How To Ace ABRSM Piano Exam – Tips For Singaporean Students


How do you get a good mark on your pieces in your ABRSM piano examinations? In fact, it is not just simply a question of hitting the right notes with the right rhythm. At the higher grades in particular, you need more sense of involvement in the pieces when playing and conveying the perceived right mood to the piano examiner. Let us now explore some tips to help you ace the piano ABRSM examinations regardless of the piano grade you are at now!

  • Looking at the marking criteria, one can easily see that to get a distinction for the pieces segment of the exam, you will need to take note and excel at being expressive and vividly communicate the style and character of the piece to the examiner. You also need to give a sense of true confidence when playing the piece. This is all particularly true at the higher grades e.g. grades 4/5 and above.
  • On top of knowing the marking criteria, one needs to know that you should choose the right piece. You need to pick the piece which you know will inspire you and that you can truly bring the piece to life and communicate the character of the song. It is not just a question of knowing how to play it, but whether you know how to truly play the song expressively.
  • A big tip is to always buy the recordings of the good performances of the piano pieces so that you can see how others had interpreted the various elements of the piece. Remember, scoring well and getting a distinction at the higher grades is about being a musician with personality, and not being an engineer and hitting the right notes only.
  • You always want to make sure that during your piano practice sessions, practise slowly first, and then make sure to increase the speed of play until you hit the ideal speed over time. Do not sacrifice accuracy, rhythm and expressiveness for speed, or you will get penalized during the practical piano ABRSM examinations. If you play the song too quickly right from the start and are always making the same old mistake, then you will reinforce the mistake into your muscle memory. This is bad. Do not make this mistake.

For more tips, please refer to the following video.