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Grade Exams

SCHEDULE UPDATE 4/1/24: We are in the process of finalizing our grade exam schedule and everyone that is signed up should hear from us by Friday, April 5th. Thank you for your patience!

We are happy to host Grade Exams 1-12 on April 20th and 21st at 16 Ferry Street in Grafton, MA.

Murphy Academy dancers, please check in with
Bridget to make sure this is something your dancer is ready to participate in. 

If you are interested in taking your grade exams with us, please follow the steps below. All forms and payment must be mailed and recieved by Saturday, February 1o, 2024.

Step 1: Complete the Google Form Below

Step 2: Print and Complete the Registration Form

Additional steps for Grade 11 and 12 Applications: If your dancer is taking Grade 11 or Grade 12, please also Print and Complete the Grade 11 or Grade 12 CLRG application. We will ALSO need you to email this application and all your grades and mark sheets in ONE PDF to for the CLRG office.

Step 4: MAIL all the printed registration forms and check made payable to Murphy Academy of Irish Dance by February 10, 2024:

Bridget Murphy, ADCRG

38 Prospect St

Millbury, MA 01527

More about Grade exams...

Grades Rules and Regulations 
Important "need to knows" when preparing for a grade exam:

  • A dancer must take all grades in order, beginning with Grade 1

  • A candidate may only attempt a maximum of 3 consecutive Grades at any one sitting.

  • The number of bars of music to be danced for all Reels, Single or Hop Jigs, Light Jigs, Slip Jigs, Heavy Jigs and Hornpipes is 40. (40 bars = 2 1/2 steps)

  • Dance costumes should not be worn.

  • Grade exams candidates must be examined by at least 4 examiners up to grade 10, plus two different full examiners for grades 11 and 12.

  • Candidates must be able to adequately demonstrate practical and theoretical knowledge of all ceili dances as per “Ar Rinci Ceili” as specified in the syllabus for Grades 5-12 inclusive.

  • The same set dance must not be performed in more than one of the Grades from 9 to 12 inclusive.

  • All candidates must produce previous certificates and mark sheets before proceeding to higher grades. Please bring them to the exam.

  • Grade 11 may only be attempted by candidates at least 16 years of age.

  • Grade 12 may only be attempted by candidates at least 17 years of age.exam!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a grade exam?

Per the CLRG website: The purpose of the grade examinations scheme is to provide a structured framework within which dancers can work towards an achievable goal and to provide a strong foundation in Irish dance. Grade examinations are unlike competitions in that each candidate is individually examined and receives a detailed written assessment of their performance and knowledge of the grade being attempted. The scheme consists of an optional preliminary grade, followed by 12 grades with each one becoming increasingly more demanding on the candidates' skill, knowledge and ability. All 12 grade examinations must be completed to be eligible to apply for the TCRG examination as of January 1st, 2018.

Where and when are the grade exams being held?

Our grade exams will be the weekend of April 20th and 21st in Grafton, MA.

We realize if your dancer took their grade exam on January 21st at the O'Shea Chaplin grade exam that they will need to take their next grade on the 21st. We plan to do our best to accommodate this and ask that you please make us aware of this in the Google Form and Registration Form

What are the required dances for each grade?

Grade 1: Beginner Reel and Light Jig

Grade 2: Basic Slip Jig and Single Jig (Hop Jig)

Grade 3: Primary (Novice) Reel and Beginner Heavy Jig

Grade 4: Primary (Novice) Slip Jig and St. Patrick's Day

Grade 5: Advanced Reel, Basic Hornpipe, and Walls of Limerick

Grade 6: Advanced Slip Jig, The Blackbird, and Siege of Ennis

Grade 7: Advanced Heavy Jig, Garden of Daisies, and the Four Hand Reel

Grade 8: Advanced Hornpipe, Job of Journeywork, and the Humours of Bandon

Grade 9: Two Modern Set Dances (one in 6/8 and one in 2/4 or 4/4 timing) and the High Cauled Cap

Grade 10: Two Modern Set Dances (one in 6/8 and one in 2/4 or 4/4 timing - different than grade 10) and the Eight Hand Jig

Grade 11 (dancers must be at least 16 years old): Advanced Reel, Advanced Slip Jig, Advanced Heavy Jig, King of the Fairies, and Two Contemporary Sets, the Eight Hand Reel, and Harvest Time Jig. Please ALSO Complete the Grade 11 application here >

Grade 12 (dancers must be at least 17 years old): Light Jig, Single or Hop Jig, Advanced Hornpipe, Three Sea Captains, Jockey to the Fair, Morris Reel, and Sixteen Hand Reel. Please ALSO Complete the Grade 12 application here >

Dancers must perform 40 bars (2 and a half steps) of music must be danced for all reels, light jigs, single or hop jigs, slip jigs, heavy jigs, and hornpipes individually.

What do I wear to a grade exam?

Dance costumes must not be worn. Dancers can wear a black top and black skirt or pant. 

What is the cost of the grade exam?

Grades 1-3: $25/grade exam (If taking all 3 grades, the total would be $75)

Grades 4-6: $35/grade exam (If taking all 3 grades, the total would be $105)

Grades 7-10: $50/grade exam (If taking 2 grades at a time, the total for two would be $100 OR 3 grades, the total would be $150)

Grades 11 and 12: $100/grade exam (These must be taken individually.)

Have another question? Email us at please subject: Grade Exams

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