London College of Music

Exam levels

LCM Examinations are offered across a wide range of levels, catering for candidates of all abilities - from introductory assessments for beginners right through to Masters standard qualifications.

1. Early Learning

 

Intended for children aged 3 to 6 years, these exams aim to provide encouragement and a basis for assessment in music and drama/communication at a very early stage of development. They are available as solo exams or group exams, at three levels, and are conducted in a relaxed environment with the teacher present if desired.

All candidates will receive a report form; this will not include marks, but will award Pass, Merit or Distinction. All children who complete the assessment will be awarded at least a Pass, and will receive a certificate.

To download the syllabus, click on the 'Early Learning' tab on the 'Download a syllabus'. 

2. Steps

 

Offered in various subjects, these pre-Grade 1 exams are an ideal way to introduce pupils to examinations, and provide a useful goal to work towards.

Candidates receive a written report and mark, and successful candidates are delighted to receive their first certificate to hang on the wall!

Assessment bands are the same as for graded exams:

  • 85-100% - Distinction
  • 75-84% - Merit
  • 65-74% - Pass
  • 0-64% - Unsuccessful

3. Grades

 

Graded exams are offered in a wide range of subjects, through a progressive system of 8 levels.

Graded exams generate motivation and reward achievement, and the levels are recognised internationally.

Assessment bands are as follows:

  • 85-100% - Distinction
  • 75-84% - Merit
  • 65-74% - Pass
  • 0-64% - Unsuccessful

In the UK, LCM's graded exams are regulated by Ofqual, DfES and CCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework, and UCAS points are awarded for higher grades.

LCM's graded exams are now also included on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). 

4. Recital Grades

 

The Recital Grades syllabus offers candidates the opportunity to enter for graded exams focusing entirely, or predominantly, on performance. The exam comprises:

  • four pieces (chosen from the graded lists)
  • EITHER a fifth piece OR sight reading OR viva voce 

Pieces do not have to be chosen from different lists, allowing flexibility in repertoire selection.

Assessment bands are as follows:

  • 85-100% - Distinction
  • 75-84% - Merit
  • 65-74% - Pass
  • 0-64% - Unsuccessful

In the UK, LCM's recital grades are regulated by Ofqual, DfES and CCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

LCM's recital grades are now also included on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

See the Recital Grades page for full details.

5. Leisure Play

 

Available in all music subjects, these are a performance-only alternative to graded exams. They are offered at 8 levels, corresponding in standard to graded exams, and candidates are able to explore jazz, popular or other contemporary styles if they wish. Candidates do not prepare for the additional components of the main grade syllabus; however, Leisure Play exams provide an assessment of standard, as well as being a useful yardstick of progress and a goal to work towards.

As for graded exams, candidates receive a written report form with comments and marks, and successful candidates receive a certificate.

Assessment bands are as follows:

  • 85-100% - Distinction
  • 75-84% - Merit
  • 65-74% - Pass
  • 0-64% - Unsuccessful

6. Performance Awards

 

Performance Awards are assessed via DVD submission, rather than attendance at an examination centre. They are performance-only assessments, and may be entered at any time of the year.

Assessment bands are as follows:

  • 85-100% - Distinction
  • 75-84% - Merit
  • 65-74% - Pass
  • 0-64% - Unsuccessful

See the Performance Awards page for full details.

7. Diplomas

 

LCM offers diplomas at four levels:

  • Diploma of the London College of Music (DipLCM)
  • Associate of the London College of Music (ALCM)
  • Licentiate of the London College of Music (LLCM)
  • Fellow of the London College of Music (FLCM)

The standard of these diplomas is as follows:

  • DipLCM: QCF Level 4 (equivalent standard to a 1st year undergraduate module)
  • ALCM: QCF Level 5 (equivalent standard to a 2nd year undergraduate module)
  • LLCM: QCF Level 6 (equivalent standard to a final year undergraduate module)
  • FLCM: QCF Level 7 (equivalent standard to a Masters module)

Our diplomas are internationally recognised, and include composition, conducting, thesis and theoretical diplomas as well as performing and teaching diplomas in all instruments and drama/communication subjects.

Candidates are required to achieve 75% to attain the diploma qualification.

In the UK, our diplomas are regulated by Ofqual, DfES and CCEA at Levels 4 to 7 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

The diplomas are now also included in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).