Speech & Drama online video examinations

> Examination requirements
> Sequence of program
> Exam preparation and online examination procedures
> Terms and Conditions
> Equipment suggestions
> Copies of texts for use by the examiner
> Information for candidates (PDF)
> Enquiries
> Video exam submission form

AMEB Victoria is trialling Speech and Drama practical examinations using an interactive online presentation format. The online examination format is available only to candidates who are not able to present for a face-to-face examination due to government health and safety directives.

Online video examinations will be available from 1 February 2021 in the following subjects:

Speech and Performance (2019) – Preliminary to Grade 8*
Voice and Communication (2019) – Preliminary to Grade 8*
Drama and Communication (2019) – Introductory to Grade 6

(*Please enquire about the availability of online Certificate and Diploma examinations.)

Online Speech and Performance Theory exams are under development and Grade 7 is currently available.

Examination requirements

The requirements of a Speech and Drama online video examination are the same as the requirements for a face-to-face exam. Please refer to the current syllabus for details of examination requirements (available for purchase on AMEB Connect).

Providing that the candidates comply with government health directives about physical distancing and the number of people permitted in the room, a group examination would be possible, however consideration should be given to achievement of appropriate audio and video quality for examination purposes.

The exam must be supervised by a responsible adult, who may be the candidate’s parent or teacher, however the supervisor cannot be present in the room whilst the examination is in progress (to avoid suspicions of prompting). The exam supervisor is responsible for ensuring that:

  • the submission form is completed in full and lodged successfully
  • copies of all text materials required by the examiner are provided
  • the examination room is set up appropriately
  • audio and video recording equipment is set up and tested prior to the examination date and immediately prior to the start of the examination
  • they are able to assist with any technical issues that might arise during the examination

Sequence of program

In both SPEECH & PERFORMANCE and VOICE & COMMUNICATION, the candidate is advised to present memorised material, prepared readings, talks, stories, preparation (WARM – UP ACTIVITIES) as a progressive unit in any order the candidate chooses. This will help to avoid stilted transitions, but requires PLANNING and REHEARSAL.

This will then be followed by other sections required by the syllabuses, viz. UNPREPARED MIME, IMPROVISATION, PREPARED READINGS FROM TEXTS, INTERACTION AND DISCUSSION RELATING TO AN OBJECT, as they occur in individual grades.

The examination will conclude with conversation and discussion. (Note: talk notes and introductions are not required by the examiner.)

Preparation, submission of materials and online examination procedures

1. The teacher selects a program of work and sets a target enrolment/submission date. This will provide a clear goal for the student to work towards. Of course, the submission date can be deferred, by the teacher, according to circumstances at the time. A suitable person will be required to act as the examination supervisor, to be responsible for setting up and testing the equipment, to make certain declarations and to submit materials on behalf of the candidate for use by the examiner.

2. When the candidate is ready for the examination, it is recommended that the candidate records a practice examination presentation, for review by the teacher, or undertakes a ‘mock’ examination via a Zoom meeting. This will test the adequacy of the audio-visual communications equipment and the presentation set-up; and give the candidate the opportunity to rehearse the presentation under exam-like conditions. A recording would enable the candidate to self-review and consider making final adjustments to the presentation.

3. When the candidate is ready for examination, the exam supervisor enrols the candidate for the appropriate examination on AMEB Connect: 1) select Series 60 Video Examinations; 2) Select the Syllabus and Grade (each video exam subject code is prefixed by the letter ‘V’ to indicate an online or recorded video exam); and finalise the enrolment in the usual way.

4. As soon as possible after enrolment, the exam supervisor completes the Speech and Drama online exam submission form (below). The supervisor will provide details of the program of work and upload a temporary PDF copy of any printed materials required by the examiner and the supervisor’s declaration. When completed, clicking on ‘submit’ will forward the form to AMEB Victoria.

5. An AMEB Exam Administrator will contact the enroller to schedule an examination using the Zoom video meeting application. The candidate’s email address and mobile number will be required, to arrange the private meeting with the examiner. (An AMEB administrator will supervise the examination via the video link.) The exam would normally be scheduled within two weeks of the submission date and and a Notice of Examination indicating the date and time will be emailed to the enroller.

6. At least 24 hours prior to the scheduled examination date, the candidate will be emailed a meeting invitation which must be formally accepted before the examination can proceed. A PC or tablet computer equipped with camera, speaker and microphone will be required. The camera must be capable of showing the candidate’s presentation, and any printed materials requested by the examiner. The camera should also be able to demonstrate (on request) that the candidate is not receiving any assistance during the examination. (The candidate should be alone in the examination room; the exam supervisor should be situated outside an open door or be able to view the examination through a glass panel; and be ready to assist with technological issues only).

