All new music majors and music minors are required to take the entrance exam in music theory. The exam will be given the first day of Music Theory on the first day of classes. The exam allows the department to place you in the proper theory classes for your first year at UTPA. The following information is to help you prepare for the exam. It is okay if you don’t know all the answers to the test. This is a diagnostic exam that helps us understand your background in music.

The test will consist of three sections:

Section One tests your knowledge of written theory. This section consists of the following:

  1. Labeling the names of notes in both the treble and bass clefs.
  2. Naming the major key when given a written key signature. (Two flats is Bb Major)
  3. Writing major and minor scales on the staff.
  4. Adding bar lines to a printed rhythm.

Section Two tests your listening skills.

  1. You will hear two notes played at the piano. You will then be asked to name the interval. The list of answers include M2, M3, P4, P5, M6, M7, P8. An example: The professor will play a major scale. The professor will then play the first note of the scale and then another note. If you heard the first note followed by the third note of the scale, you would answer M3. If you heard the first note followed by the fifth note of the scale, you would answer P5.
  2. A short, tonal melody will be played at the piano. You will be asked to write the melody on the staff in proper notation and supply solfege syllables (Do, re, mi…).

Section Three is used to determine your background at piano proficiency. This section of the test will ask you questions about your background and your ability at the piano.

All music majors are required to learn piano. It is strongly suggested that all incoming music majors begin practicing piano before entering into the department. How should you practice for this test? is a very useful website that will help you learn the basics of music theory.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know something on the test. This is a diagnostic test of your background. It does not determine who will become a great musician in the future.