Exam FAQs & fees

Below are frequently asked questions regarding the RSCDS examinations system. If you have any questions that are not covered please get in touch with the RSCDS office and we will be happy to assist. 

Frequently asked questions about the RSCDS examination system
Q. My Branch would like to run an examination class, but we have no musicians living in the vicinity. Can we run a class and have the examinations using recorded music?

A. Many Branches and centres have done this very successfully in the past. While it is a good idea to develop the skill of working with a musician, this is sometimes not possible because of a shortage of skilled musicians in a particular area.

In such cases, candidates should be encouraged to increase their knowledge of the recorded music available and to develop the skills necessary to select the most appropriate music for their lessons.  

In the examination, the candidate should not be expected to operate the recorded music, but there should be a person appointed to do this for all the candidates. That person should have had no say in the choice of music for any of the candidates.

Q. We would like to use a local musician for our examination class, but she is worried that some of the dances set in Unit 5 might have very tricky original tunes and she does not want to disadvantage the candidates by not being very proficient in playing them. Should we use recorded music for the exam?

A. If you have been using a musician for the course it may then be quite demanding for candidates to have to adjust to teaching with recorded music just for the exam. It would be better for the musician to choose a suitable alternative tune which she can play with confidence.

Q. Our examination class has been using recorded music during the candidate course. Although we have a substantial library of music, we do not have all the music for all the RSCDS dances. What should we do if a Unit 5 dance is set for one of the candidates in the examination and we do not have the original tune?

A. If you do not know what the original tune sounds like, it is obviously difficult to choose a tune of a similar type. However, if, for instance, the dance is a strathspey which requires  long strong steps and powerful turning, a slow air tune would not help the dancers, so a strongly dotted traditional tune would be a good choice. If you have an original tune but the recording is too fast, or unsatisfactory in any another way, you should substitute a similar, but better recorded tune.

Q. This is the first time I have tutored candidates and am not quite sure what to tell them to expect in the forthcoming Unit 2 exam. I understand from talking to another tutor that candidates can “get in a huddle” and remind each other of the dance before the dancer at the top of the set has to do the re-cap. Is this the case? Secondly, how detailed should the re-cap be? Is it like you would give at a dance, or should it contain the sort of level of detail as in the written instructions?

A. It is now agreed good practice amongst examiners that candidates are allowed to confer before one of them has to give the re-cap. The re-cap should be clear, audible and brief. The candidates should be very familiar with the dances and need only a swift reminder. Use of hands and expression in the voice is to be encouraged.

Q. I am tutoring an examination class at the moment and one of my candidates is really not improving at all. In fact I do not think she will pass either the dancing assessment or the teaching exam. I am quite worried that if she continues the course and enters the exam, failure will be inevitable and will undermine what confidence and enjoyment she has left in dancing. What can I do?

A. Tutors have a responsibility to counsel failing candidates to leave the course, but the final decision must be the candidate’s own. On the website, the Guidance notes for tutors say:

“In any examination course, but particularly in residential courses, candidates need to realise that failure is a possibility and that they may be advised by the tutor to withdraw. The tutor should give this advice where necessary.”

Once you have applied, please make your payment by using the online payment link.


Associated fees

Below you will find the fees for each part of the Teaching Certificate.

Exam Fee Concessionary Rate*
Unit 1 £35 N/A
Unit 2 £35 £25
Unit 3 £35 £25
Unit 4 £20 £20
Unit 5 £35 £25

* Applies to those under the age of 21 and to students up to the age of 25 who are in full-time education at the time of sitting the examination.

From September 1st the new Unit fees will be as follows 

Unit 1 £35 (no change)

Unit 2 £40 (concessionary rate £30)

Unit 3 £40 (concessionary rate £30)

Unit 4 £25 (concessionary rate £20)

Unit 5 £40 (concessionary rate £30)


The fee for the Core Training for Instructors (CTI) programme is £40.

Find out about the range of scholarships and funding available to those attending teacher training courses at Summer School and elsewhere.


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