Category: Graded Music Exams

RSL Learning Platform – RSL Awards Launches Brand New App

November 5th, 2020 by

RSL Awards launch the RSL Learning Platform – the app that will transform your music teaching!

RSL Awards has developed a brand new online platform for teachers to revolutionise the way they work. Powered by MatchMySound’s automatic feedback technology, the RSL Learning Platform allows teachers across the globe to assign tasks to their students, giving learners increased focus and more precise feedback.

On signing up to RSL’s free Teacher Registry, teachers gain access to the RSL Learning Platform which includes a wealth of scores for use in RSL Awards exam as well as an abundance of features designed to make teaching more effective. The RSL Learning Platform allows teachers to pinpoint exact areas where students can improve, creating a more cohesive and personalised experience for teacher and student alike.

Join our Learning Platform webinars to find out more about the app, how you can implement it into your teaching offering and to see why your students will love it! Click here to jump down to the sign up form at the bottom of this page…

The Learning Platform gives teachers and subscribing students complete access to a huge library of RSL Awards’ grade book materials. Performance pieces and their accompanying backing tracks, technical exercises, sight reading / improvisation, and supporting tests currently available include Debut – Grade 8 in Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drums, Piano and Ukulele.


The RSL Learning Platform is equipped with Zoom integration, meaning teachers can host 1-to-1 and group video lessons via the app and upload their content to provide students with examples, demonstrations, and tutorials ahead of live teaching. Teachers can create progress reports to clarify goals for students and communicate progress to parents, meaning peripatetic teachers, classroom teachers, and music education centres can all benefit in equal measure.

For students, the RSL Learning Platform enhances the creativity and curiosity that lies at the core of musical education. Personalised goals and exemplar recordings keep students motivated as they improve every time they open the app. Their practice sessions take on renewed focus with software that allows harder bars to be slowed and repeated until they are ready to play along with backing tracks.

Much has changed over the past few months, but the principles of teaching music remain constant. Technology will never replace a skilled teacher, yet it can do so much to aid the learning process for the students who are becoming the next generation of musicians.

Teachers can gain access to all of these fantastic benefits for free by simply creating a profile on RSL’s Teacher Registry, a service that helps teachers advertise their skills to students worldwide. The RSL Teacher Registry’s importance has grown even more in the past few months, and is so crucial with the ever-increasing demand for video lessons in place of, or to supplement, lessons in person.

Early 2021 will see RSL Awards expand the repertoire available through The RSL Learning Platform to include all graded instruments.

The RSL Learning Platform has been designed to work using Google Chrome on any personal computer as well as on bespoke apps for iOS and Android. The RSL Learning Platform will work on any size or configuration of smartphone / tablet device.





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Examination Update: COVID-19

November 2nd, 2020 by

The UK government has announced that from 5 November 2020 new national restrictions will apply to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The announcement prioritises the wellbeing and long-term futures of young people by continuing with educational attendance in schools, colleges, universities, childcare and some youth services.

As an educational activity, RSL graded music exams are set to continue where possible. Please see our Exam Safety Guidelines for details of how we run exams in a Covid-secure manner.

Candidates who are showing Covid symptoms or who are self-isolating must not attend the exam and should contact us to reschedule.

Some exams are conducted in third-party venues, and it is possible that certain exam sessions may have to be postponed. We will list and update postponed sessions on this page. If an exam session is not listed, it will go ahead. Please check regularly as the situation may change.

We encourage all candidates to consider changing to a Video Exam which is available as Performance Certificate or Graded Certificate. The latter is a variation of the standard Grade Exam, adapted to video submission. While the Graded Certificate is currently available only up to Grade 5, we will soon extend its availability up to Grade 8. Please see our guidance on Video Exams for details.

If you wish to change to a video exam please submit a request via our request form stating Video Exam change as the subject and quoting your order number.

Additionally, there will be ongoing opportunities for candidates to take exams early in 2021.

We would like to thank all candidates, parents and teachers for their understanding and collaboration in these challenging times.

