A candidate who is withdrawn from an exam or who does not attend may be eligible for a partial refund, under certain circumstances. The candidate may be re-entered at the next exam session, but a new entry and full payment must be submitted: neither a cancelled entry nor the entry fee already paid can be transferred from one session to the next.
Illness or injury
A fee refund of up to 75% may be given, provided that the withdrawal is notified to ABRSM in writing as soon as possible and is sent no later than the day of the exam and is supported by documentary evidence. This should normally be a medical certificate, although a letter from someone in authority, such as a Head Teacher or the school nurse, confirming the candidate’s indisposition or injury may also be accepted.
Exceptional personal circumstances
A discretionary fee refund may be given on compassionate grounds if a candidate is withdrawn due to exceptional personal circumstances, such as bereavement, family crisis, or personal trauma. The application for a discretionary refund must be made in writing by the applicant no later than the day of the exam with full details substantiating the request for an exceptional refund on compassionate grounds.
Death or serious indisposition of teacher
A discretionary fee refund may be given to a candidate whose exam preparation is severely curtailed by the long-term serious illness of the teacher, or the teacher’s death. However, in cases of occasional missed lessons due to a teacher’s minor or short-term illness or cases of a dispute with a teacher leading to lessons being discontinued no refund can be made.
Any request for a fee refund on these grounds must be made in writing no later than the date of the exam and may be made by someone other than the applicant, who should supply details of an independent person who can be contacted by ABRSM to verify the teacher’s situation before reaching a decision about a possible refund.
Non-attendance due to circumstances beyond the candidate’s control
Where a candidate misses a practical exam due to circumstances beyond their control (such as a major travel incident that causes serious difficulties getting to the exam, or an accident to their instrument immediately before the exam), the preferred solution is to find an alternative appointment at the earliest opportunity within the current exam session, although this may mean travelling to an alternative centre.
The non-attendance should be reported to ABRSM immediately, and no later than the day of the exam, so that every effort can be made to reschedule the exam. Should rescheduling not be possible and in the case of non-attendance for a theory exam, the applicant may apply for a discretionary partial refund of up to 75%, but must do so in writing as soon as possible with full details substantiating the request for an exceptional refund.
Examples of reasons for withdrawal for which no refund will be made
- Inconvenient exam date
- Candidate not ready for exam
- Dispute with teacher leads to interrupted preparation time
- Difficulties finding an accompanist
- Candidate on holiday at time of exam
- Candidate on school trip