Rockschool | FAQs
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We’ve categorised the frequently asked questions to help you find your answer faster.

Exam information

Who should I contact if I need to make changes to my exam?

You should always contact your local AMEB state office to make any changes to exams. Changes to exam dates may incur a fee.

How much notice do I get before an exam?

We aim to give a minimum of four weeks’ notice before an exam. If you haven’t received confirmation of your exam time four weeks before the end of the exam period then please contact your local AMEB state office as a matter of urgency.

Can I change the exam date or time after it’s been confirmed?

Enrollers must tell us any date(s) their candidates are unavailable for when they enrol. Changing an exam date when it has been confirmed is very difficult and may incur a fee. Under extenuating circumstances we will try to alter the date but this can’t be guaranteed. Enrollers must contact their AMEB state office directly.

Any changes to an exam date or time after it has been scheduled may incur a sliding scale of fees.

Deferring an exam to the next period may incur a fee.

Where do exams take place?

Exams take place at a venue organised by your local AMEB state office.

Are there any provisions for candidates with special educational needs?

Yes. Enrollers should contact their local AMEB state office for special exam provisions for their candidates. We will do everything we can to support the candidate.

I am not ready to take my exam, can I defer it?

In many cases, yes. Enrollers may be able to defer candidates to the next exam upon request – this may incur a fee. Contact your state office ahead of the scheduled date to find out your options.

How do I enrol for an exam?

Our How to Enrol page has all the details you need to make an enrolment.

Can I photocopy the music?

Our grade books are copyrighted and may not be copied without permission from Rockschool. The one exception is that candidates may photocopy any music you are going to play in the exam to eliminate page turns. The photocopied music will be taken by the examiner at the end of the exam.

How much does an exam cost?

The price of an exam varies depending on which grade the candidate is taking. View the exam prices.

I am sharing/borrowing a book for practice purposes- do I need my own for the exam?

Yes. Every candidate is required to have their own book for the exam. This can be digital or hard copy. View our online shop.

When do the exams take place?

Exams are typically held over several sessions per year, depending on your state or territory. Check your AMEB state office website for this year’s exam dates and enrolment deadlines.

On what days of the week and at what times are Rockschool exams held?

Exams are held 7 days a week. Please note that this includes school days, weekends and school holidays during the exam periods. Enrollers can nominate any dates to avoid when enrolling their candidates, and your state office team will make every effort to avoid scheduling on these dates.

I have missed the enrolment deadline – can I still apply?

In many cases, yes. It’s worth reaching out to your AMEB state office to find out if there are any options to enrol in closed exam sessions.

Please be aware that you may be charged a late fee, and we can’t offer any guarantees particularly for exam sessions that have commenced.

Preparing for the Exam

How do I know if I am ready for my exam?

We advise that before enrolling for an exam the candidate should be confident and proficient in everything contained in their grade book and always talk to their teacher. We advise self taught candidates to have a few lessons with a teacher to check if they are ready.

Do I need to have taken a theory exam to sit a Rockschool practical exam?

No. There are no requirements to take a theory exam before doing a Rockschool exam.

Do I need to start from the beginning or can I go in at any level, for example: grade 5?

As there are no prerequisites for sitting a Rockschool exam, candidates can take a Rockschool exam at any grade without having taken the grade before or an equivalent exam. We do assume that if a candidate starts at any level other than Premiere/Debut, then they are proficient in the techniques and skills required at the grades below. If you’re not sure where to start, check the syllabus and talk to a teacher before enrolling.

What are Free Choice Pieces?

A Free Choice Piece (FCP) is an alternative to playing a song from the grade books, at all grades (excepting Premiere). Candidates can prepare up to two FCPs for a Grade exam, or up to three FCPs for a Performance Certificate.  Candidates can perform either:

  • their own composition
  • songs in the public domain, including hits from the charts. For example, a song by their favourite band or artist.
  • pieces from other accredited exam boards
  • a piece from our Hot Rock series

For more information on Free Choice Pieces including criteria, please see our Free Choice Pieces page.

I need some advice on the technical aspects of the exams. What should I do?

All technical work required in an exam is found in the grade book for your instrument. The syllabus for each instrument has a detailed breakdown of the technical requirements for each grade.

For Graded Certificates (video exams), our Video exams page includes instrument-specific technical work PDFs outlining all technical work required to be presented in a video exam.

If you have any syllabus questions that aren’t answered in the syllabus for your instrument, contact us at and we can provide more information.

During the Exam

Do I need to bring my grade book to the exam?

Yes, you will need your own copy of the grade book, which will be signed or the download code noted by the examiner.

What equipment do I need to bring?

The centre will provide backline equipment for your exam i.e. amplifiers and drum kit.

  • Guitar and Bass candidates must bring their own instrument and leads and we recommend bringing spare strings. If the candidate is using effects then we suggest you use batteries, where possible.
  • Drums candidates must bring their own sticks. For grades 6, 7 and 8, drummers can also bring their own cymbals, hi hats or entire kit. If the candidate wants to bring their own kit, notify your AMEB state office when enrolling. Drummers who wish to play electric kit will be required to provide the kit regardless of grade taken. Exam centres will provide an acoustic kit as standard. We also recommend the use of musicians’ hearing protection (industrial hearing protection or noise-cancelling headphones is not permitted in exams).
  • Vocal candidates must bring their own microphone if using one in the exam (optional up to Grade 5, and compulsory from Grades 6-8).

Will I have to perform my pieces from memory?

No, there is no requirement to perform from memory. Candidates may choose to do so if they wish, however this will not affect the marking.

Will the centre have a practice room?

Rockschool endeavours to have practice rooms in all of its centres but it is not guaranteed. Please contact your AMEB state office for more information on exam venues.

What if I’m ill at the time of my exam?

The candidate/enroller should contact their AMEB state office as soon as they know they will not be able to take the exam. The state office will be able to provide information on deferral options for the candidate.

After the Exam

When will I get my exam results?

Exam results will typically be available within 1-2 weeks of your exam taking place.

Since 2023, certificates are provided as digital, PDF eCertificates. eCertificates are subject to approval by the regulatory body in the UK, Ofqual, which happens once per month. Enrollers and teachers can expect to receive their students’ certificates 5-7 weeks after the exam date. 

If you haven’t received your result or eCertificate within these timeframes, please contact your state office for more information.

Can I get a paper certificate?

Yes, paper certificates are available upon request. Please contact your state office to request a paper certificate. Paper certificates may incur a fee.

The name is incorrectly spelt on the certificate. Can I get a replacement?

eCertificates will have the spelling of the name as it is entered during the enrolment.

If the name on the certificate supplied is found to be incorrect, please contact your state office who will organise a replacement.

How do I make an appeal?

RSL/AMEB operate a full appeals process. Contact your state office should you wish to make an appeal.

Find out how to book an exam