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Music Placement Exam

Diagnostic Theory Placement Exam

Who takes it?

The Diagnostic Theory Placement Exam is administered to all prospective Music Majors and Minors during their music application process (the music application is separate from the university application). The exam does not affect acceptance or scholarship distribution in any way. It is merely a diagnostic tool to determine the academic level of each student for music theory course registration. Only seniors in high school through college transfer level students may take this exam.

Music Majors and Minors will have completed this exam at the Conservatory (or at home with an approved proctor) by May 1.

When is it available?

The placement exam is available throughout the academic year and is administered in the music building for students who have already begun the music application process. The exam takes an hour and a half and must be completed during the office hours of 8:00am-4:00pm. The exam can also be taken at home with a proctor if needed. Must be completed by May 1.

What does the exam cover?

The exam covers material from our basic level theory courses. The best way to prepare would be to review:

  • Key Signatures
  • Scales
  • Collegiate level terminology
  • Time signatures
  • Rhythms
  • Circle of fifths
  • Basic 4-part writing

Additional Resources

  • Robert Ottman's Elementary Harmony: Theory and Practice
  • Robert Ottman's Advanced Harmony: Theory and Practice
  • Musictheory.net

Aural Skills Placement Exam

Who takes it?

The Aural Skills Placement Exam is administered to all prospective Music Majors and Minors after they have been accepted by the Conservatory. The exam does not affect acceptance or scholarship distribution in any way. It is merely a diagnostic tool to determine the academic level of each student for Sight-singing and Dictation course registration. Only seniors in high school through college transfer level students may take this exam.

Music Majors and Minors will have completed this exam by May 1, at home with an approved proctor.

When is it available?

Student will receive information on securing an approved proctor once accepted by the Conservatory. Must be completed by May 1.

What does the exam cover?

The exam covers material from our basic level Sight-Singing and Dictation courses. The best way to prepare would be to review dictating/transcribing:

  • Melodic Lines
  • Harmonic Intervals
  • Triads
  • Seventh chords
  • Additionally, review sight-singing melodies

Additional Resources

Keyboard Placement Exam

Who takes it?

All non-keyboard Music Majors and Minors (including Composition majors with piano emphasis) have the option to take this exam. If a student is content with starting in Keyboard I, they are not required to complete the exam. The exam does not affect acceptance or scholarship distribution in any way. It is merely a diagnostic tool to determine the academic level of each student for keyboard course registration. Only seniors in high school through college transfer level students may take this exam.

This optional exam is completed by submitting a video audition by May 1. If an exam/video audition is not received by May 1, the student will automatically be placed in Keyboard I.

When is it available?

Student will receive information on what the video audition needs to include once accepted by the Conservatory. Must be completed by May 1.

What does the exam cover?

Students may email anna.glenn@biola.edu for more information on what the Keyboard Placement Exam covers.

Additional Resources

If a prospective student desires additional keyboard training in preparation for the exam, we recommend they take lessons from a qualified local piano teacher in their area.