Exam help and FAQs

Full details of all qualifications can be found in the relevant syllabus for your instrument or in our Information & Regulations booklet.

There can be a lot to think about ahead of your exam, and so we have compiled a checklist to help things go smoothly on the day.

Please also ensure you check our Syllabus Errata page for corrections and clarifications.

You will find some key quick links on the right-hand side of this page. Our FAQs are organised into categories below.

If you are entering via a Trinity public centre, your Local Area Representative will be happy to help with most queries. This includes questions about results and certificates.  Find the contact details for your Representative on our music public centre map or the Rock & Pop centre list.

If you still can't find an answer to your query, please contact music@trinitycollege.com and we will be happy to assist you.  

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Which music exam is right for me?

Trinity offers a wide range of grade, certificate and diploma exams across a variety of musical genres. Please refer to the Music section of our website for full details of all our music exams.

How do I prepare for an exam?

Requirements for the exam can be found in the relevant music syllabus, available to download free of charge from the Music section of our website or a hard copy can be ordered by emailing ukandireland@trinitycollege.co.uk with the following details

  • Which syllabus you would like (please specify Classical and Jazz or Rock and Pop for any instruments that appear in both such as Electronic Keyboard)
  • How many copies you require
  • The postal address you with them to be set to.

Trinity publishes a range of supporting publications and other resources; again please refer to our website for full details.

The validity period of all of our Music syllabuses is included in the publications and documents that relate to them. Once a new syllabus is published we allow an overlap period (usually one year for Music Grade exams) before withdrawing the availability of the old syllabus, please refer to our website for further details.

Are there any prerequisites required before entering for an exam?

There are no prerequisites to enter any of our grade or certificate exams. Please refer to the relevant music syllabus for details of prerequisites applying to diploma exams.

Whilst we do not require candidates to have achieved a music theory grade in order to enter for any level of performance examination, full suite of theory grade examinations is available to complement the practical examinations.

Are there any age requirements for entering Trinity’s music exams?

There are no age requirements for grades, certificates or performance diplomas. Please refer to the relevant music syllabus for age requirements for teaching diplomas.

Where can I take a Trinity Music exam?

Classical & Jazz exams can be taken at one of Trinity’s public centres. There are two booking types offered for public exams in the UK; Postal booking and Music online booking. You can find specific FAQS on entry to each type further down this page. To find a map of all our public centres and whether they are postal or online booking please click here.

Rock & Pop exams can also be taken at one of our network of public centres and are all booked online. Find out list of maps and venues on the Rock & Pop website.

In England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, schools and private teachers with sufficient candidates may apply to become a Registered Exam Centre and enter under the Examiner Visit Scheme.

Who can make an exam entry?

Exam entries can be submitted by a teacher, parent or guardian, or by candidates themselves if they are aged 18 or over. All correspondence relating to the examination will be with this person only, with the exception of digital entries where account communications will happen via the email given for the candidate (which can be the teacher's email).

How do I ensure I enter for the right exam?

Before you enter for an exam please ensure that the syllabus you have been preparing for is still valid; more information on validity dates and overlap period can be found on the Music section of our website.

Please be extra careful when entering for the following syllabus areas:

  • Drum Kit
  • Singing
  • Electronic Keyboard
  • Acoustic/ Classical Guitar

We have Rock & Pop equivalents to these syllabuses so carefully check your syllabus copy or book before making an entry.

What are the dates of the examinations?

All public centre dates can be found on the map on our Public exam booking page.

For postal entry an exam booking will be assigned to any of the advertised dates, for Music online booking you pick a date at the time of booking.

Confirmation of exact exams dates and times of a booked exam will be sent

  • on an Appointment Slip for Classical & Jazz postal entry and all Rock & Pop entries. These are normally sent out three weeks before the examination date
  • within 24 hours for Classical & Jazz music online booking.

What is the closing date for application?

The closing dates for exams can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

Please note for centres with online booking entry, closing dates are standardly four weeks before the exam session but can be sooner if that session becomes fully booked.

What if I enter the wrong details?

