MTB Practical Grades test your proficiency in your chosen instrument and assess a broad array of technical and musical skills. They comprise of a Recital section, Technical section and in most cases a Musicianship section.

These exams are effectively our online equivalent to the face-to-face graded exams offered by other Boards, including the performance of pieces plus all the technical and musicianship elements you would expect to find in these. MTB’s Technical and Musicianship resources are free to download from our website.

MTB Practical Grades are Ofqual regulated to the same standard as Grades from the other main boards and provide the same number of UCAS points for Grades 6-8.

To view the specific requirements for each grade and instrument visit our syllabuses page below:

Practical Grade Syllabuses

MTB Performance Grades: MTB also offer Performance Grades which provide a different route to achieve the equivalent qualification level by assessing your ability to present a recital programme. The exam consists of a performance of 4-5 pieces with a target duration. To learn more about our Performance Grades click here.

Practical Grade Requirements

MTB Practical Grades have a different structure depending on the grade and instrument being assessed. The three types of Practical Grades and their formats are:

Classical Instruments Grades 1-8:

  • Recital Section: 3 pieces worth 60 marks
  • Technical Section: Scales & Technical Exercises* worth 25 marks
  • Musicianship Section: Reading & Listening Skills or Readings Skills and Duet worth 15 marks

Contemporary Instruments Grades 1-8:

  • Recital Section: 4 pieces worth 80 marks
  • Technical Section: Technical Exercises worth 20 marks

Contemporary instrument syllabuses include: Rock, Pop, Jazz and other popular styles.


  • Recital Section: 3 pieces worth 75 marks
  • Technical Section: Technical Exercises worth 25 marks

*Some Classical Syllabuses do not require scales in the Technical Section.

There is a specific Syllabus for each instrument and grade that can be viewed on our Syllabuses page here.

What is the examiner looking for in a Practical Grade

The detailed marking criteria for our Practical Grades are available below:

Classical Instruments

Contemporary Instruments


Award Boundaries:

Exams are marked out of 100.

How do I enter a Practical Grade?

Practical grades can be entered and taken at any time. Simply go to the ‘Make an Entry’ page and select ‘Practical Grades’ which can be found towards the end of the entry form.

How do I record and submit a Practical Grade?

Download the MTB Exams ‘Record & Submit 2021’ app here which will enable you to record and submit your Practical Grade using just a mobile phone or tablet.

Or you have the option to record the video using any other device or system and submit it on our website submit an exam page.

We have provided detailed recording advice here on how best to record an exam in video.

How should I select suitable pieces for the Recital?

MTB provide recital lists for each instrument and grade on our Syllabuses and you may select any pieces from these lists for the Recital section of your exam.

However, MTB offer complete flexibility over repertoire with our Free Choice options, so you can choose to put together a recital comprising the music you really want to perform. As long as the pieces you choose are of the appropriate grade standard, they would be suitable to consider for your recital. For Guidance on Free Choice Repertoire click here.

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