prose selection
  3. Introduce and perform a solo dramatic selection taken or adapted from any play of literary merit (maximum time permitted: three minutes)
  4. Introduce and perform a short piece of movement to music choreographed by the candidate OR Introduce and perform a two minute abstract mime
  5. Theory:

a  Discuss with the examiner why you chose, and how you prepared, your pieces for the examination, placing particular emphasis on your interpretation of the pieces performed

b Understand and be able to discuss rhyme in verse (including rhyme schemes, assonance, eye rhyme, consonance and alliteration)

b Understand and be able to discuss rhythm and meter in poetry, and be able to define and demonstrate the following: anapest, dactyl, iamb and trochee

 A high standard of performance is required for this examination. Candidates will be assessed on their communication skills, vocal technique, and interpretative skills, and will be expected to display a thorough knowledge of the theory of Speech and Drama.

70% is required to pass the examination. Candidates receiving 70% or more will receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama Proficiency certificate. Candidates who obtain 85% or more will also receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama Proficiency medal.


 

English as a Second Language Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

These examinations encourage confidence in the use of English by those for whom it is not their first language. As with other Irish Board examinations, the emphasis will be on clear, fluent and expressive speech. However, in these examinations, the syllabus concentrates on functional language skills, rather than interpretive skills.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary

  1. Present a one minute prepared talk about yourself
  2. Read a short extract (approximately 12 – 15 lines) from a book of your choice
  3. Carry on a short conversation with the examiner about living in Ireland

Intermediate

  1. Present a one minute prepared talk about yourself
  2. Read a short extract (approximately 12 – 15 lines) from a book of your choice
  3. Read a passage from a newspaper on a topical news story selected by the examiner
  4. Carry on a short conversation with the examiner about living in Ireland

Advanced

  1. Present a prepared talk on any topic of your choice
  2. Read a short extract (approximately 12 – 15 lines) from a book of your choice
  3. Read a passage from a newspaper on a topical news story selected by the examiner
  4. Present an unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner prior to the examination (one minute)
  5. Carry on a short conversation with the examiner about living in Ireland

Communication Skills Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

Communication skills examinations encourage the development of confidence in:

  • speaking clearly and fluently
  • interpreting a text (verse, prose or drama selection) with appropriate expression (and movement/ gesture, if the drama option is chosen)
  • the use of practical conversation and speaking skills
  • the use of imagination and confidence to explore a topic, either in speech or dramatic form

Our Communication Skills examinations have been designed to facilitate class teachers in primary schools, English/ Drama teachers in post-primary schools and, of course, speech and drama teachers teaching in primary schools, post-primary schools, or their own schools and academies.

Age ranges/ class groups have been suggested for each grade, for your guidance. However, these are suggestions only, and teachers are free to make their own judgement in relation to the most appropriate grade for their candidates.

Movement and gesture are expected in the drama and improvisation options in Intermediate, TY and Senior exams.

Please refer to  ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’ for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

For children for whom English is a second language, please see English as a Second Language Examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available here. Please note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary Examinations

Preliminary One – Junior Infants

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Answer simple questions about the poem

Preliminary Two Senior Infants

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Answer questions about the poem and the meaning of the words

Junior Examinations

Junior One – First Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and read a short extract (approximately 6 lines) from a book of your choice/ your school reader
  3. Hold a short conversation with the examiner about the poem and yourself

Junior Two – Second Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and read a short extract (approximately 8 lines) from a book of your choice/your school reader
  3. Hold a short conversation with the examiner about the poem and your favourite sports/ hobbies/interests

Junior Three – Third Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and read a short extract (approximately 10 lines) from a book of your choice/your school reader
  3. Bring to the examination a toy, book or collection and use it to make a one-minute presentation to the examiner

Junior Four – Fourth Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem
  2. Announce and read a short extract (approximately 12 lines) from a book of your choice/ your school reader
  3. Present a one-minute summary of the story from which your extract was taken and discuss the story with the examiner

Intermediate Examinations

Intermediate One – Fifth Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Present a one and a half-minute talk about a memorable holiday experience OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Intermediate Two – Sixth Class

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Present a one and a half-minute talk about a person from history you admire OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Intermediate Three – First Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. In your own words tell the story of a book or film of your choice (approximately one minute) OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Intermediate Four – Second Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. In your own words describe a notable historical event (approximately two minutes) OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Intermediate Five – Third Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. In your own words describe a memorable place you have visited recently (approximately two minutes) OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Transition Year Examinations

Transition Option A – Transition Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic or Musical Theatre selection (this may be performed as a duologue with another candidate) OR Announce and speak from memory a short prose extract (approximately 8 – 12 lines) from a book of your choice
  2. Present a one minute informal talk on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Transition Option B – Transition Year

To reflect the variety of Transition Year Programmes in communication, public speaking, debating and drama, the format and structure of Communication Skills exams for Transition Year can be arranged to suit the choices and needs of individual schools.

Options may include prepared talks on own-choice topics or topics provided by the Irish Board, unprepared talks or other elements suggested by the school. Examinations may be held on a one-to-one basis or in front of an audience which may include students and/or parents.

Please contact the Irish Board with your proposals and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Candidates delivering talks or speeches are encouraged not to read or memorise their pieces. If notes or aides mémoire are used, they should be used in such a way as to not cause distraction from the speaker.


Senior Examinations

Senior One – Fifth Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute dramatic or Musical Theatre selection (this may be performed as a duologue with another candidate) OR Announce and speak from memory a short prose extract (approximately 12 – 16 lines) from a book of your choice
  2. Present a one minute informal talk on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination OR Announce and perform a one minute improvisation on a topic provided by the examiner on the day of the examination

Final – Sixth Year

  1. Speak from memory a short poem OR Announce and perform a two minute solo dramatic selection taken from a play of literary merit OR Announce and speak from memory a short extract (approximately 12 – 16 lines) from a book of your choice
  2. Present a two minute prepared talk on a moral/ ethical issue
  3. Hold a discussion with the examiner about what you plan to do when you leave school, and why

Choral Verse Speaking Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

Choral Verse Speaking provides the opportunity for a group of speakers to perform a selected piece co-operatively.

