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About examinations

Examiners

Regulations for examinations

Examination requirements
Criteria for assessment

About the Board

 

Criteria for assessment of Vocal Exams

Elementary 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
  • Good diction
  • 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
  • Reasonably good diction
  • Appropriate and steady tempo
12/13

  • Appropriate performance as a whole
  • Appropriate intonation, articulation and tone
  • Dynamics and phrasing perceptible
  • Acceptable diction
  • 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"
  • Diction lacking
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
6/7/8

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

  • No performance
0

 

Exercises out of 15

  • Convincing performance
  • Good controle of intonation, articulation, tone and vowel quality
  • Even tone quality throughout vocal range
  • Displays good dynamic range
14/15

  • Secure performance
  • Minor problems with intonation, articulation, tone and vowel quality
  • Reasonable eveness of tone quality over the vocal range
  • Displays reasonably good dynamic range
12/13

  • Fairly secure performance
  • Obvious problems with intonation, articulation, tone and vowel quality
  • Some uneveness of tone quality
  • Limited dynamic contrast
  • Minior inaccuracies
9/10/11

  • Unsatisfactory performance
  • Intonation, articulation, tone and/or vowel quality poor
  • Obvious mistakes
  • Little dynamic contrast or dynamic change impacts intonation, tone or vowel quality
  • Several exercises appear indequately prepared
6/7/8

  • Several exercises not sung
  • Very poor intonation, articulation, tone and vowel quality
  • No effort at dynamic contrast or dynamic contrast has serious effects on intonation
  • Preparation appears to be inadequate
  • Lots of wrong notes and rhythms
5

  • Exercises not sung
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 composition or arrangement out of 10

The work does not have to be notated. The work may be for more than one voice or 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 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"
  • Acceptable feeling for continuity, form and balance
  • 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 perform without accompaniment a short popular or folk song which they have learnt by ear  out of 10

The range of the piece should be consistent with that expected at Elementary level. Melodies should be performed without accompaniment.


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

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

  • Adequate sence of "musical whole"
  • Appropriate tempo, if cautious and even hesitant at times
  • Acceptable diction
  • Acceptable intonation, articulation and tone
  • Acceptable feeling for rhythm
6

  • Lacks a sense of flow, insecure
  • Little feeling for "musical whole"
  • Indequate intonation, articulation and tone
  • Diction lacking
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
  • Poor rhythmic sence
  • Little feeling for style, tonality and harmonic progression
4/5

  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
  • Lacks rhythmic sence
  • Very poor diction
  • Lacks feeling for style, tonality or harmonic progression
  • Very inaccurate
2/3

  • No performance
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils perform a piece in a style other than those specified in respective syllabuses out of 10

  • Convincing performance
  • Technically secure
  • Good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Good diction
  • Good rhythm sence
  • Good feeling for phrasing
  • Good feeling for style, character and colour
9/10

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Reasonably good diction
  • Reasonably good sense for rhythm
  • Reasonably good feeling for phrasing
  • Reasonably good feeling for style, character and colour
7/8

  • Adequate sense of musical sense
  • Adequate flow, if cautious, even hesitant
  • Performance continues despites mistakes
  • Acceptable intonation, articulation and tone
  • Acceptable diction
6

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

  • Poor performance in all respects
  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
  • Very poor diction
2/3

  • No performance
0

 

Option/Elective - Pupils sing a piece of own choice, demonstrating initiative and original and creative interpretation out of 10

  • Convincing performance
  • Technically secure
  • Good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Good diction
  • Good rhythm sence
  • Good feeling for phrasing
  • Good feeling for style, character and colour
  • Original and interesting performance
9/10

  • Reasonably good sense of "musical whole"
  • Reasonably secure technically
  • Reasonably good control of intonation, articulation and tone
  • Reasonably good diction
  • Reasonably good sense for rhythm
  • Reasonably good feeling for phrasing
  • Reasonably good feeling for style, character and colour
  • Some orginal and interesting elements in performance
  • A clear attempt at personal interpretation, though not always with convincing results
7/8

  • Adequate sense of musical sense
  • Adequate flow, if cautious, even hesitant
  • Some evidence personal interpretation
  • Performance continues despites mistakes
  • Acceptable intonation, articulation and tone
  • Acceptable diction
6

  • Lacks a sense of flow, insecure
  • Little sense of "musical whole"
  • Lots of mistakes and pauses
  • Shortage of interesting ideas in performance
  • Lacks personal interpretation
  • Interpretation not interesting
  • Poor intonation, articulation and tone
  • Diction lacking
4/5

  • Poor performance in all respects
  • No interesting ideas in performance
  • Very poor intonation, articulation and tone
  • Very poor diction
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 rhythm
  • 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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