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03 March 2018

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ABRSM Grade 1 Piano - Mock Exam

I recently gave one of my students a mock exam just before their real exam and asked permission to video it so as to recreate some of the pressure of the real exam. 

What you will see is exactly as it was, no retakes, no editing out mistakes, for you to get an idea of what kind of mark can be expected from various performances and also so that the student could feel that pressure of doing one's best performance on just one attempt as one would in the exam. Below the video I have also given some comments and marks as would be expected in a real exam.


Apart from the slip on the initial G major these were well known and were played at a suitable tempo. Therefore I would expect them to get about 17 marks out of 21

First Piece - When The Saints Go Marching In - Trad American

A well chosen tempo with some good dynamic contrast conveyed the character of the piece. Only a few lapses in the articulation would probably result in a distinction of about 27 marks out of 30

Second Piece - Dans La Foret Lointaine - Trad French

For the most part very accurate notes and rhythm with generally good dynamic contrast between the hands immitating the echo of the cuckoo. There was a moment of confusion at the end and the tone wasn’t always 100% in control giving a merit mark of about 25 marks out of 30

Third Piece - La Donna e Mobile - Verdi

A well chosen tempo with some dynamic contrast conveyed the character well. There were a few slips and hesitations which spoiled the continuity a little but overall a merit of about 24 marks for this piece could be expected.

Sight Reading

The first half would have been perfect if it had been an octave higher in the OTHER hand. The second half struggled to represent either pitch or rhythm of what was printed and so unfortunately this would probably score only 8 marks, below the pass mark of 14.


Almost perfect responses which were both confident and musical giving a distinction mark of about 17 out of 18. The overall mark for this exam would be a pass of 118 marks out of 150


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