We advise trying one test on your own, then try at least one test with your music teacher to work through sections you are finding difficult.
Here are our tips for each section. Nb. not all schools use all of the sections listed below so make sure you check which sections you have to answer.
Is the second note higher or lower than the first? Try singing the notes and detecting a rise or fall in pitch. You can ask your teacher to practise this with you in lessons by playing two notes to you and you have to answer same, higher or lower. Ask them to include microtones too.
The shape is a visual representation of the sound. If the pitch rises, the shapes will move upwards. If the sound increases, the shape will become larger. Pick the shape that you think best represents the sounds you are hearing.
As above, the graphic will represent the level of sound. A small graphic opening up to a larger shape will denote soft to loud.
Length of Sound
As above, the graphics are a visual representation of the duration of the beats. A shorter note receives a smaller graphic, a longer note is represented by a longer or larger graphic.
This is a multiple choice listening exercise where you have to indicate any tempo increases or decreases. Try tapping your foot along to find the pulse and then noticing where a change occurs. Select your answer accordingly.
What words would you use to describe the piece? Firstly decide if the piece is in a major or minor key as this can give an indication as to whether it is a brighter, happier sound or a moodier, melancholy sound. Do lots of listening exercises on YouTube and with your teacher to distinguish major from minor.
Can you tell a brass instrument apart from woodwind? This can be tricky so we have lots of video clips for you to watch and listen to help with this. Part 2 of this section will be coming soon covering strings, percussion and keyboards. Have a good browse around YouTube to listen to the wide array of amazing instruments out there! [View Our Tips]
This is the most difficult part of the test for most young musicians so don’t worry if you don’t have any luck with it at the first try. Keep going through this with your teacher in the weeks before the test. Have a look at our guidance video.