Postponed Exam Days

  • 5th Nov 2020: Buckinghamshire Music Trust, High Wycombe
  • 7th Nov 2020: Blanchardstown School of Music
  • 8th Nov 2020: Blanchardstown School of Music
  • 8th Nov 2020: MLC Academy, Nottingham
  • 14th Nov 2020: Sankofa Studios, Grayshot
  • 14th Nov 2020: Academy of Music and Performance (The Howard Venue), Swanley
  • 18th Nov 2020: Buckinghamshire Music Trust, High Wycombe
  • 19th Nov 2020: Redwall Studios (Redwall Group Ltd), Bury
  • 20th Nov 2020: The Music Works, Surrey
  • 21st Nov 2020: Bleeding Ear, Southend
  • 22nd Nov 2020: Trackside Music School, Macclesfield
  • 24th Nov 2020: Hybrid 3 Studios, Sheffield
  • 29th Nov 2020: Wycliffe College, Stonehouse
  • 29th Nov 2020: Bury St Edmunds County Upper School
  • 29th Nov 2020: Trackside Music School, Macclesfield
  • 1st Dec 2020: The Music Works, Surrey
  • 5th Dec 2020: Hybrid 3 Studios, Sheffield

London College of Creative Media Becomes Official RSL Awards Exam Centre!

October 13th, 2020 by

RSL Awards are delighted to welcome London College of Creative Media (LCCM) to our roster of official exam centres.

LCCM’s status as an official exam centre will enable young people to obtain internationally recognised contemporary music qualifications by taking their exams within its facilities in Southwark. LCCM’s Music Box campus features performance spaces and studios, perfectly suited to hosting exam grading sessions.

RSL has a network of over 1000 institutions around the world. Dr Simon Jones, Principal at LCCM, said:

“It is a great honour for us to join this exclusive group, dedicated to helping aspiring musicians gain their sought-after qualifications. Hosting these exams allows us to be part of a wider community of people passionate about music, allowing LCCM to support young musicians in London. We believe that our students will also benefit from this partnership, having the opportunity to approach a different reality of music education.”

LCCM hosted the first trial day on Wednesday 30 September, receiving positive feedback from both examiners and candidates. “It was a great experience for us, and a great learning opportunity. We look forward to having more exam days with RSL in the future,” added Dr Jones.

About London College of Creative Media (LCCM)

London College of Creative Media (LCCM) – formerly London Centre of Contemporary Music – was founded in 2002 as a music college. Its aim is to establish a new approach to teaching music that mixes an art school environment with the best of music conservatoires and universities.

LCCM has pioneered an educational model where music students have to master both performance and production – a combination that remains vital for most professionals today. With its degrees developed and delivered by leading industry professionals, LCCM’s innovative approach to specialist education prepares students for industry and employment from the moment they start at LCCM.

In the National Student Survey 2020 ranked top amongst contemporary music institutions with an overall student satisfaction score of 86.5%.

For more information about LCCM visit their website here…

About RSL Awards

In 1991, under the direction of founder Norton York, Rockschool created a unique set of products for a brand-new marketplace: recognised, graded qualifications for contemporary musicians. The traditional instruments performing in a rock band were included in the original graded examinations, Electric guitar, Bass guitar and Drums. After the initial success with these instruments, the company has developed syllabi in Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Keyboards, Ukulele, Contemporary Music Theory and the world’s first Music Production syllabus.

Over recent years the company, based in West London, has developed a full suite of Vocational Qualifications for the creative industries, which are delivered in over 500 schools and colleges, principally in the UK. These sit alongside a program of contemporary dance qualifications (PAA), covering three distinct disciplines: musical theatre, jazz and street dance and a new suite of first to market Creative Qualifications in Vlogging and Podcasting.

RSL qualifications are recognised and regulated at the highest level by Ofqual, SFA, CCEA, Qualifications Wales and the Department for Education, with successful level 3 (Grades 6–8) exams being awarded UCAS points, bolstering university applications.

