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Who else thinks the ABRSM and others charge too much

Discussion in 'Music' started by Rockmeamadeus, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. I was shocked when I did my entries for ABRSM exams this year that the fees had gone up once again. I now have students electing to miss grades on the grounds that they can't afford it and others whose parents have lost their jobs who can't afford to enter for any.
    In the current climate it seems a little ivory-tower esque that these organisations are raising fees!
    And yet, what can we do?
     
  2. I was shocked when I did my entries for ABRSM exams this year that the fees had gone up once again. I now have students electing to miss grades on the grounds that they can't afford it and others whose parents have lost their jobs who can't afford to enter for any.
    In the current climate it seems a little ivory-tower esque that these organisations are raising fees!
    And yet, what can we do?
     
  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    I know the fees are high but I don't think they're unreasonable. Not only are you paying for the examiner's time but also the paperwork, the venue and piano and all the planning, moderation and so on.
    If students can't afford to do the exam can you do them a mock exam yourself and prepare them as normal but do the exam yourself? I know some teachers who've done that for pupils so they have to prepare properly and have a date to aim for.
     
  4. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Rockmeamadeus, I realise I haven't addressed your main point, which I think is that exam fees have gone up by more than the rate of inflation. If so, that is a pity, but quite a lot is going up by more than the rate of inflation.
    An entry fee of £52 does sound an awful lot for Grade 5, but entering for a driving test now costs between £93 and £106. The entry fee for each A-level subject is at least £75 (more than £95 for some subjects). Times are tough. If the graded exam boards are charging too much, they'll soon find our because the service they offer is far from essential.
     
  5. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Costs are spiralling up in all areas - no one would ever expect exam fees to drop would they?




    This is not a direct comparison with an ABRSM exam - to be entered for a full A-level would involve at least four separate Unit entries and so would always be likely to cost more than the single grade exam. As ABRSM exams involve sending examiners [however poorly paid!] to venues the Unit cost is, pro rata, higher than a single GCSE or A-level unit [one reason why Edexcel axed the visiting examiners for A-level Music a decade ago].
     
  6. Red wine fan

    Red wine fan New commenter

    Ballet exams are slightly cheaper; I'm comparing RAD with ABRSM. However, a grade 5 ballet exam lasts around 40 minutes, compared to the 20 of ABRSM and my daughters have always had to take it with at least one other student because some of the exercises and dances have to be danced alongside a partner. So twice as long but half as much "examiner attention" means they work out similar value. Ballet lessons are considerably cheaper than music lessons - DD2 this morning had a grade 5 ballet lesson on her own for 45 minutes for £4. However, when you add up the leotard, character skirt, character shoes, ballet shoes, tights and hair accessories my girls seem to need on a regular basis, forking out for a new violin every 3 years looks rather good value!
     
  7. Yes, FG, hardly essential and yet we all still regard them as such. The first question I find myself asking a student who tells me they play is "what grade". For most teachers it is the tried and trusted method of ensuring progression and the examining boards don't seem much inclined to become competitive about pricing. And shrug in our shoulders and saying, but what else can we do, wont help all of the potential students I mentioned who cna no longer afford To use the exam rout.

    Furthermore. You tend to do driving test only on e or twice unless you are unlucky however ther e are eight grades and diplomas to get thru.
     
  8. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It's interesting how that sticks, while questions about what grade did you get in GCSE music don't carry anywhere so much weight.
    I do remember that when GCSE was first discussed, there was considerable impetus to base it on the graded exam system, rather than on a single terminal exam. Thus, students could take a Grade 3 in maths at the age of 16, if that is what it is thought they might pass, while others might take a Grade 8 in maths at the same age (and doubtless thereby establish their potential to take A-level maths).
    It was a pity that the system was not adopted, but I remember that cost was one of the issues, even back then.
    I think it's pretty much a fixed-cost issue (not that some savings might not be made). In recent years we have seen that Guildhall exams were only saved by being absorbed by Trinity. To all intents and purposes, Guildhall has now disappeared as an exam board.
    As, indeed, have 11 of the 14 A-level exam boards now disappeared.
     

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