Graded exams are a pathway that many students choose to follow when it comes to their music education. If you’re considering taking your graded exams, you may be wondering what the benefits are, or indeed why this is important for you as a new learner.

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of MusicTeacher.com by Leigh Fuge

One of the main highlights of sitting your graded exams is the fact that they are a recognised qualification. The RSL grades are regulated by Ofqual (England), Qualification Wales, CCEA (Northern Ireland) and SQA Accreditation (Scotland). On top of this, from Grade 6 onward, RSL Performance Arts Awards and Graded Exams also carry UCAS points.

As well as being recognised in the UK, the RSL grades are also recognized qualifications in the EU and further afield.

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From a learning point of view, the grades offer you an end-to-end solution to your learning. If you are a totally new player, the early levels can show you the ropes and get you started on your journey. For anyone joining the system later on into their journey, the higher grades can fill out any gaps in your knowledge and propel you to that next level as a player.

The RSL graded exams are full of all the relevant technical, musical and theory-based practise that you need to become the best musician you can be.

You can sit your exam at one of the many exam centres all around the country and there is an incredibly relaxed atmosphere with the team of regional examiners.

Your tutor can go over the full process of the graded book with you and help you understand and fine tune every aspect in preparing for your exam. There are 8 grades for most instruments which cover everything from beginner content up to advanced techniques and theory.

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Whatever your level, you will find something in the graded exams that will benefit you. It gives you a pathway to learning and removes the difficulty many people face trying to learn of various websites, videos and blogs. This curriculum has been put together to give you the best path to follow in your music education.

If you want to figure out where to begin your graded exam journey, check with your tutor and ask them to help you pick a starting point. You can either start from the beginning, or you can join the system at any point of your choosing.

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About the Author:

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of MusicTeacher.com by Leigh Fuge, an experienced guitarist, tutor and journalist from Wales. Leigh is part of a community of professional guitar teachers offering guitar lessons to students around the world. Read more of Leigh's pieces relating to Rockschool here...