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Undergraduate Diagnostic Examinations

Purpose of Diagnostic Exams 
All undergraduate students in the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern must satisfy all of the four-semester Theory and Aural Skills course sequences during the first two years. Entering students, except those with transfer credit, take the diagnostic exams in Music Theory and Aural Skills, administered on the same dates as the auditions, to determine readiness for the sequences. Students whose exam results show that their level in either, or both, areas is less than satisfactory, will receive additional instruction in the problem area until a satisfactory level has been achieved.
It is important to highlight that these exams are only diagnostic and are not used by faculty to make decision on whether to accept a candidate or not.

Theory Diagnostic Exam
The Theory Diagnostic Exam takes about 50 minutes and includes questions related to Fundamentals of Rhythm, Pitch, Harmony, and Notation.

Preparing for the Theory Diagnostic Exam – Though most harmony books will be helpful for those interested in preparing for this exam, it is usually recommended to consult the book used in the theory course sequence. In this case: Harmony in Context (2nd ed.) by Miguel Roig-Francoli, especially Chapters A through E.

Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam
This exam is administered immediately following the Theory Diagnostic and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Preparing for the Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam – In comparison with the Theory Diagnostic, this exam is more basic and general in the type of questions but also more extensive in regards to the skills required to complete it. It is difficult to recommend one source to prepare for it. Applicants with a background in music theory, sight singing, and/or music dictation will probably find this exam easy and straightforward. Those without such a background might find it challenging. In any case, students should remember that the goal of this examination is to assess their actual level of aural skills as they enter the music program.

Last updated: 3/30/2022