More information about music exams including fees, dates and exam centres can be found on these websites. Click on the logos.
There is no obligation to take grade exams. The decision is entirely up to you and you can always change your mind later on.
Grades are a useful way of measuring which standard your playing is, via independant assessment and can be used to support coursework in GCSE, BTEC and A level music. They provide a framework to develop your playing skills and musical understanding in a progressive, structured and organised way. Grades range from entry level exams for beginners to Grade 8 (the highest level before diplomas).
Students have the opportunity to study for graded exams offered by music colleges and guitar organisations, including Trinity Guildhall, ABRSM, RGT and Rockschool.
These organisations are internationally recognised and are accredited by Ofqual, (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and other independent regulatory organisations. Grades 6-8 are formally recognised within the UCAS tariff for entry to UK higher education.
If you do decide to study for grades there is no requirement to take them all - for example, you can take Grade 1 and then take Grade 3 when you are ready. Students wishing to take Grade 6 or higher through the ABRSM exam board need to have Grade 5 theory or an equivalent qualification. This does not apply to students taking grades through Trinity-Guildhall, Rockschool or RGT.
Students need to have the right type of guitar for the syllabus they are studying. (eg. classical guitar for Trinity Guildhall or ABRSM classical guitar exams, electric guitar or bass for Rockschool exams, steel string acoustic for RGT acoustic guitar exams.)
A number of students have passed grade exams up to and including Grade 8 and have successfully gained places on further education music courses.