Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students
All prospective students will take the Theory Placement Exam (TPE) on the day of their entrance audition. This exam is administered to determine whether a student’s prior study has sufficiently prepared them for Theory I. The result of this test does not have an impact on a student’s admission into the School of Music.
All prospective music minors must also take the Theory Placement Exam.
In light of changing guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, dates and details for School of Music auditions and Theory Placement Exams are subject to change. The safety of our community is our top priority. For updates, check this site often and follow the School of Music on social media.
The TPE is held in Hughes Hall Auditorium, 1899 College Rd, Columbus 43210. Allow up to 1½ hour to complete the exam. Please bring two (2) sharpened #2 pencils to your exam. You do not need to register or check in prior to this exam.
How to Prepare
The Theory Placement Exam will test skills such as reading notation in treble and bass clef, matching rhythms to time signatures, scales and intervals, and identifying the quality of triads and seventh chords.
Sample Test Item
Resources to Help You Prepare
- Andrew Surmani, Karen Farnum Surmani, and Morton Manus, Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory: A complete Self-study Course for All Musicians (Book and two CDs) Alfred Music, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0739036358
- Joseph N. Straus, Elements of Music. Prentice Hall, 2008. ISBN 0-13-034341
- John Clough and Joyce Conley, Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm, and Meter. W.W. Norton & Co., 1999. ISBN 0-393-95189-8
Music Theory Software:
- MFun by Elisabeth Sayrs
What Happens Next?
You will be contacted by the School of Music regarding the next steps. Please reach out to Emily Klepinger with questions.
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