The Rockschool Method: Technical Exercises

October 3rd, 2020 by

With a firm focus on cohesion and consistency at the forefront of any release, the Rockschool Method is a musical pedagogy that we hope contributes to the production of confident, self-sufficient musicians; empowered with the knowledge and ability to see their musical decisions blossom into authentic musical expression.

This week we’re going to take a thorough look at the Technical Exercises for Rockschool’s graded music exams.

Depending on your instrument, grade and skill level, the demands on each burgeoning musician in this part of the performance will vary a fair bit, so we’re not going to focus on each discipline individually here. What this section seeks to develop can however be seen in more universal terms that every learner can relate to.

Rockschool Professional Diplomas

Whether you’re staying balanced across your drum voicings, managing airflow as a vocalist, or developing consistent string skipping on your guitar or bass; every technique requires the physical coordination that comes from – and only after – hour and hours of practise.

More specifically, we’re looking for the development of:

  • Good playing habits
  • Economy of movement
  • Effective playing mechanics
  • Consistency in delivery

Only when the brain can slow the whole process down can muscle memory take over, allowing your musical intuition to truly take hold. It may seem a tedious and somewhat banal activity at the time, but remember: every instance of your favourite musical moments contains within them a multitude of individual techniques that have been repeated, ad nauseum, until perfected. The time will eventually come when you can fluidly transfer from one technique to the next and you’ll realise that it was all worth it – we promise!

Example 1

Example 1 can be evidenced very clearly in the lower drum grades – so that’s what we’ll use for this exercise. This is where the technical exercises begin with simple and achievable drills, such as – in this instance – single strokes, double strokes and single paradiddles. These are specifically designed to provide a foundation that all music students can stack every new skill upon thereafter. Evidence of their practical worth are then deliberately included in the performance pieces included at that grade.

Practise. Perfect. Perform. Makes sense, right?

Now the platform is sturdy, we can start technique-loading grade-by-grade, with both fluency and range our primary concerns as these techniques progress.

1. Fluency

Whether it’s specifically targeting fretting, sticking patterns or intervallic vocal placement; we’re looking for the appropriate level of precision and fluidity assigned to the exercises included at your chosen grade.

2. Range

Whether it’s your vocal range, fretboard/keyboard geography or wider use of drum kit orchestration – being able to display the widest range of expression at each stage of your development puts you in the best position to make musical decisions later.

Example 2

Using the electric guitar this time, the Technical Exercises that progress throughout the grades will focus primarily on: fretboard navigation and harmonic difficulty. Debut includes very simple open string major scale shapes; and by Grade 6, the exercises are spanning multiple positions, furthering each players economy of movement and general fretboard knowledge.

More specifically, we’re looking for development in these core skills:

  • Increased sense of rhythm and time
  • Hand/finger placement
  • Stamina
  • Musical articulation
  • Performance speed

What we’re talking about here, is a gradual increase of expressive devices that collectively enable each player to attain a true sense of their musical agency. Whether that’s achieved in tone modification, ornamentation, or articulation; each technique can be applied to any specific style a player chooses to identify with.

Example 3

This example identifies the small articulations that unify the stylistic intentions within a performance. From grade 3 through to the higher grades, the technical devices learned are directly applied with creativity in mind, for example, Rockschool Guitar Bass and Drums contain an increasing number of bars left open for candidates to further develop a theme, ad lib, or solo as they see fit.

If all of the Technical Exercises introduced up to that point have been effectively explored, the practical application of rhythmic, harmonic and expressive devices/techniques should then be soundly presented by the learner. At this stage, you’ve begun developing your own sound by personalising each of your performances – whether building on existing themes or creating brand-new motifs – and becoming a confident, self-sufficient musician.

