Gcse music mock exam steps to success This exam is a listening exam

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GCSE MUSIC MOCK EXAM Steps to success

This exam is a LISTENING EXAM

  • However success in this paper ( 40% of the total grade) depends on:-
  • Sound revision of all the set works
  • Regular listening to the pieces you have studied
  • Awareness of the musical elements and how they are used in each extract
  • Being able to write a well structured essays about the set works’ musical features

What will I be asked?

  • Your mock exam will test you on your knowledge of the set works with questions such as …
  • What is the tonality?
  • Comment on the instrumental & vocal resources
  • Give two ways in which the composer creates the mood
  • Describe the melodic shape
  • Give 2 ways in which this piece is typical of Romantic style
  • What is the time signature?
  • Which section of the extract is being played..

Notation questions

  • You might be given a question where you have to complete the melody from a set work or a rhythm. Another possible question is to complete a chord pattern from one of the pop extracts.
  • Most questions in your exam will not involve writing out music notation.
  • Knowledge of the music studied is the most important factor in getting a good grade .

Essay Question

  • This is worth 12 marks out of the total 80 for the listening exam.( This is then halved to give a mark out of 40)
  • You have a choice of 2 essays e.g.
  • Describe how harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, melody and tempo are used in the track GRACE.
  • OR
  • Describe how Mozart uses melody, structure, tempo, instrumentation and texture in the 1st movement of his symphony no 40 in G minor.

Essay question ( cont)

  • Notice how the essay are always based around how the different musical elements are used.
  • Your answers should focus on these. Using some general context (e.g. explaining in an essay question about Handel what an oratorio and a chorus is) is useful but NEVER just write everything you know about the piece.
  • If you are not asked about TEXTURE or MELODY you do not need to write about them.
  • Structure your essay with an introductory paragraph, content asked about in the question and a short conclusion

Getting started!

  • QUESTION: Describe how the following elements
  • are used in the AOS 4 extract YIRI
  • Tempo
  • Texture
  • Rhythm
  • Timbre
  • Melody
  • “….. The extract YIRI demonstrates many typical features of African music and the piece and group who perform it, Koko, come from Burkino Faso.
  • There are several aspects to the use of rhythm. The drums play a repeated rhythm or ostinato throughout and as in much African music there is a use of polyrhythms….”
  • Keep your essay writing waffle free and factual. Keep glancing at the question as you write!

How to revise

  • Some people have very definite ways of revising. There is no set way for success for everyone but with this exam you need to LISTEN & REVISE
  • Try the following sequence of events
  • Play the chosen extract as you read your notes or the text book on it
  • Keep the music playing then write down 10 key words about it
  • Play the music again and then write down the appropriate words underneath the following headings
  • Can you say something about each of these elements in the extract?


  • Treat the MOCK EXAM as seriously as you will the real one in June 2011. Remember your teacher may well use your mock exam to help predict your grade which has all sorts of implications for your post 16 choices.
  • Revise thoroughly now and lay down the foundations for final success! GOOD LUCK

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