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.

Guidance for remotely-assessed Performance Grades

Overview

  • Candidates taking a remotely-assessed exam make a continuous video recording of their performance, which they submit using our online exam booking service.
  • For Performance Grades, candidates perform four pieces – three from the syllabus and a fourth of their own choice. See the relevant syllabus for full information.
  • Once uploaded, the exam recording is assessed and marked by a member of our examiner panel. We then issue the result and mark form online, followed by a certificate in the post for successful candidates.

Guidance for taking a remotely-assessed Performance Grade

You must read the full ‘Guidance for remotely-assessed Performance Grade exams’ before you make any exam recordings. The full guidance document covers in detail how to record and submit a Performance Grade video.

Read our ‘Guidance for remotely-assessed Performance Grade exams’ (PDF)

Special arrangements for accompaniment

We normally require live accompaniment, as detailed in the relevant syllabuses. However, while social distancing requirements are in place, we are offering flexibility to singers and instrumentalists who must usually have an accompanist (or duet partner) on the day of their exam. There are a number of options available, which we will accept for remotely-assessed exams until at least 31 July 2021. Arrangements beyond 31 March are subject to review.

View our ‘Special COVID-19 arrangements for accompaniment in remotely-assessed exams’ (PDF)

For detailed information about the exam requirements, please read the Qualification Specification (PDF) and relevant syllabus.

ABRSM Performance Grades & ARSM: Recording Guidance

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