Graded Music Exams
Face to Face exams
All of the examining bodies we use offer universally recognised qualifications.
Exam boards have 3 examining period each year held in Spring, Summer and Autumn. The exact dates in each period vary slightly each year but offer a window to take exams of around 5 weeks.
We often act as an external venue for Rockschool and Trinity exams. ABRSM are usually held at a local venue – The St Barnabus Centre in Thorley usually but you pick any venue offered during the booking and payment process online.
Due to COVID19 a lot of face to face exams had to be cancelled. This has resulted in each examining board having to find an alternative. At the moment this is a recorded exam which is sent to the board to be marked.
We believe there will be live virtual exams will be possible in the future and will keep an eye on each exam board.
RSL ( Rockschool )
RSL was founded on an ethos to provide innovative, contemporary qualifications for music and the arts. Being at the forefront of the industry for over 25 years.
LCM ( London College of Music )
Established in 1877, the London College of Music Examinations (LCME) is the longest-established exam board for the creative arts in the UK and the only one that is part of a leading British university, the University of West London.
ABRSM ( Asscoiated Board of the Royal School of Music )
ABRSM is the UK’s largest music education body, one of its largest music publishers and the world’s leading provider of music exams, holding over 650,000 assessments in more than 90 countries every year. As a registered charity, we also make significant donations towards music education initiatives around the world.
Trinity College London believes that effective communicative and performance skills are life enhancing, know no bounds and should be within reach of us all.
We exist to promote and foster the best possible communicative and performance skills through assessment, content and training which is innovative, personal and authentic.
Booking an Exam.
Exam Booking Deadlines
Orchestral Instrument Exams
Higher Graded Exam Requirements all Boards
ABRSM Music Theory
Most exams have the same basic structure. The student enters the exam room and performs the appropriate pieces on their instrument. The examiner will ask additional questions which will explore the students knowledge of music theory as well as Aural skills which may involve listening to a phrase played by the examiner and then answering questions about rhythm or note relationships (higher/lower than each other)
Early grades will be the quickest at around 10-15 minutes with higher grades lasting up to 30-45 minutes. It does depend on the instrument, the grade and partly on the examining board.
There is no real right or wrong here. Teachers will prepare students for their exam fully before asking you to enter for the next grade. The time taken is different for every pupil and also depends on how much they study! As an average though we normally say that one grade a year is about right. This is only a guide though so the best person to ask is the teacher.
Your teacher is the person in charge of exams and they will never put a candidate forward for exams until they are sure the student is ready. Sometimes students can skip a grade or even change exam board but in all cases, the teacher will be the best person to decide.
When you book an exam you will create an online account with the exam board. In the event an exam has to be re-scheduled, you will need to log in to your account and see what options are available to you to re-schedule. If an exam was scheduled at the end of their exam period, you may have to wait until the next exam period – this may be 3-4 months away.
Alternatively, you may be able to move exam centre location and get a date you can make. This is never guaranteed however and you should always refer to the exam board for any available dates. Please also be aware that most boards may have fees for certain date lalterations.
All exam board websites will show their scale of fees. Exam fees operate on a sliding scale with the lower grades being the cheapest and highest grades the most expensive. Please refer to the exam board website for their current prices. If you are taking an orchestral instrument exam (e.g. flute or violin) you will also have to organise a piano accompanist for a pre-exam reharsal and to attend the venue on the day. This fee is in addition to the exam fee. Please contact us to book an accompanist.
All exam boards we teach have an internationally recognised curriculum with the highest 3 grades carrying UCAS points. ABRSM or Trinity are a good choice for classical & contemporary courses with Rockschool (AKA RSL Awards) covering everything from Ukulele through rock instruments & vocals to Classical exams as well.
Some people stop ABRSM courses at grade 6 as they need you to pass the grade 5 theory exam before you can sit your grade 6,7 or 8 practical exam.