Top 12 Tips of The Exams Day

The exam is a really big occasion for every candidate, and making it an enjoyable experience is a very important part of our job. We all try our best to put the candidates at their ease and to make the exam room itself as welcoming an environment as possible.” – Juliet Allen, ABRSM examiner

Top 12 tips- graded music exams

  1. Arrive in the waiting room at least 10 minutes before your exam is due to start. Last-minute panics do not help the playing or singing.
  2. Use the time before your exam to get your music and instrument ready – you can warm up silently by moving your fingers or blowing though your instrument.
  3. Tune up (if an instrumentalist). Attending teachers, or accompanists, may assist candidates with tuning at Grades 1–5.
  4. At BMI there is a warm-up room, candidates will have a brief chance to warm up aloud. Sometimes the room will have a piano and the steward will indicate the length of time available to each candidate. This time is best used as a brief chance to warm up aloud – not for last minute practice! We ask that candidates return to the waiting room in good time for the exam.
  5. Feeling nervous before an exam is natural. Try smiling as you go into the exam room – it will help you relax .
  6. Make sure you are comfortable before you begin. If the stool or music stand is the wrong height, don’t be afraid to adjust it or ask for help.
  7. It’s fine to ask the examiner if you can warm up by playing a scale or a few bars of a piece .
  8. You can choose to do your exam in any order. Just let the examiner know .
  9. Try to keep going in the exam even if you make a mistake – it probably won’t be as disastrous as you think.
  10. Don’t worry about pauses between your pieces – the examiner will be writing and will tell you when to start your next piece.
  11. Your examiner may stop you during a piece if he or she has heard enough to make a judgment.
  12. Remember – the examiner is on your side and is looking forward to hearing you perform!