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Improving our Music Theory exams
We’re making some small changes to our Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5. Our aim is to create a better exam experience for candidates with more focus on the essential knowledge and understanding needed at this level.
Same syllabus, same standards
The revised exam papers are based on our existing Music Theory syllabus and will continue to assess the same broad areas of music theory to the same standards. The exams will still cover:
- knowledge of western music notation, including common signs and terms
- understanding of fundamental musical elements, such as intervals, keys, scales and chords.
What’s changing and when
Revised exam papers will be used in all countries from 1 January 2018, with no overlap period. There are no changes to questions at Grades 6 to 8. We’re introducing modernised questions and assessment methods in some parts of the exam at Grades 1 to 5. We are also removing rhythm-writing, word-setting, melody-writing and the Grade 5 SATB short/open score question at these grades. For all grades (1 to 8) we’re updating the design of the papers to ensure they are clear and easy to understand.
Practice materials – coming soon
In July, you’ll be able to find free practice materials for the refreshed papers on our website. These include two complete sets of Practice Papers to view, download and print, and an online resource for trying out some of the questions. From January 2018, you will also be able to buy new Printed Practice papers and Model Answers for the updated exams. In the meantime, you can find out more about the improvements to our Music Theory exams and check our FAQs here.