Preparing for the Theory Placement Exam

If you have taken some music theory and wish to be placed directly into Music Theory I, the theory faculty recommend that you review the following topics from the tutorials at before taking the placement test.

Avalon TrioLessons:
The Staff, Clefs & Ledger Lines
Note Duration
Measures and Time Signature
Rest Duration
Dots and Ties
Simple and Compound Meter
Steps and Accidentals
The Major Scale
The Minor Scales
Key Signatures
Generic Intervals
Specific Intervals
Interval Inversion
Introduction to Chords

Note Trainer (treble & bass clefs)
Key Trainer (all keys, major & minor, treble & bass clefs)
Interval Trainer
Triad Trainer (inversions not necessary)
Keyboard Trainer (all keys on)

Another good supplementary site for drills is The following programs (found under “Practice Drills”) will be most useful in preparation for the placement exam:

Note Names
Piano Keys
Key Signatures
Intervals (treble clef & bass clef)

*Under “Settings”, select “major”, “minor”, “harmonic minor”, and “melodic minor”.
**Under “Settings”, select “major”, “minor”, and “diminished”; for the “Inversions” setting, select “no inversions”; under “Drill Type”, select whether you want to build the chord on the staff or identify it. If you have any questions, please call the School of Music at 1-800-333-4358, ext. 5929 or e-mail us at We will be glad to offer you assistance.