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Differences between Associated Board, Trinity and Victoria College Music theory Exams

Differences between Associated Board, Trinity and Victoria College Music Theory Exams


Differences between Associated Board (ABRSM), Trinity and Victoria College Music Theory exams can easily be understood by comparing the Graded Courses/Checklists found at the front of All-In-One music theory books (click on book and scroll through sample pages). Rachel Billings’ books, unlike most other methods, are designed to be worked through by all music theory students – from those taking exams with any of the main examination boards, to those following no graded syllabus who merely wish to gain a proper and in depth knowledge of music theory. Easy to compare Checklists and convenient tick boxes ensure students easily keep record of progress according to the examination board they have chosen (students who are not following any examination board may simply work through consecutive pages; Part One followed by Part Two). All-In-One is a careful selection of independent, self-contained papers which can be worked through in different orders and students who are perhaps unsure which examination board to follow, can easily change course mid way if they choose, to follow a different route. To understand the differences between Associated Board, Trinity and Victoria College music theory exams please see the All-In-One Graded Checklist sample pages, a few of which are displayed on this website (click on the links below), which provide an easy visual comparison between examination boards:

ABRSM,TRINITY AND Victoria College Graded Checklists found in All-In-One to Grade 5 – Third Revised Edition.

ABRSM,TRINITY AND Victoria College Graded Checklists found in All-In-One Grades 1-3 – Third Revised Edition

All-In-One music theory is unique in its approach, reinforcing patterns which apply throughout the grades. This means that once a concept is learnt it is learnt once and for all, applying as much in the later grades as the former. In this way All-In-One music theory presents a memorable method which is very different to the dry, wordy and repetitive rote learning commonly found in theory books.

For a summary of the most notable differences between the different examination boards you are advised to read a similar, but outdated, blog posted in 2015 titled Differences between ABRSM and Trinity College London music theory. Since that blog was written, much has happened and All-In-One Graded Checklists have altered in part. All-In-One music theory is now available in a Third edition, published 2016 (and since then, a Revised Third edition published 2019) which is substantially different from all previous editions.

A most notable difference in the Revised Third edition is the inclusion of a ‘Victoria College of Music Graded Checklist’ which, corresponds with Victoria College’s new music theory exam syllabus, commencing Spring 2020 ( Victoria College of Music Theory 2020 syllabus and practice papers now available ). The lower grades for Victoria College of music theory syllabus – titled First Steps to Grade V (Grade 5) – were in fact designed by Rachel Billings, upon request from Victoria College examination board,  to fit in well with her All-In-One books (Rachel received a Fellowship for this work and her services to Victoria College in 2018). All-In-One music theory is used by Victoria College Exam students and endorsed by VCM Exams as BEST MUSIC THEORY .


Endorsed as ‘BEST MUSIC THEORY by Victoria College Examination Board (December 2019)





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