Proficiency Assessment and Exams

Entering Student Proficiency Assessment (ESPA)

The proficiency assessment enables Berklee to determine whether advanced levels of arranging, harmony, and ear training are right for you and to place you in classes with students of similar musical knowledge. All first-semester students will take an entering student proficiency assessment. It is important to remember that you cannot "pass or fail" the assessment and that no grade will be assigned to it.

The ESPA is delivered in two phases. An online ear training assessment is available through the college's student portal. All students are required to complete the online ear training assessment. The online ear training portion of the assessment can be completed in about twenty minutes time. All students take a comprehensive, written assessment once they arrive on campus. The on-campus written assessment takes about two hours to complete, and is scheduled during orientation week.

English Proficiency Exam

All non-native English speakers are required to take the English proficiency exam, which is administered during orientation week.

The English proficiency exam is not required for native English speakers.

Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint Exam (optional)

This exam offers you the opportunity to receive credit for Traditional Harmony (CM-211 and CM-212) provided that you demonstrate strong comprehension of the subject matter. Before taking the Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint exam, you need to pick up an outline of test materials from the Professional Writing Center.

If you successfully "test out" of Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint and you are registered for either CM-211 or CP-211, then you will need to drop the course from your schedule by the add/drop deadline. Most students complete this CBX in their 2nd or later semester on campus.

For answers to questions about the Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint exam, contact the Composition Department (login required).

Introduction to Music Technology Exam (optional)

This exam offers you the opportunity to receive credit for Introduction to Music Technology (MTEC-111), a required course for all degree and diploma students, provided that you demonstrate strong knowledge of the subject matter. The study guide and full details of the exam schedule are posted here.

If you successfully test out of Introduction to Music Technology and you are registered for this course, then it will be dropped from your schedule.