For exam performances, the length of a piece is important. The guidelines usually state approx. 5 minutes per performer. This means if there are 5 students in the group, the piece needs to be approx-20-25 minutes. The minimum length of a piece with 3-5 performers is 15 minutes. If it is too short, this will highlight lack of plot development or lack of development when exploring the issue, to the examiner. It could also indicate lack of character development- stronger performers may achieve their 5 minutes, weaker ones may only be on stage for 2-3 minutes. This can affect individual marks. If a piece is too long, the examiner will stop marking e.g. 3 - 6 performers = 30 minutes/ 7- 9 performers = max. of 45 minutes. The examiner will stop marking at this point. A way to try and help the weaker students with this is to keep them on stage and involved for the whole performance, whether in mime, frozen images, echoing words of other performances for example so that they can pick up some extra marks as part of the ensemble.