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How to record the exam

The easiest way to record an MTB exam is on an Android or IOS smartphone or tablet using our app. To download it or learn more about the app please click here

MTB exams can also be recorded on any suitable digital recording device and submitted via the website submit an exam page.

  • Audio exams submitted via this route must be submitted as an MP3, M4a or WAV file. Please note that a separate audio file should be used for each candidate. 
Recording guidance

You must read this section carefully, as failure to comply with the guidance below could lead to delays in processing your examination or possible penalties/disqualification of the exam.

  • You must complete your exam recording in one session. If you are using the MTB app, there is the option to add additional clips should your exam be interrupted. If the recording ends suddenly and you do not wish to restart the entire exam, you can add an additional clip and pick up from where you left off.
  • This feature is designed to accommodate accidental or unavoidable interruptions and should not be used to stop the exam for any other reason. It can also be used should you forget to read out the verification statement from your front cover during the examination.
  • If you are submitting your recording through the MTB website, you may only film/record it in one session and are not allowed to upload additional clips. Any pre- or post-production editing is forbidden and can lead to disqualification.
  • When completing scales from memory in a video exam, you must remove any sheet music from in front of you and demonstrate to the examiner you are performing from memory. You may, however, have the front cover and a list of the scales visible to guide you through this section. You are only allowed the titles of the scales. If using a sheet with a list of scales please hold this up to the camera before this section.

If your exam is being conducted with your teacher, they can guide you through this section using the front cover and scales & arpeggios list.

The recording location and device

MTB Exams are designed to be flexible and accessible. This means you can take your exam in a multitude of environments. There are some conditions to consider however:

  • There should be minimal background noise. Recording an exam outside is not suitable.
  • If you are using the MTB app to record and submit your exam please ensure that you always have the device recording the exam in the room with the candidate as they perform. The app should not be used to record in a different location i.e. not in the room with the teacher if they are conducting the exam remotely.
  • Before starting the exam recording, make sure yourself or your teacher uses our video and audio (depending on your allocation) testing features, built into the MTB app, to ensure clear video lighting or audio levels. There should be no distortion (see our tips below).
  • Ensure your device is fully charged and has an internet connection available for uploading.

Adjusting audio and video position

Audio:

  • Moving your device to a different location can help with audio distortion. Try adjusting the range from the instrument, moving a couple of feet away at a time until you find a balance of instrument clarity and volume.

Video:

  • The exam venue you choose must be well lit and the examiner must be able to clearly see the whole of the candidate playing and their instrument. If the size of the room is limited then the examiner must see at least the hands, face and instrument.
  • Candidates may stand or sit for their performance.
  • There should be no obstructions between you and the camera.
  • The candidate should not have their back to the camera.
  • Tripods and stands will enable you to obtain the best viewing angles, but they are not compulsory. Good viewing angles can still be achieved by placing your device side on, on a stable surface facing the candidate.
  • Both portrait and landscape mode are acceptable for submission.
  • Consideration should be given to the placement of the music stand so that it does not obscure the performer.
  • A third party is allowed to film the exam by holding the device, however the phone must be kept still, and the microphone must not be covered throughout the duration of the exam. This option is less suitable for the higher grades, as these are often quite lengthy exams. Footage that is shaky or consistently moves to such an extent that it is unable to be examined will not be accepted.

Instrument specific video guidance

Piano & Keyboard:

  • When recording a piano exam, the camera should be to the side, so that the keys and the candidates face, and hands are visible.

Drum kit:

  • Whilst sitting on your stool, the entire candidate should be visible. The camera should be placed at eye level to the side so that the hands and feet can be seen clearly. The device should be placed a reasonable distance from the drum kit to avoid sound distortion.

After the recording ends

When your recording has ended you will have an opportunity to review your exam. At this point, you can decide whether to keep the recording, or whether to restart. Once you have saved the recording you should:

  • Take pictures of all sheet music and provide the piece names. This can be done when submitting on either the website or the app.
  • If conducting a video exam, the candidates photo ID must be submitted. Again, this can be done when submitting on either the website or the app.
  • Valid forms of ID include a passport, driver’s license or national identity card. If the candidate is unable to provide one of these forms of identification, you can download and complete the alternative verification form here.

Photo & ID Guidance

The role of a third party

  • If you are conducting this exam by yourself, either because you are a self-learner or your teacher is not present, you may have a third-party present during the recording. If it is a teacher conducted exam they are not classed as a third party.
  • Third parties are permitted to assist you with a limited set of roles you will need to complete the exam. The third-party may:
    • Turn the pages on your sheet music
    • Provide accompaniment
    • Assist with the technology for the exam – either its recording or the playing of recorded accompaniments
    • Hold the device to record the examination
  • The third-party is not allowed to give you any prompts, such as verbal or non-verbal cues regarding timing or tempo. If this occurs penalties may be applied, or the exam may be disqualified.

Performance exam specific consideration

If taking a performance exam, please consider the following:

  • A performance exam is designed to assess a recital, including your stage presence, fluidity of performance and verbal/non-verbal communication with your audience/examiner. Audiences are optional for performance grades and can comprise any number of people.
  • As such, you may want to consider setting up a wider view-angle of the candidate. This can be between 1-5 metres distance from the camera, dependent on your venue (the higher end of 5 metres for use during a stage performance).

How we store your exam data

We will keep your exam media files for 12 months after the date of submission, at which point the exam media files will be deleted. We will archive and keep a record of your exam details and your results so that we can reissue certificates should they be needed after this point.

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