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Additional support provisions

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland understands the importance of catering to the widest possible range of needs and abilities among Scottish traditional music graded exam candidates. We aim to treat each person individually, with consideration for physical access to the exam room; extra time; alternative tests; visual and communication aids, and so on. While we are able to make these administrative provisions to support the candidate, we cannot make concessions in the marking of the exam – all candidates are treated equally.

When booking exams or assessments online and the candidate requires additional support provisions, please select from the relevant drop-down list with reference to the following codes.

Specific disabilities and learning disorders (Codes A-C)

For various conditions, certain support arrangements will be offered as standard. The following are listed in the application form under codes A – C:


Arrangements for blind and partially-sighted candidates (A)

In general, the candidate is allowed five minutes of extra time and:

  • is welcome to visit the exam centre before the day of exam if he or she wishes
  • is free to use his or her own visual aids if necessary
  • may be accompanied into the exam room on the day by a companion if he or she wishes in order to become at ease with the new surroundings

With regard to the Quick Study section of the graded exam:

  • the option to reproduce the piece by ear is open to all regardless of medical condition
  • if the candidate prefers to perform the quick study at sight, the examiner can provide a large-print version of the piece (the applicant should contact the Graded Exams Administrator to request this specially at the time of entry)

Arrangements for deaf or hearing-impaired candidates (B)

In general, the candidate is allowed five minutes of extra time and:

  • may be accompanied by a sign language interpretor if he or she wishes (the applicant should contact the Graded Exams Administrator to request this at the time of entry)
  • may request that the examiner repeat instructions at any time

With regard to the Quick Study and PAM sections of the graded exam:

  • the option to perform the quick study either at sight or by ear is open to all regardless of medical condition
  • the examiner will repeat the performance of a test piece once more than usual for both quick study and PAM sections
  • the examiner will allow one additional attempt in response to PAM tests, with further attempts allowable at the examiner’s discretion


Arrangements for candidates with Dyslexia or Autistic Spectrum Disorders (C)

In general, the candidate is allowed five minutes of extra time. Additionally, the examiner will be sure to speak clearly and repeat instructions as necessary and with due sensitivity.

With regard to the Technical Work section of the graded exam, the candidate:

  • may replay a scale, arpeggio or exercise if he or she experiences difficulty with short-term memory
  • will be instructed visually as to left hand or right hand, with reference to ‘this hand’ or ‘ the other hand’ as appropriate
  • may bring written technical work for reference only. This means that candidates may have the scale book open on a music stand close to them and glance over if they have particular problems recalling the patterns. If the candidate are deemed to be reading from the music, he or she will not be disqualified, but neither will he or she be able to achieve full marks for this section (the applicant should contact the Graded Exams Administrator to request this specially at the time of entry)

With regard to the Quick Study section of the graded exam:

  • the option to reproduce the piece by ear is, of course, open to all regardless of medical condition
  • if the candidate prefers to perform the quick study at sight, the examiner can provide a large-print version of the piece (the applicant should contact the Graded Exams Administrator to request this specially at the time of entry)
  • additionally, if performing the quick study at sight, the examiner will allow up to three minutes of extra time (out of the five overall) to be used for viewing the piece rather than the usual 30 seconds
  • the candidate is welcome to bring tinted overlays with them if he or she has difficulties reading from white paper. Overlays can be used during any part of the exam. If the sight-reading is required on coloured paper, six A4 or A3 sheets of paper in the correct colour must be provided upon entry

With regard to PAM section of the graded exam, the examiner will allow one additional attempt in response to PAM tests, with further attempts allowable at the examiner’s discretion.

Provisions and guidance for other support needs (Code D)

If the provisions listed upon entry are not useful or sufficient for the candidate’s needs, the applicant should mark ‘Code D’ in the booking process and contact the Graded Exams Administrator to discuss any concerns or questions and agree on the best way forward.

The applicant should contact us by post or email with full details of exactly what is needed to support the candidate, including and in addition to the provisions listed above. This should ideally be done before entry, and by the closing date at the latest.

The Royal Conservatoire will then get back in touch with the applicant, explaining whether the requests can be met and confirming that the examiner will be fully briefed on any details we have been given.

 

Supporting document

If special provisions are requested and the disability is not obvious – for example Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder – the applicant should provide a supporting document for our records. This should date from within the past three years and can take the form of a doctor’s note or a letter from a specialist teacher, educational psychologist or the special educational needs co-ordinator at the candidate’s school.

Once the applicant has provided a note, we will keep a record on file for future reference.

If the applicant cannot support the request with a document, we will not be able to make any special provisions, but will inform the examiner of the situation.
Support for other disabilities or learning disorders

  • The graded exams candidate might like to get the part of the exam they find most physically difficult over with first. This is fine – the candidate can simply let the examiner know on the day.
  • We will pass on any information the applicant provides to the examiner. Examiners always appreciate having this kind of information in advance, particularly when they may need to be sensitive while writing the mark form – for example, avoiding undue reference to stamina if this seems inappropriate. The more information we have, the better.

Candidates are welcome to bring someone with them to assist with mobility, both in entering and leaving the exam room, and throughout the exam if needed. The applicant will need to inform the Royal Conservatoire at the time of entry in this case.


Access compatability

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is aware of the importance of providing opportunities for all candidates irrespective of sensory impairment, learning difficulties or physical challenges.

In compliance with the Code of Practice on Rights of Access: Goods Facilities and Services (Disability Discrimination Act 1995), venues used by the Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams during on-premises exam sessions as well as special visits must employ all reasonable means to ensure access to physically disabled candidates and those accompanying them.

On Conservatoire premises

In practice, full-centre exam sessions will be accommodated by RSAMD premises as much as possible. The RSAMD building features a lift, wheelchair facilities and a ground floor entrance. Other venues used in future will be hired on a similar basis of compatibility with the Code of Practice.

Special visits

For exams conducted outside the Conservatoire, the Graded Exams Administrator will work with the applicant to locate a suitable venue, which in most cases will be a further education college, secondary school or church hall. Such venues already comply by law with the stipulations of the DDA, so physically disabled candidates and their families will be assured of full access to these premises.