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As The Next Theory Exam Fast Approaches....


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#1 DJONES

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:06

Hello everyone

As the next theory exam fast approaches and having recently spoken to some of the Board's senior markers, I thought you might like a few tips.... It's aimed mainly at candidates and whilst some of the following suggestions may be obvious they are not in any way intended to sound patronising!!

1. Answer all the questions! Even if you don't know the answer, guess - you may just be right and gain extra marks, something which won't happen if you leave the space blank....

2. Take your time and read the questions CAREFULLY!! What direction should those scales be written in and using what note values? Is that E major or Eb that you've been asked to write? Underline/highlight the important words in the rubrics, if it helps you. Don't be in a hurry to finish first - use your time wisely and check those answers and check again!

3. Marks will be deducted for poorly written clefs, key signatures etc.... Don't add those accidentals in the wrong space or on the wrong line of the stave, above the note or below it!

4. Rhythm writing: make sure those bars all add up correctly - there's quite a bit of emphasis on that!

5. Melody writing: as well as making sure those bars add up, don't forget the instrument, tempo, dynamics and articulation. If you're going to use pizz and/or arco, make sure you know how to use them properly!

6. If you're rewriting a melody at a different octave, the time values won't change, so copy them carefully! Similarly, if you're rewriting in half/twice the value, the pitches will be the same.

7. Transposition: make sure you've kept to the same interval of transposition throughout - for example don't switch from a second down to a third half way through! In the high grade orchestral score extracts, if you're not sure of the interval, compare your answer with that of a non-transposing instrument such as violin - if they don't fit tonally then something might be wrong!

That's just a few of the places where marks are lost, and you would be very surprised if you realised just how many marks do disappear.... Markers tell me how depressing it is when a paper has to fail primarily for these reasons. They'd much rather see you pass!

Good luck to all those of you taking exams over the next week. smile.gif

Debbie



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#2 earplugs

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:44

Thanks, that's useful.

Is there an official document outlining the rules for the conduct of the exam itself?
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#3 DJONES

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 14:52


Hi Earplugs

The only official document outlining the conduct of the exam is read out to all candidates by the invigilator at the start of the exam.

If you have a specific query please PM me, otherwise you might find the relevant Regulation 11 Theory Examinations: Timings and Conduct helpful.

Debbie

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#4 elisabeth_rb

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 08:58

I also conduct exams, (although not music ones), and it's staggering the amount of people who, even despite reminders on the front page which I have made them read before starting the exam, STILL answer in the wrong format etc and then have to lose all the marks for that section. So, I don't think it's patronising at all, it's a necessary reminder for many of us who rush in so fast that we forget the importance of simple instructions! tongue.gif laugh.gif ph34r.gif
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#5 harpist

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:46

Thanks for the advice, thats really helpful biggrin.gif
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#6 _rai_

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 16:00

Although I'm not taking a theory exam anytime soon, I'll bookmark this page and recommend my friend this page for reference. smile.gif
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#7 country girl

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 11:42

Useful thank you
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#8 hawkins

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 13:22

thanks for the tips
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#9 bobplayskeyboards

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:11

QUOTE(DJONES @ Oct 25 2006, 11:06 AM) View Post

Hello everyone

As the next theory exam fast approaches and having recently spoken to some of the Board's senior markers, I thought you might like a few tips.... It's aimed mainly at candidates and whilst some of the following suggestions may be obvious they are not in any way intended to sound patronising!!

1. Answer all the questions! Even if you don't know the answer, guess - you may just be right and gain extra marks, something which won't happen if you leave the space blank....

2. Take your time and read the questions CAREFULLY!! What direction should those scales be written in and using what note values? Is that E major or Eb that you've been asked to write? Underline/highlight the important words in the rubrics, if it helps you. Don't be in a hurry to finish first - use your time wisely and check those answers and check again!

3. Marks will be deducted for poorly written clefs, key signatures etc.... Don't add those accidentals in the wrong space or on the wrong line of the stave, above the note or below it!

4. Rhythm writing: make sure those bars all add up correctly - there's quite a bit of emphasis on that!

5. Melody writing: as well as making sure those bars add up, don't forget the instrument, tempo, dynamics and articulation. If you're going to use pizz and/or arco, make sure you know how to use them properly!

6. If you're rewriting a melody at a different octave, the time values won't change, so copy them carefully! Similarly, if you're rewriting in half/twice the value, the pitches will be the same.

