I am a grade three pianist, and I am taking my exam soon. I am playing the piece Allegro by Muzio Clementi (A:1 , ABRSM Grade 3 Piano Exam Pieces 2015 & 2016), and there are two repeat signs. I am currently playing the repeat signs, but in the exam, would I actually repeat the whole piece again?

3 Answers 3


The guidelines say "All da capo and dal segno indications should be observed but all other repeats (including first-time bars) should be omitted unless they are very brief (i.e. of a few bars) or unless the syllabus specifies otherwise." ABRSM para 15(h)


You're not supposed to repeat, but the examiner won't take marks off if you do.

Save time and play right through.


I got a mark taken off on the A piece of my grade 5 piano exam (a Haydn composition), presumably for omitting the D.C. in the Minuet and Trio (as the examiner made reference to the fact that I did not play the Da Capo.) So, instead of getting 26 out of 30, I was cut one mark for that. In my opinion, this was a harsh thing to do, since my belief has always been to mark / assess on the merits of musicality rather than executive functions like repeats. I have performance anxiety and was likely nervous! It just strikes me as rude / cold marking on the part of this examiner :/

  • Did you intend to play the DC? If you didn't intend to play the DC, then the mistake lies with whoever was responsible for reading the syllabus (you or your teacher, if you have one) to find out what was expected
    – AakashM
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 10:50
  • 1
    What's your guess about how you lost the other 4 marks?
    – Laurence
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 11:11
  • It's a minuet and trio. The trio is often (but not always) in a different key from the minuet proper, so skipping the D.C. (al Fine) sounds pretty odd (as odd as those renditions of Schubert's Impromptu No. 2 in E Flat Major and Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 2 in A Minor I've heard that cut off a reprise of an earlier section). Honestly, I'd have thought the syllabus would have justified cutting off more marks.
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 16:44

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