Music Theory

There are eight LCM Music Theory grades, plus one introductory level and three diplomas.

Our Music Theory exams are key to the knowledge required, not only for the understanding and performance of the pieces in practical exams, but also for the technical work, discussion and aural test elements.

  • Step and Grades 1-8 are offered in all sessions
  • Theory Diplomas are only offered in the Summer

2018 Theory dates

  • Spring - Wednesday 21 March, 2pm
  • Summer - Saturday 16 June, 10am (Steps, Grades and Diploma paper 1) & 2pm (Diploma paper 2)
  • Winter - Saturday 24 November, 10am

The summer theory date in Asia and the Middle East is 9 June.

Please note: the practical exam closing dates also apply to theory exams.

Where can I take a theory exam?

In the UK & Ireland Theory exams can only be taken at selected public centres, alternatively please contact the LCME office if you wish to hold Theory exams at your private exam centre. For candidates overseas, please contact the LCME office.


What's in the exam

Pre-Grade 1

Time allowed

  • Step: 1.5 hours

Time allowed

  • Grade 1: 1.5 hours
  • Grades 2-4: 2 hours
  • Grades 5-8: 3 hours

Time allowed

  • 3 hours

Download Syllabus


Time allowed

  • Paper 1: 3 hours
  • Paper 2: 3 hours

Download Syllabus


Time allowed

  • Paper 1: completed in advance
  • Paper 2: 3 hours

Download Syllabus