RCM online theory

Congrats, You’ve Finished Your Exam! Now What?

Published August 13, 2020

Completing your RCM theory examination definitely deserves a pat on the back! After months of hard work, this portion of your music theory journey is complete, and it’s now time to unwind and take a breather.

But it won’t be long before it’s time to start planning for your next step. A lot will depend on which exam you’ve just completed, and how well you’ve done on the exam itself.

When Can I Expect My Results?

Results for RCM theory exams may be available within four to six weeks. Of course, it’s difficult to plan your next step without knowing whether or not you passed your exam. However, if you’ve been doing quite well with the homework towards the end of your course and feel you had a good understanding of the material, your chances of not passing is quite slim. Don’t be afraid to start planning for the next level.


If you’ve just completed Level 9 or Level 10 and plan on proceeding to the next level, I recommend moving straight away to the next level of harmony, whether or not you’ve completed your history requirements. Each harmony level is continuous. If you forget your material from Level 9 prior to beginning the Level 10 course, you’ll have to go back and review it first. Success in each level depends greatly on your foundation from the previous level. Don’t wait long before starting the next level.


When it comes to your history requirements, there’s no real urgency to commence with the next level right away as there is with regard to harmony. You could theoretically wait months or even a year. While there is much material common to the respective RCM History courses, each level may be undertaken individually. How quickly you move on to the next level will depend on your timeline for completing the entire level.

Intermediate Theory

Don’t wait. Move straight to the next level if you’ve just completed Levels 5-7 theory. Each level builds upon the last, and success in these courses, much like harmony, will largely depend on your foundation from previous levels. Since levels 5-8 only require one theory examination, it’s much easier to plan. Whether you’re ahead or behind in your theory progress in relation to your practical level, keep going!

What If I Fail?

Not passing your exam is certainly a realistic outcome, particularly if you struggled with the material and were achieving less than desired results on your latest practice exams. It’s a blow to one’s confidence and it’s always a terrible feeling. If you did fail, it’s important to take a step back and ponder the reasons.

Did you follow all of the instructions as set out to you in the course — viewing lessons, attending live classes, completing homework, studying returned homework? Did you put forth your best effort with regard to studying and understanding you errors? Being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for your results is how avoid repeating this result in the future.

If you answered yes to all of the above questions and still did not pass, it could have come down to a very serious error (or perhaps two) you made on the exam. Otherwise, it could come down to an issue with comprehension which is something we would have been working on together during the course of time.

Whatever the case might be, I will continue to work with you until you are successful on the exam, as long as you have put in the effort required of you. We would identify the areas of weakness as soon as the PDF of your exam becomes available and work at rectifying them for a future attempt. You may retake the course with no additional cost, and with renewed diligence, we will be successful the next time around. Every failure we come across in life is a powerful learning opportunity. As much as we try our best to be successful in everything we do, failing at something is a much more valuable lesson than if we passed everything we did with minimal effort.

You Can Rely On Me

Whatever your result is, you can count on me to continue to assist you post exam. Whether you’re looking for assistance in moving on the next level, or you are completely finished with RCM Theory and still have questions regarding any musical matter, do not hesitate to reach out to me! Your exam’s completion doesn’t signify the end of our relationship.