Achievement In Music (AIM)

For Students:  Click on your AIM Level from the drop down menu to review appropriate drills.


AIM Exams are an annual event sponsored by the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA).  Over 3,000 piano students in Illinois participate annually in this event.  The AIM syllabus is a comprehensive study guide for pre-college piano students and covers 12 levels of theory and performance skills.  It includes technique, repertoire, aural, rhythm, sight playing, music history, musical terms, as well as appropriate theory and keyboard skills necessary to reinforce basic musicianship at each level.

There are two parts to the annual exam:  The Theory Exam (levels 3-12) is taken in the winter and must be passed before a student is eligible to take the Performance Exam in the spring.  Levels 1 and 2 only have one exam in the spring, which combines theory and performance skills.  Certified or degreed teachers will evaluate each student individually on a non-competitive basis.  Care is taken to make this a positive and rewarding experience.

Students may enter at any level that is appropriate to their skill level the first year of participation, but advance one level at a time for each subsequent year.  In occasions when a student makes tremendous progress in one year, a level may be skipped at the discretion of the teacher.  A student may also skip a year of participation if little progress has been made to advance to the next level. 

All students will receive written comments, a certificate and pin for his/her efforts.  Additionally, students entered at levels 1-8 will receive a different incentive composer bust each year of participation.  A plaque is awarded to students entering at level 9 with an average combined Theory and Performance Exam score of 80 or higher.  An attachable bar and trophy is awarded for each subsequent level for similar achievement.  At level 12, a student may choose to do a solo recital as part of the Performance Exam requirement.  Passing score at each level is 65.

I would like to thank and for providing all of the free online ear training and theory review drills found at each level.

I would also like to thank and acknowledge Wendy Stevens at for providing the initial template that helped to modify the AIM Review Checklist.