Exams your child will take

The CMS offers a range of examinations, both our own internal assessment and from external examining bodies.

Help for pupils working towards these exams can we found here.

After at least a year of instrumental lessons pupils will be working towards the Junior Muisc Examination (JME) exam, progressing to the Senior Music Exam (SME), usually in the second year of small group lessons.

Beyond these examinations, international examinations are available with a variety of providers, including the Associated Board Royal School of Music (ABRSM), Trinity College, Rockschool and the LCM.

Pupils will need to take the Grade 5 ABRSM Theory exam if they wish to take a grade 6 ABRSM practical exam and above.

Some examinations attract UCAS points:

CMS Examination

International Equivalent

Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

UCAS Points

Junior Music Exam (JME)

Grade 1

Level 1 (GCSE grades 3 – 1 or D – G)


Senior Music Exam (SME)

Grade 2


Grade 3


Grade 4 -5

Level 2 (GCSE grades 9 – 4 or grades A* – C)


Grade 6 – 8

Level 3 (A level)

8 – 30

Examinations are held each term at the Music Centre.

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Junior Music Examination (JME) practical exam

This is a gentle introduction where the examiner gives encouraging feedback. This exam is carried out by the teacher during the pupils’ lessons in school.

Senior Music Examination (SME) practical exam

This short exam builds on the Junior Music Exam and is equivalent to Grade 2. Pupils are examined at the music centre.

Syllabus for Junior and Senior Music Exams

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Associated Board Royal School of Music (ABRSM) practical exam
CMS pupils are entered up to Grade 8. To enter a Grade 6 practical level you will need to have passed Grade 5 Theory. The AB grades are recognised as international benchmarks & are valued by teachers & institutions all over the world. Grades 6 upwards also carries UCAS points.

For full information visit ABRSM.

Help for pupils working towards these exams can we found here.

Associated Board Royal School of Music (ABRSM) theory exam
There is a fast track theory class that pupils are invited to attend when they reach the appropriate level (usually as they reach practical exam grade 5). The class follows the syllabus requirements for grade 5 theory.

Pupils enter the exam after 1 year of study.

For full information visit ABRSM.