Top Tips for preparing for your exam

  • Make sure to check that you have everything for your exam the night before  – your music, your instrument and music stand and your theory certificate (if you are doing theory exams separately).
  •  Always try to get to the exam centre a little early! That way you will have plenty of time to prepare your music, warm up and have a look over your theory!
  •  Feeling nervous is normal – everyone feels a little worried before an exam, but remember that you have worked hard and now is your time to show it off!
  •  When you get into the exam room, make sure you are comfortable. Check your music stand is the right height, or that the piano stool is the right height. Our top tip from RIAM piano teacher and examiner, Anthony Byrne is to make sure you don’t sit too close to the piano! Give yourself room to move your arms!
  •  Start with whatever makes you comfortable – some people like to do their scales first to warm up, others prefer to play their pieces first so that the scales do not distract them. You are the boss – choose the way that suits you best!
  •  If you are not sure of something the examiner says, be sure to ask them to repeat it. They will be happy to do so.
  •  For the sight-reading, use the time the examiner gives you to look through it. Take your time and try to keep going.
  •  For many instrumentalists, the singing exercises are the worst part of the exam! They will be over before you know it, so give them a go!
  •  Remember that the examiner wants to give you as many marks as possible- they want you to succeed!
  •  Most importantly, smile and enjoy it!

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