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Happy to see the strategy is working for some out there! Good job on passing that Theory Grade 5 exam, Ay9293. Must feel good. I've just completed mock past papers for Grade 2 and 3, and scored 74/75 on both (two silly mistakes) – it took me under a week to revise that stuff, as I had studied theory extensively as a child, so I think I will tackle Grade 3 soon and probably aim for Grade 5 this year!

I understand what you're saying, WeakLeftHand and Jeremy Taylor. I'm not sure that I would need a lower grade confidence booster… I tend to thrive on exams and competitions; the worse their reputation for being hard, the better! So in a way, I think Grade 3 would excite me more.

On the other hand, when it comes to having a feel for the exam, it's true that it might be nice if it happened sooner rather than later, like you say. It must feel good to have one under one's belt too. So maybe I could take Grade 2 and then Grade 4.

One thing that is certain, is that I can't bring myself to take every exam from grade 2 onwards… It seems so expensive! You can pretty much buy a decent digital piano or 6 months' worth of lessons for that amount!

I'll see what my teacher says when we resume lessons after the festive break. I should add that I am also interested in the jazz piano exams, and those scare me more, I think. Perhaps I could take Grade 2 jazz, and Grade 3 classical before jumping to Grade 4/5 in one or both.

Thanks for your advice and support!

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It’s a personal choice: self confidence. I started the abrsm exams last year and started at G1 although my teacher thought I could jump to 4. I wanted to check in with section A , which is an area I have least confidence. I passed first three grades in less than 12 months, proving my teacher’s point; but I learnt a lot going through all stages. My rhythm was challenged in the fast tempo pieces in section A. Plan to do 4 this year, but spending time on rhythm and working through pieces in section A as practice. Also, I wasn’t into recitals and doing the performance exams sure cured a few quibbles. So the practice helpedto build endurance. So landing into G4, I have a sense of what PE examiners are looking for. I find the comments tough, but fair. It’s a great feedback journey. Doing the exams made me more conscious of my practice and where I need to be honest with my weaker techniques.

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
It’s a personal choice: self confidence. I started the abrsm exams last year and started at G1 although my teacher thought I could jump to 4. I wanted to check in with section A , which is an area I have least confidence. I passed first three grades in less than 12 months, proving my teacher’s point; but I learnt a lot going through all stages. My rhythm was challenged in the fast tempo pieces in section A. Plan to do 4 this year, but spending time on rhythm and working through pieces in section A as practice. Also, I wasn’t into recitals and doing the performance exams sure cured a few quibbles. So the practice helpedto build endurance. So landing into G4, I have a sense of what PE examiners are looking for. I find the comments tough, but fair. It’s a great feedback journey. Doing the exams made me more conscious of my practice and where I need to be honest with my weaker techniques.


So you seem to find it's worth ALL that money and hassle then? That's interesting… And good to know! I'll see how I feel after the first one I take, I guess… In your position, if my teacher had said that I'm ready for Grade 4, I would have definitely gone for that, or even thought "Let's push for Grade 5, then!" Ha ha laugh Different strokes, eh?

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It is how you frame it. I didn’t look at it as a hassle! Everyone to their own.

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
It is how you frame it. I didn’t look at it as a hassle! Everyone to their own.


But didn't you have to travel to some place to do it all, etc. ? That's what I mean by hassle – not actually a hassle to prepare for it, but the actual taking the exam and travelling, etc., 3 times in a year, in your case… I think in Covid times, you can take them online, but maybe that will be a thing of the past by the time I take them.

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I am on the performance exam route. All virtual. No traveling, but a lot of takes!

After discussion with my teacher, the practical exams with the components are less ‘relevant’ for an adult student who isn’t making a living from playing the piano. I still go through learning the scales/arpeggios and have my teacher sign off for each grade. The performance exams are here to stay. Abrsm did some great virtual meetings to go through the Performance exams.

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Originally Posted by RosemaryGirl
Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
It’s a personal choice: self confidence. I started the abrsm exams last year and started at G1 although my teacher thought I could jump to 4. I wanted to check in with section A , which is an area I have least confidence. I passed first three grades in less than 12 months, proving my teacher’s point; but I learnt a lot going through all stages. My rhythm was challenged in the fast tempo pieces in section A. Plan to do 4 this year, but spending time on rhythm and working through pieces in section A as practice. Also, I wasn’t into recitals and doing the performance exams sure cured a few quibbles. So the practice helpedto build endurance. So landing into G4, I have a sense of what PE examiners are looking for. I find the comments tough, but fair. It’s a great feedback journey. Doing the exams made me more conscious of my practice and where I need to be honest with my weaker techniques.


So you seem to find it's worth ALL that money and hassle then? That's interesting… And good to know! I'll see how I feel after the first one I take, I guess… In your position, if my teacher had said that I'm ready for Grade 4, I would have definitely gone for that, or even thought "Let's push for Grade 5, then!" Ha ha laugh Different strokes, eh?


Not all.
I decided to start exams at Grade 5 AMEB (which is similar to ABRSM). Personally I was just ready at that time and hadn't thought much about doing exams in the previous years. I think one thing that did change my mind was when I found a teacher that I had confidence could take me through exams. Still glad I chose grade 5 as that is when I felt really challenged, and like others here I need a challenge to make me work harder.

