®The finest instrument is the mind.

General Information

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

Accompanists | Candidate Standings | Classification of MarksPhotocopiesRegistered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Eligibility | Inclement Weather | Time Extensions | Theory Syllabus, 2016 Edition: Crossover Plan



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.


Candidate Standings

The following table summarizes the percentage of candidates across Canada who achieved standings at the Honours, First Class Honours, and First Class Honours with Distinction levels each academic year.

Teachers, students and parents may find it useful to gauge how students' results compare to candidates from the rest of the country.

Range of Marks 70 - 79 80 - 89 90 - 100
Level 1 28% 63% 5%
Level 2 38% 52% 4%
Level 3 47% 38% 2%
Level 4 46% 38% 2%
Level 5 48% 33% 1%
Level 6 48% 32% 2%
Level 7 48% 31% 2%
Level 8 44% 28% 2%
Level 9 45% 32% 3%
Level 10 40% 23% 3%
ARCT Performers 41% 29% 7%
Basic Rudiments 12% 29% 51%
Inermediate Rudiments 18% 33% 36%
Advanced Rudiments 18% 32% 36%
Basic Harmony 37% 39% 6%
Intermediate Harmony 37% 16% 1%
Counterpoint 40% 20% 3%
Advanced Harmony 34% 18% 1%
Analysis 28% 35% 13%
History 1: An Overview 29% 31% 11%
History 2: Middle Ages to Classical 28% 28% 11%
History 3: 19th Century to Present 27% 28% 14%


Classification of Marks

For Levels 1 - 10
Classification Range of Marks
First Class Honours with Distinction 90 - 100
First Class Honours 80 - 89
Honours 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 Honours with Distinction 90 - 100
First Class Honours 80 - 89
Honours 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 Honours with Distinction 90 - 100
First Class Honours 80 - 89
Honours 70 - 79
Pass (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced Viva Voce) Minimum 70
Pass (Advanced Practical) 70% in each section



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. Candidates who wish to photocopy one page 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 is pleased to grant permission to festival, recital, and examination participants to photocopy one page from Frederick Harris Music publications for the purpose of facilitating a page turn. The student 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.


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.


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.

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.