7. Transposition: make sure you've kept to the same interval of transposition throughout - for example don't switch from a second down to a third half way through! In the high grade orchestral score extracts, if you're not sure of the interval, compare your answer with that of a non-transposing instrument such as violin - if they don't fit tonally then something might be wrong!

That's just a few of the places where marks are lost, and you would be very surprised if you realised just how many marks do disappear.... Markers tell me how depressing it is when a paper has to fail primarily for these reasons. They'd much rather see you pass!

Good luck to all those of you taking exams over the next week. smile.gif

Debbie



I'm going to suffer the process of taking the grade 5 theory exam next week and have just had my final lesson at which my tutor raised a question that maybe you can answer. Whilst working my way through previous papers i always use pencil . I find it easier to write with and of course one can correct work with the aid of an erraser. My tutor thinks that probably this is incorrect and that ink should be used . Is there a rule ?
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#10 Car Expert

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:14

QUOTE(bobplayskeyboards @ Oct 30 2007, 12:11 PM) View Post
I'm going to suffer the process of taking the grade 5 theory exam next week and have just had my final lesson at which my tutor raised a question that maybe you can answer. Whilst working my way through previous papers i always use pencil . I find it easier to write with and of course one can correct work with the aid of an erraser. My tutor thinks that probably this is incorrect and that ink should be used . Is there a rule ?
No, there isn't a rule as far as I know. There's nothing wrong with using pencil, although this is better to use as you can correct answers more easily. I never use ink.

Car Expert



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#11 Chris H

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:29

Thank you very much indeed for the tips, I'll pass them on to my son as soon as he comes home from school. I just hope he takes notice!
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#12 Rosemary7391

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 18:20

QUOTE(Car Expert @ Oct 30 2007, 12:14 PM) View Post

QUOTE(bobplayskeyboards @ Oct 30 2007, 12:11 PM) View Post
I'm going to suffer the process of taking the grade 5 theory exam next week and have just had my final lesson at which my tutor raised a question that maybe you can answer. Whilst working my way through previous papers i always use pencil . I find it easier to write with and of course one can correct work with the aid of an erraser. My tutor thinks that probably this is incorrect and that ink should be used . Is there a rule ?
No, there isn't a rule as far as I know. There's nothing wrong with using pencil, although this is better to use as you can correct answers more easily. I never use ink.

Car Expert


I used pencil in my G5 and got a distinction, so I'd say it was allowed smile.gif
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#13 sbhoa

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 18:29

QUOTE(Rosemary7391 @ Nov 5 2007, 06:20 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Car Expert @ Oct 30 2007, 12:14 PM) View Post

QUOTE(bobplayskeyboards @ Oct 30 2007, 12:11 PM) View Post
I'm going to suffer the process of taking the grade 5 theory exam next week and have just had my final lesson at which my tutor raised a question that maybe you can answer. Whilst working my way through previous papers i always use pencil . I find it easier to write with and of course one can correct work with the aid of an erraser. My tutor thinks that probably this is incorrect and that ink should be used . Is there a rule ?
No, there isn't a rule as far as I know. There's nothing wrong with using pencil, although this is better to use as you can correct answers more easily. I never use ink.

Car Expert


I used pencil in my G5 and got a distinction, so I'd say it was allowed smile.gif


I also used pencil all the way to grade 8 and got distinction.
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#14 hillyb

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 20:39

QUOTE(sbhoa @ Nov 5 2007, 06:29 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Rosemary7391 @ Nov 5 2007, 06:20 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Car Expert @ Oct 30 2007, 12:14 PM) View Post

QUOTE(bobplayskeyboards @ Oct 30 2007, 12:11 PM) View Post
I'm going to suffer the process of taking the grade 5 theory exam next week and have just had my final lesson at which my tutor raised a question that maybe you can answer. Whilst working my way through previous papers i always use pencil . I find it easier to write with and of course one can correct work with the aid of an erraser. My tutor thinks that probably this is incorrect and that ink should be used . Is there a rule ?
No, there isn't a rule as far as I know. There's nothing wrong with using pencil, although this is better to use as you can correct answers more easily. I never use ink.

Car Expert


I used pencil in my G5 and got a distinction, so I'd say it was allowed smile.gif


I also used pencil all the way to grade 8 and got distinction.


Pencil is fine!! biggrin.gif

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#15 muse

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 11:05

Just wondering, I know your not allowed to bring any notes with you or representations of the keyboard etc, but are you allowed to write down in your notes, keyboards, key signatures to help you during the test?
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