From speeches to sonnets, explore the work of William Shakespeare in our suite of exams dedicated to the Bard.

About the Shakespeare exam

LAMDA’s Shakespeare qualification is designed for learners who wish to explore the work of the world’s most famous writer in the English language. 

With a syllabus based around the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare, these exams encourage a deep immersion into Shakespeare’s words and the development of the technical skills required to perform them confidently and creatively.

At Levels Two and Three, learners can either take the exam by themselves (solo) or in a pair (duologue). 

LAMDA is recognised to award qualifications on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), in Wales by Qualifications Wales (QiW), and in Northern Ireland by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA). 

Shakespeare solo exams at Level One, Level Two and Level Three are now available online. Find out how to book here

What does the exam involve? 

Type of exam: Solo 

Time allowance: 15 minutes 

Performing one speech from memory, taken from a play by William Shakespeare

Answering questions about: 

  • the story of the play the speech is taken from 
  • who the character in the speech is talking to 
  • what the speech is about 

Type of exam: Solo or Duo

Time allowance: 20-30 minutes  

Performing two scenes from memory, taken from the plays of William Shakespeare 

Answering questions about: 

  • the form of the language 
  • linguistic devices/figures of speech 
  • the character’s reasons for speaking 
  • the character’s role within the play 
  • the meaning of two lines of text from one of the scenes 

Type of exam: Solo or Duo

Time allowance: 30-40 minutes  


  • two scenes from memory, taken from the plays of William Shakespeare  
  • one sonnet by William Shakespeare 

Answering questions about: 

  • the content and structure of the sonnet 
  • the subtext of one of the scenes 
  • the role of one of the characters in the play 
  • the writing style of William Shakespeare 
  • the design of Elizabethan theatres, and the distinctive requirements of performing Shakespeare within it 

The Shakespeare exam structure really supports academic studies, as well as acting as a useful bridge between other syllabi grades.

Toni Hassan, Principal of The Act II Academy of Performing Arts 


Full details of the requirements, assessment criteria and regulations can be found in the LAMDA Shakespeare Examinations Syllabus.


All our syllabi are available for download, or you can purchase our full range of publications from our online shop.

You will need: 

  • Shakespeare Examinations Syllabus      

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