Successfully preparing students for Music Aptitude Tests & Scholarship Entry to Secondary Schools in the UK for over a decade

Download our training test materials to gain familiarity with the kinds of tests you will hear on the day. You can also participate in our individual tutoring sessions on Zoom.

What is the Music Aptitude Test?

Music Aptitude Test specimen training material

What is the Music Aptitude Test? The test is used by state secondary schools in the UK to select a percentage of their intake on a music scholarship programme. The standard test covers Pitch, Texture, Rhythm and Melody and is designed to test a young person’s natural music aptitude. The MAT is used in Stage 1 of the test. Our test also includes supplementary questions and graphic scores to cover the 7-section Music Aptitude Test in the style of the test used for Ashmole Academy.

We also offer 1-to-1 Training Sessions on Zoom

Buy Music Aptitude Tests for SW Herts Consortium Dame Alice Owens Schools

Please note you can check out without a Paypal account. If you are experiencing any issues with our online payment system, please email and we will be able to assist you.

Click on the links below to read our articles to help you succeed with the Music Aptitude Test & Scholarship:
Should I Prepare for the Music Aptitude Test?
How To Succeed at the Music Aptitude Test
Download Training Test Materials

1-to-1 MAT Tutoring On Zoom. Open to all musicians from Year 4 to 6.

With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships.
With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships.

The sample training tests contain 60 questions in each test (total 240 questions). The enhanced test includes 1 sample test of 60 questions covering the 7-section MAT with graphic scores.

You can purchase these online for instant download.

You will receive a Zipped folder containing:

Specimen training tests
Blank question sheet – multiple choice
Answer sheet

The files are Mac or PC compatible. Use your computer or laptop to download and unzip the files. You can then transfer these to an iPad or iPhone using iTunes (also see video below if you do not have iTunes). Do not use Outlook to download the link, please use a browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

For help with unzipping a folder, see here:

How to transfer MP3s to an iPhone:

Buy Music Aptitude Tests for SW Herts Consortium Dame Alice Owens Schools

Please note you can check out without a Paypal account. If you are experiencing any issues with our online payment system, please email and we will be able to assist you.

Which schools use the Music Aptitude Test? This list is not exhaustive and the requirements change each year so please check the current prospectus for your chosen school(s) for up to date information:

Ashmole Academy
Belvedere Academy
Bishop’s Stortford High School
Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School
Bristol Cathedral Choir School
Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School (test may vary to specimen tests we offer)
Chancellor’s School
Chelsea Academy
Claremont High School
Claremont High School Academy
Cooper’s Company and Coburn School
Crayford Academy
Croxley Danes
Dame Alice Owen’s
Elmhurst School for Dance and Performing Arts, Birmingham
Enfield Grammar
Fortismere in Muswell Hil
Gilberd School
Haberdashers’ Aske’s
Hammond School in Chester
Hertfordshire & Essex High School
Highgate School
King David and St. Edwards College
Langley Grammar School
Leventhorpe School
Mill Hill County High School
Moulsham High School
Northampton School
Norwood School of Performing Arts
Old Swinford Hospital
Ongar Academy
Ousedale School
Parmiter’s School
Prendergast Hilly Fields
Prendergast School
Queen’s School Bushey
Rickmansworth School
SE22 Piano School
South West Herts School consortium
St Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton
St Clement Danes
St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh
St Mary’s & St John’s CE School
St Marylebone Church of England School
St Paul’s Way Trust School (test may vary to specimen tests we offer)
Shenfield High School
The Bishop’s Stortford High School
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School
Twyford C of E
Uxbridge High School
Watford Grammar School
Wells Cathedral School
West London Free School
William Ellis School
Woodlands School Essex
Wymondham College

Nb. The following Herts schools offer different scholarships (but not the MAT test when we last looked)

Bushey Meads – Technology Aptitude Test
Goffs School – Languages Aptitude Test
John Warner- Technology Aptitude Test

For assistance with the Music Aptitude Test, have a look at our upcoming 1-to-1 lessons or download our training materials.

We offer 1-to-1 lessons at our studio in East Dulwich and also online.

56 thoughts on “What is the Music Aptitude Test?

  1. Hello, you only mentioned downloads onto ipad and iphone. Are the files not Android compatible? Please advise soonest since iIwould like to purchase today. Many Thanks

    1. The audio files are compatible with Android as long as you are familiar with adding files to your audio player on your phone. However you will need a desktop computer to unzip the files unless you are confident you are able to do this on an Android phone. The file contains two PDF documents to print plus four .mp3 files.

  2. Ordered the files, received the link instantly, files unzipped, no problem. Thanks very much.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Best of luck with the test. Let me know how you get on!

