Preparing for the

Listening Exam

Preparing For the Listening Exam Web Page Explanation.mp4

Everything you need for theory revision in music is on this page

If you want to know HOW to navigate this page then watch this video

Quick Knowledge Check - Everything Students Must Know

As a minimum, this is what all students must know by the time of their actual listening exam in year 11:


Before reading on. Revision should follow two rules. It should be:


Revision should be at least every three days, ideally every two days


Revision should involve testing yourself at least once a week, ideally at the end of each revision exercise

The Holy Trinity of Revision

There are lots of ways to revise for the listening paper but three methods have proven to be most effective

The CGP Study Guide is FREE on this website. Click the link HERE for the booklet. Click the CGP Study Guide title above to learn how to use it

This booklet was created for you by your teacher as a quick 'all-in-one' guide for what you need to revise, what you need to know and how to do it

Put it all to the test in actual questions. This is the ultimate revision method in many ways.

This page has now become almost as important as much of the above. Lots of the tasks and resources above will point to online resources. Therefore, use the link in the title above or HERE to access all of the online resources necessary to preparing for the listening exam.

What is effective revision?

The biggest misconception about revision is that it's something students do to prepare for exams, just before exams. Our GCSE music students should perhaps understand more than most how ridiculous this concept is.

Imagine practising for the summer concert just one week or a few days before the actual concert?

In music, GCSE students practise constantly and must prove this each week via parental confirmation. As a result, by the end of year 11 most of them are more comfortable performing to a large audience with nothing between them but a microphone or their instrument, than they are sitting in an exam hall with no one but themselves and their peers, who they all know. When you really think about it, this is not natural and it is because they have practised so much to prepare for performances that it comes more naturally to them - not all of them, but definitely most.

However, with theory revision we often see the complete opposite approach, across all subjects not just music. Many students typically try to cram all of their revision and revisiting of content over a relatively small period. Some of them unfortunately even leave it literally until the night before. We could say schools are part of the problem by running revision sessions during the last two terms in the weeks leading up to and during the exam season....but that's a discussion for another day.

First rule – revision should be regular, NOT just before exams

10 minutes a day at least

Further down the page are several links to revision resources for GCSE music using resources from everything available such as the Quizlet website through to the LIstening Exam Preparation Booklet, as an example.

Students from years 9, 10 & 11 should use this website to visit these resources REGULARLY and use them. Even 5 minutes using Quizlet to do a quick 5 minute matching-terms session for Indian Classical Music is enough for one evening, though not just this resource every evening.

To get students started here are just some of the numerous things they can do as part of their daily revision:

This task above must work through each bullet point on the page to be effective

  • Using the CGP study guide search online for examples of the numerous styles of music

This link includes information on the four types of question in your listening exam as well as practice tasks to help you answer the questions

Includes everything from recognising melodies and pitch, recognising scales, listening to sounds of instruments, listening to examples of texture, practising notated rhythms, practising notation dictation exercises, relative pitch & interval training, recognising baroque, classical and romantic styles, and much more.