Music Exams

There are two main external music examinations available in Scotland. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College London. These exams provide a progressive system of assessments ranging generally from Grade 1 to 8 and are recognised as international benchmarks of achievement valued by teachers and music institutions all over the world.

To read more about ABRSM and Trinity College London please click on the links below:

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How to apply

Students will be invited to enter for examination at the discretion of their instructor with the permission of their parent/carer. The Instrumental Music Service will distribute Application Forms prior to the deadline which must be completed by the parent/carer and instructor and returned to the IMS along with payment prior to the exam. The student will be entered by the IMS and will be notified of their exam date and time by letter.

Candidates wishing to sit ABRSM practical exams Grades 6 and above must already have passed one of the following qualifications:

  • ABRSM: Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or a solo Jazz subject (i.e. Jazz Piano, Jazz Flute, Jazz Clarinet, Jazz Sax, Jazz Trumpet/Cornet/Flugelhorn or Jazz Trombone)
  • Trinity College London: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music
  • London College of Music: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music (nb: Popular Music Theory is not accepted)
  • Australian Music Examination Board: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music
  • University of South Africa: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music