A grade exam is a professional qualification that shows your progress

Taking a grade exam can be very motivating, as well being a professional qualification that shows all the hard work you have put in.

Graded music exams have provided students with a progression framework for over 100 years. All the instrumental teachers here at Cambridgeshire Music offer our students the chance to explore syllabuses from different examination boards. We allow you to choose the approach which best supports your playing style and personal musical goals.

If you are interested in taking a grade exam, speak to your teacher. They will know when you are at the right level. For a successful exam experience, it’s important to have a solid partnership between parents, student and teacher.

Exam boards

There are several different examination boards, and they are all regulated by OFQUAL to ensure consistency between boards and instruments. The leading examination boards that we support are:

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
Trinity College London
Registry of Guitar Tutors
University of West London

A choice of exam centres

Most boards offer exams from Initial or Prep test through to Grades 1 to 8. These exams offer a balance of repertoire pieces which explore different musical periods or styles alongside technical developmental work, which can include scales, musicianship, aural, sight reading and improvisation. Trinity College London also offers ‘certificate exams’ at three different levels for students who want to focus on performance rather than technical development. A pass at Grade 6 and above attains UCAS points.

After exploring the repertoire in lessons, the teacher will advise the student as to when they should sit the exam. Different boards offer different enrolment mechanisms and more information can be found on their websites listed above.

Exams can take place in a number of different venues – schools, concert venues, music shops or at one of our centres.

We have worked in partnership with Trinity College London since 2002 to provide a specialist percussion exam centre for Cambridgeshire at our centre in Huntingdon. This is the largest percussion exam centre in the country, offering orchestral, rock and pop exams.