Graded Music Exams

Live Stream Digital Exams

Bring the full RSL Awards graded exam experience to your front room. We’ll beam an examiner to you, digitally, in real time.

About the Live Stream Digital Exam

RSL’s Live Stream Digital Exams allow an examiner to be beamed from a remote location directly to the candidate via a live stream, giving every candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their musical learning irrespective of their geographical location.

We’re building on our ethos of delivering accessible and outstanding examination experiences by enabling candidates to enjoy the exam experience from their own home or your venue via live stream.



RSL’s Live Stream Digital Exams gives the candidate the ability to control their exam environment. This is our commitment to overcoming any performance anxieties suffered by the candidate, those studying in remote locations, and any mobility or travel limitations denying a candidate access to an RSL exam centre. Live Stream Exams really are a great option for those living in areas without an exam venue close by.


Recognisable Formats

Live Stream Digital Exams follow the exact same structure as our much loved face-to-face exams, with an examiner based in a remote location beamed to your device in real time. Live Stream Exams are available across the full suite of Rockschool and RSL Classical instruments and grades, with both the Graded Exam and Performance Certificate exam formats remaining the same.


Environmentally Friendly

As with RSL’s Recorded Digital Exams, the Live Stream Digital Exams impact on the environment is almost negligible. Accessible worldwide, we’re doing everything we can to leave a sustainable, healthy landscape for future generations of aspiring musicians!

Types of Live Stream Exams Available

At each grade, candidates will have the option of taking one of two different types of examination…

Graded Exam

A Grade Exam is a mixture of music performances, technical assessment and a range of supporting tests (dependant on grade and instrument). As part of the performance section of the exam (worth 60% of the overall exam marks), the candidate must prepare to perform three pieces from their Rockschool or RSL Classical Grade book (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces). Each performed piece is marked out of 20.

The other 40% consists of Technical Exercises and supporting tests, which include: Sight Reading, Improvisation & Interpretation, Ear Tests, and five General Musicianship Questions. The pass mark for this style of exam is set at 60%.


Number of Pieces



Technical Exercises

Examiner Selection of Scales, Arpeggios/Broken Chords, and Technical Studies


Unseen Tests

Sight Reading OR Improvisation, Ear Test, and General Musicianship Questions

Performance Certificate

During the Performance Certificate a candidate must play five pieces with each song marked out of 20 (up to three of these can be Free Choice Pieces). The pass mark for this exam is also set at 60%.


Number of Pieces



Technical Exercises



Unseen Tests


Host a Virtual Private Exam Session!

RSL Private Exam Days are hosted at a venue of your choice, enabling your students to sit their Graded Exam in the comfort of a familiar setting, using equipment they are accustomed to. Students often prefer this format due to this familiarity, whilst it also reduces the amount of time spent outside of school. These exams can be done via a live-stream at your venue or direct from the student’s home.

For teachers, this introduces a higher degree of flexibility as the exam date itself is not limited to specific Exam Periods, like our public examinations. All private centres are given access to discounts on official RSL Awards publications, as well as additional resources and support to help make each learners experience as enjoyable as possible.

Please click here for more information or get in touch via the button below for more information…

Purchase your Live Stream Digital graded music exam

Booking your graded music exam is an extremely simple process. Whether you intend to take an exam in person or digitally, simply purchase your exam entry from our online shop before completing your exam details via your RSL Awards secure account.

Getting Started

Generally, all you need is a laptop and a separate speaker connected to your device to take your Live Stream graded music exam…

What you need

Whilst there are minimum requirements per instrument necessary to successfully examine your exam, our aim is to make Live Stream Exams as accessible as possible. Please download the relevant documentation to make sure your set-up meets the exam requirements and watch our overview videos on this page.

The Live Stream Digital Exam format is not bound by any exam entry periods, so candidates can purchase and enter for their Live Stream Exam at a time convenient to them. RSL will then designate a date and time for the exam, giving the candidate at least two week’s notice.

Based outside the UK or Ireland? Please get in touch with your local RSL Awards Representative for more details by clicking here.


Live Stream Exams at Home are conducted by video conference between the candidate and the examiner based at another location. Backing tracks, confidential audio and visual materials are presented to the candidate via streams controlled by the examiner.