As for preparation, I did a practice exam with another teacher at her house. My teacher was there also, and I was put a full exam and marked accordingly. No matter how you go about it, most people are going to get nervous at exams, we just have to find the right coping mechanisms.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Another Adult Learner here who is excited about ABRSM exams for some reason lol.

been waiting to take ABRSM practical exams since COVID and they have cancelled all of them in the states here USA. the first couple I understood mid-pandemic, no vaccine, etc.... but the last time in August 2021 they cancelled them like 3 days before the booking period which was really disappointing. Booking period for the next sesh here starts on 1/20 so I'm checking daily now to see if they cancel them or not. I already unlearned all of the Grade 1 pieces, and then have postponed learning Grade 2 and Grade 3 until these damn exams are confirmed....

If they cancel the in-person Practical Exams again for this spring, I think I will have to consider going the Performance Exam instead for the time being..... Looks like there's definitely some opinions on that subject ITT so will continue reading grin


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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
I am on the performance exam route. All virtual. No traveling, but a lot of takes!

After discussion with my teacher, the practical exams with the components are less ‘relevant’ for an adult student who isn’t making a living from playing the piano. I still go through learning the scales/arpeggios and have my teacher sign off for each grade. The performance exams are here to stay. Abrsm did some great virtual meetings to go through the Performance exams.

Well, I'd never heard of those Performance Exams, so I guess I'll have to do some serious research, perhaps… Thanks for the tip!

And DWW, do you mean the Practical Exams get cancelled, but not the Performance ones? Is that because they're only virtual? Thanks!

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yes the cancelled all of the in-person exams here since COVID started. theoretically starting back up this spring


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I never thought of the travel to the exam venue as a downside, although I live in London so, lucky me, there are lots of exam venues around.

It’s interesting to see everyone’s different perspectives and opinions on which exams to take, how many, when, practical or performance (not a debate I want to get into again lol!) etc. The taking of exams in general though, and thinking they’re a good idea, seems to unite us!

The practical exams are going good and strong here in the UK from what I can tell. Who knows what will happen going forward, but for now you can still do them here.


Weekly uploads on my journey to ABRSM Grade 8:
www.youtube.com/JeremyTaylorPianoProgress
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Thought I'd share this again. Lisa T. has videos for all RCM pieces through level 6, and 4 more to make with 7 and 8. Includes etudes!

https://youtube.com/c/LisaTahara

I watch these a lot, they're great.
the playlists "Full" are a must!!! https://www.youtube.com/c/LisaTahara/playlists


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@Jeremy Taylor - Yeah, I'm not even in the UK, so it's another story altogether getting to an exam venue!

@DWW – I seem to gather from their website that although Practical Exams (in-person) will resume one day, Performance Exams (remote) will remain and are equivalent to the Practical Exams…
Very good!

Thanks for that info!

Last edited by RosemaryGirl; 01/05/22 02:18 PM.
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Update:

My teacher says that she's had great experiences with the MTB exam board over the last couple of years, so I will look into that and probably trust in her and the universe and give that a go! She's taken scores of students all the way to diplomas, etc. in the past, so if she thinks it's good, it must be.

It seems I might be able to attempt Grade 3 sooner that I thought also, but I will look carefully at the syllabus before I commit. The advantage of the MTB is that you can pretty much enter any grade last minute and just do the exam if you're ready, without having to wait for an exam date in the future and have to plan around it.

I don't think it prevents me geeking out and still taking the ABRSM Music Theory Grade 5 for fun and giggles though! laugh

PS : I've attempted reviving a thread on the MTB exams to see if anyone knows much about them too.

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passed ABRSM Online Music Theory Grade 1 to try the system.... very easy, 100% lol. also nice system imo. Will take all 5 of those in the near future no rush though


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Originally Posted by DWW
passed ABRSM Online Music Theory Grade 1 to try the system.... very easy, 100% lol. also nice system imo. Will take all 5 of those in the near future no rush though

Well done!
smile

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Originally Posted by DWW
passed ABRSM Online Music Theory Grade 1 to try the system.... very easy, 100% lol. also nice system imo. Will take all 5 of those in the near future no rush though

Congrats. I was going to sit 5 in December, but heard there were glitches with latest Microsoft operating system..so was waiting for them to update their test software. Probably good idea to test on grade1 for system and getting familiar with their system. I am not planning to sit all the grades below 5, but I have gone through all their practice paper…some Q were sneaky!

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
Originally Posted by DWW
passed ABRSM Online Music Theory Grade 1 to try the system.... very easy, 100% lol. also nice system imo. Will take all 5 of those in the near future no rush though

Congrats. I was going to sit 5 in December, but heard there were glitches with latest Microsoft operating system..so was waiting for them to update their test software. Probably good idea to test on grade1 for system and getting familiar with their system. I am not planning to sit all the grades below 5, but I have gone through all their practice paper…some Q were sneaky!

Hello I wanted to ask why did you take grade 1 to test the system? I think I am missing something here. I did the abrsm grade 5 online exam 2 months ago and just used the grade 5 online practice paper abrsm provides to test the system and format.

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because I am going to take all 5. I could only pass up to grade 3 right now, maybe 4. ie I'm still learning/studying


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Originally Posted by DWW
because I am going to take all 5. I could only pass up to grade 3 right now, maybe 4. ie I'm still learning/studying

Isn't the answer that you just get a kick out of taking exams? laugh

I think the question was, why are you taking all the grades in between, when you could learn the content at all grades without taking the exams and then only take the highest exam possible, but you're choosing to take them all… You just love exams, though, right? wink

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