G.C.S.E. DRAMA.

PRACTICAL EXAMINATION.

Information, Hints and Advice


Read this document carefully. You may well improve your chances of obtaining a better grade.

What will the examiner be looking for ?

The examiner has to award you marks for the following aspects of performance:-

  1. Characterisation, involving Speech and Movement.
  2. Use of space (linked to movement).
  3. Response and interaction with others.
  4. Concentration and involvement.
  5. Co-operation, team work - listening, picking up cues.

 

1. CHARACTERISATION.

a) Speech - clarity of speech is vital ! Do not rush your lines, gabble, or try to get it over with as quickly as possible. Relax - breath properly, pause where necessary. If you feel nervous take long deep breaths down to your stomach and breath out slowly.

b) Movement - together with speech, makes up your full character. The examiner will be assessing HOW and WHEN you move.

 

2. USE OF SPACE.

 

3. RESPONSE & INTERACTION WITH OTHERS.

 

4. CONCENTRATION & INVOLVEMENT.

 

5. CO-OPERATION.

SO, BREAK A LEG, AND MAKE SURE YOU DO YOURSELF JUSTICE BY BEING VERY ORGANISED AND THIS IN TURN WILL GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO DO YOUR VERY BEST !

 

SOME EXTRA INFORMATION (TAKE NOTE !)

A. ON EXAM DAY the costume rack will be positioned in the Dance Studio. You will change and prepare make-up etc in the Dance changing rooms. YOU SHOULD BE SILENT AT ALL TIMES, as candidates will be performing their exam pieces next door while you are getting ready.

If you are performing in the morning, then you will be the audience or stage crew for the afternoon. If you are performing in the afternoon, then you will be the audience or stage crew for the morning. *

Do not change into costume more than ONE hour before your exam is due.

Entry to the Dance Studio will be via the BACK door of the new block. The Drama Studio door will be locked all day in order to avoid any interruptions.

The timetable for the day will correspond to the normal school timetable as far as break and lunch are concerned.

Three "prop tables" are available backstage for you to lay things out. You may like to bring a small torch to see better.

 

B. WARMING UP - It's a good idea to warm up by going through lines and moves before you perform. By doing this you will be "in character" for the exam. Do not do this in an area where you will disturb candidates i.e. near the Drama Studio - best place is probably the House Hall. I know you will be in costume but make sure you do not walk around school more than is necessary. During break and lunchtime you should not be seen outside the Drama Studio in anything other than correct school uniform.

 

C. THE EXAMINER may want to talk to you after you have performed, in order to qualify one or two points. You may gain an extra few marks here so answer sensibly and intelligently - never say "I don't know". Give the impression that you have worked everything out and that you are very keen and interested.

* Remember you probably know more about your character and your piece than the examiner.

  So impress her !

 

D. COSTUMES ETC - should be hanging up, clean, pressed with your names on them on the rack. All costumes should be carefully chosen and prepared.

SHOES - think carefully about these - shoes say a lot about a person. Don't just wear "anything".

TIGHTS - SOCKS - take care with these two.

JEWELLERY - what would YOUR character wear?

HAIR - in what style does your character wear his/her hair? What changes do you need to make to your hair? Is it grey? Is it greasy? Is it scruffy or sophisticated? Remember GIRLS ESPECIALLY, keep your hair off your face - you don't want to be continually pushing it back. Bring in hair clips, hair bands, hair spray etc.

MAKE-UP - what make-up would your character need? Do you need to look older? Think about a few lines/wrinkles. Do you need stubble or a moustache? Do you wear glasses? PLEASE DO NOT MAKE A MESS WITH MAKE-UP. Put everything away neatly and do not leave things out.

PROPS - should be kept in the prop basket until performance day and then brought out and put in position on prop tables at 9.10. am, or break time, or lunch time, whichever time is just before your exam. Always remember to clear your stuff out of the way at break time , or lunch time, or after school, whichever time is after your exam.

The Drama Studio as a whole, especially backstage, MUST be kept clear of coats, school bags, carrier bags and rubbish - keep your personal things in the Dance area only.

KEEP BACKSTAGE AREA CLEAR OF FURNITURE AND LARGE PROPS. When clearing away after a scene take care where you put things. There should be a clear thoroughfare around the backstage area. Enclosed is a plan showing where things should be positioned when not in use - PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

SO SOME FINAL ADVICE !

Relax, keep calm, enjoy the day.

If you know that you have done everything to the best of your ability, then this should give you a great deal of confidence for the final performance.

Go for it, show what you can do !!

Make the day a success by treating it in a sensible, mature and organised way.

Cheers everyone !!

Mrs. B.

For other notes which may be of use to you, see my Home Page.