The NZMEB is offering written theory examinations from Grades 1 to 6. These will be held biannually on the first Saturday in May and the first Saturday after Labour Day. Entrants need to write clearly and tidily on examination papers. The maximum number of marks for each question will be shown on the examination paper. Entrants for Grade 6 and above who would like their theory equivalent from another examining body recognised by NZMEB should provide a copy with their practical entry or as soon as practicable thereafter. Work in the syllabus can be covered by using Essential Music Theory by Gordon Spearritt, How to Blitz Grade Theory by Samantha Coates or Music Theory Made Easy for AMEB Syllabus by Lina Ng. Harmony Step by Step by Dulcie Holland is a useful adjunct from Grade 3 onwards.

Co-requisites and Equivalents

There are no co-requisite theory requirements for Standard Syllabus examinations. Co-requisite theory requirements for all Performance Syllabus examinations are as follows:
NCEA NZMEB Performance Exam Grade NZMEB/AMEB Theory TRINITY Theory ABRSM Theory
L3 Grade 6 Grade 3 Pass Grade 5 pass Grade 5 pass
L4 Grade 7 Grade 4 Pass Grade 6 pass Grade 6 pass
L4 Grade 8 Grade 4 Pass Grade 6 pass Grade 6 pass
L5 Diploma AMusNZ Grade 5 Pass Grade 7 pass Grade 7 pass
L7 Diploma LMusNZ Grade 6 Pass Grade 8 pass Grade 8 pass
To be awarded the practical grades shown above, an entrant must also achieve a supporting theory paper. Any of the above equivalents are acceptable, note for LMusNZ the only acceptable supporting paper is Grade 6 NZMEB. Entrants will be allowed 36 months to attain their theory qualification after sitting their practical exam. There is no time constraint to complete a practical examination after a corresponding theory paper has been achieved. A copy of the certificate will be required. If an entrant has already gained a co-requisite theory pass, please send a photocopy of it to:
PO Box 7019
Tauranga 3148

Schedule of marks from a total of 100

A+ High Distinction 90+
A Distinction 85 - 89
A- Honours 80 - 84
B+ Merit 75 - 79
B Credit Plus 70 - 74
B- Credit 65 - 69
C+ Pass Plus 60 - 64
C Pass 55 - 59
C- Pass Awarded 50 - 54
Below 50: insufficient marks to pass


Entrants are encouraged to use as broad a vocabulary as possible. There is no restriction on the chords to be used and those listed are a guideline only.

Time Allowed for Theory Examinations

First Grade 1 hour
Second Grade 1 hour 30 minutes
Third Grade 2 hours
Fourth Grade 3 hours
Fifth Grade 3 hours
Sixth Grade 3 hours