If you entered incorrect details, please contact your centre representative as soon as possible. Centre/contact details can be found on the map on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

What if my personal details change?

If your personal details change after booking the exam, please contact your centre representative as soon as possible. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

Can I transfer an entry to a different centre?

Entries at one centre may be transferred to a different centre for a fee; however, they cannot be transferred to a later exam session. Please contact your centre representative to discuss options. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

Can I transfer an entry to a different candidate?

Exam entries cannot be transferred from the name of one candidate to another.

I can’t make the date/time I have been given, can I change it?

Trinity cannot guarantee that we will be able to change your appointment time. If you are unable to make the exam appointment you have been allocated please contact the centre representative to see if another appointment is possible. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop. Any changes made to a booking made via our Music online booking site may incur a £15 administration fee.

Can I enter for more than one exam in the same session?

Candidates may enter for more than one practical exam at the same session, but no more than one entry will be accepted per candidate, per session in the same grade and instrument.

What provision is available for candidates with special educational needs?

Trinity College London is committed to creating an inclusive environment where candidates with special educational needs are able to demonstrate their skills and feel welcome. We aim to make our exams accessible to all. We treat each learner individually when considering how we can achieve this aim, recognising that requirements vary.

Candidates who wish to make the examiner aware of their condition, or require modifications to the exam format such as extra time or tests provided in a preferred format, must complete a special needs provision form, along with appropriate medical evidence. For further information please see Music special needs.

How will I receive information about my exam booking?

You will receive a booking acknowledgement email within 6 hours, followed by a more detailed booking confirmation including the time of your exam within 24 hours.

These emails will arrive from musicbooking@trinitycollege.com - please remember to check your junk or spam email folders if you cannot see these. If you do not receive these messages please contact us on 020 7820 6166.

Where do I send my application?

Completed application forms should be sent with payment to your centre representative. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map. To receive a receipt confirming that your application has been received please include a stamped addressed envelope with your application.

Can I request a specific date?

You cannot request a specific date; however, if there are any dates within the advertised week that you or your candidate cannot attend please state this in section C on the entry form. These date exemptions cannot be guaranteed but centre representatives will do their best to work around your requests. The more dates you make yourself unavailable for the less likely it is that the centre representative will be able to accommodate you.

When will I receive the specific time and date of my exam?

Appointment forms detail the time and date of your exam, they are sent out 3 weeks prior to the exam date. If you have not received your appointment form within 3 weeks of the exam session beginning you should contact your centre representative directly as they are in charge of all exam scheduling. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map.

What if I have missed the deadline?

If you have missed the deadline for your chosen exam session it may be possible to make a late entry. Anyone wishing to make a late entry must contact their centre representative who will advise on whether it will be possible. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map. Late entries are not available for any centres using music online booking.

All requests made after the closing date will be liable for a surcharge. Late entry requests will depend on there being enough time in the examiner’s schedule to accommodate additional candidates and/or to arrange the provision of additional exam papers.

The following fees apply:

Date of request after the booking date

Surcharge - Practical exams

Surcharge - Written exams


Between the closing date and 21 days before the exam



Between 20 days and 14 days before the exam


Not possible

Less than 14 days before the exam date

Not possible

Not possible

Trinity and its representatives make no guarantee that acceptance of a late entry will result in the exam taking place. If a late entry has been accepted but the exam cannot take place, the fee will be refunded at Trinity’s discretion.

How much does a Trinity Music exam cost?

Details of current exam fees in the UK and Republic of Ireland are available from our website.

How do I pay?

Payment type depends on the kind of public centre you are entering via.

  • For centres accepting postal entry a cheque should be sent together with the entry form, made payable to ‘Trinity College London’.
  • For centres accepting online entry, Trinity accepts credit or debit card payments via the music booking website.
  • For Rock and Pop exams, Trinity accepts credit or debit card payments via the online booking site.
  • For Digital Grades and Diplomas, Trinity accepts credit or debit card payments via the online booking site.

How long does an exam take?

Please check the relevant music syllabus on the Music section of our website.

What if I need to postpone or cancel my exam, including if I am unwell?

