I did Grade 5 theory back in 2013. And did A-level music in 2012-2014. My attendance wasn't great, for various reasons, and my memory is patchy but I've retained my Grade 5 theory skills and then some.
I aim to do Grade 8 piano in March and then Grade 6 theory in Summer. I hope to start doing preparatory work for the Theory exam in January and then take the exam on June 16th (I study an unrelated subject full time so time presently is taken up with that and specific practical exam practice). Are my aims realistic?
Typically, a sensible place to ask is my teacher. However, although he's covered the material in his BMus, his previous students have stopped at G5 so he isn't entirely sure (I don't believe G6-8 ABRSM theory is particularly popular or useful, probably). One handicap is that I self taught G1-5 material in 2012-2013 by going through Eric Taylor's AB Guide to Music theory and doing the associated practice books. I eventually got total in the G5 theory exam for all questions bar the one on composition which I was ill-prepared for. I'm aware that that particular skill as well as harmony is what's examined primarily in the subsequent grades which I plan to take.
1 Writing specified chords for voices in four parts or for keyboard (at the candidate’s choice) above a given bass part of about four bars
No experience but I'm aware of the chords which contain every diatonic melody notes in each key as well a the need to contain pivotal chords and cadences at key points. I already know figured bass notation.
2 The indication of suitable chords for the accompaniment of a diatonic melody of about eight bars in any key, using any recognized method of notation, or, at the candidate’s choice, the provision of a bass to a given melody, adding figures to indicate the intended harmonies.
I gather that I simply have to realize the figured bass notation and follow stylistic rules such as no parallel octaves. Practice is clearly needed, but at least there doesn't seem to be a huge barrier to starting.
3 Composition of a melody for a specified instrument (a choice will be given), using a given opening. Modulation to the dominant, subdominant, relative major or relative minor may be required.
This is where I think I'll really struggle I think. I don't have a strong internal sense of what melodies sound like when written on paper so finishing them will require training.
4 Questions on short extracts of music written for piano or in open score for voices or for any combination of instruments and/or voices, designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of the elements and notation of music, including the realization of ornaments, the identification and notation of underlying harmonic structure, phrase structure, style, performance, and on the voices and instruments for which the works were written.
My A-level music skills should come in handy here as I spent a lot of time doing score analysis although I will need to look at specific material.
Based on what I've written, does my time frame look realistic? And what sort of daily commitment time would you suggest?