  3. Hi just wanted know before I purchase , would I be able to download the link in IMac. Please let me know thanks.

    1. Yes the files would be fine on an iMac.

  4. Quick question before I buy, will I be able to download it to iPhone directly or I will need to download on PC first? Thanks

    1. Hi Victoria, I am using a Mac laptop and it works fine to transfer to iTunes. No Windows PC required!

      1. So I still need laptop? Can I directly download to I phone with out the laptop?

      2. Ahhh I see what you mean. No you can’t use an iPhone to unzip the folder that contains the MP3 files. Do you have any sort of computer or laptop in the house or at work?

      3. Yes, I just thought there’s a quicker way. But thanks for your help

  5. Are these useful for Round Two? I didn’t think to look for specimen tests for our daughter for Round One but she made it through!

    1. Dear Charlie, it will depend on which school as some use the MAT tests at Round Two as well so have a read of the criteria and see if it would be useful for the next stage. Your teacher will be able to advise if you are not sure. Best of luck with Round Two!

      1. it depends on the school. My daughter just sat round 2. According to her, our school’s test was very much like aural test for grade (ABRSM).

  6. Hi
    Can you please send me anything or access your website to see how useful this site is. My kid will be appearing in the music aptitude test for ashmole academy this year. Can you please guide me regarding this.


    1. Here is the list of the questions covered in our sample training tests:


      Higher or Lower?
      This part of the test asks you to listen to two sounds. You have to decide if the second note is higher or lower than the first or the same. Ask yourself if the second note is rising (higher) or falling (lower) or staying the same.

      If a student is able to sing back a short melody or play it back on their instrument, this will stand them in good stead for the Melody questions. You can help your child at home by playing their favourite songs and asking them to sing back different sections of the songs to you, just using one syllable such as “la” instead of the words.

      The Melody questions will play you one extract of 5 notes in length. The second version may or may not be different and you will be tested on whether you can hear the difference in a melody line by selecting the number of the note that is different.

      The Aptitude Tests play a chord and ask you to identify how many notes you can hear. A chord is two or more notes. In the tests, they will ask you to differentiate between 2, 3 or 4 notes being played at once. The more notes are in the chord, the more dense the sound appears. Here is one of our students trying out Section 3 of the Music Aptitude Test which is available from our MAT Training Web site.

      Sense of rhythm can be developed by plenty of clapping exercises. You can help your child at home with this by playing their favourite songs to them, then asking them to clap back short sections of the song to you. Once they have mastered familiar songs, then present unknown songs to them to see how they cope with unfamiliar rhythms.

    2. We have now updated our tests to cover the 7-section MAT as used by Ashmole Academy.

      Pitch – Candidates will listen to two sounds and have to identify whether the second sound is higher, lower or the same as the first sound. There are 10 questions in this section.

      Shape – Candidates will listen to a melody and identify the shape of the music by picking from a choice of graphic scores. There are 10 questions in this section.

      Volume – Candidates will listen to a piece of music and identify the contrast in volume by picking from a choice of graphic scores. There are 10 questions in this section.

      Lengths of sound – Candidates will identify the correct duration of notes in a piece of music from a selection of graphic scores. There are 10 questions in this section.

      Texture – Candidates will listen to a piece of music and identify how many different instruments are playing. There are 10 questions in this section.

      Speed of the Music – Candidates will identify the tempo of a piece of music and whether there are any changes. There are 5 questions in this section.

      Mood and Emotion – Candidates will identify the mood of a piece of music and justify their answer. There are 5 questions in this section.

      These training materials are available to purchase online. Best of luck for the Ashmole Academy test on Saturday 10th June 2017. Do let us know how you get on.

  7. Hi there,

    Do you have a test for Watford Gammar School please?

    1. Hi Rina – WGS uses the standard MAT test so this is covered in our training materials. Best wishes, Lorraine

  8. Hi – do you have prep tests that cover Cardinal Vaughn. And what would you advise for private schools? Many thanks and congratulations on an informative website.

    1. Hi Mary, can you send me the list of criteria they are using this year so I can have a look and advise on Cardinal Vaughan? With regards to private schools, they use tests more similar to the graded exam aural test. You can read more information about that here:
      Best wishes, Lorraine

  9. Hi Lorraine, please could you help me with a query I have about the rhythm part of the SW Herts Consortium MAT test. If the rhythm is different, should the candidate state which beat is different or which note? Many thanks. Nicky

    1. Hi Nicky, can you send me the list of criteria they are using this year so I can have a look and advise? Best wishes, Lorraine

  10. Hi Lorraine, thanks. Here it is:

    The only equipment required will be a pencil and an eraser. The test will consist of 60 questions of four types: Pitch, Melody, Rhythm and Texture.

    Pitch: For these questions candidates listen to two sounds and have to indicate whether the second sound is the same as the first, or whether it is higher or lower. There are 20 of these questions and some of the pitches are less than a semitone apart.

    Melody: For these questions candidates listen to two tunes consisting of five notes. Candidates have to decide whether the second tune is the same as the first or if one of the notes has been altered. If there is a change, candidates will be expected to identify which note has been altered by giving the note number. There are 10 questions.

