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Latest exam updates

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.

Performance Grade exams

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details.

Music Theory Grades 1 to 5

Grades 1 to 5 Music Theory exams are marked out of a total of 75 with 50 being required for a pass, 60 for a Merit and 65 for a Distinction.

Our online Music Theory suite at Grades 1 to 5 have been designed to use objective test questions. This style of assessment contains questions that generate either a correct or incorrect answer across all sections of the paper. This allows us to award marks in line with the very specific knowledge and understanding of Music Theory each candidate demonstrates. Candidates do not have to pass each section of the exam in order to achieve the overall qualification.

Each exam at Grades 1 to 5 are separated into knowledge based sections as outlined below.

Grades 1, 2 and 3

Section

Rhythm

Pitch

Keys and Scales

Intervals

Tonic Triads

Terms and Signs

Music in Context

Total

Marks available

15

15

15

10

10

5

5

75

Grades 4 and 5

Section

Rhythm

Pitch

Keys and Scales

Intervals

Triads/

Chords*

Terms, Signs and Instruments

Music in Context

Total

Marks available

10

10

15

10

10

10

10

75

* At Grade 4, section 5 is entitled Triads/Chords.
At Grade 5, Section 5 is entitled Chords

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