studentdoing
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how bad does a music exam need to go for you to fail it? I just did my grade 7 piano exam and it went awfully ... i am genuinely convinced that i have failed.

has anyone ever failed a music exam before, and if so, how much went wrong?
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Zaiiiin
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(Original post by studentdoing)
how bad does a music exam need to go for you to fail it? I just did my grade 7 piano exam and it went awfully ... i am genuinely convinced that i have failed.

has anyone ever failed a music exam before, and if so, how much went wrong?
If ur doing gcse then anything below a 4 is a fail
And it’s same for a level so ur fine lol
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pianowithsam
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If we're talking about instrument grades that are outside of academic learning (GCSE, A Level etc...), it all depends on the examiner.
I've spoken to a few examiners that have marked practical and theory grades and they said that they are reluctant to mark a candidate as failed, but of course, they have to be realistic in their judgement.
It's normal to feel that way after an exam, especially one where there is lots of pressure such as a music grade.

Just hang in there and wait for the results. Anything can happen
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Davros 2
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(Original post by Zaiiiin)
If ur doing gcse then anything below a 4 is a fail
And it’s same for a level so ur fine lol
It's practical music exams (playing instruments to an examiner, Sight reading, aural test), which are unconnected to GCSEs or A levels.
Grade 7 isn't the nth best grade one can achieve, but the seventh level of music exam (grade 1 being Twinkle Twinkle little star difficulty, grade 8 being Bach violin concerto A minor difficulty)
Sorry for the infodump, especially if you knew that all already.
With regards to the original question, I'd say you really don't need to play that well to pass.
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studentdoing
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thank you for the replies, in all of my other piano exams i’ve come out thinking i did bad and then it was okay in the end but this one felt different, like i genuinely had failed.

usually pieces are my strong point and i can do a few aural questions, which makes up for my terrible sight reading.

however, in this one i made a mistake in one of the scales and made a major mistake in each one of my pieces. i played through it like nothing happened but it’s just annoying and threw my mental state off a bit.

then i went on to sight reading which was awful as i had expected, i literally just played the notes with no recognition of the rhythm or dynamics.

then the sight singing was real bad ... i finished singing and they carried on playing the piano accompaniment for 2 more bars ... i had got the timing completely wrong

i think i might have got the cadence right and hopefully the modulation, but when it came to singing the lower part of a piece i found it so difficult to remember and just had to make it up basically. same with when i had to clap back the rhythm, i found it incredibly difficult

then i was unsure on the period of a piece he played, whether it was romantic or 20th century. i said romantic because of the wide keyboard range and use of the pedal, but i don’t think that was a good enough answer tbh

then he asked me what the character of the piece was and i froze and couldn’t think of anything, so he asked me whether it was major or minor and i just said major

he finished off asking for the time signature which i had no idea, my memory of the piece had been completely wiped and i couldn’t even remember if it had been 3/4 / 6/8 or 2/4 / 4/4. i paused for ages and then said ‘sorry’ but he thought i said 3 sooo that’s the answer i gave !

but yeah, basically it was the worst one i’ve ever done. i gave everything a try so i know i haven’t got 0 at least but i don’t think it’s good enough to pass
Last edited by studentdoing; 1 year ago
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Davros 2
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(Original post by studentdoing)
thank you for the replies, in all of my other piano exams i’ve come out thinking i did bad and then it was okay in the end but this one felt different, like i genuinely had failed.

usually pieces are my strong point and i can do a few aural questions, which makes up for my terrible sight reading.

however, in this one i made a mistake in one of the scales and made a major mistake in each one of my pieces. i played through it like nothing happened but it’s just annoying and threw my mental state off a bit.

then i went on to sight reading which was awful as i had expected, i literally just played the notes with no recognition of the rhythm or dynamics.

then the sight singing was real bad ... i finished singing and they carried on playing the piano accompaniment for 2 more bars ... i had got the timing completely wrong

i think i might have got the cadence right and hopefully the modulation, but when it came to singing the lower part of a piece i found it so difficult to remember and just had to make it up basically. same with when i had to clap back the rhythm, i found it incredibly difficult

then i was unsure on the period of a piece he played, whether it was romantic or 20th century. i said romantic because of the wide keyboard range and use of the pedal, but i don’t think that was a good enough answer tbh

then he asked me what the character of the piece was and i froze and couldn’t think of anything, so he asked me whether it was major or minor and i just said major

he finished off asking for the time signature which i had no idea, my memory of the piece had been completely wiped and i couldn’t even remember if it had been 3/4 / 6/8 or 2/4 / 4/4. i paused for ages and then said ‘sorry’ but he thought i said 3 sooo that’s the answer i gave !

but yeah, basically it was the worst one i’ve ever done. i gave everything a try so i know i haven’t got 0 at least but i don’t think it’s good enough to pass
You could probably pass with that.
Also it's good that you kept going when you made mistakes in the pieces.
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LeapingLucy
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My piano teacher was an ABRSM examiner, and he said that they generally tried to round a mark up to 100 if it was in the vicinity...
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lilTrain
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i doubt you wouldve failed. im sure to an examiner, a failed exam would be: many note errors and pauses, scales not learnt properly, weak playing, sounding like u dont even wanna be there etc. even this can get you a pass though. i remember my first exam i did really bad, but still passed with 106/150 lool
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honeydukes01
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You’ll probably be fine - remember they have to give you a third of the marks in each section for just attempting it! It really depends on the examiner too in my experience, as some are veryyyy generous (and others far too stingy!). We often only remember the bad bits, and I think examiners do overlook slips due to exam pressure at the higher grades. They also have some strange psychic power to determine ‘musicality’ of a candidate, and seem to note when mistakes are due to nerves as opposed to lack of practice or lack of ability.
At the end of the day, if you do fail, it’s really not a big deal - you can just retake it ) My worst ever mark was 89 (lol) and my highest was 131. Both were grade 8s on different instruments. Ironically, the ‘distinction’ exam was probably worse than the one I failed - just shows how silly it is to try and quantify something as subjective as music. Exams are just a single person’s opinion of your playing on a single day!!!! )
Last edited by honeydukes01; 1 year ago
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studentdoing
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(Original post by honeydukes01)
You’ll probably be fine - remember they have to give you a third of the marks in each section for just attempting it! It really depends on the examiner too in my experience, as some are veryyyy generous (and others far too stingy!). We often only remember the bad bits, and I think examiners do overlook slips due to exam pressure at the higher grades. They also have some strange psychic power to determine ‘musicality’ of a candidate, and seem to note when mistakes are due to nerves as opposed to lack of practice or lack of ability.
At the end of the day, if you do fail, it’s really not a big deal - you can just retake it ) My worst ever mark was 89 (lol) and my highest was 131. Both were grade 8s on different instruments. Ironically, the ‘distinction’ exam was probably worse than the one I failed - just shows how silly it is to try and quantify something as subjective as music. Exams are just a single person’s opinion of your playing on a single day!!!! )
thank you so much, hopefully he won’t be too stingy with the marks. he seemed like a nice guy cus he offered me a tissue at the end (i was crying lol) so maybe he’ll be able to round it up to 100 marks if i did fail!
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