The BACKstage Exam (Basic and Comprehensive Knowledge Exam for High School Technical Theatre Students) is designed to evaluate the knowledge and work readiness of technical theatre students at the high school level. 

Developed by educators and industry professionals, BACKstage is the most comprehensive examination of its kind and will assist students in determining their readiness for post-secondary activities in technical theatre.

The BACKstage Exam is a joint endeavor of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

What is covered on the exam? Take a look at our Resources and Study Guides created by our Professional Working Group here.

  1. If you are a high school instructor, please refer to our Instructors page here before proceeding.

    The exam and supporting materials provide curricular guidance and support for teachers seeking to increase the scope and depth of their programs, including the means for making informed decisions on the allocation of instructional time and focus, based on an analysis of student performance data.

    The test bank includes 450 questions, while the test itself consists of 100 randomized questions. There is a 90-minute time limit, and the test must be completed in one sitting.

    BACKstage Exam items were created by a pool of technical theatre experts and were written to suit high school technical theatre students. Theatre disciplines covered include rigging, safety, scenic and construction, venue, audio, costuming and wardrobe, lighting and electric, and personnel.

  2. To register a class, identify students who will take the exam and fill out BACKstage Class Registration Form.

    Target audiences include those students considered “program completers” from Career and Technical Education programs of study, as well as non-CTE students having had immersive instructional experience in technical theatre for a (recommended) period of at least two years.

  3. Registration for Spring 23, Fall 23, Spring 24 - two semesters, or twice a semester depending on your curriculum. 

    Full-year fee for EdTA & USITT members: $30 per student (fall and spring exam).




    To view and take a 20-question sample test, scan this QR code:

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