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Summer exams

Preferred week

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#31 Sautillé

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 20:32


“I'm sure it must be the case that some centres only hold exams for 1 or 2 weeks each session. I'm fairly sure that that applies to both of my local centres and I know that the one I used before I moved here only ever had one week of exams each session. I have always told my pupils that they should be ready on the day that the exam session starts. That way, there is never any panic when the date comes through. Of course some will feel more prepared than others, but I have a policy of never putting anyone in for an exam - theory or practical - if I think they're not ready to pass fairly comfortably.”

Yes - it could be ... but actually my other entries, including the one so put in a week later got their desired dates, including one in week 5!!
My problems with all of this are as follows...
1) At grades 1-3 and possibly even 4, I don’t want kids sitting around on grade pieces and, try as I might, once that book comes out they have a 3 piece focus. I can go down all the ‘duets’, ‘extra piece on the side’ routes I like but exam pieces hold up everything....
2) at grades 1-3 a month makes a HUGE difference...... I would like all of my pupils to be 3/4 weeks competent which means we’ve got pieces pretty good. Everything else I take for granted will be ready because I plan this from
the outset. But, I do like a couple of weeks to do mock exams and aural tests. I think it’s appropriate for me to make the timing decision on this..... when I put kids in for Trinity exams I do. When I put kids in for AB that is continually taken away from me.
3) Frankly, I look like a complete prat. I tell parents one thing and, even though I prepare them for a different eventuality (and I do) we get dates SO far removed from my and their preferred dates that even I cannot offer any rational explanation. So ‘jenny’ actually my local centre is doing the full session, my other appointments confirm that and ‘HelenVJ’, I applied on DAY 2 of the booking period and only put one G3 and one G2 in this specific entry. Actually, knew timing would be tight anyway this term and both of these kids will be ready but again, I’m trying to explain a ###### system to parents who now feel their children are on the back foot.
4) One of those parents came back straightaway and said older sibling must transfer to Trinity and exam child ditto next time. I used to try to keep them in the AB system but I can’t be bothered anymore.....
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#32 maggiemay

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 21:01

Yes. And Yes.

I indicated to my families that they could expect a June date: we got July 5th so could be worse. But in fact they are more or less ready, and it’s likely after another month + , the pieces will be past their best.

I heard today of a colleague who’d requested the first week of the session, and actually got the Friday of the LAST week.
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#33 zwhe

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 21:17

Got my date this morning by checking online, but still not actually had an email telling me its ready!


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#34 Aquarelle

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 15:31

I'm so to speak on the other end of the line as here the door lists are organised by the local rep in conjunction with the school or person hosting the exams. We've got 20 candidates to fit in in one day, some  driving 70 kilometres or more to get here plus several groups of siblings who have to be timetabled consecutively. So far I have had three attempts at the timetable and each time it has taken me a couple of hours. Fingers crossed that this last version works.

I'm not complaining - the system works well here but it is time consuming getting it in place.


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#35 Latin pianist

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 15:41

Have to say that abrsm have been very helpful and my student has been transferred to a local Special Visit.
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#36 DMC

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:26

Last year was the final straw for me and ABRSM's ludicrously antiquated entry system. I've switched some pupils to Trinity, and those who use ABRSM I now put them in on a special visit at a local school. I always know months in advance what the exam dates are going to be, and I don't have to spend 90mins on the phone to the ABRSM listening to Clair de lune just to move a Grade 1 exam 2 weeks closer to the original week we asked for.

 

Consequently, this summer is proving far less stressful... :-)


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#37 Latin pianist

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:29

I've rung twice recently and got through very quickly. Maybe just luck.
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#38 ma non troppo

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 23:50

Why don't they respond to the criticism here? Something very wrong going on.
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#39 zwhe

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:22

Did everyone else get the promised email - I've not actually been notified of my date! Its the first time I've done AB online, but I would have expected to be told about the date rather than have to keep checking myself.


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#40 zwhe

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:24

Why don't they respond to the criticism here? Something very wrong going on.

They don't actually read the forum - I once had a look at the list of moderators, and not one of them had been on the forum for months - it gives a date of when they were last here.


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#41 DMC

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:12

 

Why don't they respond to the criticism here? Something very wrong going on.

They don't actually read the forum - I once had a look at the list of moderators, and not one of them had been on the forum for months - it gives a date of when they were last here.

 

 

I find that astounding. This forum is a great source of support for fellow teachers, and if the ABRSM really wanted to get their fingers on the pulse of what their 'customers' are actually thinking, there's no better place to find out than here.


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#42 Maizie

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:40

Once upon a time there was a chief examiner who used to pay attention to the forums, run Q&A threads, and generally be involved.  Not in a long time has that been the case :(


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#43 jenny

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 12:03

Did everyone else get the promised email - I've not actually been notified of my date! Its the first time I've done AB online, but I would have expected to be told about the date rather than have to keep checking myself.

 

Yes, I got mine.


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#44 DMC

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 18:50

Once upon a time there was a chief examiner who used to pay attention to the forums, run Q&A threads, and generally be involved.  Not in a long time has that been the case sad.png

 

Were his initials 'RC'? ;-)


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#45 zwhe

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 13:10

I have just received an email in response to my complaint that I never got a notification for my exam date. They said that the email address on my account was not the one I had contacted them on. I went and checked, and it has been changed. I have not changed it, and it was correct when they sent me a confirmation they had received my application in May. Very odd, and my suspicious nature wonders if someone has changed it on purpose so that they have an excuse...


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