Managing RGT Exam Entries

By: David Millar

In this article, David Millar provides some advice on how to manage the process of entering students for RGT grade exams.

Given the increased popularity of RGT grade exams, especially in schools, it is increasingly common for tutors to enter larger numbers of students in a single session.

This article will discuss some of the issues that may arise when handling a large number of exam entries and offers some tips on ensuring the process runs smoothly.


Is the Student Ready?


Plan in advance when to enter your students for their RGT exams.

In the UK, RGT exams are held three times a year: Spring, Summer and Winter. Exam dates and entry deadlines can be found on the RGT website.

Registered tutors completing entries for their students are usually permitted an extra seven days after the stated closure deadline dates.

As this may result in a period of potentially only four or five weeks leading up to an exam date, it is best to plan well ahead to ensure that students will be properly prepared in time.

Setting goals over a lesson term or period of tuition, such as having scales and chords memorised and performance sections well-developed in advance, will avoid last minute panic both in the lead-up to the entry deadline and the exam date.


Parent and Peer Pressure


Make sure parents are aware of progress and exam entry dates.

It is important to keep parents informed of their son or daughter’s progress well before exam entry deadlines and address any necessary issues in a sensitive way so that everyone’s expectations are understood.

If you are teaching a student privately it is more common to have direct contact with parents, compared to a school setting where there is usually less direct access to parents.

In schools it is useful to also keep school music teachers updated with progress and if necessary use them as a contact channel to parents.

Be wary of parents putting pressure on a student to enter too high an exam grade before the student is ready, or if teaching in a group lesson such as in a school environment that a less capable student feels they should enter a certain grade just because others in the group are entering at that level.

It is far preferable that students succeed at passing a lower grade, than fail to make the pass mark at a higher grade.


Encouraging Adult Students


Adult students can feel uncertain about entering exams.

Adult students may sometimes feel apprehensive about being ready to enter an exam, so reassurance is sometimes necessary to overcome this and help build up their confidence.

It is quite common for adults to be much more self-aware both in lessons and in examinations.

Unlike children who are used to regular assessment, adults may not have taken an exam for many years.

So it’s important to point out that taking a practical RGT guitar exam is actually a positive and quite fun experience and nothing like sitting a traditional school exam that they might have experienced years before.

However, for particularly reluctant or nervous exam students,

RGT’s Filmed or Recorded Performance Awards may suit some adult students better than grade exams, as these can be assessed without the need for the student to go anywhere near an exam room!


RGT Exam Entries Procedures


There are different options for completing an exam entry.

Exam entries can be made online or via the post. Some tutors may collect the entry forms and payments from students and send them in by post or enter them online as part of the teaching service they offer.

Although this involves you in a little bit of administration work, it is the most effective way of ensuring that all your students’ entries are made on time and that the forms are completed correctly.

Nowadays, for an increasing amount of students, entering online directly by themselves is a popular choice, but be careful (especially with school students) that they get their entry completed on time and select you as their tutor when completing the details.

It is not uncommon to hear excuses such as their internet or PC was not working or they forgot about the deadline when left to do this for themselves.

It’s not unknown either for students (or particularly their parents) to enter themselves for the wrong type of exam (e.g. for a ‘Rock Guitar’ exam, when you’ve actually been preparing them for the RGT ‘Electric Guitar’ syllabus).


Final Reminders


Keep a record of your student entries.

If you are entering large numbers of students, do keep a record of who is entered and for which grade and exam type for a given exam session.

Should any issues or queries arise this will enable you to assist the RGT office staff resolving these in a quick and efficient manner if necessary.

It is surprising how difficult it may be to remember all these details, particularly if you are entering a large number of students at a time.


Entry Form Advice


  • Take care to write the information on the entry form clearly, especially the email address (to which all exam correspondence will be sent).


  • The original entry form from the appropriate handbook must be used; photocopies cannot be used. Also, the grade printed on the form must be the grade being entered; entry forms overwritten with another grade cannot be accepted.


  • Only one candidate can be entered per entry form. Siblings doing the same grade can apply to the RGT office for a special sibling entry form.


  • Encourage your students to submit their exam entries well in advance. That way there’s no chance of them missing the entry deadline, and they’ll also be much more likely to keep attending lessons with you regularly once an exam has actually been booked. Entries for RGT exams can be made up to a year in advance.


  • Regarding the extended entry deadline for RGT tutors, any such entries can only be made by the registered tutor via the Members Area of the RGT website. All other online applications after the 1st of the month deadline will automatically be entered for the following exam session.


  • Classical guitar entries need to be sent to the tutor’s local LCM representative, not to the RGT office.


Do you have a question about entering an RGT exam? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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