With each of our instrument specific exercises we’re looking to present:

  • A variety of musical contexts
  • A variety of tempos (graduating in complexity)
  • Backing tracks that target:
    • Time
    • Harmonics
    • Melody
    • Stylistic references

Example 4

Guitar, Bass and Drums begin by introducing simple riffs and fills to a backing track. By grades 6 to 8 (level 3), this has advanced to more genre-specific content. As you’ll see from the example, at Drums Grade 6 there are three Stylistic Studies to choose from. One of the three options is ‘Funk’, which at this grade focuses on snare drum ghost notes and quick open/closed hi-hats amongst other finer articulations.

Example 5

For our Piano and Keys grade (Debut – Grade 8) we explore this a little differently, by focusing on each learners’ ability to improvise and interpret material. This was developed as an alternative specialisation to the sight-reading test, for those who’d prefer to showcase that side of their musicianship instead.

How do we do this?

  • Stipulating a range of starting notes to suit individuals
  • Memory requirements for each instrument to enhance fluency and depth of insight
  • Measuring speed of response in the absence of given tempos
  • Recognising and crediting musicality shown within given opportunity

… And there we have it! We really hope this article provided some clarity for those of you looking to understand this section of the exam a little more. There’s certainly room to explore other examples within each grade and instrument, so watch this space for a further developed version soon!


6 Tips for Music Exam Practice

September 23rd, 2020 by

It rarely gets said that whilst you should be practising for your upcoming music exam, you should do it in a way that is productive and good for your own mental and physical health.

We know how it is – practice can be tedious and sometimes it feels like it can take over your life in the weeks approaching your exam. However, we have some great news for you: it doesn’t need to be this way!

We have come up with some tips on how to make the most out of your practice sessions. Yes, we’re talking turning those 5-hour performance procrastinations into a 2-hour productive practice. We’re talking exercise breaks, short sessions, small goals, and stopping for snacks (this being most important, of course) – oh, and listening to LOADS of music. Who doesn’t want that?! You can make your practice sessions work best for you and come out with that result that you’ve always dreamed of!

Number One – Good Preparation

It probably goes without saying that in order to feel confident for your exam you must be well prepared. We all have different methods that work for us but, however you do it, getting that practice in is very important. It can be hard finding the motivation to practise, or the inspiration to pick up those drum sticks, that guitar, or put your fingers on those keys. One of our top tips is to set a timer on your phone. Short and sweet – maybe 30 minutes if you can manage it! After 30 minutes of uninterrupted focus, take a short break to make a cup of tea, walk round the block, or whatever takes your fancy. You’ll be amazed by how setting the timer really makes you commit to your practise. You might even want to go on for longer – crazy!

Number Two – Positive Mindset

You may be thinking, “well, that’s easier said than done!”, and you’d be right of course! However, it’s really important to view your playing, practising and performing in a positive light when you can. A great tip that we were once told was to keep a little journal where you can write down some of the positive things you have achieved in that day. Maybe you nailed your nemesis-scale, or perhaps you smashed the first half of the piece or finally played that rhythm correctly. Whatever it is, if you can focus on the things you’ve achieved, exam prep can feel a lot less overwhelming.

Number Three – Take Regular Breaks

Yes, you heard that right. This is your permission slip to stop practising! Bet you didn’t expect to hear that?! We’ve all been there, where we’ve locked ourselves away for 10 hours, with the aim of doing nothing but practise, practise, practise. We may have done great for the first hour, but for the last nine hours we’ve procrastinated and not made much further progress! This is why taking regular breaks is so imperative. Stepping away from the practice space will refresh the mind and reduce stress. Just like you might set a timer for your practise, set a timer for breaks too. That way, you won’t cut them short (or take just another five minutes, am I right?).

Number Four – Set Small, Achievable Goals

If we look at exam prep as one big task, it feels HUGE. Even learning one piece can seem like a beast if we don’t break it down into smaller parts. Setting large goals like this can also just set ourselves up for failure if we cannot achieve them, which is why setting small goals that are achievable is the way to go! For example, aiming to learn the first four bars is much more manageable, and you are far more likely to succeed and feel positive about your progress. In your next practice session, you can learn the next four and before you know it, the piece is complete!

