Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam. Find out more: https://www.abrsm.org/en/latestupdates

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidate will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, non-attendance and fee refunds policy still applies.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information.

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Face-to-face practical exams, session 1 - Canada

Due to current COVID restrictions, we will not be opening our normal booking period in January for face-to-face practical exams in May-June. We hope to provide a practical session later in the year, but need to keep all dates under review as we can only accept bookings if COVID travel and government restrictions are lifted. We will provide an update nearer to the next booking period.

Refunds for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st March 2021

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam. For Private Visits we will issue refunds by the end of the month following the month of the visit date.  If you are a Visit Organiser. For Performance Grades we will issue refunds within 28 days of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).

Withdrawals, non-attendance and fee refunds

If a candidate is withdrawn from an exam or doesn't attend, the applicant (person who made the exam booking) is responsible for cancelling the exam using the online service. If a refund is possible, we will return exam fees the applicant/organisation who made the payment.

Cancelling an exam using the online service

To cancel an exam, the applicant (who made the exam booking) should log in to their account and go to the relevant booking. A bin icon is displayed to the right of the candidate’s entry in ‘Booking details’. Click the bin icon to cancel the exam and then confirm this in the pop up window. Log in to your account.

Public Venue exams

For exams at Public Venues, you can cancel an exam booking within 14 days of the date of booking. (This is the consumer and cancellation rights ‘cooling-off period’). Cancellations during the 14-day cooling-off period must be made by the applicant using our online service and fees will be refunded back to the original payment card. Applicants will receive a credit confirmation by email.

If you cancel a Public Venue exam booking outside the ‘cooling-off period’ we will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

Private Visits: practical exams

Visit Organisers and Permitted Applicants can cancel an exam up to 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit and receive a full refund. Cancellations made during this period must be made by the applicant using our online service. Fees will be refunded to the original payment card and the applicants will receive a credit confirmation by email.

If an exam is cancelled less than 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit, we will not offer any refund of the exam fee other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

Private Visits: Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8)

Visit Organisers and Permitted Applicants can cancel an exam up to 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit and receive a full refund. Cancellations made during this period must be made by the applicant using the online service. Fees will be refunded to the original payment card and the applicants will receive a credit confirmation by email.

If an exam is cancelled less than 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit, we will not offer any refund of the exam fee other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

Circumstances considered for a refund

A candidate who is withdrawn from an exam or does not attend, may be eligible for a partial refund, but only under the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. The applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam. Notice given only to an examiner, local representative, steward or invigilator isn't sufficient to qualify for a refund.

A candidate who is withdrawn from an exam may be re-entered in the next exam session. In such cases, a new exam booking and full payment must be made as we are unable to transfer bookings and payments from one session to the next.

Illness or injury

We will provide a partial refund of up to 75% of the exam fee, provided the conditions above are met and that written notification is supported by documentary evidence. This should normally be a letter from someone in authority, such as a head teacher, confirming the candidate’s indisposition or injury, or a medical certificate. The documentary evidence must be sent no later than four weeks after the exam date.

Exceptional personal circumstances

We may provide a discretionary refund on compassionate grounds in cases such as bereavement, family crisis or personal trauma, provided that the conditions above are met and that the written notification is supported by full details substantiating the application.

Death or serious indisposition of teacher

We may provide a discretionary refund to a candidate whose exam preparation is severely curtailed by the teacher’s death or long-term serious illness. In cases of occasional missed lessons due to the teacher’s minor or short-term illness, or cases of a dispute with the teacher leading to lessons being discontinued, no refund can be made.

Application for such a refund must be made in accordance with the conditions above, although it may be made by someone other than the applicant. We may request details of an independent person who we can contact to verify the application.

Circumstances beyond the candidate’s control

Where a candidate misses their exam owing to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. a major travel incident or damage to the candidate’s instrument immediately before the exam), we may give a discretionary refund, provided that the conditions above are met and that the written notification is supported by full details substantiating the application.

A candidate in quarantine for any infection must be withdrawn. If exams are cancelled owing to quarantine, we may offer alternative appointments/fee refunds at our discretion.

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