Practical exams (face to face)

Applications for reasonable adjustments, and supporting evidence where applicable (see below) should be submitted to or to your local Trinity Representative at least 28 days before the exam date. Requests for modified exam materials such as Braille require at least six weeks’ notice. Requests handed to the examiner on the day of the exam will not be accepted.

A new special needs provision form must be submitted for every exam, even if reasonable adjustments have been applied previously.

Special needs provision form – Face to Face music exams

Supporting evidence

We require evidence of need for any adjustments which could potentially give an unfair advantage to candidates, or which alter content of the exam. Please refer to the table below to see which adjustments supporting evidence is required for.

Evidence should be from a qualified medical or educational professional and should demonstrate how the candidate’s condition may affect access to the exam in question. Trinity reserves the right to reject requests for adjustments if sufficient information is not provided.

If you are not sure whether your evidence is suitable, please contact


Evidence required?

Extra time


Enlarged / modified tests


Memory Test


Aural Awareness test


Braille tests


Scale book


Examiner briefed



Please contact   

*Supporting evidence will be kept on file for 3 years.

Examples of reasonable adjustments for Face-to-Face music exams

See below for details of some of the adjustments available for candidates with special needs and disabilities. This information is not exhaustive, and we strive to respond to candidates’ individual needs where possible. For requirements not listed please contact to discuss your needs.

1. Extra time

Candidates may request extra time to complete their exam; the amount of extra time available to candidates who qualify is shown in the table below. Where extra time is granted, up to 50% of the extra time allocated may be used to study sight reading (or other unseen tests*).


Extra time


3 minutes, of which up to 1.5 minutes available as preparation time for unseen tests*



4 minutes, of which up to 2 minutes available as preparation time for unseen tests*



5 minutes, of which up to 2.5 minutes available as preparation time for unseen tests*

* Classical exams: sight reading, improvisation
* Rock & pop exams: playback, improvising

2. Modified exam materials

  • Enlarged Print tests (available for sight reading, aural, improvisation and playback tests) - The test will be enlarged to approximately double the standard size. Candidates may send in a sample of their preferred size if they have specific requirements.
  • Modified Stave Notation (available for sight reading, aural, improvisation and playback tests) - The standard test will be enlarged and provided in Modified Stave Notation. Candidates may send in a sample of their preferred format if they have specific requirements.
  • Modified/enlarged test on coloured paper - Any of the modified and/or enlarged tests offered above can be offered on coloured paper of the candidate’s choice (where an exact colour match is not possible, the closest match available will be provided).

Candidates may use scores modified in any of the ways described above for their pieces. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide their own modified pieces. Please note that original copies of the music must also be brought to the exam.

Sample enlarged sight reading test

3. Memory test to replace sight reading (for candidates with visual impairments, who cannot access the standard sight reading tests)

This is an alternative test for blind or visually impaired candidates who are not Braille readers. The examiner will play a short extract on the piano (or drum kit for drum exams) and the candidate must repeat it back on their instrument after the third playing.

N.B. for drum kit exams, this can only be delivered by a specialist examiner. Please allow at least 6 weeks’ notice to ensure this can be arranged.

Please see sample test below. Contact for further sample tests.

Sample memory test

4. Aural awareness test (for candidates with hearing impairments, who cannot access the standard aural tests)

This test will be provided in place of the standard aural test for candidates with hearing loss. The examiner will tap the rhythm of a short melody twice on a table top, allowing the candidate to both watch and feel the vibrations by placing their hand on the table. The candidate will then clap or tap the rhythm back.

Then the examiner will show the candidate a printed copy of the same melody, which the candidate will study for 30 seconds and then play back from memory on his⁄ her instrument. The final test is to identify whether the melody was in a major or minor key.

Please see sample test below. Contact for further sample tests.

Sample aural awareness test

5. Braille sight reading/playback/improvisation test 

Braille tests are to be prepared before the examination. Candidates are given an allocated time within which to prepare the test as listed in the table below, and must not be given any assistance during this time. They will then be invited to play/sing it to the examiner as the first item of the exam.


Extra time (to be given before the start of the exam)

Initial-Grade 2

5 minutes

Grades 3-4

10 minutes

Grades 5-6

15 minutes

Grades 7-8

20 minutes

6. Scale Book

Candidates who require it, may keep the scale manual within eyesight for reference only if they have particular problems e.g. recalling patterns. Please note, this may only be used as a prompt to glance at for reference before playing. Over-reliance on the prompt (e.g. spending too long studying it before starting or referring back to it during the playing) may result in a loss of marks.

7. Examiner briefed on condition

Sometimes it is useful for the examiner to be briefed about a candidate’s condition so that they can deliver the exam with awareness of this, even if no specific adjustments are needed.

Assessment standards and criteria remain the same for all candidates in accordance with Ofqual’s regulated qualifications framework. Please note that additional marks cannot be awarded based on a candidate’s disability or health condition.

when completing the special needs provision form, please include all relevant details to be passed onto the examiner.

8. Typed up report form

After the exam, candidates with dyslexia, or who use screen reader software, may request a typed-up copy of their report form. To request this, please email with a scan of the report form.



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