How To Ace Your ABRSM Piano Sight Reading Exams – 3 Advanced Tips

ABRSM piano sight reading segment is a weakness of many Singaporean music students. Here are some tips to help you pass this dreaded segment of the piano ABRSM examinations!

Get a sense of the entire song’s rhythm

Tip 1: In the sight reading segment of the piano exam, students are given up to 30 seconds to prepare and do whatever they want. At this point, many students will try to work out the notes of the first few bars. While it may feel logical, it is actually a terrible waste of the provided 30 seconds. Instead, if you are a student getting ready for the sight reading exam, get the rhythm in your head, and try to get a sense of the entire piece as a whole.

Practice sight reading every single practice session

Tip 2: Practice makes perfect. However, how do you practise for something that changes all the time and you cannot fully ‘prepare’ for? Simple. You simply pick a random short piece of piano song every practice session from music books e.t.c. and play it out. You treat it as a sight reading piece and practise in that manner. Do this for every single practice session, and you will soon get used to the act of sight reading. During the actual exams, you will then have no fear because you are already mentally and physically prepared for it due to your numerous practice sessions daily.

Be confident and play confidently

Tip 3: Practise being confident. One of the marking criteria for this segment of the piano exams is about you being confident. If you are confident, and exude it during your piano performance, you will score much better. Some people do not record their sight reading plays during practice or piano lessons, and do not realize how ‘scared’ their playing sounds. It feels very cautious, and that is bad as it clearly does not exude confidence.

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