Number Five – Maintaining Your Physical Health

Generally, practising for an exam requires a lot of sitting down, but whilst it is lovely to get comfortable and play your instrument, we still need to get up and move around every once in a while. You definitely don’t need us to tell you that even going for a walk can sharpen your brain, boost your mood and bolster your memory. Now who doesn’t need more of those things to improve your confidence before an exam?!

Number Six – Listen!

It sounds simple, but listening to the music you’re practising can really bring it to life. We can get very easily bogged down with notes and rhythms and finger patterns and lose sight of the bigger picture. Listening to the song you’re learning will remind you that the smaller sections are part of a whole.

We hope these tips might help you push through some tough practice-blocks, find the motivation to start (and carry on!), or even change some of your current practices to become healthier and more productive. Do let us know how you’re getting on, and if there’s anything we can do to help!

If you haven’t already, download our free Six Steps to Success guide for more tips like this, to get you ready for your winter exam.

Six Steps to Exam Success

And do not forget, if you haven’t entered already, you only have until the 30th October, so get in there quick!


Rockschool’s winter exam season – accepting entries now!

September 3rd, 2020 by

You’re in great hands with Rockschool.

It is fair to say that 2020 has been a year like no other! We’re delighted to bring you back a sense of normality with Rockschool’s winter face-to-face graded music exam period going ahead as planned. Of course, the safety of our examiners, candidates, staff and parents is still our number one priority, so our thorough safety protocols and procedures are here to stay.

This years’ winter exams will be taking place between the 1st November and 18th December, so wrap up your months of lockdown practise by earning your next Rockschool grade!

Rockschool winter exam dates 2020 for your diary:

  • Exam Entry Deadline: 30th October 2020
  • Exam Period: 1st November – 18th December 2020


Which exam type is best for you?

Face-to-face Exams

Do not fear, our face-to-face exams are here! All Rockschool face-to-face exams are subject to strict safety guidelines, so you can enter for your exam with the confidence that your safety is our number one priority.


Recorded Video Exams

Rockschool’s digital exam solution! If you’d prefer to stay at home this winter – whether that be for health reasons or hot-chocolate-in-front-of-the-fire reasons (we support this) – you can still achieve your goals from wherever you are. Living room, bedroom, igloo…

Both the Performance Certificate (available at all grades) or Graded Certificate (available at Debut – Grade 5) can be examined as a video exam. More about that below!


For more information about our Live Video Exams, please email

Free Choice Piece Expansion

We are still accepting music from other recognised exam boards so you can get the grade that you deserve. Music in genres other than popular music, including classical, which is set for exams of other recognised boards will be automatically accepted as free choice pieces for the equivalent grade (applicable for Piano, Keyboard, Vocals and Acoustic Guitar). These performance pieces will be assessed in the same way as our own repertoire using the published RSL Awards assessment criteria, thus maintaining our high academic standards.


How to book your Rockschool exam…

Our online exam entry process is extremely simple. Whether you are taking an exam face-to-face or via video, you just need to fill out the online booking form which you can find here…


Simply log in (or make an account if you haven’t already!), and follow the step-by-step process, filling in the details about which exam you would like to take. Once you’ve submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email from RSL Awards.

Once the confirmation is received, you can sit back and relax (and practise!). We will be in contact with you about your face-to-face exam date, or your deadline date for video submission, in due course. We give a minimum of two weeks’ notice before a face-to-face exam but always aim for 4 wherever possible. An email notification will be sent to the address on the account which made the online entry.

For more information on the Rockschool exam process, please head over to our FAQs page…


Rockschool qualifications: Tailor-made for the contemporary musician

August 20th, 2020 by

Rockschool qualifications: Tailor-made for the contemporary musician.

Ranging from introductory grades all the way up to university-level of study, Rockschool’s music qualifications ensure hard work is rewarded regardless of age or musical ability.

We pride ourselves on delivering the most academically rigorous and industry relevant qualifications, designed to support all aspiring musicians, performers, educators and teaching establishments – wherever they may be.

