LCM Exams

In their own words…

London College of Music Examinations is a progressive, friendly exam board offering a wide selection of exams in music, drama and communication subjects. Founded in 1887 as the external exam board of London College of Music, today we are part of the University of West London, making us the only exam board whose qualifications are awarded by a university.

LCME is delighted to be conducting exams for learners throughout the UK and over 80 other countries around the world, and counting! We retain the traditional qualities of the London College of Music while our examiners are known for being warm and approachable, ensuring candidates are put at ease and able to perform to their full potential.

LCME continues to lead the way in developing exam options that are relevant to today’s global world.

What We Offer

Subject Options

LCME offers assessments in a broad range of subjects; from traditional instrumental exams to our brand new DJ exams, we’re constantly expanding the suite of assessments on offer.

Piano players can choose from classical piano and electronic keyboard or focus on ensemble playing with our duet and accompaniment options. Areas such as jazz, composition, conducting, church music, music theory, ensemble playing and creative media are all catered for too along with a whole host of other subjects.

Assessments are available at a variety of levels, from pre-grade 1 through grades 1–8 up to Diploma level.

Exams are regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA and attract UCAS points at grades 6–8.

Exam formats

Graded exams featuring performance, scales and arpeggios, sight reading, aural tests and discussion remain a firm favourite.

Many learners are keen to focus on performance, which makes our performance-based recital grade and leisure play options an attractive alternative. 

Taking exams

Assessments are offered as both in-person exams at centres across the UK and overseas, and via digital exams.

Our range of digital exams includes recorded options, live online exams with a remote examiner, and online music theory exams via our new platform. These can all be taken from the comfort of your own home.

LCME Publications and resources

Learners and teachers love our exam handbooks, as they contain everything you need to prepare for a graded exam: scales, arpeggios and studies, performance pieces, specimen sight reading and aural tests, and topics for the discussion component — all in one book.

Mastering an instrument often involves spending months and years with the books you learn from, so we want our learners to enjoy spending this time with our publications. We strive to ensure that our syllabuses and handbooks include a diverse selection of music by a variety of composers and offer something for every musical taste.

Our website offers helpful resources such as audio downloads, additional specimen tests and theory past papers.

Our Recent News


We are pleased to confirm that our new piano syllabus and handbooks will be released early this academic year 2021–2022. The exciting new repertoire selection features pieces by composers from over 30 different countries and promises to deliver some wonderful new discoveries alongside time-honoured classics.

Now available to pre-order from our online shop.

Electronic keyboard

New syllabuses and handbooks for electronic keyboard are now available. Fresh repertoire for electronic keyboard includes specially commissioned pieces in a variety of styles from Irish folk songs to bossa novas and New Orleans jazz. Fun re-arrangements of some old favourites have also been included along with a handy chord dictionary for the new chords at each grade.

Please keep an eye on our website for further details.

The Piano Syllabus

The new LCM Piano Syllabus books are expected very soon, and will be reviewed on Pianodao as soon as copies arrive!

User Feedback

User Feedback: 9 reviews
Average Rating: 4.3 stars

5 Stars: 5 readers
4 Stars: 2 readers
3 Stars: 2 readers
2 Stars: none
1 Star: none

The following selection of comments provide a balanced selection from those received.
If you have used this board in the last 18 months and wish to leave your own comment, please do so at the bottom of the page. Thank you!

“Extremely helpful at all levels from area reps to the administration team in London. Friendly examiners, making students feel relaxed on exam day. Good choice of pieces in most grades and instruments.”

Sam Deakin, Shropshire (5 stars)

“I’ve taken two pre-Grade 1 piano exams with LCM (Pre-prep and Step 1). I’m an adult beginner who “stumbled upon” the LCM board when I read a Pianodao review of the exam books. I’m so glad I came across the booklets, I was interested in graded exam (just to have goals to work towards, beyond the progression through the method books my teacher had recommended).

With the LCM materials I found that the pieces are musically interesting already at this level. I’ve done my exams in the Bury St Edmunds centre where the setup was excellent, the logistics smooth, the feedback I got was detailed and helpful.”

Zsuzsa, Cambridge (5 stars)

“I’ve used LCM exams for my pupils for many years. I like the standard & variety of the pieces, the technical work is of a good standard & pupils benefit from the Discussion element.”

MG, Lancashire (4 stars)

“LCM were quick off the mark with recorded exams and these have worked really well. The back office work has been severely hampered by home working and increased demand. Really pleased to see an intention to keep theory exams in both hand-written and online formats.”

R.G. Hind, Wiltshire (3 stars)

Trinity College London
RSL Awards

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