If you can't attend the exam, please contact your centre representative immediately. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

If candidates wish to postpone or cancel their exam, the original fee will not be refunded. There are special arrangements in case of genuine compassionate circumstances.

If you can’t attend the exam due to illness, the person who submitted the entry may apply to Trinity for a re-entry permit by providing a medical certificate current for the date of the exam and the appointment form originally issued. Full details can be found in the Information and Regulations booklet. Alternatively, if you can’t attend the exam due to illness we will be happy to provide a free transfer to a Digital Grades & Diplomas exam.

If you are a candidate at one of our Public Centres please read our additional Candidate Guidance regarding sickness prior to attending your exam.

What if I'm delayed or late for the exam?

If you are delayed or going to be late, please inform your centre representative straight away. The steward at the exam centre will decide if you can take the exam or not. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

What should I bring to my exam?

Remember to bring along your filled in appointment slip ready to hand to the examiner. Failing to bring the appointment slip may result in you not being allowed to enter the exam room.

If you’re using photocopies of music you must bring along the original version the copies are taken from.

If you’re using a backing CD check with the centre representative before arriving what playback equipment they have. If you’re taking any exam other than drumkit then it is expected that you will bring your own playback equipment and so most centres will not necessarily have anything for you to use.

When should I arrive for my exam?

You must arrive 15 minutes before your allotted exam time

What will happen on the exam day?

There can be a lot to think about ahead of your exam, and so we have compiled a checklist to help things go smoothly on the day.

Will I be able to warm up/practice before my exam?

Trinity do not promise to provide a warm up room, but almost all do. Please contact your centre representative before booking if you’re concerned about this. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

When will I receive the result of my exam?

  • Report forms for grade and certificate exams are normally issued within two weeks of completion of a centre’s exam session.
  • Diploma report forms are normally issued six to eight weeks after the exam date.

When will I get my certificate?

Certificates are issued 6-8 weeks after the exam session to the centre representative who will forward them to the named applicant on the entry form.

If you have not received your report form or certificate within the given timeframes then please contact the centre representative directly. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

What if I need to order a replacement certificate?

Please complete and return the Certificate Replacement and Amendment Form – available here. Please note there is a fee applicable for this.

What if my exam results is referred?

A candidate’s report form and mark may be referred to Trinity’s London office in the event of an irregularity taking place in the examination. Please note that, in the event of a syllabus infringement on the part of the candidate, depending on the severity of the infringement, marks may be deducted or, in extreme cases, the exam may be invalidated.”

The outcome of referred exams will be communicated to your centre representative for disclosure to the candidate as soon as possible after the matter has been considered by Trinity; the final results and report form will be provided at this time. The referral process may take up to 6 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the issue.

For more information on referral and for examples of syllabus infringements please see our website.

What if I think the exam result is wrong?

If you wish to make a formal enquiry about the result of an exam please refer to Enquiries about results for full details of our results review and appeals process.

How can I make a complaint or give feedback?

Many points of dissatisfaction are best dealt with by contacting the centre representative where the examination took place. Contact details for centre representatives can be found on our public centre map for Classical & Jazz or on our dates and venues list for Rock & Pop.

If you are still dissatisfied with the service you have received you can register a formal complaint by writing to us at complaints@trinitycollege.com or via our online form.

In all correspondence, please state the relevant candidate number (where applicable) and provide us with copies of any relevant correspondence or documentation. Please note that a complaint will never result in any change of marking – this requires an enquiry about your result.

Can I use my exam to support University entry?

Trinity College London's Level 3 qualifications (Grades 6-8) in music performance and theory are included in the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) tariff, and attract UCAS points for university and higher education entry. For more information see our website.

Do Trinity Music exams attract Progress 8 points?

Performance tables are a key accountability measure for state-funded schools in England. Trinity’s music graded exams at grades 6-8 carry Progress 8 points which contribute towards these accountability measures. For more information on how to ensure these are collected by your school please see our website.

How do I become a registered exam centre?