Downloadable Guidance

Our downloadable guide provides a basic overview of the minimum requirements for home-based Live Stream Exams. In order to be fully prepared, you will need to ensure your setup is correct and working. You will also need to have downloaded and installed the required software. This needs to be done ahead of the scheduled exam date. Candidates will not be able to take their exam if this has not been done in advance of the exam.

A parent / guardian or other nominated adult with computer skills should be used to assist with setting up for the exam where required.

Our examiners need to be able to:

    • see and hear the candidate’s performance clearly
    • hear all backing tracks clearly and balanced well against the performance
    • communicate safely with candidates
    • stream the Unseen Tests (eg. ear tests) securely
    • share notation related to the Unseen Tests (eg. sight-reading) securely

Set-up Requirements & Testing

Please note that these are minimum requirements for exams to be delivered successfully. Candidates who do not have the below setup will not be able to take their exam. For example, a laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac) is required: a smartphone, tablet or Chromebook is not sufficient by itself.

1. Devices

Laptop / Desktop computer with screen, webcam and good internet connection. You will need:

  • Built-in or external Microphone to capture your performance and backing track
  • Audio output to a separate speaker to hear audio streamed from the examiner
  • To position the device so that the examiner can see both the candidate performing on their instrument and their face. This device will also be used to stream notation for the Unseen Tests
    • For drummers and pianists, this view needs to be from the side in order to gain a view of the candidate’s hands and feet (drums) and the whole keyboard (piano)
    • Drummers and Pianists taking the Full Graded Exam will need a second device to view the Unseen Tests.

2. Software and Connectivity

  • Zoom meeting client downloaded and installed: Audio settings will need to be tested beforehand
  • VLC Player downloaded and installed
  • Internet running at minimum speed: 5Mbps download / 1 Mbps upload (as specified by provider). We strongly recommend connection via ethernet rather than Wi-Fi. We will ask you to run a speedtest before the exam
  • Web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox – Safari is not compatible)

3. Audio

A separate Speaker will be required to play backing tracks and to hear streamed audio from the examiner. The examiner will hear the blend of your instrument and the backing track from the speaker, picked up by the microphone.

For example: Monitor speakers, small PA speakers, HiFi speakers or a large Bluetooth speaker.

Laptop built-in speakers are not suitable. The volume needs to be loud enough to be balanced with the volume of the instrument. Speakers should be positioned to face the microphone (external or built-in).

4. Environment

  • Quiet, private location in a walled room. This must NOT be the candidate’s bedroom.</span.
  • Bright lighting (day light or artificial light), ideally illuminating the candidate and instrument from their front
  • The room should not be highly reverberant

Live Stream Digital Exam Fees

Please see the information below for all live streamed graded music exam fees…

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Ready to take an exam?

Simply purchase your exam entry from our online shop before completing your exam details via your RSL Awards secure account.

Exam Sign Up

Digital Files

For the RSL shop we’ve chosen the most widely used media for ease of use and flexibility when transferring across different devices.

Every complete digital book (e.g. Electric Guitar Grade 1) includes:

  • PDF sheet music
  • MP3 audio
  • Supporting tests

Download Limits

We know downloading digital content can be frustrating at times which is why we’ve given you multiple chances to download your audio and sheet music.

Each complete digital book purchased includes:

  • 5 audio downloads
  • 3 sheet music downloadsThis means if you misplace your content, or if your download times-out, you’ll still have plenty of attempts to download your content.

Purchase Options

1. Hard Copy

The hard copy or paperback version can be purchased from our shop for shipping to the UK. Orders for shipping to other countries can be placed via The paperback version includes everything you need for your exam in one essential book, including sheet music, a code for access to MP3 audio and complete supporting tests.

2. Digital Download (where applicable)

Digital downloads is the most popular way of purchasing and downloading a Rockschool book, track or supporting test. Rockschool digital book downloads come complete with PDF sheet music, MP3 audio and supporting tests for instant accessibility on all your favourite devices.

Note: Digital sheet music is stamped with your email address and order number.

3. Digital Download + E-Book Access

The RSL e-books, utilising Learning Platform technology powered by MatchMySound, are the ultimate practise tool, giving you the ability to master your instrument like never before.

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