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 24, Fall 24, Spring 25 - two attempts - $30 per individual or bulk pricing for your class:

    0-5 - $30 per test
    6-10 - $300           11 total registrations
    11-20 - $600         25 total registrations
    21-30 - $900         40 total registrations
    31-40 - $1200       50 total registrations
    41–50 - $1500       60 total registrations
    51–60 - $1800      75 total registrations
    61 –70 - $2100     85 total registrations
    71– 80 - $2400     95 total registrations
    81–90 -  $2700    105 total registrations
    91–100 - $3100   115 total registrations



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

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