Guitar exams are great in that they set a goal to work towards, help to push you forward, develop your skills, and give a sense of accomplishment and self confidence. Having said that exams can be quite stressful, and to a student that is unaware of what they're getting themselves into an exam can turn a fun hobby into a source of stress & negativity.
Whether a student wants to sit an exam should rest entirely upon how they feel about it, & the decision should always be in consultation with the teacher. There is much to prepare for an exam & as a result of an increased workload, much more time will need to be set aside for practice. A typical exam would consist of the following:
3 Contrasting Pieces of Music Scales Arpeggios Technical Exercises Sight Reading Ear & Aural Tests Musical Knowledge Questions.
It is important that the teacher makes the student aware of what's expected of them when preparing for an exam, and how much work is involved. A situation where a student is pressured into an exam by his parents or his teacher often results in stress & frustration for all involved. If a student chooses not to sit exams, the exam syllabus can still be used as the basis of his musical education so that the same goals are achieved.
For more information on exams visit the following websites: