What is this exam?

PB exams are all about  ‘To enjoy the learning process for your own goal.’  It’s performance oriented by means you don’t need specific technique or theory exams, but you perform songs as if you are playing a concert at your most comfortable place of your choice, it could be in your own room or a studio where you practice.

Why do I want to take a performance exam?

Testing is not only a powerful learning strategy but it is a potent reality check to verify what you really know versus what you THINK you know. Our exams are designed to improve/advance/boost your performance by providing you with

  • no theory or technical exam required  
  • plenty of music to choose from
  • 9 different grades that you can start with
What do I get from taking PB exams?

You do not only get an official government recognised certificate with UK and EU credit points but most importantly you will have a better understanding of yourself and  know where you are as a performer.
Getting a certificate is just a bonus. The true benefit of taking our performance based exams is that you are advancing in the most effective and efficient way.

How do I prepare?

Pick songs in your level and transcribe your part. Again, you just need to play your instrument or sing like you’re in the band but this time with a track. The reason why we don’t provide sheet music is we want you to practice writing your own chart – this also helps improve reading charts and ear training. You don’t have to memorize the songs or show us your chart. It’s for yourself. You may purchase sheet music from other sources on your own.

What songs do I perform? 

Our song lists contain a variety of songs across different eras and genres.
Please go check and enjoy our song lists on the Instrument page.

When can I do it?

You can do it whenever you want. Let’s say  you are a night owl and you prefer performing at 3am, please go ahead and do it.  You can perform anytime you want.

Where can I do it?

Wherever you prefer as long as you have a reliable internet connection, PC or laptop with a camera, your instrument and a speaker (your phone or tablet) which can play a track of songs of your choice.

I have stage fright. Is someone going to be watching me WHILE I am performing?

No. Not while you are watching but only after you finish your performance, our most experienced examiner  will watch your performance.  Sara will only guide you through the process. Relax as much as possible and solely focus on your performance. The more you practice by taking these exams, the more comfortable you will be on stage. You got this.

Who is Sara?

Sara is an AI that will ask you to verify your id and start your exam.

Do I need to start from Debut?

No. You can start wherever suits your grade. Check our song list of your instrument and decide what grade you would like to challenge yourself.

I already passed grade 2 and can I skip the grade 3 and do the grade 4 exam?

Of course! If you can play the songs in the grade you want, the choice is yours.You can do any grade that suits you.

Is it required to memorize all the songs I perform?

No, you may memorize songs but also you can read your chart as well. No additional marks will be given for memorisation.

Technical FAQs

Who can be in the room with me and what can and can’t they do?

Sometimes it is very helpful that you have someone you trust in the room with you to turn a page or help with technology, but only 1 person maximum other than yourself.  It is very important that the examiner does not feel that this person is influencing your performance in any way as this will void your exam without a refund. Examples that might void your exam can be:

  • A clap or a click during your playing.
  • Nodding or moving unnecessarily.
  • Someone pointing at the music or instrument during playing.
  • Giving you verbal help in between recordings.
  • Playing another instrument or device.
  • You keep looking at this person through your playing or out of the corner of your eye.

Anything obvious. Don’t give our examiners a reason to void your exam because of someone else in the room. If you don’t need someone else in the room with you then don’t have one. You may feel that you perform better without someone in the room distracting your flow.

Recording issues?

 If you are unable to record, please look at the following tips:

If using Safari or Firefox: The Safari & Firefox browser has settings that can restrict the recording and auto play in your exam. If you find this is happening then please go to your settings and switch ‘autoplay on’ for this site.

For Firefox users: There is some helpful advice on THIS SITE on how to change your browser settings

‘Unblock video for the currently displayed website’ for MAC users:

1. In the Safari app on your Mac, choose Safari > Settings for This Website. You can also Control-click in the Smart Search field, then choose Settings for This Website.

2. Hold the pointer to the right of Auto-Play, then click the pop-up menu and choose this option: Allow All Auto-Play: Lets videos on this website play automatically.

Also, ensure your Mac is not in Low battery mode:

Go to Apple > System Preferences

Select the Energy Saver preference pane

You’ll now have access to a range of settings.

Select the Battery tab to disable ‘Low battery mode’

I didn’t get the mark I wanted, can I take it again?

Yes. You can take it the second you get the mark you were not happy with.

When will I receive my results?

You will receive your results within 3 to 5 working days.

What happens if I mess up a recording or my instrument breaks?

Unfortunately this is part of the exam experience and may not be accepted by your examiner. Please refer to our preparations and rules to understand what is and what is not accepted.

What happens if my computer shuts down while I am recording?

Part or all of your recording may already be safe with us. You must contact us as soon as this happens and alert us to the issue. Anything that you pressed submit for where you received a confirmation screen, will be safe!

What happens in the identity check?

You will be asked to repeat a small paragraph through spoken word to the camera to verify your identity.  If you are under the age of 18, then this will need to be done by a parent or guardian.  The wording will appear above the recording screen.

I’m not sure if my recording was a good enough quality all the way through.

Don’t worry. If you were able to start recording, then let our technology do the rest. If there is a problem we will let you know. Please refer to the exam preparations and rules before you start recording.

What happens to my recordings?

Your recordings will be sent to us with secure standard encryption from end to end. They are then stored on our secure cloud system. They will be marked by our qualified and safety-checked examiners. These recordings can not be downloaded anywhere else and 30 days after your results are sent to you, they will be permanently wiped from our system.

How can the monitoring and marking on an online recording be as good as an examiner in the same room as you?

Both centre-based exams and online exams provide different benefits. Marking an online recording means that the examiner is closer to the student than in an exam room. They can see more and can stop the recording, playing back any part they want to hear again. Both center-based exams and online exams provide different benefits. Marking an online recording means that the examiner is closer to the student than in an exam room. They can see more and can stop the recording, playing back any part they want to hear again. The problems an examiner can experience when marking in the same room as you is that they are under pressure to get their comments and marks written straight away. They have to take their eyes off of you while writing. While writing their points they have to be listening out to everything new that you are playing and the examiners have to keep this in their head as they are writing. It is quite a juggle, and although these examiners are most likely excellent at their jobs, notes will be missed and mistakes made.  Online recordings aim to reduce this risk and reduce the stress of the examiner.

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