Lesson 4: Setting an Exam Preparation Timeline
Jonathan Roberts
Your students are set up with their level, their materials, and you’re ready to go— congratulations!

As you dig into the material with your students, it will be helpful to set an exam preparation timeline. Sometimes when a goal date is far ahead in the future, we can procrastinate or lose our direction. An exam preparation timeline will ensure that the plan is clear between now and examination day. Parents will gain peace of mind knowing there’s a plan in place. Students will have goal posts and benchmarks along the way. And, when done well, the timeline will contain enough flexibility and lead time to allow for adjustments should something not go as planned.

Down exam preparation timeline template (docx)

For most students, the main challenge is preparing the repertoire and etudes to the highest level possible. Consider making these pieces your “benchmarks” along the way towards examination day. Once you have established those benchmarks, you can incorporate the technical tests and musicianship into the timeline. Remember, the curriculum was designed to work together, so the more you relate these components to the repertoire students are working on, the better!

Keep in mind that we should not limit ourselves to working only on exam materials during this timeframe. To help students with their reading skills, you might consider giving them easier repertoire to supplement the exam repertoire. Additionally, just because we have a goal of learning the List A piece by the end of one month doesn’t mean we should neglect the other pieces until List A is ready.

Finally, this is just one example of an exam preparation timeline. Feel free to experiment with this timeline, tweak it, and make it your own to suit your teaching style and your students’ learning.

Put together an exam preparation timeline for at least one of your students. Share on the discussion forum how it went, along with any additional thoughts, questions, or changes you made to the sample timeline.

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