Music syllabus infringements

Please select syllabus infringement details below for either face-to-face exams or digital grade and diplomas exams.

All exams are assessed on the basis of the performance given on the day of the exam, without regard to any external circumstances. If a candidate does not comply with exam regulations as detailed in the appropriate syllabus – examples below – the performance will be heard without prejudice by the examiner in order not to jeopardise the performance of other aspects of the exam.

The issue with the performance may be reported directly to Trinity’s London office by the examiner rather than on the candidate’s report form, so that Trinity may be able to exercise a certain amount of discretion as to the validity of the assessment process. 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 the Trinity representative for disclosure to the candidate as soon as possible after the matter has been considered by Trinity. To ensure that all candidates are treated fairly, infringements of a similar type are always treated in the same way. Referral decisions are final and marks will not be reinstated.

Please note that the referral process may take up to 6 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the issue. The timeframe is taken from the date of receipt of the original report form at Trinity’s London office.

Classical/Jazz Grades - example infringements

  • No accompaniment/backing track (where applicable)
  • CD accompaniment (post Grade 3 classical)
  • Accompaniment altered to give more support to the candidate (eg doubling of the vocal line for singers)
  • Pieces/songs not selected according to the parameters of the syllabus - eg all pieces chosen from the same group
  • Outside the parameters of the current syllabus (eg incorrect pieces prepared)
  • Either notated improvisation (Electronic Keyboard and Jazz) or no improvisation
  • Original copy/download of music not brought to the exam
  • Photocopies of non-Trinity publications not provided for the examiner
  • No copy of music provided for own composition and/or own composition below standard
  • Simplified or shortened edition of a piece performed
  • Outside the parameters of the current syllabus (Technical Work)
  • Entered for wrong level exam
  • Special Educational Needs not notified
  • Used interpreter without prior authority
  • Suspicion of malpractice
  • Presentation of medical certificate

Recorder Grades - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • Only one size recorder (Grades 6-8)

Guitar Grades - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • Steel-stringed or electric guitar used in a classical guitar exam
  • Classical guitar used in a Grade 6-8 plectrum guitar exam
  • No plectrum used in a plectrum exam
  • Amplifier used in classical guitar exam

Singing Grades - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • Folk Song/Vaccai/Bray exercises not performed from memory
  • Vaccai not sung in Italian
  • Bray exercises presented transposed but not by all the same interval
  • Unaccompanied folk song not listed in Technical Work section of syllabus
  • Unaccompanied folk song sung with accompaniment
  • Bray/Vaccai performed unaccompanied
  • More than one song by the same composer performed
  • Only one living language song presented at Grades 6-8

Certificates - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • Too much own choice repertoire
  • Programme too short
  • Own choice standard too low

Diplomas - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • No programme approval letter presented (non-syllabus piece presented)
  • Programme too short
  • No live accompaniment
  • No copies of the music provided for the examiner

Rock & Pop - example infringements

As Classical/Jazz above, plus the following:

  • No Technical Focus piece
  • More than one own choice piece presented
  • No copy of music provided for own choice piece
  • Own composition/own choice piece not difficult enough

For more information about Rock & Pop exams, please see the Rock & Pop website.

Contact us

If you are still unsure of what you need to do or what to expect on the day, please contact music@trinitycollege.com and we will be happy to assist you.

In some cases, a candidate may be notified (via email) that their exam has been referred through the marking process.

There are two main reasons why an exam will be referred:

  1. Syllabus Infringement
    If a candidate does not comply with exam regulations as detailed in the appropriate syllabus – examples below – and the examiner is unable to complete the marking reliably, the exam will be referred. Depending on the severity of the infringement, the candidate may be contacted for further or additional information, marks may be deducted, or, in extreme cases, the exam may be invalidated.

  2. Candidate Error
    The most common reason for referral is when a candidate does not upload all of the required elements and/or information with their exam submission.  This also means that the examiner is unable to complete marking.

    In all cases where an exam is referred, candidates will be contacted (by email) to notify them of the referral.  Where remedial action is required by the candidate, full information will be provided.

    To ensure that all candidates are treated fairly, infringements of a similar type are always treated in the same way. Referral decisions are final, and marks will not be reinstated.

Please note that the referral process may take up to 6 weeks to complete (and sometimes longer), depending on the complexity of the issue and the time it takes for the candidate to respond. This timeframe is approximate and commences when the examiner first reviews the exam submission to commence marking.

Example Infringements – all Digital Music Grade and Diploma exams

  • A video is uploaded which is not continuous (ie it has been edited)
  • There is an insufficiently complete view of the candidate (eg the candidate’s face/hands are not in shot)
  • Outside the parameters of the current syllabus (eg incorrect pieces prepared)
  • Has been entered for wrong exam eg wrong grade, instrument or syllabus
  • The video finishes partway through an item
  • No submission form included, or submission form is blank
  • COVID Declaration has not been signed in instances where candidates have played on a digital instrument of a type not normally permitted, or is working with no/ recorded accompaniment outside of syllabus regulations

Digital Classical/Jazz Grades - example infringements

  • Copies of non-Trinity publications which are required by the examiner are not provided with the submission
  • Simplified or shortened edition of a piece is performed, or required repeats are not performed
  • Extra information has been entered on the technical work sheet, or is visibly/ audibly provided by someone in the room

Please note that any exams with entire missing components (eg missing pieces or missing technical work) will not be referred, but will be marked as presented.

Digital Performing Diplomas - example infringements

  • No programme approval letter presented (non-syllabus piece or movements, or incomplete syllabus piece presented)
  • Programme too short
  • Copies of some or all of the works performed are not provided with the submission
  • No submission form uploaded

Please note that the written programme must be included with the submission of the video for Diploma exams. Candidates will not be given the opportunity to upload this at a later date and it will result in a loss of marks.

Digital Rock & Pop - example infringements

  • No Technical Focus song, or more than one Technical Focus song listed without stipulating which of them should be marked out of 30
  • Backing tracks are not used or not audible
  • Backing tracks are played with a click for exams other than Drums
  • No copy of music provided for own choice song
  • Own-choice song chosen from previous syllabus but not on the approved list
  • Transposition other than for Vocals

Contact us

If you are still unsure of what you need to do or what to expect in this process, please contact your local area representative - see Your local Trinity.

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