What is a LAMDA Exam?
A LAMDA Exam is the speech and drama equivalent of a music grade. Like music grades, LAMDA Exams culminate at Grade 8.
LAMDA Exams cover a range of disciplines:
Speaking Verse and Prose
Reading for Performance
Using Spoken English
Speaking in Public
Exams can be taken at four levels:
Level 1 – Grades 1, 2, 3
Level 2 – Grades 4 and 5
Level 3 – Grades 6, 7 and 8 (Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal)
There are also Introductory Examinations for young performers (5–7 years) who are taking the first steps in memorising, reciting, and communicating.
Why take LAMDA Exams?
LAMDA Exams offer an ongoing measurement of progress in speech and drama. The gradual progression through the LAMDA grades provides benchmarks for every stage of a student’s development. The LAMDA grades help us to support a steady improvement in self-confidence, vocal and physical technique, and language awareness.
LAMDA Exams are well tailored to the abilities of students of different ages. For a five-year-old, reciting an eight-line poem is an achievement to be celebrated, and for a sixteen-year-old, delivering a Shakespeare soliloquy or giving a speech on a pressing moral or ethical issue issue is equally praiseworthy. LAMDA Exams recognise these achievements, provide a context within which they can be assessed, and reward them with nationally recognised qualifications.
LAMDA examiners have no connection to Frenzy Youth Theatre . Parents and teachers can be assured that a student’s ability as a performer and communicator is being objectively and fairly assessed.
LAMDA’s reasonable adjustment policy makes allowances for students with particular education needs, as well as those with English as a second language. This policy enables Frenzy Youth Theatre to promote its own practice of inclusiveness.
Who could take a LAMDA Exam?
All kinds of people could benefit from taking LAMDA Exams:
Anyone who loves drama and wants to do more
Drama students who want to polish their skills, improve stage technique, work with interesting texts and prepare for auditions
Those who want to improve their spoken English and work on presentation skills
Students who could use drama as a way of gaining extra UCAS points.
What happens in a LAMDA Exam?
A LAMDA Exam comprises two elements. First the candidate or candidates give a performance, which an examiner watches. Then the candidate or candidates have a short discussion with the examiner.
A performance might consist of acted monologues or scenes, a recital of poems and prose pieces or presentations on chosen subjects.
The kind of pieces chosen for performance, the number and length of the pieces, and the nature of the discussion depends on the grade being taken. Some pieces and subjects will be prescribed by LAMDA, and others may be freely chosen by the candidate.
At one end of the scale, a young beginner taking an Introductory Exam recites a short poem of around eight lines and then talks informally to the examiner about a favourite toy. At the other end, a Grade 8 Acting student present three monologues or scenes, at least one of which is classical, and then has a lengthy formal discussion with the examiner about the technicalities of the acting process and acting theory.
How is a LAMDA Exam marked?
The maximum score in a LAMDA Exam is 100. 40 marks are awarded for Interpretation, 40 for Technique and 20 for Knowledge.
The Interpretation mark reflects the candidate’s imaginative engagement with the written word – how well has he or she grasped and communicated
the surface message
the underlying emotional content
The Technique mark reflects the candidate’s vocal and physical performance – how well does he or she use the voice and body to
engage the listener
give a sense of conviction and truthfulness
The Knowledge mark reflects the candidate’s
theoretical understanding of language and/or performance
ability to share their ideas in discussion.
Overall marks are awarded as follows:
What is LAMDA?
LAMDA (founded 1861) is the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom and has a global reputation for excellence. You can find out more about LAMDA at
LAMDA began offering speech examinations to the public in the 1880s. These examinations have been refined and developed over the years. They now form a comprehensive system of performance evaluation.
LAMDA’s mission is to improve standards in communication through the spoken word, foster an appreciation of literature and support creative, intellectual and social development.