Exam Protocol

In addition to our general Terms and Conditions here is some useful background information to help you prepare for your exam and what to expect…

Set-up time

Set–up time is allowed for a candidate to prepare their instrument and/or other related equipment before the exam commences.  Tuning of instruments is included within this time.  Generally 3-5 minutes is allocated.   More complex set-up may only be installed during convenient breaks in the exam schedule but this cannot over run and cause a disturbance to other candidates.  Therefore it is strongly recommended that when a more complex set-up is required the best time to carry out this activity is before an exam session commences, with the candidate disassembling at the conclusion of the exam session.

Exam room protocol

Our examiners’ follow NME’s Safeguarding Code of Conduct. 

Examiners will greet candidates with initial pleasantries.  The examiner will listen to the candidate’s performance whilst marking and writing comments on the Mark Sheet.  The examiner will not normally make any remark on the performance to the candidate.  The examiner will use customary pleasantries at the end of the exam when all elements have been completed.  Candidates who are extremely nervous and perhaps experience a major breakdown during the exam, can request to play or sing one of their pieces again for the examiner to re-mark without penalty.

Instruments and associated accessories

It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure all instruments and equipment which they bring and use for an exam complies with Health and Safety legislation.

At an examination centre it is responsibility of the teacher/school (The Applicant) to provide a Piano, which has been tuned for candidate’s taking the Contemporary Piano and as required. At an examination venue it is responsibility of NME to provide a Piano, which has been tuned for candidate’s taking the Contemporary Piano and as required.   Please see Statement of Centres for further information. Digital Pianos are permitted for all Contemporary Piano Grades however an Acoustic Piano is not permitted for Digital Piano Grades.

Sheet music

We require candidates to use published copy of sheet music (except for candidates own original composition). It is illegal to photocopy copyrighted sheet music except for very limited purpose. Copyright legislation allows in the examination room a photocopy of music if needed, providing the candidate uses the original published copy for examination purpose whilst the examiner uses the provided copy. It is a requirement that any photocopy used is destroyed after the exam has concluded.  Please refer to Music Publishers Association web site for further informationwww.mpaonline.com

Accompanists and Page-turners

If an examination requires the candidate to have an accompanist, for example some Flute grades, the candidate is required to make arrangements.  Nationwide Music Examinations does not supply an accompanist for candidates.  An accompanist should only remain in the examination room whilst required.  It is worth mentioning that CD backing is allowed as an accompaniment.  Page-turners are permitted to assist candidates and accompanists with any awkward page turn, however copyright law does allow in the examination room, to help overcome difficult page turning limited photocopying e.g. a single passage or a page, any photocopy used must be destroyed at the conclusion of the exam.  Page-turners should only remain in the examination room whilst needed and should leave at an appropriate point.  Examiners will not page-turn for candidates or accompanists.

Performance of repertoire and supporting exercises

Repertoire should be performed as indicated within the published sheet music or as indicated in your arrangement or original composition.  When using an arrangement or original composed repertoire the examiner should be supplied with a copy at the beginning of the exam.  It is also required that examiners be given a copy of any ‘Own Choice’ pieces. (See Sheet Music section above)

Most of our instrumental grades allow candidates a choice of supporting exercises within the syllabus; for example this might be ‘rhythm’ OR the chance to ‘play one of your chosen pieces from memory’. We ask candidates to inform the examiner – verbally or in written format – regarding their preference upon entering the examination room.

Backing tracks – CD etc.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide all playback equipment. Recorded backing used must be of a quality that will not impede the candidate’s performance.  The recorded backing must not include any solo work for which the candidate is being marked during the exam.  Candidates have the responsibility to ensure all equipment used to facilitate backing is compliant with Health and Safety legislation.

Admission to examination room

Candidates with special educational, mobility or sensory needs;

Candidates can request additional assistance, such as having a parent, carer, reader or teacher present throughout an examination. They may also be permitted to have support with set-up, page-turning or operation of backing tracks. For further detail please refer to our Reasonable Adjustment and Special Considerations Policy.