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Academic Resources and Policies

Academic Resources and Policies
Detailed information on examination requirements and policies can be found in a current syllabus. The following general information covers commonly asked questions.
  • Accompanists

    Orchestral Instrument and Voice candidates are required to provide their own accompanists. Taped accompaniments are not permitted. Examinations will not be conducted unless an accompanist is present at the examination. All selections requiring accompaniment, must be performed with piano accompaniment only. No other instruments are permitted.

  • Accompaniment Policy

    In order to provide the most consistent approach and ensure a satisfactory experience for our candidates, please be advised of the following policy statements:

    1. All selections requiring accompaniment must be performed with piano accompaniment only. No other instruments are permitted. Recorded accompaniment is not permitted.

    2. Candidates must provide their own collaborative pianist. Collaborative pianists are permitted in the examination room only during the accompanied portion of the examination.

    3. Candidates who do not provide a collaborative pianist will not be examined.

    The Royal Conservatory Syllabi outline the most current guidelines and policies on accompaniment requirements. You can also read more about the Accompaniment Policy here.

  • ARCT and LRCM Diploma Requirements
    Diplomas Examinations Required

    ARCT Performer's**

    ARCT Performer's
    History 3: 19th Century to Present
    Level 6 Piano (non-piano subjects only)

    Any two of:

    • Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony

    • Counterpoint

    • Analysis

    ARCT Teacher's**
    (non-piano)

    ARCT Teacher's (Non-Piano)
    Level 8 Piano

    Any two of:

    • Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony
    • Counterpoint
    • Analysis

    ARCT in Piano Pedagogy**

    Advanced Piano Pedagogy
    Advanced Piano Pedagogy Viva Voce
    Advanced Piano Pedagogy Written

    Any two of:

    • Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony

    • Counterpoint

    • Analysis

    ARCT in Composition and/or Theory

    Renaissance Counterpoint
    Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint I
    Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint II
    Classical Harmony and Counterpoint
    Romantic and Post-Romantic Harmony and Counterpoint
    Post-1900 Composition Techniques
    Orchestration I
    Orchestration II
    Analysis
    History I
    History II
    Ear Test

    LRCM in Piano Performance

    LRCM in Piano Performance

    **Candidates who complete all three senior-level harmony stream courses (Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony, Counterpoint, and Analysis) will receive the special Advanced Certificate: History and Theory.

  • Candidates with Small Hands

    Effective Date: September 1, 2002

    Piano examination candidates are no longer exempted from playing octave scales and solid four-note chords on the basis of having small hands.

    Candidates will be required to prepare all Technical Tests as described in the Piano Syllabus, 2015 Edition for their grade. For all four-note tonic chords and octave scale s, candidates may choose one of the options outlined below. The chosen option need not be indicated in advance to the examiner and will be evaluated on the same merit as all other technical tests for that grade. No prior approval is required from RCM Examinations.

    Solid four-note chords:

    • Chords may be played in a rapidly rolled manner (must be quite distinct from the additional requirement of evenly broken chords in sixteenths) OR
    • The lowest note of the chord may be played alone followed very quickly by the upper three notes in solid form (played like a grace note to the upper three notes played in solid form) OR
    • The lower three notes of the chord in solid form may be played as a "grace chord" to the single upper octave note (the reverse of the above second option).

    In all cases, use of pedal may be applied to enhance the "solid" effect. Regular four-note chord fingering should be used in all cases.

    Solid octaves:

    • Solid octaves may be substituted with broken octaves beginning on the lower note, either in even sixteenths, or with the lower note played as a rapid grace note to the upper octave note.
  • Classification of Marks
    For Levels 1 - 10
    Classification Range of Marks
    First Class Honors with Distinction 90 - 100
    First Class Honors 80 - 89
    Honors 70 - 79
    Pass 60 - 69
    Grade 10 ARCT Pre-requisite 75 Overall OR 70% in each section
    For Performer's and Teacher's ARCT
    Classification Range of Marks
    First Class Honors with Distinction 90 - 100
    First Class Honors 80 - 89
    Honors 70 - 79
    Pass (Performers) minimum 70
    Pass (Teacher's Non-Piano) 75 Overall OR 70% in each section
    For Piano Pedagogy Certificate Program
    Classification Range of Marks
    First Class Honors with Distinction 90 - 100
    First Class Honors 80 - 89
    Honors 70 - 79
    Pass (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced Viva Voce) Minimum 70
    Pass (Advanced Practical) 70% in each section
  • Examination National Averages (Canada only)
  • Inclement Weather

    The Royal Conservatory endeavours to offer examinations as scheduled, however, we urge candidates and their families to use their own discretion and judgement before venturing out in inclement weather. We encourage candidates to check with their centre representative in severe weather situations to ensure that the centre is operating.

  • Level 10 Piano Candidates

    Splitting the Grade 10 Piano Examination

    Effective Date: September 2010

    Beginning with the January 2011 examination session, candidates may choose to perform their Grade 10 piano examination in two separate sittings:

    • one consisting entirely of the candidate's repertoire;
    • one consisting of technical requirements, studies, ear tests, and sight reading. Although the division of material in split examinations cannot be altered, candidates will be able to schedule the two sittings in either order.

    Please note the following regulations concerning Grade 10 piano that will apply to the split- examination option:

    • Candidates for the complete Grade 10 piano examination and the split Grade 10 examination must finish their practical examination requirements within two years of the first successful complete or partial Grade 10 examination.

    • Candidates for the split Grade 10 piano examination may schedule their sittings within the same examination session or in different sessions, but both portions of the Grade 10 piano examination and any supplemental examinations must be completed within the two-year period.

    • Grade 10 candidates who complete their examination in two sittings must complete both parts, with a minimum total mark of 65 percent, before registering for any supplemental examinations.

    • All theoretical co-requisites must be completed within five years of the first successful complete or partial Grade 10 piano examination.

    • Candidates in Grade 10 may repeat, as a supplemental examination, any two sections of a practical examination, including repertoire.

    • Candidates must complete the Grade 10 piano examination in one sitting in order to be eligible to receive a gold medal.

    • The Grade 10 split examination option is currently available to piano candidates only.

  • Photocopies

    Composers, artists, editors, and publishers rely on sales revenues to contribute to their livelihood. Photocopying music deprives the creators of due compensation.

    Candidates should bring all music to be performed to the examination. The candidate should be prepared to bring an original copy of the music for the examiner, another original copy for the accompanist, and an additional copy for themselves, if the pieces are not memorized. Candidates who wish to photocopy pages of a selection for the purpose of facilitating a page turn may do so with permission from the publisher. The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited grants permission to examination participants to photocopy one to two pages from their copyrighted works in order to facilitate a page turn. Please print this public notice and bring it with you to your examination.

  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Eligibility

    Candidates who have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) may be eligible to use these funds to support private studies in music at the Level 9, Level 10, and ARCT levels. Please consult your RESP provider for more information.

  • Syllabi
  • Theory Marking Key
  • Theory Syllabus 2016 and Crossover Plan
  • Time Extensions

    Candidates working towards the Level10 certificate or ARCT diploma must complete their theory co-requisites before or within 5 years of their practical examination. Candidates who, due to extenuating circumstances, are unable to complete their theory co-requisites within the 5 year time limit, may submit a request for a time extension in writing to RCM Examinations. Such requests will be considered on an individual basis.

Photo courtesy of Marie Janssen