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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ABRSM Exam Tips and Resources

ABRSM Exam Video for Grade 1

Phew! I can breathe an air of relief now that both my kids ABRSM exams as well as school term tests are over. It was really tough to have both of the exams falling around the same dates. I had to prepare both kids for both exams at the same time.

I found the ABRSM website especially the Students section really useful to help me prepare the kids. The exam tips and resources for ABRSM students was very useful. They had Top Tips for Exam Preparation, Advice for the Exam Day, Mini Guide to Exams and Exam Videos like the one you see above which is for children taking the Grade 1 ABRSM exam. There was another video posted on that page for the Grade 5 ABRSM exam.

I read the Top Ten Tips for Practical ABRSM Exam Success to my kids. I especially like the part which reminded students that the examiner is on their side and read it to my kids. Hopefully that allayed some of their jitters. I also showed them the ABRSM exam videos to give them an idea of what to expect.

With that and with all their months of preparation including a trial exam and a candidate's concert by their music school, I think they walked into the examination room yesterday knowing fully what to expect. I think that really helps during exams. Tips on the exam day is always useful for children so that they don't get so nervous on exam day that all the months of preparation and effort goes down the drain.


  1. I also let my kids learn piano. They both just started this year. I don't plan to let them sit for any Piano exams. I just want them to have fun playing the music.

  2. This post reminded me when I was young....going thru music lessons one after another, chasing exams...

    HOpe you daughter will do well.

  3. whoa! it's all coming back to me now. Memories. Looking at the girl in the video reminds me of myself. So nervous during exams. LOL. Hope your children will do well..:)

  4. Sheoh Yan,
    Yes, taking exams just about kills the fun doesn't it?

    Little Lamb,
    Are you pleased you did that or do you look back with unpleasantness and regrets?

    Just wondering, would you let your child go through what you did in terms of music or would you do it differently?

  5. I remember my days of taking ABRSM up to Grade 8. While I enjoyed playing the piano, I didn't enjoy practising those 3 pieces etc etc almost the whole year long just to make sure I did well for exams. Luckily I played a lot of other classical pieces, pop songs etc. Now I decided to let my child learn a syllabus different from ABRSM because I know she's the type who will find ABRSM boring. I think what's important is to know what is your purpose of giving your child piano/music lessons.

  6. Sorry MG, only replied it now. Last time when I had to go through it, I just thought that everything that you learn, there will be exams for it. LOL. How naive. But if you ask me, I think I will still let my child go thru what I did. but at least now, i'm letting her learn Junior Music Course first. Something which I've not gone through.

    I was chatting with my friend the other day who also learnt piano when she was young. I asked for her opinion whether I'm being a pushy mom towards my child. She said her mom also nagged at her to get her practise everyday. She said if you don't nag how to get your child to practise? She also said that we need to practise playing the piano everyday too. So she was saying that I'm considered not pushy already. I don't ask my daughter to play the piece many many times. Maybe the most is twice. She also don't play the piano during weekends. Tired she would say because she has classes on Saturday.

    When I was young..learning the piano, I wasn't so stressed with the exams but I was more stressed with the teacher actually! lol. And also stressed with my mom's nagging lar to practise it everyday. You know humans we like to rebel, the more u nag the more we feel like not doing it.

    So how do you get your children to practise? And do you think taking exams are important?

  7. Anna,
    " I think what's important is to know what is your purpose of giving your child piano/music lessons."

    Totally agree with you but I'm still finding that purpose!

    I only get them to practise hard just before exams! The rest of the time we're pretty relaxed. Terrible huh? I think that taking exams are important but it must be achieved with the right balance or it will kill musical interest.


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