    Rhythm: For these questions candidates listen to two patterns of notes and have to decide whether the second pattern is the same as, or different from, the first and where any difference occurs. Each rhythm will be four beats (or pulses) in length. There are 10 questions.

    Texture: For these questions candidates listen to a number of notes played together at the same time. Candidates need to decide whether or not each chord has 2, 3 or 4 notes. There are 20 questions.

    1. Hi Nicky, our tests ask the candidate to pinpoint the difference by the number of the note within the four-beat extract which follows the format of the Melody section which has a fuller description of that part of the test. Music Aptitude Test - Rhythm section

      1. Thanks Lorraine, that’s what I thought but someone I was speaking to has implied that at Parmiters (one of the SW Herts Consortium schools) they are wanting the beat number rather than note number, hence why I was seeking clarification. Have you heard of this variation in the test? Would be great to get a definitive answer! Thanks. Nicky

      2. Hi Nicky – we have produced our materials in line with the criteria given which isn’t clear on this point, but if your friend says it is the beat number, do presume that is correct. I am unable to sit the test myself which is the only way to accurately know what is being asked by each school as the tests the schools use are not available to purchase anywhere. I will ask for more feedback from everyone sitting the test and look at revising this section. However the training tests should still adequately prepare for this section. Best of luck with the test!

  11. Melanie Turner July 21, 2017 — 4:57 pm

    Hi do you know if your test will help for Brentwood ursuline please?

    1. Hi Melanie – I have searched online but cannot find the detailed requirements of Brentwood’s Music Aptitude Test. Do you have any information so I can advise you? All I have found online is this: Each year scholarships may be offered to some students who have been offered a Music Place.
      These applicants would usually be gifted in music and be performing pieces at the aptitude
      assessment of grade 3 or above.

  12. Hi, just bought the tests, downloaded and unzipped them but for some strange reason, they are not playing on my computer at all.. It says that the file is either corrupted or not supported by the system.

    1. Hi Alina – Sorry that it is not unzipping properly. I just tested the link and I can unzip it on my computer but I have sent the files to you individually so that they are not in a Zip file. Do let me know if this works OK on your computer. Best wishes, Lorraine

  13. Files unzipped but nothing opens, not even PDF. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Olga – I have just emailed you an alternative download link that I have tested and it works fine. Do also try downloading them again via the link further down the page that links directly to the zip file as it sounds like there is an error unzipping the files. Do let me know once you have successfully unzipped the Music Aptitude Test files, email is an easier way to communicate. Thanks!

  14. Hi – can students ask for an instruction or notes to be repeated before answering?
    Thanks, Jacqui

    1. Hi Jacqui – which school is your test for as each one varies, but most schools have a room where you do the exam with a CD playing without stopping, or infront of a computer to answer so there isn’t the option to hear it again. Some schools do administer the aural test individually so they may give you the option to repeat the question. Do pause the test in between questions for about 20 seconds though and it’s fine when practising to listen to one section once, then go back and answer it the second time.

  15. Thanks Loraine. It’s the Liverpool St Edwards & KIng David schools.
    I have been pausing in between questions, but there are times when my son asks to listen to certain questions more than once before making his decision. Maybe with more practice, it’ll be more streamlined! Thanks, Jacqui

    1. St. Edwards don’t publish any information on how they administer their test so it would be brilliant if your son could give me some feedback after he does the test. I.e. Do they answer the test on a computer or a written sheet? Best of luck with it!

  16. Hi there, I’m assuming the 4 section test is the correct one for Herts & Essex School, should my daughter practice the 7 section test as well or will this just add confusion? She seems to be doing really well with Pitch and Rhythm but is struggling a little with Melody and Texture. Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jessica – I usually asked my students to try out this section of the test once they are achieving top marks on the standard 4-part test and have completed all of those successfully (nb. it’s good to do the tests several times). However I would err on the side of avoiding it if you are short on time and have only just downloaded the training materials. Best of luck with the test, do let me know how you get on.

  17. Hi Lorraine

    do you know what the Northampton school for boys uses for their Music Test

    1. Hi there – unfortunately they give no indication of what tests they use. Do you know anyone with an older child that has already sat this test? Or you could ask on as there is a lot of discussion about the Music Aptitude Tests on there.

      From the NBS web admissions info:
      You will be able to book your son for an individual short test (up to 10 minutes) with a music
      specialist at a specific time on Monday 16th October 2017. Your son will not need to bring a
      musical instrument. Please note that there are no previous tests available. Neither test requires any preparation
      or revision.

  18. Debra Lillistone-Squires July 19, 2018 — 1:33 pm

    I have just purchased the aptitude test via PayPal but didn’t give my details. So have listed them below. Please let me know if you need a copy of my receipt.

    1. Hi Debra – the test materials are automatically emailed to the address on your PayPal account once payment has been made. Best of luck with the test!

  19. Hi there, I’m looking for practice texture tests that focus on identifying different instruments rather than how many notes in a chord.….which version do you have available? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Wendy – the Enhanced test has one practice section with different instruments.

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