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About examinations

Examiners

Regulations for examinations

Examination requirements
Criteria for assessment

About the Board

 

Criteria for assessment of Instrumental Exams

Intermediate Exams

 

Pieces and studies out of 15

  • Convincing performance
  • Technically secure
  • Good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Good feeling for phrasing and dynamics
  • Good feeling for musical style, character and colour
  • Good sense of rhythm
  • Convincing choice of tempo
14/15

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Clear evidence of dynamics and phrasing
  • Reasonably good feeling for musical style, character and colour
  • Reasonably good sense of rhythm
  • Appropriate and steady tempo
12/13

  • Appropriate performance as a whole
  • Appropriate intonation, articulation and tone
  • Dynamics and phrasing perceptible
  • Appropriate tempo, if cautious, even hesitant at times
  • Insufficient accuracy
9/10/11

  • Lacks a sense of flow
  • Inadequate intonation, articulation and tone
  • Little sense of "musical whole"
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
6/7/8

  • Lots of wrong notes and rhythms
  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
5

  • No performance
0

 

Scales and arpeggios out of 15

  • Secure and effortless
  • Good sense of flow
  • Good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Responds quickly to instructions
14/15

  • Well prepared
  • Reasonable sense of flow
  • Occasional wrong notes
  • In a few cases, needs "too" long thinking time
12/13

  • Cautious
  • Quiet a lot of wrong notes
  • In most cases, needs "too" long thinking time
9/10/11

  • Not adequately prepared
  • Too slow (see syllabus requirements)
  • Uneven
  • Lots of mistakes
  • Inappropriately long thinking time
6/7/8

  • Several scales/arpeggios not played
  • Uses music/notation
  • Not adequate
5

  • Scales and arpeggios not performed
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils perform a piece of their own choice out of 10

  • Convincing performance
  • Technically secure
  • Good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Good feeling for phrasing and dynamics
  • Good feeling for musical style, character and colour
  • Good sense of rhythm
  • Convincing choice of tempo
9/10

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Clear evidence of dynamics and phrasing
  • Reasonably good feeling for musical style, character and colour
  • Reasonably good sense of rhythm
  • Appropriate and steady tempo
7/8

  • Appropriate performance as a whole
  • Appropraite intonation, articulation and tone
  • Dynamics and phrasing perceptible
  • Appropriate tempo, if cautious, even hesitant at times
  • Insufficient accuracy
6

  • Lacks a sense of flow
  • Inadequate intonation, articulation and tone
  • Little sense of "musical whole"
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
4/5

  • Lots of wrong notes and rhythms
  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
2/3

  • No performance
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils improvise from a given opening phrase, simple harmonic progression or melody out of 10

Pupils may choose whether they improvise with or without accompaniment and it is expected that pupils should prepare this option in advance of the examination and in conjunction with their teacher.


  • Convincing and inventive performance 
  • Technically secure
  • A clear sense of continuity, form and balance
  • Good awareness of tonality and harmonic progression
  • Inventive and interesting melody/rhythm
  • Some sense of originality or surprise
  • Obvious feeling for musical interaction with other parts/phrases/players
9/10

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good sense of continuity, form and balance
  • Reasonably good awareness of tonality and harmonic progression
  • Some good and interesting melody/rhythm ideas 
  • Some awareness of musical interaction with other parts/phrases/players
7/8

  • Adequate sense of "musical whole"
  • Cautious, even hesitant at times
  • Acceptable feeling of tonality and harmonic progression
  • Acceptable feeling for continuity, form and balance
  • Some melodic/rhythmic interest
6

  • Little sense of flow, insecure
  • Little sense of "musical whole"
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
  • Little feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
  • Few if any interesting melodic or rhythmic ideas
  • Little feeling for continuity, form and balance
4/5

  • Lacks any melodic or rhythmic interest
  • Lacks any feeling for continuity, form and balance
  • Lacks any feeling for tonality and harmonic progression

2/3


  • No performance
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils perform an original composition or arrangement out of 10

The work does not have to be notated. The work may be for more than one instrument as long as the examination candidate himself performs a major role in the piece.


  • Convincing performance and piece
  • Technically secure
  • Inventive and interesting melody/rhythm/harmonic progression
  • Some sense of originality or surprise
  • A clear sense of continuity, form and balance
  • Obvious feeling for musical interaction with other parts/phrases/players
9/10

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Some good and interesting melodic/rhythmic/harmonic ideas 
  • Reasonably good sense of continuity, form and balance
  • Some awareness of musical interaction with other parts/phrases/players
7/8

  • Adequate sense of "musical whole"
  • Some melodic/rhythmic/harmonic interest
  • Acceptable feeling for continuity, form and balance
6

  • Lacks a sense of flow, insecure
  • Little sense of "musical whole"
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
  • Few if any, interesting melodic or rhytmic ideas
  • Little feeling for continuity, form and balance
4/5

  • Lacks any melodic, rhythmic or harmonic interest
  • Lacks any feeling for continuity or form
2/3

  • No performance
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils harmonise a short melody out of 10

This option is only available for candidated playing instruments that can provide harmonic accompaniment.


  • Convincing performance and harmonization
  • Technically secure
  • Well chosen and interesting harmonic progression
  • Good feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
  • Some sense of originality or surprise
9/10

  • Reasonable good "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good and appropriate chord selection
  • Reasonably good feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
7/8

  • Acceptable "musical whole"
  • Cautious, sometimes hesitant
  • Acceptable feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
  • Most chords appropriate for melody 
6

  • Lacks a sense of flow, insecure
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
  • Little feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
  • Considerable inappropriate chord selection
4/5

  • Lacks any feeling for tonality and harmonic progression
  • Chords consistently inappropriate for melody
2/3

  • No performance
0

 

Sight-reading out of 10

  • Convincing performance
  • Appropriate tempo
  • Appropriate dynamics and interpretation
  • Rights notes and rhythms
9/10

  • Mostly correct notes and rhythm
  • Steady pulse
7/8

  • Hesitant, though mostly right notes and rhythms
  • Too cautious, though clear sense of pulse
6

  • Absence of feeling for tonality
  • Poor phrasing
  • Lots of wrong notes and rhythms
  • Absence of pulse
4/5

  • Consistently wrong notes and rhythms
  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
2/3

  • Sight-reading not performed
0

 

Overall impression out of 5

  • Outstanding performances
  • Confident and appropriate deportment
  • Very well prepared
5

  • Good, purposeful performances
  • Confident and mostly appropriate deportment
  • Clearly well prepared
4

  • Adequate performances
  • Adequately security and deportment
  • Deserves a pass, but with one or two reservations (n.b.)
3

  • Insecure and unconvincing performances
  • Inappropriate deportment
  • Preparation appears to be inadequate
2

  • Very poor performances
  • Performances in most parts of the exam do not satisfy requirements
  • Preparation appears to be very poor
1

 

Last Updated January 20, 2005

 

 

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