The purpose of Choral Verse Speaking is the effective communication of the selection using appropriate technical and interpretive skills. Choral Verse Speaking offers great scope for young people to learn and perform together, with a unity of purpose, and is ideal for class groups.

Choral Verse Speaking encourages the development of confidence in:

  • speaking clearly and fluently
  • interpreting a text
  • working with others
  • following directions

In Grades One and Two, we have provided for the group to perform an Action Poem. For the other Grades, the choir should perform without actions.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’ for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

Choral groups should contain between 10 and 40 candidates.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Grade One – Suggested ages: 6 – 9 years

Perform an Action Poem of your choice

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 7 – 10 years

Present two short poems, one of which may be an Action Poem

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 9 – 11 years

Present two poems of a contrasting nature

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 10 – 13 years

Present a five minute programme, suitable for a School Concert

Senior Choir – Suggested ages: 14 – 16 years

Present two short contrasting pieces

Final Choir Suggested ages: over 16 years

Present two contrasting pieces, one of which may be a prose selection

Acting Performance Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

Irish Board Acting Performance Examinations provide an opportunity for candidates, either on their own (solo) or with a colleague (duologue), to display what they have learned in drama class, in a secure, encouraging and non-competitive atmosphere.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’ for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations. In general, however, our examiners will be assessing each candidate’s ability to create a character in a dramatic context, and to convey the character and story of the selection in a convincing manner to an audience, using voice, movement, gesture and space. Pace variation and appropriate modulation should be used. Each candidate should choose a piece or pieces which are appropriate for his/her age. Simple costumes are permitted, as are simple props.

It is important in an acting performance examination for candidates to show that they can MOVE and GESTURE appropriately. A failure to do this may result in a significant reduction in marks awarded, so we advise teachers and candidates to choose pieces in which all of the skills of acting may be displayed.

You will find mime definitions in our Grade Theory Guide which you can download free of charge.

For unprepared improvisations, each candidate will be given a list of topics by the examiner in the examination room during the examination. The candidate(s) will be given approximately one minute to prepare the improvisation. In the Acting Performance Examinations, 70% will be required for a pass. All candidates achieving 70% or over will receive a Certificate. Candidates who receive 80% or more will receive a certificate and an Irish Board of Speech and Drama Acting Medal.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


SOLOS and DUOLOGUES

Junior Acting Performance Examinations

Junior One Suggested ages: 6 – 8 years

  1. Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Announce and perform a one minute occupational mime

Junior Two Suggested ages: 8 – 9 years

  1. Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Announce and perform a one minute story mime

Junior Three Suggested ages: 9 – 10 years

  1. Announce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Announce and perform a one minute character mime

Junior Four Suggested ages: 10 – 12 years

  1. Introduce and perform a two minute dramatic selection
  2. Introduce and perform a one minute abstract mime

Intermediate Acting Performance Examinations

Intermediate One Suggested ages: 10 – 12 years

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection from any period
  2. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]

Intermediate Two Suggested ages: 12 – 14 years

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection written after 1900
  2. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]

Intermediate Three Suggested ages: 14 – 16 years

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection written by or adapted from the work of an Irish author/ playwright
  2. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]

Intermediate Four Suggested ages: 15 – 17 years

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection written before 1900
  2. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]

Senior Acting Performance Examinations

Senior One Ages 15 and over

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection taken/adapted from a play of literary merit
  2. Announce and perform a short prepared story mime OR Introduce and perform a piece of movement to music, choreographed by the candidate(s)
  3. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]
  4. Discuss with the examiner how you prepared for your performance of your selected pieces
  5. Carry out simple stage directions

Senior Two Ages 16 and over

  1. Announce and perform a three minute dramatic selection taken/adapted from a play of literary merit
  2. Announce and perform a short prepared abstract mime OR Introduce and perform a piece of movement to music, choreographed by the candidate(s)
  3. Announce and perform a one minute unprepared improvisation [a choice of subjects will be provided by the examiner in the examination room]
  4. Discuss with the examiner how you prepared for your performance of your selected pieces.
  5. Discuss with the examiner the use of movement and gesture in your dramatic selection

Acting Proficiency Examination

The candidate must be at least 16 years of age and have been studying speech and drama for at least 3 years. A letter from a recognised teacher of Speech and Drama to this effect will be required.

  1. Introduce and perform a three minute drama selection taken or adapted from a play of literary merit
  2. Speak a Shakespearean sonnet, OR Introduce and perform approximately 16 lines from any play by Shakespeare, in dramatic form
  3. Introduce and perform a short own choice mime OR A short piece of movement to music, choreographed by the candidate
  4. Introduce and perform a three minute dramatic selection, in a contrasting style from requirement 1 above. (This piece may take the form of a duologue to be presented with another candidate for the Acting Proficiency Certificate examination)
  5. Submit a written portfolio containing the following:
    a) notes on the character chosen in requirement 1 of the examination
    b) an explanation of how the candidate studied his/her dramatic selections
    c) an explanation of how the use of pitch, pace, inflection and pause enhances a dramatic performance

The candidate will be expected to attain a high standard of performance in order to pass this examination. 70% will be required for a pass. A successful candidate will be awarded the Acting Proficiency Certificate from the Irish Board of Speech and Drama. Those obtaining 85% and over will also receive the special Irish Board Silver Acting Medal.