About the Exam Process

Salimpour School exams have multiple parts.  Students are tested with practical and written exams.  More information is provided below for L1 and L2 exams.  To learn more about L3-5 exams, visit the specific level for information on what is covered and tested.

L1 and L2 exams are offered in conjunctions with L1 and L2 workshops, class series, and online testing series.  You are ready to test when you know the concepts. If you are in doubt, ask Suhaila or one or her authorized studio instructors; their goal is to keep you continually moving forward in your dance studies. If for some reason they feel you are not ready, they will provide you specific information on what you need to learn or improve to test.

Prerequisites

You must submit a completed Certification Registration form with testing payment. Students must also create an account with the Salimpour School Online; a paid account is not needed, and you can sign up for a free trial with no payment information required. It is through this account that students will have access to their certification data records, test results, CECs, and choreographies/classes that require a specific certification level for access.

Exam Sections

  • Level 1 exams (both SL1 and JL1) are comprised of two sections:  a practical technique exam and an online written exam.  More information about these two sections is outlined below, including an explanation of practical testing for long distance students via online (video) certification testing.
  • Level 2 exams are comprised of three sections:  a practical technique exam, an online written, exam, and choreography evaluation.  More information about L2 testing is below.

Practical Technique Testing

The practical portion of the exam is given in a studio setting. Students are given verbal commands, drills, and instructions to which they must demonstrate a solid understanding of the concepts. To pass the practical portion of the exam, a student must receive 70% or higher.  For SL1 and JL1, the practical portion is held after the workshop or series, and the test is usually 60-75 minutes in duration.  For SL2 and JL2, the practical portion of the exam is conducted as part of and throughout the entire workshop.  (For L1 online testing, students submit a video of themselves executing practical drills per the specific criteria provided as part of that program.)

Online Written Exams

The written exam tests students on format terminology, concepts, history, and culture. Exam questions may include multiple choice, true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. To pass the written portion of the exam, a student must receive 70% or higher.  Students will be given access to an online testing service to complete the written exam in a 3-day window.  More information L1 and L2 online written exams is below.

For L1 online written exams, students will be emailed a link to take the exam within a 3-day period.   The email for the exam link might be sent from Class Marker, and make sure to check your spam folder.  Students will need:

  • a computer or tablet with sound turned “on”
  • working and stable internet (for duration of exam)
  • one page of handwritten notes (optional, see below)

Once you begin the exam:

  • You will need to complete the exam in one sitting.
  • You will be allotted a defined period of time to complete your exam. The time is dictated by the number and type of questions asked, with each student’s test being slightly different.  As you begin the exam, you will be given the exact number of questions in your test along with the exact time limit for your test.  A typical L1 exam has 40 questions with a 50 minute time limit.
  • You will have to answer a question before you are allowed to move to the next question.
  • You will not be able to return to a previous question to change your answer.

The exam is not an open book exam; however, students may use one single sheet of handwritten notes (front and back: A4, 8.5x11”, or equivalent). The page may not be typed. Students may NOT use or access any other resources beyond a single page of handwritten notes.  As examples, this means you may NOT use: another person, an internet search, language translators, the SL1 Study Guide, the Salimpour Compendium, any other book, someone else’s notes, etc.

Students will be emailed a link to take the exam within a 3-day period.   Students will need:

  • a computer or tablet with sound “on”
  • working and stable internet (for duration of exam)
  • one page of handwritten notes (optional, see below)

Once you begin the exam:

  • You will need to complete the exam in one sitting.
  • You will be allotted a defined period of time to complete your exam. The time is dictated by the number and type of questions asked, with each student’s test being slightly different.  As you begin the exam, you will be given the exact number of questions in your test along with the exact time limit for your test.  A typical L2 exam has 75 questions with a 95 minute time limit.
  • You will have to answer a question before you are allowed to move to the next question.
  • You will not be able to return to a previous question to change your answer.

The exam is a “limited” open book exam, meaning that only the following resources may be used:

  • SL1 Study Guide
  • The New Danse Orientale (for JL2)
  • The Salimpour Belly Dance Compendium V1
  • Jamila’s Article Book
  • SalimpourSchool.com
  • SalimpourSchoolOnline.com
  • dictionary (or for language translation)
  • your personal notes from classes, workshops, and the above sources

You may NOT use other resources beyond those specifically listed. As examples, this means you may not use another person, a general internet search, any other book that those listed, someone else’s notes, etc.

Choreography Testing (L2)

Choreography testing is included as part of the Suhaila Level 2 and Jamila Level 2 exam process.  For Suhaila Level 2, students are tested after the workshop on the first day. Jamila Level 2 testers must submit both JL2 choreographies and be approved (pass by 70% on both) by private lesson (in person or Skype) with a JL5-instructor before the JL2 workshop at which the student will be testing.  For any choreographies with finger cymbals, students perform the choreography twice:  once with R-dominant cymbals and once with L-dominant cymbals.

Exam Retesting

  • Practical exams:  If students fail the practical portion of the exam, they must attend another workshop (or series) and pay another full testing fee.  
  • Choreography:  If a SL2 or JL2 tester fails a choreography portion, they may retest for that choreography by working with a L5 instructor (via privates, in-person or Skype) assigned by Suhaila.  Students must pay the related private fees, and the choreography portion must be passed within 60 days of the original testing date.  (If successful, the original testing date of the workshop is used as the date for their certification exam.)
  • Written Exams:  Failed written exams may be retaken for a $75 retest fee.   The written retest must be taken within 30 days of the original testing date.   (If successful, the original testing date of the workshop is used as the date for their certification exam.)
  • Expedited Fees:  In certain limited cases, students may receive permission from Suhaila to take their written exam slightly earlier for an additional fee of $25 to expedite the exam.  This situation is used only for those cases where a student might need the testing results from the current workshop to take a higher level workshop immediately following the current workshop.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • If I attend a workshop and sign up for testing, will I pass the exam?  The exam is a real exam, requiring that the dancer demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the material in both the practical and written portions. The testing process is not a formality, meaning that a student can’t just show up, pay money and expect to pass. But, by using the learning tools and resources listed for each level, you have the information needed to pass the exams.
  • May the exam be translated into another language?  The language of the format is English; therefore, all tests, manuals, and educational materials are written in English, and students are expected to complete the test in English.
  • I’ve never taken a class in person from Suhaila or one of her authorized teachers. May I just show up at the end of one of the L1 workshops or series to take the L1 exam?  The short answer is no. Dance is a live art form, and nothing replaces the feedback and training that is received in a live classroom environment. Suhaila and/or one of her authorized instructors must see a student in a classroom environment before that student may test.

Titles

Suhaila Level 1, Suhaila Level 2, Jamila Level 1, and Jamila Level 2 certifications are certificates of achievement within the Salimpour School.   Students with current certification may used the following wording (as applicable to the level successfully achieved):  “Suhaila Level 1 Certified”, “Suhaila Level 2 Certified”, “Jamila Level 1 Certified”, or “Jamila Level 2 Certified”.