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About Piano exams

We offer a range of assessments for pianists, from the Prep Test and Initial Grade for beginners up to Grade 8 and diplomas in Music Performance for advanced musicians.  

Read on to find out more. 

piano teacher
What's new
Piano syllabuses 2023 and 2024

The new Piano Syllabuses for Practical and Performance Grades came into effect on 1 January 2023.  They feature refreshed repertoire lists at all grades with a greater choice of music than ever before. There are no changes to the scales and arpeggios, sight-reading or aural tests.  

There is a one-year overlap period, during which you can play repertoire from the previous syllabus. For details, check the information on our syllabus page. 

New books, sheet music and recordings

We have a range of books and recordings to support teachers and learners preparing for Piano exams.  

Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024
  • Available for all grades and featuring nine pieces per grade, Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 offer a wide range of repertoire, from new commissions to core classics and familiar tunes. 
  • The book-with-audio editions contain recordings of every piece (39 pieces per grade). For the first time, the recordings are available as audio downloads, accessible via unique download codes included in each book.  
  • A book-only edition is also available. 
  • 78 pieces from Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 are also available as digital sheet music downloads. 
Teaching Notes on Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024
  • The new edition of Teaching Notes offers invaluable guidance for all piano teachers on the 81 pieces included in the Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 books for Initial Grage and Grades 1 to 8. 
  • The notes for each piece feature teaching ideas relating to three areas of learning: musical context, technical challenges, and performance and interpretation. 
Books for scales, sight-reading and aural test

There are no changes to the scale and arpeggio, sight-reading and aural test requirements. The current publications for these supporting tests are still valid. 

  • Piano Scales & Arpeggios from 2021 – familiarise yourself with our scale and arpeggio requirements. Available for Grades Initial to 8. 
  • Scale Explorer for Piano – energise your scale practice through short pieces, improvisation, composition and exercises. Available for Grades 1 to 5. 
  • Piano Specimen Sight-Reading Tests – enhance your sight-reading skills for exams and music-making. Available for Grades Initial to 8. 
  • More Piano Sight-Reading – use these comprehensive sight-reading materials to support your daily practice. Available for Grades 1 to 8. 
  • Specimen Aural Tests – gain valuable aural test practice and develop your musical ear. Available for Grades Initial to 8. 
Piano – Practical Grades

Practical Grades are face-to-face exams that focus on all-round musical knowledge and skills, including performance. In the exam you perform three pieces, play scales and arpeggios and take sight-reading and aural tests.  

Pianists can take Practical Grades at Initial Grade and Grades 1 to 8. 


Download a PDF of the full Piano Practical Grades qualification specification. This includes the syllabus and marking criteria as well as detailed information about exam requirements.

Piano – Performance Grades

Performance Grades are digital exams assessed from a video recording. They have a strong focus on performance, including communication, interpretation and delivery. In the exam you perform a programme of four pieces.  

Pianists can take Performance Grades at Initial Grade and Grades 1 to 8. There are no booking periods or exam sessions so you can choose when to book, record and submit your exam.  

As well as reading the qualification specification and syllabus for your instrument, you should read our Performance Grade guidance which includes important information about recording and submitting your exam video. Follow the link below to find out more. 


Download PDFs of the full Piano Performance Grades qualification specification and syllabus.

Watch a performance

Enjoy this performance of Jinx, from Mean Little Monsters by Diane Hidy, featured in our Initial Grade Piano Syllabuses 2023 & 2024.

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