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Q. I want my child to start AMEB exams. How do I go about this?

A. Please express interest via email to the Bennelong Office. We will send you an enrolment form and direct you to purchase the required materials for your child's exam. We will also provide you with an exam guide. There will be ongoing communication to monitor your child's preparation for their exam. When they are ready to take their exam, your child may be enrolled into the next session of exams.

Q. My child has been preparing for the same exam for a long time. Why haven't they taken their exam yet?

A. This could be due to a number of factors. AMEB exams range in complexity and require different levels of preparation. The average preparation time for a Level 1 exam (Preliminary-Grade 4) is around 6-12 months with regular practice. The average preparation time for a Level 2 exam (Grade 5-Grade 8) is around 12-18 months with regular practice. Some students take a longer time for their preparation if they do not keep a consistent practice routine. Practice routine should include all elements of exam preparation, all pieces and technical work should be looked over regularly. We encourage all students to maintain a regular practice routine so that their preparation is efficient. We do not enter students in for exams unless they are absolutely ready. 

Q. When is my exam?

A. Once you have been enrolled into an exam session, AMEB will schedule the exam and inform us 3-4 weeks before the examination date. We will forward this information to you as soon as we have it. 

Q. Who can go to the exam with my child?

A. There is no limitation on who may accompany your child to the exam venue. It is recommended that only one or two people attend as the waiting rooms can get quite full. Please note that you will not go with your child into the examination room, you will remain in the waiting room for the duration of your child’s exam. The piano accompanist (if required for your exam) will go with your child into the examination room for part of the exam.   

Q. What is a Theory of Music exam? When is it required?

A. Once a student reaches a certain Grade Level, there is a Theory component required for the student to receive a certificate upon completion of their practical exam. Theory exams are taken online at any time and can be taken within a year of enrolment. Preparation for theory exams can be done in a student’s regularly scheduled music lesson, however, longer lessons are recommended to allow enough time to study the Theory content. It is recommended for students to begin studying theory as soon as they begin studying for any practical exam. Theory knowledge is relevant to all practical exams. Due to its heavy weighted content, Theory of Music can be overwhelming if not studied from early on.  

Theory exam requirements are as follows:

Grade 6 Practical – Grade 2 Theory

Grade 7 Practical – Grade 3 Theory

Grade 8 Practical – Grade 4 Theory 

Q. How long does the exam go for?

A. Exam duration depends on the instrument and the Grade Level.  

Level 1 exams (Preliminary-Grade 4) will be 10-20 minutes, the duration increasing with the Grade Level.  

Level 2 exams (Grade 5-Grade 8) will be from 20-50 minutes, the duration increasing with the Grade Level. 

Q. Is it required to pass all the exam levels?

A. No. Your child may start at the level appropriate for their abilities. If for example, they are more suited to begin at a Grade 3 level, they may begin preparing to take a Grade 3 exam straight away. Exam levels may also be skipped if a child progresses ahead of the subsequent level.  

Q. What does my child need to bring to their exam?

A. You will need to bring your sheet music, your technical workbook, your instrument (unless you are a pianist), any instrument accessories, and a water bottle is recommended. Please make sure your sheet music has no pencil markings on the page. Please also note that you cannot use your technical workbook to read from for your scales, but you will need it for any technical exercises you have prepared.  

Q. Can my child warm-up before their exam?

A. AMEB has two exam venues. One of them has an allocated warm-up room that your child can use for 5 minutes before their exam. The other venue has an outside area (which unfortunately excludes pianists) that your child may use for any amount of time before their exam. Students must have their instruments set up and tuned before going into the exam room. They will not bring their case into the exam room with them. 

Please note: All answers are relevant to the NSW AMEB organisation. Other states may have different requirements and regulations.

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