Online 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. From the Summer 2021 session copies of music (excluding Piano Albums) must be uploaded at the same time as the recorded submission. Photos (.jpg .png) or scans (.pdf) are permissible. 

Yes, all submissions must be completed in one full unedited take. From Spring 2021 edited videos will result in a disqualification. Please click here for recording guidelines.

Online exam submission must be a video file with all exam sections performed in one continuous take. Submissions containing only audio files will not be accepted. Scales and arpeggios should be included in the continuous take. The submissions must be unedited and have no visual or audio enhancement. From Spring 2021 edited videos will result in a disqualification.

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

Editing of video submissions is not permitted, and will result in disqualification from Spring 2021. Editing of videos can be regard as:

  • Enhancement of video or audio after recording
  • Combining separate recordings to make one submission
  • Pausing recording between pieces
  • The use of audio enhancing equipment during recording (including microphones, or amplifiers)

Recordings should be completed in one continuous take.

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, and the adult should introduce themselves in the recording.

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.

Digital pianos can be used, but keyboard performances are not permitted unless they are 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.

2020 Piano Albums (Elem to Grade V) are valid for the Spring 2021 session only. 2021 Piano Albums (Elem to Grade V) are valid from Spring 2021 until Spring 2022.

No, unfortunately, these pieces (Elem to Grade V) are no longer valid.

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 should provide the student with appropriate sight reading piece(s) for their grade ahead of their recording. 

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 on-line submission, the title should be given to the student by the teacher.

Yes. For further information please contact our team at 

We ask that students upload copies of their text(s) for chosen pieces when uploading performance recordings. This is especially important for higher grades including Senior Certificate as the choice contributes to the Examiner’s assessment.