7. The candidate will be required to join the meeting 10 minutes before the scheduled examination time, so that the audio-video link can be tested. Following testing, the candidate will be placed in the ‘waiting room’ by the AMEB Exam Administrator. When the examiner is ready, the candidate will be admitted to the meeting for the online video examination. When the examination has ended, the candidate will leave the meeting. It should be noted that the examination presentation and the interview with the examiner must not be recorded (to comply with privacy and copyright laws). 8. After the assessment has been finalised, the report and result will be available on AMEB Connect. The turnaround time will vary from two to four weeks, depending on the volume of examinations.

Terms and Conditions

By joining the meeting, the candidate or the candidate’s guardian gives permission to the Speech and Drama Examiner to record the exam for assessment purposes.

By joining the meeting, the candidate or the candidate’s guardian also acknowledges that:

  • There will be no one else present in the exam room during the examination other than the candidate (although someone may be present at the commencement of the meeting to assist with any IT setup required).
  • A door to the examination room will remain open, or a viewing window will be available, so that the candidate can be assisted with any technical difficulties, should they arise
  • The candidate will be able to complete the exam uninterrupted by other persons, pets, extraneous noise, phone calls and device notifications (we recommend setting devices to ‘Do Not Disturb’.
  • The exam will not be recorded in any form (audio or visual or both) by the candidate or any other person.
  • If the candidate does not attend the examination at the scheduled time or is not adequately set up for the online examination to proceed, the exam will be abandoned and will need to re-scheduled to a later date (as the examiners will be paid for their time, a re-scheduling fee will be payable).
  • In the event of an internet disruption, the Examiner will determine whether the exam can continue or whether it will be rescheduled. If the circumstances of the disruption are not under the control of the candidate or the exam supervisor, the exam will be re-scheduled at no additional charge.

Equipment suggestions

Camera and microphone

A high-quality recording device should be used; a recent-model smart phone or tablet might be suitable (test both audio and vision). Video resolution of 720p is recommended (minimum 480p).

It is important that the sound is clearly audible as the candidate moves within the performance space. Candidate may wish to consider using an app or device that allows control over the sensitivity and input gain of the microphone to assist in capturing a greater level of expressiveness in the performance. Whilst we are not able to recommend products, a few possible microphones, apps and cameras that we understand can record high-quality audio are listed below.

External microphones for use with mobile phones (check for compatibility)

  • Zoom iQ7
  • Shure MV88
  • RØDE i-XY
  • RØDE VideoMic

Mobile phone video apps that allow manual control of audio

  • FV-5 (supported Android devices)
  • Filmic Pro (iOS devices and some Android devices)

Dedicated video cameras for recording high quality audio

  • Zoom Q4
  • Zoom Q2n


The candidate will need to be able to hear the examiner’s instructions clearly, and the loudspeaker must be positioned so that there is no ‘feedback’ through the microphone. Wireless earphones/earbuds might provide a suitable option.

Before the examination performance it is recommended that a trial examination is recorded onto a computer, using the same camera, microphone and speakers that will be used for the examination proper. Carefully check the video recording to ensure that the picture and sound are of acceptable quality so that the examination can proceed successfully. Also check that the speakers (or earbuds) will permit the candidate to hear the examiner’s instructions. If the sound and video quality are not acceptable, it will not be possible to proceed with the assessment and the examination will need to be rescheduled. (A rescheduling fee will be payable, to cover the examiner’s time and administration costs).

Copies of texts for use by the examiner

Where specified in the syllabus, a copy of all texts from which the candidate will perform is required for use by the examiner. APRA/AMCOS permits a candidate to make a temporary copy of legal artistic works for examination purposes. Information on each work to be performed must be listed on the submission form and the copyright declaration agreed by the examination supervisor. Digital copies of artistic works (texts) will not be returned to the candidate and will be destroyed by AMEB. Following the examination, the candidate or a person acting on the candidate’s behalf must ensure that digital copies of artistic works are deleted (as required under Australian Copyright Law).

Each Speech & Performance or Voice & Communication candidate must prepare a single PDF file containing all texts (but not self-devised material) in their chosen order of performance.

Each Drama and Communication candidate must provide a copy of their script or program summary as a single PDF file.

Text and graphics (if any) must be clearly visible to the examiner. An appropriate balance between resolution and file size might be achieved by following these guidelines:

  • Scan in black-and-white (not half-tone or colour).
  • Scan at a resolution between 300dpi and 600dpi.

Note that the combined file size permitted by the submission form is 10MB.

Online video examinations information for candidates

The Speech & Drama online video – information for candidates includes the following additional information:

  • Recommendations – presentation space, staging, non-verbal considerations.
  • On the examination day – tips for candidates.
  • On the examination day – tips for the exam supervisor.

Click here to download Speech & Drama online video examination 2020 – information for candidates.


A member of AMEB Victoria’s administrative team would be pleased to answer any queries concerning Video Repertoire Exams and may be contacted by email during normal business hours (Monday to Friday from 9am till 5pm). > Contact us

Video exam submission form

Submissions will open on 1 February 2021