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What is LAMDA

LAMDA stands for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 

A LAMDA exam is the speech and drama equivalent of a music grade, which begin at basic levels and culminates at Grade 8. The exams use performance to develop self confidence, physical presence and a strong speaking voice.

LAMDA exams cover a range of disciplines including

  • Acting

  • Speaking Verse & Prose

  • Miming                                                                      

  • Reading for Performance

  • Speaking in Public

  • Shakespeare

  • Musical Theatre

At The eSENtial Theatre Company we teach Acting and Musical Theatre, exams can be taken at different levels

  • Introductory

  • Entry

  • Level 1 - Grades 1, 2 & 3

  • Level 2 - Grades 4, & 5

  • Level 3 - Grades 6, 7 & 8 (known as Bronze, Silver & Gold)

Why should my child take a LAMDA Exam

Bench Marking

Through the grades, LAMDA offers an ongoing measurement of speech & drama progress which benchmarks every stage of a students development. They support a steady improvement in self confidence, vocal and physical technique.

LAMDA exams are strictly accredited and monitored by OfQual. The exams are created to  suit abilities of children of all ages, from a young child being able to recite a short poem from memory, to a teenager delivering a meaningful Shakespearean monologue - all ages and abilities should be celebrated and recognised with national recognised qualifications.


Many students will benefit from taking LAMDA exams.

  • Anyone who loves drama

  • Existing students with an aptitude for drama and want to polish technique and prepare for auditions

  • Anyone who wants to work on their presentation skills

  • Students who wish to gain more UCAS points for university level.

LAMDA has a Reasonable Adjustment Policy. This policy makes allowances for students with educational needs or those for whom English is a second language.


All students are examined by a LAMDA examiner.

This means that all students, families and teachers can all be assured that the students will be examined fairly.

What happens in a LAMDA exam?

A LAMDA exam will last for between 10 minutes for a lower grade and 30 minutes for the highest grades. The exam has two parts, first the student performs chosen pieces to the examiner and then the examiner has a discussion with the student. 

The number and type of pieces that are performed and the nature of the discussion depends on the level and grade being examined.

How is a LAMDA exam Marked?

The maximum mark for an exam is 100. This is divided into three sections

  • Interpretation

  • Technique

  • Knowledge

The Interpretation mark reflects the student’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 students’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 student’s

  • theoretical understanding of language and/or performance

  • ability to share their ideas in discussion. 

The total marks then provide the overall grade

80+ Distinction

65-79 Merit

50-64 Pass


Further information about LAMDA can be found on their website.

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