You will need to complete an application form to become a Registered Exam Centre for Trinity Music and include supporting pictures of the proposed exam room(s) and the piano. For more information on how to become a Registered Exam centre see our website.

How do I arrange a private examiner visit?

If you would like to arrange a private examiner visit, please see Private music exam visits. Please also read our Music - Centre best practice guide for everything you need to know about being a Registered Exam Centre for Music.

When can I take a theory exam?

Theory exams are held on set dates during the year (usually May and November). Please see our UK & Ireland Theory exam page for details of upcoming dates and closing dates.

Where can I take a theory exam?

You can take an exam at any of the centres list on the map on our Theory exam page. Private exams centres can also host exams.

Can I run theory exams at a private exam centre?

You can hold theory exams / written paper exams at your own organisation with no minimum fee on our set theory exam days. Please see our Theory exam page for more information.

How much does a theory exam cost?

All exam fees for the United Kingdom and Ireland are outlines on our fees page.

Where can I enter for a Diploma exam?

Many of our centres are able to offer Music Diploma exams, they can be taken at centres marked as a Diplomas centre on our public centre map.

What are the pre requisites for a Trinity Diploma Exam?

For Music Performance Diplomas there are no prerequisites for ATCL or LTCL. The prerequisite for FTCL is LTCL in the same instrument. Candidates who have passed LTCL should indicate this in the appropriate place on the entry form. Candidates wishing to take FTCL who do not have an LTCL may substitute an equivalent qualification, or offer prior learning at a similar level.

For Music Teaching and Theory Diploma pre requisites please see the appropriate syllabus.

What substitute pre-requisites does Trinity accept?

For Music Performance Diplomas Any substitute qualification or prior learning must be approved by Trinity. Examples of alternative qualifications accepted in place of LTCL include:

  • ARCM, ARNCM, LGSMD(P), LMusA, LRAM, LRSM, LLCM diplomas in performance, in the same instrument
  • Other performance diplomas of graduate status, eg GTCL, GRSM, in the same instrument
  • BA (with performance) or BMus from a conservatoire, eg Trinity Laban, or froma university, in the same instrument.

Applications for approval of substitute qualifications or prior learning must be sent to music@trinitycollege.com at least six weeks before the closing date for entries at the chosen exam centre. Applicants should attach as much evidence as possible of learning gained. This may include transcripts, syllabuses, concert programmes, references, etc. Each case will be considered on its individual merits. If the application is approved, Trinity will supply a reference number which must be quoted on the entry form. Candidates may not enter for an exam until they have received this reference number; provisional and conditional entries cannot be accepted.

For Music Teaching and Theory Diploma please see the appropriate syllabus.

Where can I find the repertoire lists for Music Performance Diplomas?

All of our performance diploma repertoire lists are now available exclusively online and are expanding all the time as new music gets approved for Diplomas programmes, see our website for the full lists of approved programmes.

Can I play own choice repertoire in my Music Performance Diploma?

You can choose your repertoire from our extensive repertoire lists, select your own pieces or have a mix of the two. Any programme including own choice items, or single movements from items listed complete in the repertoire lists, must be approved by Trinity as a complete programme before you can enter for the exam. We are unable to consider submissions of individual pieces. If your programme is all taken from the diploma repertoire lists then you won’t need approval.

Multiple applications of programmes are not permitted; each candidate may only submit one programme for approval at any time. Programme approvals can take up to 6 weeks to be processed and must be obtained before entering the exam so please allow additional time.

For more information and to submit your own choice programmes please see our website.

How do I book a digital assessment? 

Digital assessments for candidates in the UK can be booked via our online booking site here. This link is used for all Graded exams in our Classical, Jazz and Rock and Pop Music and Speech and Drama suites, as well as performance Diplomas at ATCL and LTCL levels.

For Republic of Ireland and Private centres please see our website for more information

We do not currently offer a digital assessment option for our Certificate exams, Theory of Music exams and FTCL level Diplomas. Our digital exam option is available year round, without specific application deadlines.

Before booking an exam, please ensure you are aware of our timescale requirements: After booking a digital exam, you will receive a link to upload your exam within 24-48 hours, you will then have 14 days to upload your submission for assessment.

