Could Group or In Production be the right exams for your students?

Could Group or In Production be the right exams for your students?

Picture of Nicola King

BY: Nicola King
05 June 2024

Group and In Production exams are an excellent way to celebrate and showcase your students’ learning and can be easily embedded into many different environments and contexts. In this blog we will highlight how Group and In Production exams can work for you.

Group exams are available for our Acting, Performance Arts, and Musical Theatre specifications*, and are offered from Initial to Grade 8. These exams need a minimum of three candidates and there is no maximum number, which means that a whole class could potentially be entered, offering a great deal of flexibility. Group exams require candidates to create a programme of work within a time duration, while In Production exams allow a whole production to be entered for assessment and there is no maximum time.

In Trinity Group exams, students are entered for the same grade and receive a group mark and feedback. Each candidate receives their own digital certificate. As students are not marked individually this exam is not Ofqual regulated, but the aim of these exams is to encourage candidates to work collectively towards a shared goal, and through this develop transferrable skills of collaboration, mutual support, responsibility, resilience, and communication.

Group exams can also support inclusion- as students who are keen to be involved but are less confident, or lack the ability to sustain a large role, often don’t have to opportunity to be entered for exams.

In other formal qualifications in drama, which are individually marked, candidates are often required to play roles of equal size and teachers tell us it can often be difficult to find suitable texts, that will accommodate this. As Trinity Group exams are marked as a group, it can be easier to source extracts from published plays, as there can be a range of different sized roles or even a chorus etc. Groups also have the option of entering devised work which opens up even more possibilities.

While in performing arts academies, Group exams can help to create and scaffold a curriculum – providing an end of unit assessment that can then be performed in a showcase to an audience.

Let’s look at our Group exams in more detail…

Acting Group

The Acting Group exams are designed for candidates who want to focus on developing vocal, physical and characterisation skills in a dramatic performance, working in a collaborative way. These exams are in line with the wider requirements of other qualifications, such as GCSE and A Level, where candidates are expected to develop skills in both scripted work and devising.   Centres could use Group exams to prepare candidates for these other exams. For instance - Group exams might be offered at the end of Year 9 as an end of Key Stage 3 assessment. The Group exam experience will help prepare candidates for other examined work, as candidates will experience performing in front of an examiner and gain an additional qualification. Similarly, they could be used for A Level preparation, and as a way of assessing Year 12 work.

The free choice of performance pieces, means that groups could choose a text they are looking at for GCSE English Literature, enabling them to explore this in a more practical hands-on way – thus deepening their understanding of some of the performance requirements for the piece and supporting speaking and listening objectives.

Musical Theatre Group

The Musical Theatre group exams are designed for candidates who want to focus on a variety of musical theatre genres as a group. Candidates demonstrate their skills integrating acting, singing and movement/dance from published works of musical theatre/film musicals. This reflects drama school and industry requirements, providing Trinity candidates with the opportunity to acquire relevant skills and provide a more authentic experience.

Musical Theatre Group exams could be used to support the Model Music Curriculum in schools, both at primary and secondary levels. The Model Music Curriculum has a key focus on promoting and sustaining singing, and this is much more difficult to achieve in a secondary school. Musical Theatre Group exams would be a wonderful to keep young people engaged with singing, thus sustaining this in your school. It also provides a clear way to evidence your provision, and results in a recognised outcome for the young people involved. The group element can make these exams really fun and attractive to your young people, as they aren’t singing on their own or singing in another language, for example.

Another key attribute of the Model Music Curriculum is that it advocates giving students regular opportunities to perform, and this is something the Musical Theatre exams can support with as it is possible to have an audience in attendance for this exam. This would also provide students with an opportunity to perform outside of the more typical performance opportunities that might be associated with the Model Music curriculum, such as orchestra or choir.

Musical Theatre exams can also present a great opportunity for cross subject/department work for your music and drama departments, and by combining forces you can maximise the impact and raise the profile of both departments!

Performance Arts Groups

Our Performance Arts exams are incredibly exciting, and unique to Trinity. They are designed for candidates who want to explore the variety of performance arts available - not only dance, music and acting but any other performance skill from puppetry to physical theatre, or film making to creating a stand-up comedy routine, mask making or stage combat. At higher grades, candidates are asked to give a demonstration/talk around a contributory skill - such as costume design, choreography or composition, writing or directing. Contributory skills are a brilliant way to recognise theatre making related skills that aren’t recognised elsewhere.

In schools Performance Arts Groups exams present another opportunity for cross subject work and the contributory skills widen this considerably. For example, Art, Design and Technology departments could support with a presentation of costumes or props, a presentation of an original poem might support with objectives in English, a presentation of a screen or audio performance could support with Film or Media Studies or even ICT skills.

In Production exams

Our In Production exams are available for Plays in Production, Performance Arts in Production and Musical Theatre in Production and these exams offer the opportunity for a whole production to be entered and assessed. In Production assessments allow everyone to be recognised for their hard work, and being assessed as part of a group can make the process a lot less scary and a lot more inclusive.

There are two pathways you can choose from:



Pathway 1 offers an opportunity for those students doing technical roles to be recognised for their hard work. Those in technical, backstage roles can often be unsung heroes but through entering for an In Production exam they can receive a recognised qualification for this work. You may be working with young people who are considering careers in costume, set design, lighting etc and this certificate could be a huge boost to their university or job applications.

Many schools, or private performing arts academies may already put on a Christmas show or end of term showcase of some description - whether this is a play, musical or variety show - and so entering this performance for an In Production exam offers the chance for all of the work that goes into this production to be formally recognised.

This also applies if you are going to be entering a festival or competition – such as National Theatre Connections, Student Shakespeare Festival or a local music and drama festival. An In Production exam is also an excellent opportunity to showcase your students’ work: you could create your own mini-festival or put on an In Production evening, where your groups perform their exam pieces for an audience, and the examiner.

For support with Group exams download our Trinity Insight- Group Drama Pack, where you will find sample programmes, handy checklists and a comprehensive guide to Group exams.


*Group exams are also available for Communication Skills.

Sign up to receive emails from Trinity College London

Sign up for emails
Comments & Replies

Related posts