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Frequently Asked Questions about Rockschool exams, qualifications and services.

Exam Information

Q. How do I enter for an exam?

A. Complete the appropriate entry form and return it by post or in person with a crossed cheque (made payable to “Rock school  Limited”) or the original pay-in slip from local banks by the closing date.  Or Register through the Online Registration by the exam closing date.

Q. Can I photocopy the music?

A. Rockschool exam music is copyrighted and may not be copied without permission from Rockschool. However, candidates may photocopy any music you are going to play in the exam to eliminate page turns. The photocopied music will be taken by the examiner at the end of the exam.

Q. How much does an exam cost?

A. The price of an exam varies depending on which grade the candidate is taking. View the exam prices.

Q. Can I arrange my own exam date?

A. No. We work very hard to always offer the candidate the most convenient date, time and location for your exam. Candidates can help us with this by providing the dates they are unavailable on the exam entry form.

Q. Can I change the exam date or time after it's been confirmed?

A. Candidates must tell the Rockschool Representative of any date(s) they are unavailable when they fill in the entry form. Changing an exam date when it has been confirmed is very difficult. Changes to an exam due to medical or lifesaving circumstances (supported by a medical certificate) will not incur a fee. RS Asia will try to alter the date but this cannot be guaranteed.

Any requested changes to an exam date or time after it has been scheduled, that are not for medical or life saving reasons will incur a fee of MYR 50.

Q. Where do the exams take place?

A. Exams take place in;  Alor Setar, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson, Johor Bahru, Batu Pahat, Malacca, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. 

Q. Are there any provisions for candidates with special educational needs? 

A. Yes. Candidates can tell the Rockschool Representative what they need through the Online Registration and/or give the Rockschool Representative a call and Rockschool will do everything they can to support the candidate.

Preparing for a Rockschool Exam

Q. How do I know if I am ready for my exam?

A. Rockschool advises that before entering an exam the candidate should be confident and proficient in everything contained in the grade book. Rockschool advises self taught candidates to have a few lessons with a teacher to check if they are ready.

Q. Do I need to have taken a theory exam, to sit a Rockschool exam?

A. No. Rockschool does not require candidates to take a theory exam before doing an exam.

Q. Do I need to start from the beginning (Entry Level/ Debut) or can I go in at any level, for example: Grade 5?

A. Candidates can take a Rockschool exam at any grade without having taken the grade before or an equivalent exam. Rockschool assumes that if a candidate starts at any level other than Entry Level (Debut) or Grade 1, then they are proficient in the techniques and skills required at the lower grades. Candidates should check the syllabus guide and talk to a teacher before entering an exam.

Q. What are Free Choice pieces/Free Choice elements?

A. A Free Choice piece is the alternative to playing a song from the Grade Books. Each Grade (except Entry Level/ Debut) has one free choice option. Performance Certificates have two free choice options. Candidates can perform either:

  • Their own composition        
  • The Rockschool Hot Rock series contains specially edited exam versions of Grade relevant classic rock songs
  • Solos or studies from other exam boards

The piece must conform to the free choice criteria which can be found on Rockschool UK.

Q. I need some advice on the technical aspects of the exams. What should I do?

A. Rockschool offers Companion guides for Guitar, Bass, Drums, Band Based Keys and Vocals. There is also a Guitar Tech Companion which gives extra support and guidance for teachers and candidates on the technical sides of the exam, all the scales, arpeggios and the unseen tests for guitar.

The syllabus guide for each instrument has a breakdown of the technical requirements for each grade. The syllabus guide for each instrument can be found on Rockschool UK.

During the Exam 

Q. Do I need to bring my Grade Book to the exam?

A. Yes, the candidate will need the book and CD to play the pieces.

Q. What equipment do I need to bring? 

A. The centre will provide backline equipment for your exam i.e. amplifiers and drum kit.

Guitar and bass candidates must bring their own instrument and leads and we recommend bringing spare strings. If the candidate is using FX then we suggest you use batteries, where possible.

Drum candidates must bring their own sticks. (Candidates cannot bring their own drum kit for any grade exam). For Grades 6, 7 and 8, drummers can also bring their own snare and cymbals, Extra time will not be allocated and candidates are adviced not to do so if it takes too much time.

Vocal candidates can bring their own microphones ( if they bring wireless microphone, they must bring transmitter ) for Grade 4 and upwards exams.

Keyboards/Pianocandidates must use the keyboard or digital piano provided by the exam centre. Candidates may bring their own keyboard. However, for the Band-based keys exam, candidates are required to bring their own keyboards.

Q. Do I need to play to the CD in the exam?

A. Yes, the candidate will perform to the backing tracks on the CD and will need the Grade Book to play from. If the candidate is sitting a Popular Piano exam, only the book is needed.

Q. Can I use photocopied sheets for my free choice piece?

A. Candidates must bring two copies of music for the free choice piece; an original copy of the tune for the performance and a second copy (photo copy) for the examiner.

Q. What if I'm ill at the time of my exam?

A. The candidate must contact Rockschool as soon as they know they will not be able to take the exam. We will defer your exam to the next period upon receipt of a doctor or hospital note.

After the Exam 

Q. When will I get my exam results?

A. Candidates will receive their results at the end of the exam session. Please go to the online registration to check your status. If it has been over 8 weeks and the candidate hasn't received their results, contact the Rockschool  Representative

Q. I've lost my certificate. Can I get a replacement?

A. Download and fill in the Rockschool Certificate Replacement Form and follow the instructions within. Replacement certificates cost RM150 each will be marked with the words "Replacement Certificate".

Q. The name is incorrectly spelt on the certificate. Can I get a replacement?

A. Certificates will have the spelling of the name as it is on the entry form. If we have made an error we will replace it.

If the entry form is found to be incorrect there is a cost of RM150 to replace the certificate with the correct name.

Any errors can be amended in the time between issuing the initial letter and confirmation of the exam date. After this point a fee is incurred on any certificate amendments.

Q. How do I make an appeal?

A. Candidates can check the Rockschool appeal process. If the candidate feels their case fits the criteria they can download the Appeal Request form and send it to the Rockschool Representative.

General Questions

Q. How do we become a Rockschool exam centre?

A. Contact the Rockschool Representative and they will let you know if you qualify to be an exam centre before asking you to complete an application form.

Q. I am a teacher. Can I arrange a private day of exams for my students?

A. Teachers need at least 6 hours of exams. Contact the Rockschool Representative and they will let you know if you qualify to have a private day of exams for your students before asking you to complete an application form.