Practical Exams Update – South Africa

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we’re working hard on solutions to ensure they can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity. However, on the basis of official and local advice we have made the following changes to our South Africa exams for the remainder of the year:

  • For the regions of Eastern & Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal exams, we plan to hold exams from late September – October. There will be no exams held throughout August and early September. Entries for these regions have already been received.
  • For exams in Gauteng, we plan to hold exams from October – November. Entries for this region have already been received. We will not be able to take bookings for Botswana, Swaziland and the surrounding areas for any further exams in 2020.

Please note, our ability to accept bookings and hold exams continue to be conditional on the current restrictions being lifted. We will provide an update to customers as soon as we can. Our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course.

Music Theory exams

As instrumental skills progress, development in music theory and musicianship becomes increasingly important in helping students to perform with sensitivity, understanding and confidence.

ABRSM’s Music Theory exams aim to give students a thorough understanding of the building blocks of music, starting with the basics of rhythm and notes, and going on to cover harmony and counterpoint, composition, and a broad knowledge of western music, including composers and their works, structure, style and period.

Each Music Theory paper is marked out of a total of 100, with 66 marks required for a Pass, 80 for a Merit and 90 for a Distinction.

Our benchmark

A longstanding ABRSM benchmark is that a pass at Grade 5 or above in Music Theory must be obtained before candidates can enter for Grades 6, 7 or 8 Practical exams. This also applies to Performance exams at these grades. We believe that a thorough understanding of the elements of music is essential for a full and satisfying performance at these higher grades. (Grade 5 or above in Practical Musicianship or a Practical Grades solo Jazz subject also fulfils this prerequisite.)

Publications

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