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Piano prep test - anyone's dc taken it? Why instead of grade 1?

(10 Posts)
Bubbletree4 Wed 30-Sep-15 11:54:33

DD has lessons through school so I don't get to see/talk to the teacher otherwise I would ask.

Note in book says "prep test". That's it. I know nothing about where/when/what/how etc! My other dc did not take the prep test, went straight to grade 1 so it's all new to me.

Can anyone tell me what is involved and what you get at the end of it (like an exam marking/comments sheet?). I know you can't fail, which is possibly why the teacher has suggested this instead of grade 1 (SEN involved so v important not to be plunged into situations where no idea what's going to happen).

Thank you!

ShellingPeasAgain Wed 30-Sep-15 12:04:21

Prep test is pre-grade 1 level. It can be a useful stepping stone for children who progress a little slower than others and want the experience of exam conditions without the pass/fail aspect.

They get a handwritten comments sheet and certificate on the day. Comments are tailored to be positive and encouraging but can also suggest areas which need developing.

Booking for prep test is the same as for other graded exams, so you'd need to pay the entry fee (somewhere around £35 I think) and then the date would be set by the exam board. Usually about 6 weeks' notice given, although if it's at a school special visit you should know more in advance.

Radiodependent Wed 30-Sep-15 12:13:53

Prep test is lovely, very encouraging and fun for the child and really builds confidence. I don't personally see it as something for children who are slower, I just use it as some experience of playing to a stranger on the way to Grade 1. It's especially good for very young children.

Witchend Wed 30-Sep-15 14:10:57

Prep test is great for the young child who hasn't done exams before.

It gives them an uncompetitive idea of what a real exam is like, and the examiners are usually lovely with them. So for a child who likes to know what they're doing, or gets very nervous, it's a good non-threatening way of trialling an exam.

One thing that always makes me smile is dd1 did her prep test, and about a year later her best friend, who could be very competitive with her, did hers. Dd1 asked her afterwards if she'd brought the certificate into school to show in assembly, and her best friend said she had, but added. "You were wrong that it is pass and fail. It's a very hard test and most people fail. I know this because the examiner had pass certificates and fail certificates. I know most people fail because he only had one pass certificate, and a huge pile of fail ones."

Dd1, who believed every word this child said, repeated this to me, and added she must have done a different prep test tot he one she'd done.
I pointed out gently, that there was only one prep test, and that nowhere gives out fail certificates, and surely having a huge pile left would mean that no one had got them.
She listened very carefully and said "that's true, but I better not tell BF because she might be upset because she thinks it's a pass certificate."

MissyMew123 Fri 02-Oct-15 12:20:17

Our DD did this after about 6 months of playing, took in July. It was really worth it, gave her lots of confidence for future grades as she now knows what to expect. Lovley comments from the examiner really encouraging her to take grade 1.

LilyBolero Sun 04-Oct-15 15:42:41

Prep test will always be positive, encouraging, and a nice experience for the child. For a pianist it is particularly valuable, as it gives them the experience of going into the exam room on their own, which most other candidates don't have to do (they will generally have an accompanist with them), but in a non-scary way.

And yy, no pass or fail, just comments which will be all encouraging!

EvilTwins Sun 04-Oct-15 15:48:11

My DD did trinity prep test and found it a very positive experience. Not sure if it's different to others though - we got results about a week later - she got a Distintion so not just pass/fail. We got the mark sheet and certificate about 6 weeks later. It helped her feel confident about future exams.

LilyBolero Sun 04-Oct-15 15:51:33

ABRSM there is no 'result' as such - no marks given and no pass/fail, and the candidate takes the certificate with them as they leave, with comments written straight on to the certificate.

EvilTwins Sun 04-Oct-15 15:52:50

Ah, ok. That explains it then. Trinity obviously has a different system, though it was just as positive an experience.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 14-Oct-15 17:50:15

It's not just for children! Our local centre had a retired man taking piano Prep Test a couple of years ago. The examiner was delighted and full of encouragement for this new step in the candidate's life. He and his wife were off after the test for a coffee, a cake, and a smart frame for the certificate.

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