Preparing for the ABRSM Exams

Grade 5: Theory

The Music Theory Grade 5 Exam includes:

  • The C Clef
  • Ornaments
  • Chords (in context)
  • Transposition & Melody Writing

Ten Tips for Music Theory Exams

  1. Arrive 10 minutes early before exam to get settled.
  2. Make sure you have pencils, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener.
  3. Feel free to highlight parts of the exam paper you feel are important.
  4. You will be given a blank piece of manuscript paper for scratch work. You may need to draw a piano onto it to help with interval questions.
  5. Don't feel you have to work question by question. Try doing the parts you know first and go back to do the more difficult questions.
  6. Keep an eye on the time so that you know how long you have left. Timing yourself before hand will give you an idea of how long each question should take you.
  7. Don't worry if you make a mistake. You are allowed to erase or cross out and write the correct answer next to it.
  8. Try to be as neat as you can. If your work is not neat, it may cause you to make a mistake.
  9. Don't look around and worry about what everyone else is doing. Try concentrating on your own paper.
  10. Check your work once you have completed the paper. You may leave the exam room any time after 40 minutes if you have finished, but make sure you have done everything as well as you can.

Grade 5 Theory Material

Syllabus        
Grade Criteria        
Additional Info

Grade 8: Performance

Voice (Grade 8 Voice Syllabus.pdf)

The Singing Grade 8 Exam includes:

  • Four accompanied songs
  • Unaccompanied traditional song (folk song)
  • Sight-Singing
  • Aural Tests

Piano (Grade 8 Piano syllabus.pdf)

The Piano Grade 8 Exam includes:

  • Pieces
  • Scales & Arpeggios
  • Aural Tests
  • Sight-reading

Strings

The Strings Grade 8 Exam includes:

  • Pieces
  • Scales & Arpeggios
  • Aural Tests
  • Sight-reading

Woodwinds

The Woodwinds Grade 8 Exam includes:

  • Pieces
  • Scales & Arpeggios
  • Aural Tests
  • Sight-reading

Brass

The Brass Grade 8 Exam includes:

  • Pieces
  • Scales & Arpeggios
  • Aural Tests
  • Sight-reading
  • Transposition (Only on Transposed Instruments)

Other Instruments

Grade 8 Performance Material (Voice-Instrumental)

Aural test 
Grade Criteria         
Exam Day          
Scale Patterns(Strings)
Scale Speed         
Additional Information         
Syllabus Corrections


Music Theory (Grade 8 Music Theory Syllabus.pdf)

The Music Theory Grade 8 Exam Includes:

  • Increased harmonic vocabulary & modulation
  • Four-part writing/keyboard style & figured bass
  • Completion of outlinein given style
  • Score reading & focus on context

ABRSM Diploma Exams (Required Only for Performance Majors)

The ABRSM Diploma Exam Includes: 

  • Recital
  • Viva Voce
  • Quick Study

Helpful Resources:

Syllabus        
Reading List
Guide to Program Notes
Guide to Viva Voce