UNISA Music Exams

Improvisation is an integral aspect of jazz performance. Candidates must sing an improvised solo on the chord changes of standard repertoire, even when solo changes are not specified, unless the work is through-composed.


All technical work must be sung:

  • From memory
  • Ascending and descending according to the specified range
  • Straight or swung or slurred, as requested by the examiner.


The recommended tempi for each grade should be observed, but accuracy, fluency and evenness of tone are most important.

All technical work to be performed in the performance style, mf.


Students must sing one sight-reading test. Sufficient time will be allowed to study the piece without singing it.


The requirements for each grade appear in a separate publication, available from the Directorate Music, free of charge. The practical musicianship requirements per grade are the same for all instruments (including voice). The examiner will play all practical musicianship tests on the piano. The candidate must sing the visualization test on syllables of his/her own choice.


There are no theoretical requirements for Performance Level Assessments (PLAs).

The Theory of Music examinations required for the various practical grade examinations are as follows:

Grade Examinations

Practical examination Theory of Music requirement
Pre-grade 1 to Grade 3 None
Grade 4 Grade 3
Grade 5 Grade 4
Grades 6, 7 & 8 Grade 5


If a Theory of Music examination is a requirement for a practical examination, and the candidate has not passed the required Theory of Music examination before the practical examination is played, the candidate must enter and pass the required Theory of Music examination. A candidate who passes a practical examination before the required Theory of Music examination will only receive the certificate once the relevant Theory of Music examination has been passed. If a candidate passed the required Theory of Music examination at the same or an earlier examination session, the practical certificate will be issued without delay. Grade 8 practical candidates who do not yet meet the Theory of Music requirement must register for the practical and theory components in the same calendar year. (Theory of Music may be written earlier.) Theory of Music Grades 6 and 7 examinations consist of two papers each. Candidates may enter for one or both papers (in any order) at any time and will retain credit for individual papers passed. Candidates entering for the Grade 7 and 8 Theory of Music will have to pass both the examination papers in order for the Theory of Music qualification to be awarded