At Improve Your Guitar Playing we enter students for the following syllabuses: Classical – Trinity College of Music; Acoustic RDT, Trinity and Rockschool; Electric and Bass – Rockschool.
Before the Exam Day
- Make sure you are prepared for ALL aspects of the exam. This means the pieces of course but also the ancillary tests such as the aural, improvisation and sight-reading. These are things which, ideally, your teacher will work with you on over a period of time.
- Order of pieces: if you are a confident person, start with your best and favourite piece, if you feel you will get better as time goes on, finish with your best piece.
- Arrive 30-40 mins before your allocated time so you can adjust to your environment (warm up, cool down, start to feel at home). We offer a pre-exam lessons and warm-up, which really helps.
- Tune your instrument, then leave it out of itʼs case so it remains in tune.
- Play through your technical suite and/or scales and arpeggios because these are usually excellent ʻwarm upʼ pieces.
- Play through your pieces a little slower than you will play them in the exam, so everything is controlled and your brain is fully engaged – focus!
- donʼt keep playing right until you are called for the exam, take a 5-10 minute break, perhaps have a drink or a snack (but not one which gives you sticky hands!)
Before the exam
- If you are small or tall, ask the usher if there is a suitable chair in the exam room
- Make sure you have your music, your guitar and your footstool (if it’s classical) to hand (and your appointment slip)
In the Exam
- Say ʻgood morningʼ (or afternoon/evening) to the examiner and try to give a smile and look relaxed.
- Go straight to the chair set aside for you and set up – adjust your footstool and sit properly with the guitar and await instructions. The examiner will guide you through the exam and help you to feel comfortable. They have a lot to do in each examination so donʼt worry if they are not ʻchattyʼ or particularly communicative – the exams are strictly to time and the examiner has a lot of writing to do.
- Play everything with confidence – you will have been well prepared and you want to show that to the examiner.
- At the end just say ʻthank youʼ and ʻgoodbyeʼ then leave the examiner to finish his marking.
The time taken to notify you of the result depends a lot on the exam board. It could be later in the week or up to six weeks. You can check the expected time with your local representative.