Graded Music Exams are great for developing a full range of skills and techniques, learning new styles of music but also nurturing your performance skills.

Graded Music Exams

Grade Exams and Performance Certificates are available from Entry Level (Debut) up to Grade 8. Each grade has a wide choice of rock, pop, funk and world music tunes that cover all the key skills required at that grade. For more information visit Rockschool UK.

Graded Exam or Performance Certificate

At each grade there are two types of exam available: Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

A Grade Exam consists of:
  • 3 performance pieces
  • Technical exercises
  • Musicianship tests
A Performance Certificate consists of: 
  • 5 performance pieces

Free Choice Piece

*2012 Syllabus amendments:

At each grade, except Entry Level (Debut), there is an element of free choice. For the 2012 Syllabus you can now choose two performance pieces in a Grade Exam or Three performance pieces in a Performance Certificate with a song of your choosing, as long as it is technically of the same level. Contact us for the Free Choice Piece criteria.

Preparing For The Exam

Everything the candidate needs for the exam is in the grade book.The Syllabus Guide for each instrument covers the things the candidate will need to prepare. Rockschool recommends that self-taught musicians have a few lessons with a teacher before an exam to make sure they are ready.


Diplomas are a natural progression from a Grade 8 qualification for musicians who want to pursue a career in music. Are Diploma qualifications are great for musicians with busy schedules and are achieved via distance learning.

Rockschool Diplomas are flexible qualifications based around coursework and a practical examination. Available at Levels 4 and 6, The Teaching and Performance Diplomas are distance learning qualifications that the candidate can study in their own time.

Preparing For A Diploma

The Syllabus Guide for each Diploma covers everything the candidate needs to produce for the course work unit and what the examiner will be looking for in the exam. Supporting resources are available online, at Rockschool UK when the candidate registers for a Diploma

Teaching Diplomas

Teaching Diplomas are a natural progression for musicians who want to develop their existing teaching skills or want to go into music education. Teaching Diplomas are a guarantee of quality and experience for potential students and parents looking for a music teacher. For more information about Teaching Diplomas visit Rockschool UK.

Performance Diplomas

Performance Diplomas are for musicians who want to develop and hone their existing performance skills and learn about the business and marketing side to being an independent artist. For more information about Performance Diplomas visit Rockschool UK.