AMEB Victoria’s roadmap for examinations in Term 4

Closing date for 2nd Regional, Special Subject and Rockschool enrolments extended to 12 October


We have studied ‘Victoria’s roadmap for re-opening’, published by the Victorian Government on 6 September, and adjusted our plans for Term 4 accordingly. The commencement of face-to-face examinations will be deferred to 26 October, and face-to-face examinations will proceed only in compliance with all Government directives and DHHS guidelines in place at the time.

Whilst we appreciate that students are keen to proceed with face-to-face examinations, we anticipate living in an unpredictable environment for many months to come. Therefore, we recommend that consideration be given to preparing lower-grade candidates for Video Repertoire Grade exams this year. This will allow us to focus on providing face-to-face examinations for Diploma, Certificate and higher-grade candidates, should restrictions be eased later than the timetable presently contemplated by the Government.

5th Metropolitan Practical Session deferred

As advised in an email to enrollers yesterday, the commencement of face-to-face examinations has been deferred to 26 October, subject to Government regulations and DHHS restrictions.

Whilst schools and private studios may apply to host piano, instrumental and vocal face-to-face examinations between 26 October and 17 December, physical distancing requirements will limit the number of rooms available for examinations at the AMEB Hawthorn studios:

  • The Hawthorn studios will host Piano examinations from 26 October till 22 November (dates to avoid and transfers to video to be notified by 12 October).
  • Instrumental and vocal exams will be held at the Hawthorn studios from 23 November till 17 December (dates to avoid and transfers to video to be notified by 19 October).

Evening examinations. As we will be able to operate only a small number of studios at the AMEB centre in Hawthorn, examinations on weekdays will be scheduled from 9am till 9pm. Enrollers are requested to advise, by the dates mentioned above, the name of any candidate who would not be able to present for an evening examination (Monday to Thursday 5:30pm – 9pm).

2nd Regional, Special Subject and Rockschool Sessions

Examinations in the 2nd Regional, 2nd Special Subject and 2nd Rockschool Sessions will be held between 23 November and 17 December (circumstances permitting). The closing date for enrolments on AMEB Connect has been extended to Monday 12 October at midnight. (Due to the complex scheduling processes to be undertaken and to enable Notices of Examination to be issued within a reasonable period of time, late enrolments cannot be accepted.)

We appreciate that many students are hoping to present for a face-to-face Comprehensive exam. However, the teaching, learning and examining environment continues to be highly unpredictable and we would suggest that candidates enrol for a Repertoire exam, if suitable. For most subjects, compared with the Comprehensive exam, the Repertoire exam requires one additional piece to be presented in place of Technical Work, Aural Tests, Sight Reading and General Knowledge (no Extra List works are required).

If the face-to-face Repertoire exam cannot proceed due to health and safety restrictions, the candidate can record their performance and transfer to a Video Repertoire exam. Candidates enrolled for face-to-face Comprehensive or Repertoire exams will be able to transfer to a Video Repertoire exam, at no charge, if their scheduled examination is not able to proceed due to DHHS restrictions.

Should it not be reasonably possible to complete either a face-to-face or video examination by 17 December, a full refund will be given, to be processed in the week commencing 14 December.

Hosting examinations. We would encourage schools and private studios with three or more hours of examining in a particular instrument group to apply to host examinations. If the total examining time is less than three hours, we might be able to provide examination services upon payment of a surcharge (please enquire). Schools and private studios might also wish to consider hosting examinations in the evenings (Mondays to Thursdays until 9pm), when suitable facilities might be available.

Diploma exams

An additional 3rd Licentiate Practical session has been established, to run from 1 December till 8 December (enrolments closing 12 October). Should circumstances prevent the conduct of a scheduled face-to-face Associate examination at the AMEB Hawthorn Studios by 17 December, we will offer a video exam alternative.

Video exams

Given the high level of uncertainty about face-to-face examining possibilities, enrolled candidates are encouraged to transfer to a Video Repertoire examination at no additional cost. The Repertoire exam generally requires the presentation of one additional piece; there are no Technical Work, Section III or Extra List requirements. (In most subjects, the Repertoire exam requirements from Grades 2 to 7 can be met by ‘upgrading’ one Extra List piece to be the Own Choice work.)

In addition to the Repertoire exams that existed before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Recorded Video examinations are now available in most For Leisure, CPM and Rockschool subjects; and Online Video examinations are available for Speech & Drama subjects to Certificate level.

Video exam enrolments and submissions are available until 30 November (pre-enrolment is not necessary). This deadline will enable performances to be assessed, and reports and certificates issued prior to the Christmas break.

Please visit the AMEB Victoria website for information about video Repertoire exam requirements and guidelines for recording a candidate’s performance for examination purposes. A sample Grade 3 Violin Repertoire video exam recording may be found here.

Performance Evaluation

Performance Evaluations are available, by video, to students of any age or at any stage of learning. A performance of 7, 15 or 25 minutes, comprising works chosen by the student, can be submitted for review by an AMEB specialist examiner. AMEB Victoria will provide a written report and a Certificate of Completion to each student.

VCE Music Performance Unit 4 students can apply for a complimentary Performance Evaluation by video, to support preparation for their upcoming October examinations. In response to enquiries, we are pleased to extend the offer of a complimentary Performance Evaluation by video to students of VCE Music Investigation Unit 4 and VET Music Industry Unit 4 (submissions close 30 September). <Click here for more information.>

Accompaniment

We are conscious of the difficulties of rehearsing and performing with accompanists and associate artists under the physical distancing and travel restrictions that are currently in place. AMEB Recorded Accompaniments are available for most instruments up to Grade 3 and special arrangements have been negotiated with APRA/AMCOS to enable copyright materials to be recorded for the purpose of providing accompaniment for video examinations. <More information can be found here.>

Contacting us

Please email your enquiries to ameb-vic@unimelb.edu.au or complete the Contact Form on the AMEB Victoria website and we will respond to you by phone or email at the earliest opportunity. (Administrative personnel are presently working from home, so you might receive a call from John, Lisa, Matthew or Jeremy from an unexpected number.) Please note that messages cannot be left on our general telephone number at the present time.

In conclusion

In 2019 AMEB Victoria conducted over 13,000 Practical exams in Term 4 and we are anticipating even higher numbers in 2020, as many students’ examination plans have been deferred from earlier in the year. To help us to help you and your students, may I summarise my earlier advice:

(a) Please consider a video exam option.
(b) If a student is determined to complete a face-to-face examination it would be best to enrol for a Repertoire exam, which can be easily converted to a recorded video exam if necessary.
(c) Consider hosting exams at your school or studio, if practicable.
(d) Be sure to lodge face-to-face exam enrolments by the closing date and give us as much flexibility as possible so that we can schedule your students’ exams with specialist examiners (unique to AMEB) efficiently within the limited time available. Dates to be avoided can be accepted, but please appreciate that we will not be in a position to consider requests for particular dates (unless your school or studio is hosting exams, of course).

With best wishes from the team at AMEB Victoria,

Alwyn Mott, BMus, DipEd(Melb), GradDipBusAdmin(Monash), AMusA
General Manager
AMEB Victoria

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