Click here to jump to the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you directly to discuss how you can implement Rockschool to complement and enhance your current curriculum offering.

Grade Exams

With grade exams now available in ten different disciplines, we ensure each syllabus is developed with the care, skill and expertise to ensure that every addition is creative, innovative and industry relevant; with the objective to provide access to music education for the many, not the few.

Graded exams available in:

Rockschool Grade Books

Career Progression

Rockschool provides a range of complementary and alternative qualifications which can be taught within and alongside your curriculum, providing excellent and flexible progression routes into the Creative Industries worth over £11bn.

UCAS Points

Develop your students’ musical skills and understanding to support Key Stage 3, GCSE and VQ learning, with Rockschool Grades 6–8 carrying up to 30 UCAS Points.

Social Distanced Learning

Our Music Production (Grades 1 – 8) and Popular Music Theory qualifications (Debut – Grade 8) are designed to enable both independent and group learning, and can be taught in compliance with social distancing guidelines. These are an excellent way to enable musical learning in both the specialist and non-specialist classroom.

Popular Music Theory

The Rockschool Popular Music Theory syllabus runs from Debut to Grade 8 and covers topics which will help your students develop both their theoretical and practical knowledge of music.

In addition to score reading; scales; chords and rhythm; the syllabus also covers performance directions; improvisation; band knowledge and analysis which makes it an excellent course to support your music curriculum at all levels.

The syllabus functions as a fantastic complementary qualification, carries UCAS Points at Grades 6 – 8 and can be taught in a Covid-safe environment to individuals and groups. The essential guides provide you with all the information you need and are supported by student workbooks at each grade, all leading towards an exam which students can take at school or from the comfort of their own home.

Music Production

The Rockschool Music Production syllabus runs from Debut to Grade 8 and develops students’ practical and theoretical understanding of music and music production techniques. With a creative composition task making up 60% of the course, students can work at a level appropriate to them and complete the work in their own time or as part of a structured programme of learning. The remaining 40% is focussed on developing students’ musical listening skills and understanding of pop music styles and the technology used in its production.

This makes the Music Production syllabus an ideal qualification to embed into your curriculum or to deliver as part of an extra-curricular or instrumental tuition programme.

Get in touch!

Please fill in the form below and a member of our business development team will get in touch with you directly to discuss how you can implement Rockschool qualifications to complement and enhance your current curriculum offering…

Phone Number

Organisation Name / School Address (required)

Institution Type (required)

Job Role (required)

Approximately how many students do you teach?

Which RSL Awards qualifications do you currently teach? (Required)

Which suite of Creative Qualifications are you interested in? (Required)

Would you like to sign up to the free Creative Qualifications Webinar? (required)

Would you like to sign-up for regular updates via the RSL Newsletter? (required)


Rockschool Face to Face is Back!

July 20th, 2020 by

It seems like only yesterday that many countries across the world were in strict lockdown. However, as restrictions ease and our life gains a sense of normality again, we’re delighted to say that face to face Rockschool graded music exams have resumed not only in the UK, but also internationally!

Throughout lockdown our video exams have been readily available worldwide which has been positively received by schools, teachers, and students alike. Now, our exam venues are reopening for business across many countries too so that students can sit their face to face Rockschool exams! Carefully following government guidelines to ensure that your safety is utterly paramount, students have started to sit their face to face exams to ensure that they can continue their musical journey this summer and progress on their instrument.

Outside the UK, we are really pleased to see that Spain have been leading the way with getting students back in exam venues. We recently caught up with two of our Rockschool examiners, Kostka García and Angela Gomes, who are currently welcoming back candidates to the exam room after this long period of time away. We also spoke to Vanessa Blanco from TAF Escuela Oficial de Música Moderna and David Zarandón from DZetta Music Center to hear how their students and venues have been adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in their Rockschool exams. Don’t just take our word for how much of a success these exams have been though – read on to hear their thoughts!

