Warning: Declaration of ET_Theme_Builder_Woocommerce_Product_Variable_Placeholder::get_available_variations() should be compatible with WC_Product_Variable::get_available_variations($return = 'array') in /homepages/46/d836476107/htdocs/wp-content/themes/Divi/includes/builder/frontend-builder/theme-builder/WoocommerceProductVariablePlaceholder.php on line 8
RGT Exams | Michael Clarke Studio

RGT Exams

Exams start at beginner level and progress to professional Diplomas.

RGT@LCM guitar exams are organised by London College of Music Exams (one of the world’s most respected music examination boards, established since 1887) and certificated by the University of West London.

From Grade One onwards RGT@LCM grade exams are regulated by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). 

Benefits of Taking an RGT@LCM Exam

  • Gain a useful and internationally recognised qualification.
  • Find out, via a reliable and independent assessment, what standard your playing is.
  • Achieve your playing potential by setting yourself a clear target to aspire to.
  • Preparing for the exam will help you develop all aspects of your playing in a structured way, increase your knowledge of guitar techniques and music theory.
  • UCAS points are awarded for Grade 6 and above.

Examination Locations

Exam sessions are held three times a year throughout the U.K. With access to over 250 exam venues you should never have too far to travel to your examination – simply include your full address on your entry form and will be assigned to the nearest exam venue operating in your area.


Interested? Speak to your Tutor on how to enter…


RGT Guitar Tutor Michael Clarke Interview

With more than 30 years of bass, guitar and studio techniques training under his belt, Michael is recognized as one of the most experienced RGT tutors in the North Wales area, as he works with students from the initial stages to Grade 8 level in his teaching studio.

To learn more about Michael, his teaching and recording studio, please visit the Michael Clarke Studio Homepage and the Michael Clarke Studio Facebook Page.


Guitar Tutor Michael ClarkeRGT: How did you become aware of RGT, and why do you chose to encourage your students to take RGT guitar exams?

Michael Clarke: I found out about RGT through various music press sources. At around the same time, I was approached by another exam body to use their syllabus in my teaching.

But, I found that the other program was lacking, and so I started to investigate RGT. From there, as they say, I have never looked back.

As for encouraging my students to take exams, I put the idea forward in the first free lesson, which I offer to each new student, and make sure that they know that exams are fun and attainable, and that they are made to feel the option is theirs when choosing to do the exams or not in our study together.

I also use student recordings; some as young as 7 years old who have distinctions at various grades, in order to show new students what is possible if they want to follow the same path and take RGT exams themselves.

RGT: What do you find is the biggest challenge when preparing a student for an upcoming RGT exam?

Michael Clarke: Two things often stand out to me in this regard. Firstly, students who either think they should be taking a higher grade than I would suggest or the grade I suggest is too high for their current ability. Secondly, maintaining continuity in their practice schedule that does not get in the way of schoolwork, extra curricular activities and other related matters.

RGT: Most students, if not all, deal with nervousness on some level either before or during their exams. How do you address this issue with your students in their lessons?

Michael Clarke: One of the main objectives when setting up my teaching studio over 30 years ago, was to appeal to anybody who wanted to play guitar or bass regardless of their experience or playing ability at the time.

Because of this, I have always done a first lesson free in order to put prospective students at ease.

As they are coming into what can be an intimidating environment, my job is to put them at ease, usually with my famous, or sometimes infamous, sense of humour.

Judging by the length of time I have been teaching and the reviews on the website I get from current and former students this approach seems to work.

I also feel that I need to get to know the personality of a student so I can teach them to the best of my ability, and as such know how to focus in on items like nervousness quickly and effectively in our lessons.

This then means that when they take the exam grades, they treat them exactly the same way they are taught in the studio with excellent results.

Guitar Tutor Michael Clarke 2RGT: You have recorded a number of Backing Tracks in Blues, rock and Acoustic styles. What was the inspiration behind these backing track collections, and how have they been received by your students and other tutors?

Michael Clarke: Many students asked if the backing tracks were available to take away after our lesson, so the engineer at the time and I rerecorded them, uploaded all the information to the website and they have been a huge success.

As one student commented, “It’s like playing in a band with Michael anytime, any place, anywhere,” not sure if that was a compliment or not. [Laughs]

The format of having the full mix, your instrument with click and your instrument with no click, is really useful for students to get a phrasing/timing perspective.

Some students have used them to record over themselves, and then brought them back in for evaluation so that they can see their progression week to week.

I also use them extensively to prepare students for the lead playing section with RGT Exam Grades.

RGT: If you had one piece of advice for other guitar teachers that are preparing students for RGT exams, what would it be?

Michael Clarke: Be prepared for student’s insecurities and more than anything else, patience. There are going to be great weeks and not so great weeks, and students need to know that passing the exam and getting the grade is as important to you as it is to them.