5 Valuable Tips for ABRSM Exams

Are you applying for next year’s ABRSM practical exam? Or are you attending this year’s practical exam? How are you preparing for it?
Below are some valuable tips that hopefully help you become more confident and well-prepared for the exam.
1. Schedule practice plan
Usually students take several months to a year to prepare for the exam. It is essential to generate a written timeline of goals, with a weekly practice itinerary to meet those goals. Regular practice plan helps turn your skills and techniques into habit. Make sure to consult with your teacher and the exam criteria to formulate your plan, implement it, and adjust it as needed. A typical week may include a. memorizing X number of scales and arpeggios; b. sight reading at least X number of pieces; c. practising on certain sections of the pieces that require improvement; d. practise X number of aural questions.
2. Get acquainted with the syllabus of Scale and practise frequently
Memorizing all the scale questions and the requirements, for example, required octaves, helps minimize the risk of being hesitated before starting a scale during exam. Remind yourself of keeping the rhythm steady as rhythmic accuracy is one of the key elements in earning a distinction for your exam. Starting practice with a metronome may help.
3. Perform the pieces expressively and distinctively
Regular practice plan helps you get acquainted with the exam components, however it may lead to the danger of falling into rote memorization, muscle memory, and a musical rut. This way, a small mistake due to exam anxiety can easily throw you off, especially when you are performing the pieces. In order to challenge your musicality and strengthen your exam preparation, infuse each practice run-through with unique musical expression and ideas and play by heart. This will ensure that your performance in the exam is assured, inspired and distinctive.
4. Get Extra Help
You may find it hard to address all the exam components within one lesson, especially the aural and sight-reading components. Don’t hesitate to seek out extra assistance, by arranging separate lessons, scheduling longer lessons and practising more with extra tools between lessons. Don’t underestimate these valuable skills for musicians that deserve sufficient attention and preparation.
5. Mark your calendar and be well-prepared for the exam day
Arrive at the exam centre at least 10 minutes before the exam starts. Remind yourself to relax, greet and smile to the examiner. Dress smart but not too casual. It is suggested that you start with scales rather than pieces. It will help you warm up more properly. Then you may adjust accordingly for the exam pieces. Stay calm and confident throughout the exam. Don’t forget to show your gratitude to the examiner and say goodbye when you leave.
Download “AURALBOOK for ABRSM” for free: www.auralbook.com
Download “SCALEBOOK for ABRSM” for free: www.scalebookapp.com