Music Aptitude Test (MAT)

The Music Aptitude Test (MAT) is a requirement of many private schools, and partially selective state schools, for students wishing to apply for a music scholarship. Children who are taking graded instrumental exams may be familiar with some aspects of the test from aural tests, but applicants should not expect these to full prepare them for the MAT.

The MAT questions may vary from school to school but in general the following sections are representative of the majority of tests.

The test consists of 60 questions of four types: Pitch, Melody, Texture and Rhythm.

Pitch: for these questions, candidates listen to two sounds and have to indicate whether the second sound is the same as the first, or whether it is higher or lower. There are twenty of these questions and some of the pitches are less than a semitone apart.

Melody: for these questions, candidates listen to two tunes consisting of five notes. Candidates have to decide whether the second tune is the same as the first or if one of the notes has been altered. If there is a change, candidates will be expected to identify which note has been altered, by giving the number of the note. There are ten questions in this section.

Texture: for these questions, candidates listen to a number of notes played together at the same time; this is called a chord. Candidates need to decide whether or not each chord has two, three or four notes. There are twenty questions in this section.

Rhythm: for these questions, candidates listen to two patterns of notes and have to decide whether the second pattern is the same as, or different from, the first, and where any difference occurs. Each rhythm will be four beats (or pulses) in length. There are ten questions in this section.

To assist with preparation for the MAT, SE22 Piano School has created a series of sample tests to use as training exercises. These have been produced following the guidelines above, and attempt to reproduce as closely as possible the actual test a student will sit.

For further details, listening examples, sample exercises and the option to purchase the tests click on the Helping you prepare for the Music Aptitude Test logo below:

An SE22 Piano School student trying the sample test

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3 thoughts on “Music Aptitude Test (MAT)

  1. This is very useful, thank you for the information. I have been searching online for a way to prepare my son for this test and was clueless until I found this resource. We’re trying out the tests on the Youtube video – they are very different to what I was expecting from the test guidelines!

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