Kostka García, Rockschool Examiner: “It’s been great being here again after so many months. There are lots of changes but it’s all very good. I can see that lots of people have used the time to rethink how they work, and I think it’s really good news going forward.

Vanessa Blanco, TAF Escuela Oficial de Música Moderna: “It’s a great honour to be the first school to have exams after the period that’s passed with Covid. We’re very thankful for this and…to all the people that have made this possible. Step by step we are able to go back to a little bit of normality, which I think we all need.”

English version

Angela Gomes, Rockschool Examiner: “I’m very pleased to say to you that all the students are very happy to have music around them. A very huge thank you to Rockschool for the evolution throughout this pandemic era. It’s very difficult for us to be away from you!”

David Zarandón, DZetta Music Center: “[This year’s exams] have a very special meaning for us as we’re the first in the world to offer face to face exams again outside the UK. These exams show the hard work done by the teachers and students completed in these complicated months where we’ve had to reinvent ourselves.”

Spanish version

As you can see, face to face Rockschool exams are back! Students can now capitalise on the months stuck indoors practising and progress to the next grade this summer. Enter for your exam TODAY.

The pandemic has forced many businesses to become proactive in order to keep their customers’ needs met, and at RSL Awards we’ve been no exception, leading the way with a number of innovative new assessment models to help students reach the next step on their musical journey.

Free Choice Pieces

Students can now use pieces from other exam boards, including those in classical genres as Free Choice Pieces in their Rockschool exam. Learn more about our Free Choice Piece extension policy here.

Video Exams

Not ready for a face to face exam just yet? No problem! Our video exams are available worldwide for entry now. Simply enter online and you will have up to three months to submit one continuous recording of you performing your exam. There’s never been an easier way to get that next grade under your belt from the comfort of your own home.

Rockschool Graded Music Exams – Brand New Summer Exam Period!

June 29th, 2020 by

Your Rockschool summer is served! Brand new summer window for Rockschool graded music exams 2020…

We’ve taken onboard a plethora of feedback from our teachers, students, parents and partners asking us to accommodate a summer exam period, and as such, for the first time ever in Rockschool history, we’re opening another examination window from 17th August – 30th September for you to earn your Rockschool qualification this summer.

Restrictions on travelling abroad for holidays has freed-up more time for candidates to prepare and take their exam during the summer holidays. Don’t forget, a summer jaunt to your local exam centre won’t result in a two-week mandatory quarantine!

Even though lockdown measures in the UK and Ireland continue to ease, your safety is our number one priority. We’ve introduced a number of safety protocols and procedures, working closely with all our examiners and exam centres so you can enter for and complete your Rockschool exam with the confidence that everyone’s safety is paramount.

Summer exams dates for your diary:

  • Entry Window: 1st – 31st July 2020
  • Exam Period: 17th August – 30th September


What types of exams are available? The inside scoop:

Face-to-face exams:

The safety of our candidates, examiners and centre partners is paramount and we will be implementing strict safety guidelines (download here) to ensure a safe examination experience and so candidates can enter for their exam with confidence before midnight on Friday 31st July 2020.


Video Exams:

Environmentally friendly and available worldwide, this digital solution shows our commitment to providing the most accessible exam experience possible. RSL can accept and mark two types of graded music exams: Performance Certificate (Available at all Grades) and Graded Certificate (Available at Debut – Grade 5).


Free Choice Piece Expansion:

For Piano, Keyboard, Vocals, and Acoustic Guitar, music in genres other than popular music which is set for exams of other recognised boards will be automatically accepted as free choice pieces for the equivalent grade. Pieces will be assessed through examination in exactly the same way as our standard repertoire using the published assessment criteria, thereby maintaining our rigorous academic standards.



RSL Awards are aiming to run exams at our centres across the UK and Ireland as normal, though in the current climate, some venues may be amending their availability and opening hours. Please see our list of centres here to check availability.

Should your local centre not be available to run exams, then please contact us and one of our team will be able to discuss an alternative –