There are plenty of exam options to ensure that you can make the progress you want on your instrument this autumn. But which one would suit you best? We've broken down some of the options available to you if you're looking to get that all-important next grade over the next few months!

Face-to-face Grade 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: 3

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

Unseen Tests: Sight Reading OR Improvisation, Ear Test, and General Musicianship Questions

Face-to-face Performance Certificate

Very similar to a Grade Exam, but 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: 5

Technical Exercises: None

Unseen Tests: None

Private Exam Day

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 through an examiner visit or alternatively via a live-stream at the 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...

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Digital Exams

There are several options available to you if you wish to take a digital exam.

First up is Digital Live Stream graded exam.

Generally, all you need is a laptop and a separate speaker connected to your device to take your Live Stream graded music exam. 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 further down this page. The Live Stream Digital Exam format is not bound by any exam entry periods, so candidates can 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 weeks notice.

You also have the option of taking a Recorded Digital Exam.

This format allows you to record and upload all the relevant parts of the exam (e.g. all 5 performance pieces if sitting a Performance Certificate, or 3 performance pieces plus supporting tests and technical exercises if doing a grade exam). Simply enter for your exam and upload your materials up to 3 months after entering and you'll receive personalised feedback from one of our highly-trained examiners. Simple!

You can find additional info on how to upload your recorded digital exam in the video below.

Feeling inspired? Check out exam entry page and book yours today!