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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Tune your instrument, then leave it out of itʼs case so it remains in tune.
  5. Play through your technical suite and/or scales and arpeggios because these are usually excellent ʻwarm upʼ pieces.
  6. 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!
  7. 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

  1. If you are small or tall, ask the usher if there is a suitable chair in the exam room
  2. Make sure you have your music, your guitar and your footstool (if it’s classical) to hand (and your appointment slip)

In the Exam

  1. Say ʻgood morningʼ (or afternoon/evening) to the examiner and try to give a smile and look relaxed.
  2. 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.
  3. Play everything with confidence – you will have been well prepared and you want to show that to the examiner.
  4. 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.