What is required for my digital assessment, and does this differ to the standard syllabus for face to face exams? 

Requirements for digital assessments are revised from those used in a face to face exam in most cases, please refer to the detailed information available via the links below: 
Classical/Jazz Grades 
Rock and Pop Grades 
Music Performance Diplomas 

Do I need to play with a live accompaniment?

Initial–Grade 8: Candidates may use recorded accompaniments/backing tracks in place of a live accompanist for all digital graded exams. Drum Kit (all Group A pieces), Acoustic Guitar pieces (where tracks are required) and all Rock & Pop grades must always be accompanied by the Trinity backing tracks. For other instruments, the backing tracks may be of any type.

Please refer to this page for information on recorded accompaniments published by Trinity.

ATCL and LTCL diplomas: Drum Kit candidates may use recorded backing tracks, as in face-to-face exams. For other instruments, we strongly advise candidates to perform with live accompaniment. However, we will accept recorded accompaniments in digital diploma exams until 31 December 2023. After this date, recorded accompaniments will not be allowed in diploma exams except for Drum Kit. If recorded accompaniment is required for any other reason, approval must be obtained in advance of the exam.

Please refer to this page for information on recorded accompaniments published by Trinity.

How do I film my exam?

Watch the How to film your Performance video, and download and read the associated filming guidance. You can find more information and support on the DGD section of our website.

What do I do if I applied more than 48 hours ago and have not received my link?

Please check that no emails were directed to your mail server’s spam or junk folders. Our notifications are sent from submittable@trinitycollege.com – we recommend adding this address to your safe sender list to avoid this. You can find guidance on this process here. Notifications are sent to the email address provided for the submitter, rather than the applicant. Please contact dgd.uki@trinitycollege.co.uk if your email has not arrived after a week.

Account setup is automated, so if the email address has been incorrectly entered in our application form we may not be able to identify this – we’ll assist you with correcting if this is the case.

How do I access my digital account?

If the submitter is using the Trinity submission platform for the first time, they will receive an email  containing their username and password. The submitter can then use the same account details for any future Digital Grade or Diploma exam submissions with Trinity College London.

Once you have booked an exam and we have provided your upload link, you can access your account on our submission platform, this is used to submit your video performance and supporting materials to us.

How do I recover/reset my password?

You can request this information again via the link here, the information will be sent to the email address associated with the account.

Can I have more than two weeks to upload my submission?

We can consider reasonable requests to extend our stated timescale beyond 14 days if needed. Please contact us to request this. For extensions of more than four weeks, we recommend requesting a full refund, and re-applying when you feel you are ready to proceed. Cancellation instructions can be found on your booking confirmation.

I have uploaded my files and submitted for assessment, how long should my results take?

You can expect the marking to take an average of two weeks for grades. Marking of diplomas usually takes four weeks, and if there are further checks to be made, can take up to eight weeks. The exam report will be sent by email to the exam submitter and the candidate (if their email address was provided) and your certificate will follow within 2-4 weeks

My exam is showing as completed how do I find my result?

When your exam is shown as complete on the Submittable platform it has been marked and is now going through our validation process which can take up to four days, an email with the result and feedback report will be sent out once this is complete.

How do I check my results?

The result and exam report will be sent by email to the exam submitter and the candidate (if their email address was provided).

If your exam has shown as complete for more than a week on the Submttable platform then please do contact us at dgd.uki@trinitycollege.co.uk to get your report resent to you.

My result status is shown as ‘referred’ what does this mean? 

This normally means that there is an aspect of the exam we’ll need to take a closer look at and through a referral process, it may also simply mean that one or more pieces of the required supporting information has not been included. You will get an email notifying you of the referral and of any actions you need to take to ensure the exam is able to be marked. Find out more about what a referral means on our syllabus infringement page.

I have my result, when can I expect to receive my certificate? 

Your certificate will normally follow in the post within 2-4 weeks. Please note that only certificates are issued in physical form, all examiner scoring, feedback and overall result information is provided via email as a PDF.

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