Latest exam updates

Update 15 July - UK & Ireland Music Exams

Below you’ll find a quick guide to the exams that we are currently offering and to future exams and exam sessions in the UK and Ireland. Please also check the country specific websites for your territory, especially the exam dates and fees pages for detailed information.

We are encouraged to see restrictions lifting in the UK and gradually easing in other countries, and we continue to monitor the situation to enable learners to access their exams safely at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we are accelerating our plans to offer exams that can be assessed remotely, and have announced the launch of new Performance Grades in the early autumn, and plans to offer online Music Theory exams, beginning with Grade 5 in August. Please see the notices below for more details.

In order to book any exam, you will need to have an account with our recently launched online booking service. If you don’t have one already, you can register now so you’re all set for when the booking period opens. Guidance on how to do this can be found here.

Practical Grades

Private Visits

We are now offering face-to-face Practical Graded Music Exams in the UK only, if they are organised as a Private Visit. Private Visits take place at an approved venue provided and organised by a Visit Organiser.

We can offer Private Visits for Practical exams at all grades and for ARSM, Prep Test and Performance Assessment. This includes Organ, Harpsichord and Percussion exams. We are unable to offer Choral Singing, Ensemble, Jazz or Diploma (DipABRSM, LRSM or FRSM) exams at Private Visits at this time.

It is important that all Visit Organisers follow our new conditions for exam delivery (available here) and our updated Terms and Conditions (available here), to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

For more information about organising a Private Visit please visit our private visits page.

Bookings can be made at any time. For details on how to book, please visit our bookings page.

Public Venues

Our face-to-face Practical Graded Music Exams at Public Venues will again be available in the UK and Ireland during an extended Session 3 from 9 November to 19 December. The booking period for these Practical Grades opens on 28 September. Please visit the exam dates and fees page for more information. 

Adapted Exams

Due to high demand and the success of our first adapted exam session for school leavers taking Grades 6 to 8, we are pleased to offer a second session in August ahead of our performance grades going live.  

This additional session is open to candidates in the UK and Ireland of any age who would like to take a Grade 6 to 8 Practical Grade in an adapted format. We continue to provide exceptional arrangements because these qualifications attract UCAS points to support applications to further and higher education.

All the details are available on our website including detailed instructions on the adapted exam process. The booking period for these exams will open 27 July and the exams will begin on 17 August. Find out more Adapted exams.

Performance Grades

We are introducing this new, remotely-assessed and regulated qualification, for Grades 1-8 and ARSM, from the early autumn. Take to the stage, share your musical story and discover an additional route to progress with our Performance Grades! Find out more about these exciting exams.

Music Theory

Introducing online Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 – the headlines

What’s changing and at which grades?

We will be moving the assessment of Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 to an online exam. We are confident that the online format will provide a more learner-friendly experience for candidates. We have been working on these developments for some time, but in response to the Covid-19 pandemic we have accelerated this work.

 As part of our developments we have updated some of the Grade 1 to 5 questions to bring them in line with a style of assessment commonly used across the education sector. In addition, there are a few minor changes to the syllabus itself. These changes apply to online Music Theory exams this year, and all Grade 1 to 5 Music Theory exams from January 2021. They will not affect any paper-based Music Theory exams taken this year.

Please see this page for further details, including a useful syllabus summary.

Please be aware that Music Theory exams at Grades 6 to 8 will continue as paper-based assessments for everyone worldwide. There are no changes to the questions or syllabus for these grades. We will offer these exams when we can do this safely and in line with government guidance.

When is it happening?

The first opportunity to take an online Music Theory exam varies across markets. All of the webpages have been updated with the relevant information, so please refer to our website for specific information for each country.

In the UK, there will be a Grade 5 live pilot online Music Theory exam on 26 August 2020 (the booking period will be 27 to 31 July). The following markets will have online Music Theory exams for Grades 1 to 5 in November:

  • UK, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, India, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Malta

See here for dates of online Music Theory exams in 2020.

The international roll-out of the new online Music Theory exams for all other markets will take place during 2021, with preparations being made during the rest of 2020. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to ensure paper-based Music Theory exams for Grades 1 to 8 go ahead in all international markets this year where they can do so safely.


There will be no Diploma (DipABRSM, LRSM or FRSM) exams in summer 2020, and if you have sent an entry to our office, we will destroy it securely to protect your personal information.

As lockdown measures continue to ease, we expect to offer Diploma exams in the UK and Ireland in the autumn. However, because we are not currently working from our offices, we are unable to receive or process entries for these exams at the moment. We will provide an update when we are accepting Public Session and Private Visit bookings again. Please follow us on social media and keep checking the exam dates and fees page. 


Jazz exams will be available during Session 3 in the autumn in the UK and Ireland. You can book Jazz exams once the booking period for Public Venues has opened. At this point, we will publish a list of ABRSM Jazz Visits. For each ABRSM Jazz Visit we will provide the date, venue and a Venue Code. You can then choose the ABRSM Jazz Visit where you would like to book your exams. Make a note of the Venue Code and enter it when you book.

The booking period closing date does not apply to ABRSM Jazz Visits. Instead, you can book Jazz exams from the booking period opening date until 28 days before the ABRSM Jazz Visit date. For more information please visit the exam dates and fees page. 

Music Medals

We have changed our requirements for Music Medals, to allow Teacher-Assessors to submit assessments conducted remotely for the Music Medals programme. If you are a Teacher-Assessor interested in submitting remote assessments, please contact us at [email protected]. Click here for more information on Music Medals

Useful Links


Where to find sheet music

Many retailers are continuing to provide sheet music, books, instruments and accessories through online or mail order services. View our shops list here.

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