Third time round wrote:
Thankyou....I was trying to get the message across that a child can get a scholarship without having achieved a high grade or playing a rarer instrument.
It is not impossible but another thing to remember is that these auditions are not objective. Directors of Music can be biased towards certain instruments and the number of instruments a child plays. One DOM said to me three years ago that they felt my son didn't have that "je ne sais quoi" to be a good musician - Purcell and the Royal College of Music felt differently.
It can even create a problem for a DOM to have only one bassoonist, for example, in the school as they have to transpose music for the one instrument, make extra provision for them or have the added expense of hiring in a bassoon teacher.
But I have to say that the odds of getting a scholarship with three grade 3 instruments is highly unlikely and is area dependent. No exams are necessary for a scholarship but they are useful to have if a child has a bad day at the audition as there is some tangible evidence. Most schools do expect a minimum of grade 5 in two instruments and many applicants are already nearing grade 8.
The oboe is an excellent choice though so do not be put off by all of the above. Outside of London, or the top schools, many 11+ requirements are as little as grade 3.