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Grade 5 advice


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#1 OboePiano

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 19:40

Hi everyone! I've got a student doing Grade 5 Theory on Saturday. He's the first pupil that I've helped through an exam, do I'm really nervous. He seems to have got the hang of several topics very recently, so I think he should be fine, but I can't help worrying! Does anyone have any last minute tips I should give him?
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#2 polkadot

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 19:56

One of the ABRSM mods gave this advice many years ago and I presume it's still valid. 
 
Another piece of advice from one of the posters on that thread was:
 

I always give my pupils a list of things to write down (on the blank paper given to them) when the exam begins BEFORE they do anything else. It varies according to which grade they are taking but things like;

draw a keyboard
write a list of key signatures
write a list of intervals

...that way you can refer to your notes rather than have to think through them every time.


Good luck to your student!
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#3 Flutery

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 21:13

I drew a keyboard, circle of fifths, treble bass tenor and alto clefs with their sharps and flats on lines and spaces. These all really helped and didn't take long. Good luck to your pupil OboePiano.
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#4 WillRoberts

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:07

Definitely agree with drawing out a keyboard and key reference (circle of fifths / grid / whatever you use).  Other than that, last minute is too late for learning so just general exam tips:
? - be aware of time and move on then come back to things if stuck;
? - don't leave gaps (but make guesses educated);
? - read questions thoroughly (mine often seem to do the transposition in the wrong direction because they failed to read the question carefully- a very frustrating sight walking around the exam room!);

? - remember tempo and dynamics in the melody question;

? - check through the whole paper when finished for neatness and clarity of answers (words and notation).

 

If he's well-prepared, as it sounds like he is, he'll be fine!  I have never had a result I thought was unfair as an assessment of that student's ability.


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#5 WillRoberts

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:08

Definitely agree with drawing out a keyboard and key reference (circle of fifths / grid / whatever you use).  Other than that, last minute is too late for learning so just general exam tips:
? - be aware of time and move on then come back to things if stuck;
? - don't leave gaps (but make guesses educated);
? - read questions thoroughly (mine often seem to do the transposition in the wrong direction because they failed to read the question carefully- a very frustrating sight walking around the exam room!);

? - remember tempo and dynamics in the melody question;

? - check through the whole paper when finished for neatness and clarity of answers (words and notation).

 

If he's well-prepared, as it sounds like he is, he'll be fine!  I have never had a result I thought was unfair as an assessment of that student's ability.

 

I don't know what all those question marks are about, they have appeared of their own accord.


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#6 Sylvette

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:32

I did G5 last November.  I agree with everything above, plus

- work in pencil and have several sharp pencils, a rubber and a ruler available;

- consider leaving the composition question until last so that you are not tempted to spend too much time on it at the expense of later questions;

- check, check and re-check, carefully re-reading each question as you go.  I found a couple of errors on my third check of my paper.

Good luck!


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#7 linda.ff

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 15:10

CHECK THE CLEF!!! Many a mark has been lost by not noticing you're in the bass.

 

I agree about drawing  keyboard and the circle of 5ths. You should do these before you even look at the questions or you will forget. You can get most of what you need in terms of pitch from knowing how to use the circle - you don't need to write anything very comprehensive as long as you know how to count 1,2,3 sharps etc, and maybe have the letters F C G D A E B written under it and know that flats go the other way. Then you can work out scales, intervals, key-signatures etc.


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#8 Musico

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:41

A quick question re the scale questions. Is it correct that they can start at any point. Sounds a very silly question as the teacher has marked it correctly but in the answer booklet it gives a specific answer not saying that there are alternative correct answers like it says in other answers. My son's answer never looks the same as the answer booklet. I mentioned this to him and he says I do not know what I am talking about lol! Which is probably true in this instance but just wanted a quick reassurance as the exam is on Saturday (tomorrow!) and forgot to check with the teacher at his lesson! I never did theory, I got to Grade 5 piano then quit when I was younger, only now going back to it.


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#9 Musico

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:43

Also, how perfect do the sharps and rests have to be to not lose marks? His seem to be shorter than the ones in the book and the rests don't always look the same.


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#10 maggiemay

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 21:59

The important thing about sharps (and flats, and naturals) is that they should be in the right place on the stave. I mean that the 'window' in the middle of the sharp has to be precisely in the correct space or on the correct line of the note it governs. So they need to be the right size to do this clearly - ie if they are too big, their position could be unclear. The precise length of the 'legs' is less important.

Hand-written rests generally look slightly different from printed ones, but they must be recognisable.
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#11 Musico

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 15:26

The important thing about sharps (and flats, and naturals) is that they should be in the right place on the stave. I mean that the 'window' in the middle of the sharp has to be precisely in the correct space or on the correct line of the note it governs. So they need to be the right size to do this clearly - ie if they are too big, their position could be unclear. The precise length of the 'legs' is less important.

Hand-written rests generally look slightly different from printed ones, but they must be recognisable.

Thanks so much.

 

All done now so now for the very long wait!


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#12 sbhoa

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 20:59

A quick question re the scale questions. Is it correct that they can start at any point. Sounds a very silly question as the teacher has marked it correctly but in the answer booklet it gives a specific answer not saying that there are alternative correct answers like it says in other answers. My son's answer never looks the same as the answer booklet. I mentioned this to him and he says I do not know what I am talking about lol! Which is probably true in this instance but just wanted a quick reassurance as the exam is on Saturday (tomorrow!) and forgot to check with the teacher at his lesson! I never did theory, I got to Grade 5 piano then quit when I was younger, only now going back to it.


Yes. Start in any octave. I'd aim to go for whatever uses the fewest ledger lines.
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#13 Musico

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:15

 

A quick question re the scale questions. Is it correct that they can start at any point. Sounds a very silly question as the teacher has marked it correctly but in the answer booklet it gives a specific answer not saying that there are alternative correct answers like it says in other answers. My son's answer never looks the same as the answer booklet. I mentioned this to him and he says I do not know what I am talking about lol! Which is probably true in this instance but just wanted a quick reassurance as the exam is on Saturday (tomorrow!) and forgot to check with the teacher at his lesson! I never did theory, I got to Grade 5 piano then quit when I was younger, only now going back to it.


Yes. Start in any octave. I'd aim to go for whatever uses the fewest ledger lines.

 

That's a relief. So he was right!

 

Thanks again for all your help. Sounds like he took all your advice re the comp question and ladders. He also had so much time that he did use a ruler in the end and made everything super neat even though his neatness was fine before the exam.

 

Many people left early, a lot earlier than their allocated time which really surprised me. All the grades did sit together in the same room but there were strict instructions about noise. Quite a few left after 40 minutes!

 

He checked through quite a few times so fingers crossed for the result.

 

Thanks again!

 

Hope everyone who did the exam did well and good luck for the results.


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#14 Banjogirl

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 16:53

The boy left his grade six theory an hour early, which horrified me as he's not the best at theory, but he passed decently.


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