Every year, more than 600,000 Trinity College London exams take place around the globe. Each and every student is given a mark out of 100, and if more than 60 is achieved, these eager musicians progress to the next grade – from Initial Grade to Grade Eight.

If you are ready to book an exam, you may feel a little anxious. Don’t panic – nerves are natural. To help ease your concerns, we’ll walk through what you can expect from a Trinity College London exam.

Let’s get started.

What is assessed?

Performance is the focus of all Trinity College London exams. In the guitar examinations, you will be required to perform three pieces. Which arrangements you play is up to you, so select something that interests you, something that you feel confident performing.

In addition to your performance, your technical ability will be examined, as well as two further skills, such as improvisation, sight-reading, or musical knowledge.

Do keep in mind that what is assessed in a Trinity College London exam is flexible. You are able to pick and choose, to formulate a set of arrangements, scales, and assessments that suit your unique skillset and knowledge-base.

The Trinity College London exam structure

The basic structure of a Trinity College London exam is as follows: repertoire, supporting tests, and technical work. An Initial Grade exam should take about 11 minutes to complete, with higher Grade exams taking up to 30 minutes.

Within the basic structure, students are free to choose which facets of their musical skillset the would like assessed.

Let’s take a look at this structure in more detail. You may also find the Guitar Syllabus helpful.

1. Performance of your chosen arrangements

Guitarists and almost all other instrumentalists are required to perform three pieces (singers in Grades 6 through 8 perform four songs, and percussionists play two pieces and one study).

You are able to choose which arrangements within your Grade you would like to perform. This gives you an opportunity to follow your musical interests.

If you are in Grade Three or below, you are also able to use a pre-recorded accompaniment to boost your performance.

2. Technical assessment

Assessors will then look at your technical ability. Again, you have the freedom to choose how this portion of the exam is carried out.

You may choose to perform a number of scales and arpeggios, or a short exercise that explores similar playing techniques.

3. Supporting tests

In addition to your performance and technical work, you will need to complete two supporting tests. The first must be a sight-reading examination. For the second, you can choose either an aural or music knowledge assessment.

Trinity College London exams in Australia

If you are an Australian student looking to sit a Trinity College London exam, head to www.trinitycollege.co.uk for contact information and the relevant entry form. You can also ask your music teacher for guidance. Good luck!

Learn guitar through the Trinity College London method

Ready to take your guitar skills to the next level? Want official recognition of your talent as a guitarist?

The Trinity College London graded exam system is a proven way to develop your guitar playing ability. What’s more, passing your exam is confirmation that your hard work has paid-off, giving you a confidence boost and inspiring you to continue on your journey.

You can start progressing through the grades today – right now – with Steve Flack Guitar Academy’s online guitar lessons. Renowned guitarist and Trinity College London method instructor Steve Flack will walk you through the arrangements you need to master to pass your exam. Learn more on our Online Music Lessons page.

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