Digital Recorded Exam FAQs

For Live Exam FAQ's please click here

While we strongly recommend that an accompaniment (live or recorded) is used we understand that this is not always possible and performance of unaccompanied pieces will be accepted. Pieces/songs that are intended to be performed unaccompanied should remain unaccompanied. Please refer to your syllabus for guidance.

·      an unaccompanied exam

·      a piano accompanist

·     a backing track

·      a mix of all

These are extraordinary circumstances and we understand the impact of current restrictions. Please do not be concerned if you do not have an accompanist or backing track. Our experienced examiners are aware of the challenging environment and will focus only on your performance. 

Yes, if there is a small number of resting bars, please play these rests as written. For rests during long accompanied passages, please count one or two full bars rest and then continue.

Yes. Given the extraordinary circumstances, we understand that you may have to use recorded tracks to rehearse and perform. Just please ensure that the volume of of any tracks you are playing along to are balanced with your own volume, so that the examiner can still hear your performance clearly.

No, you gain absolutely no advantage if you have an accompaniment, and Examiners will be made aware of this. The exam panel will be well-briefed of these circumstances and will take them into consideration. However, it can benefit the candidate to have the experience and support of performing with accompaniment.

Yes. A maximum of 10 marks is available for General Knowledge and Examiners will use the introductions to assess this area. Please refer to the Music Theatre syllabus for guidance. If songs are presented without introduction candidates are not eligible for marks in this section.

No, in this instance the Examiners will be happy to assess based upon their knowledge of the repertoire for RIAM Exams.

Recordings should be completed in one take. If this is not possible separate takes of pieces can be combined. No digital enhancements are permitted in video submissions. All Scales/Arpeggios/Technical Exercises must however be recorded in one unedited take.

Please click here for recording guidelines.

Online exam submission must be a video file with all exam sections performed in one continuous take where possible. Submissions containing only audio files will not be accepted. Scales and Arpeggios must be included in Music Grade submissions. The submissions must have no digital enhancements

The only file types that are permitted are .mov or .mp4 

Editing of video submissions is not permitted, and may result in disqualification. Editing of videos can be regard as enhancement of video or audio after recording to improve the perceived performance.

The name of the candidate, and pieces must all be introduced, clearly. If possible we would ask the candidate to introduce themselves and their repertoire. However, a parent/guardian/teacher may introduce on their behalf. Please note that under 18 candidates must have an adult present for recording, but are not required to introduce themselves.

Please dress appropriately, as you would if you were visiting an Exam centre in person.

If you are sitting a Grade Exam, unfortunately no. You will be asked for your teachers marks when uploading your video.

We understand that pianos are not always perfectly in tune and allowances are made for this. The instrument must be capable of achieving the technical and musical demands of the chosen pieces. It must be understood that Examiners will only be able to assess what they hear.

We would like to remind piano students that digital pianos can be used, and keyboard performances are permitted where they are capable of achieving the technical and musical demands of the chosen pieces (for example, pedalling, and touch sensitivity for dynamics).

If you are performing on an out of tune acoustic piano allowances can be made, but it must be understood (in both the case of keyboards and pianos) that Examiners will only be able to assess what they hear. If you have any concerns with your instrument you should seek guidance from your teacher.

2021 Piano Albums (Elem to Grade V) are valid until Spring 2022. Piano Albums 2022 (Elem to Grade V) are valid until Spring 2023.

Yes. A designated upload field is included on the submission page to submit your programme notes. These form an important part of the criteria for the Recital Certificate Exam and will contribute to the Examiners assessment.

Teachers should recommend marks based upon the students understanding of Theory, overall Communication Skills, Knowledge of chosen pieces, and Literary Background. These will depend on specific exam requests in the syllabus where there is a section for Conversation or Discussion.

Note: some exams will not require a Teacher’s recommended mark eg Recital Programmes

Marks should be recommended out of the following:

  • Early Learning: A maximum of 50 marks
  • Kindergarten - Grade 8:  A maximum of 20 marks
  • Senior Certificate: A maximum of 10 marks

Speech & Drama candidates should include the following sections in their video submission(s):

  • Drama
  • Poetry
  • Prose
  • Mime
  • Improvisation
  • Sight Reading

For on-line submissions, an appropriate sight reading passage should be found under the guidance of the student’s teacher and should relate to specific grade requests in the syllabus.

In situations where the examiner would provide un-seen passages for higher grades, the teacher may provide the student with appropriate sight reading piece(s) for their grade ahead of their recording. Alternatively the student may use appropriate reading material from their school English course.

As a rough guideline, sight reading should be about  1.5 to 2mins duration for most grades when recorded and just a little longer for more senior grades.

In these cases, for the purpose of digitally recorded submissions, the title should be given to the student by their teacher.

Yes. For further information please contact our team at