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Taking The Exam

The examination can be taken at any time to suit both teacher and pupil. You will need an accompanist (except for piano and guitar examinations), your downloaded mark sheet and a means to record the examination. (please note that although ideally there would be a separate accompanist, it is acceptable for the teacher to accompany their own student.  In this case it is advisable for the teacher to also listen to the recording to help them mark the examination.)
  • At the start of the examination the recording equipment should be turned on* and the teacher/examiner should state the name of the candidate, grade and instrument, as well as teacher/examiner's name and unique exam reference number stated at the top right of the front cover.** 
  • The teacher will ask the pupil to perform each piece in turn once they are ready. Pupils should take a moment to prepare themselves for each piece, there is no need to hurry immediately on to the next item. This also gives the teacher some time to make a few notes on each performance and allocate a mark.
  • The accompanist is free to leave once the pieces have been played, but first they should sign the declaration where indicated that to their knowledge, the pupil named at the top of the form is playing in the recording. If the examination is for piano or guitar this verification should be left blank.
  • The pupils will then be asked to perform their prepared technical requirements. The teacher will ask for each test in turn stating which option they are about to perform.
  • Following this, the teacher/examiner should give the pupil a sight reading test to look at. (they may practice any or all of it if they wish) They have approximately 3 minutes to prepare during which time the teacher/examiner can write comments and marks for the technical section.
  • The teacher should ask the pupil to perform the sight reading test. At the end of the sight reading the examiner should turn off the recording equipment.
  • Enter all comments and marks clearly on the mark sheet and countersign where indicated.
  • The personalised front cover, marksheet and recording should be uploaded digitally via this link or posted to FREEPOST MTB EXAMS for moderation and certification. (No stamp or further address details required).
  • The guide to marking (attached to the downloaded marksheet) is designed to help the teacher/examiner evaluate the candidate's performance. Please refer to this when allocating marks.
*(The recording should not be turned off until the end of the examination).
**(Your personalised front cover contains a summary of this process which you should have in front of you during the examination).
Marksheet completion advice:
MTB suggest that the examiner includes some of the terminology provided in the marking guidelines attached to the mark sheet to explain their marking decisions.  For example “almost completely accurate” They should also try to highlight which of the suggested elements under each heading have affected their marking. For example, to help explain the mark for technique ‘’excellent posture’’ or ‘’poor quality of articulation’’ Examiners should however feel free to express their professional observations about a pupil’s performance in other relevant ways they feel are appropriate.
For further clarification of key terms found in the marking guidelines (part of the marksheet) click here
Level boundaries
Total possible marks: 100
87 - 100     Distinction

75 - 86       Merit

60 - 74       Pass
(We recommend that candidates that achieve Pass, Merit or Distinction move on to the next level examination)
45 - 59       Blue

Below 45   White
(We recommend that Blue and White award candidates try to achieve a bronze award or above before attempting a higher level examination)