The Graduate Entrance Exam is a diagnostic tool that tests your skills in Music Theory and Music History. Along with your audition results, letters of recommendation and past academic record, your score on this exam will be a factor in your admission into the School of Music.

This exam must be taken on or before the scheduled live audition day. The exam must be completed before you can be considered for admission to the School of Music

The range of scores of a student accepted into the School of Music is 60% or above. In exceptional cases students with scores lower than 60% may be admitted provisionally. Provisional admits will be required to take one or more courses in music theory and/or music history. Provisions must be resolved within the first two semesters of enrollment to remain in good standing.

The exam may be taken in one of two ways:
  1. On audition days in February at the BYU testing center (free of charge)
  2. Before audition day at the BYU testing center (nominal fee, call 801-422-6147 to schedule a time see: https://testing.byu.edu/)

Those who do not need an audition (Musicology, Music Education, and Composition applicants only) should plan to take the test in the ways listed above. For exceptional circumstances, contact Heidi Reed, Graduate Secretary (801-422-8903).

Three hours are allotted for the exam. The test gives students the opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of the fundamentals of theory, part writing, and analysis of tonal music. The history portion is multiple-choice, includes score analysis and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the major historical periods, styles, composers and genres throughout the history of Western art music.

We recommend the following books for help with study and preparation for the exam:
  • Paul O. Harder and Greg A. Steinke. Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programmed Course (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca. The Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1-3 (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca. Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1-3 (current or past editions)
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