What is LAMDA?

LAMDA (founded 1861) is The London Academy of Music & 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  www.lamda.org.uk

LAMDA began offering speech and drama examinations to the public in the 1880's and these examinations have been refined and developed over the years to form a comprehensive system of performance and progress evaluation in speech and drama. The Academy's mission is to improve standards in communication through the spoken word, nurture an appreciation of literature and support creative, intellectual and social development.

Students who attend classes with us take a LAMDA examination once year,  and is the speech and drama equivalent of a music grade or ballet exam.

Like music and ballet grades LAMDA Exams conclude with Grade 8.

LAMDA offer examinations in various disciplines of drama:

  • Acting
  • Devising Drama
  • Miming
  • Speaking Verse & Prose
  • Reading for Performance
  • Using Spoken English
  • Speaking in Public

Exams can be taken at 4 levels.

  • Entry Level
  • Level 1 - Grades 1, 2, 3
  • Level 2 - Grades 4 & 5
  • Level 3 - Grades 6, 7, 8 (Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal)

There are also Introductory levels for 5-7 year old's who are just learning to memorize, recite and communicate.

Our fees page includes a guide to entry fees for LAMDA Exams.

Who can take a LAMDA Exam?

All people can benefit from taking LAMDA Exams:

  • Anyone who loves drama and wants to do more
  • Drama students who want to polish their skills, improve technique, work with interesting texts and prepare for auditions
  • Those who want to improve their spoken English and work on presentation skills
  • Students who use drama as a way of gaining extra UCAS points

​ For further information on LAMDA exams and the UCAS Tariff please click here.

Why take LAMDA Exams?

​LAMDA Exams are well tailored to the abilities of students of all ages. For a five-year-old, reciting an eight-line poem is an achievement to be celebrated, 

while a sixteen-year-old reciting a Shakespeare sonnet is equally notable. 

LAMDA exams recognize these achievements, provide a context within which they can be assessed and reward them with nationally recognized qualifications, (as part of theQualifications and Credit Framework or QCF).

For further information on the  accreditation of LAMDA exams and the QCF please click here.

LAMDA examinations are designed to equip learners, whatever their age or aspirations, with a range of skills that will serve them throughout life.

Preperation for an exam can:

  • Unlock the imagination and creative-thinking process
  • Develop communication skills
  • Refine technical skills and artistry
  • Promote team-working

The examinations themselves provide learners with an opportunity to:

  • ​Measure progress against an international standard
  • make contact with expert practitioner examiners  outside of the immediate teaching environment
  • Build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Acquire skill certification for career development
  • Receive critical appraisal and guidance for future development

The range of exam options supports progression and allows the learner to extend personal and vocational skills whilst realizing their potential.

What happens in a LAMDA Exam?

​A LAMDA Exam consists of two elements.

First the candidate(s) give a performance which an examiner watches. Then the candidate(s) have a short discussion with the examiner.

A performance might include:

  • acted monlogues or scenes
  • a recital of poems
  • 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 maybe freely chosen by the candidate.

At one end of the scale, a young beginner, taking an Introductory Exam recites a short poem of about eight lines, and then talks to the examiner

informally about a favourite toy.  A the other end of the scale, a Grade 8 Acting student would present three monologues or scenes, of which, one must be classical, and then a lengthy informal 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 he or she has grasped and communicated:

  • the surface message
  • the underlying emotional content

The Technique mark reflects the candidate's vocal and physical performance - how well he or she has used the voice and body to:

  • engage the listener
  • give a sense of truthfulness and conviction

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:

​80+        Distinction

65-79     Merit

50-64    Pass


​For further information on LAMDA Exams at the "Curtain Up" Speech & Drama School, please click here.