Theory and Aural Skills Assessment - Coastal Carolina University
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Skills Assessments


The written theory placement exam is offered electronically once an audition has been successfully completed. The exam results will be electronically sent to the department and we can determine the appropriate level of theory readiness for each student. Depending on their abilities and experience, students entering the program are placed directly into Music 115 (Freshman Theory I) or, if needed, MUS 170 (Basic Musicianship I).  

The types of questions and information on the exam can be found on the sample written theory assessment. Students that have taken theory courses or the AP Music Theory exam are still required to take the Placement Exam. Credits for the courses taken from other schools/AP Exams may transfer over and contribute to the student's class standing, however, the Placement Exam is the only way students can test into the correct theory level for their background.


All new and transfer students music take the Aural Skills Assessment prior to their first semester of study in the Department of Music. This assessment will be administered individually and is approximately 15 minutes duration. All in-coming students will received personal notification of the exact time and location of the assessment at least one week prior to the beginning of the Fall semester.

The Aural Skills Assessment is designed to assist faculty in optimally placing each student in the Ear Training Sequence of courses. You will be asked to echo-sing melodic patterns and echo-tap rhythmic patterns (up to eight beats), identify intervals (played melodically and harmonically), walk a steady beat while singing a familiar song, sing intervals up and down from a single pitch, identify chord quality, and sight-read rhythmic and melodic examples. Scores will determine your placement in either MUS 170 Basic Musicianship or MUS 117 Ear Training and Sight-Singing I.

Transfers students are strongly encouraged to take the exam the year before they apply as placement results will help determine how long it will take to complete the major. All potential and incoming transfer students should contact the Department of Music at 843-349-2637.