Latest exam updates

Additional information for Private Visits

Visit Organisers in the UK are now able to book for practical Private Visits with exams taking place from 6 July 2020. Before making your booking, please read the important updates we have made to our venue guidance and visit terms and conditions. We can offer Private Visits for practical exams at all grades, 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.

Click here for Private Visit booking information.

Who can organise a Private Visit?

Practical Private Visits take place at an approved venue provided by the Visit Organiser on a date (or dates) of their choice (but not Sundays and Bank Holidays). To hold practical exams at a Private Visit you must have at least three hours of examining time. This can include bookings made by the Visit Organiser and any Permitted Applicants.

You can check our exam timings to work out how much examining time you have and how many days you need to book. Each day can include up to 6 hours 30 minutes of exams, plus lunch and breaks, with a start time of 9.00am or 9.30am.

For detailed timetabling information see our Exam Appointments page.

Jazz exams at Private Visits

We are currently unable to offer Jazz exams at Private Visits. We plan to re-introduce this this option later in 2020 and will provide updated information as soon as we can. For current arrangements, see the ABRSM Jazz Visits information on our exam booking pages.

Organ, Percussion, Harpsichord, Choral Singing and Jazz Ensemble exams must take place at a Private Visit, as we are unable to hold them at our Public Venues. The minimum number of examining hours does not apply and while we will make every effort to provide an examiner on your chosen date, we cannot guarantee this. We will let you know the final date, once we have confirmed your Private Visit.

Music Theory Private Visits take place at a venue provided by the Visit Organiser. The venue must be an educational institution, a music service/hub or an education department at a prison/hospital. We do not require a minimum number of candidates for Music Theory Private Visits.


  Possible exam dates Allocation of exam dates Number of candidates
Practical Private Visit Any date(s) except Sundays and Bank Holidays The Visit Organiser chooses the date(s), which must be consecutive. A minimum of three hours of examining
Private Visit for Harpsichord, Organ or Percussion* Any date except Sundays and Bank Holidays The Visit Organiser can request a preferred date. We will aim to meet this request, but cannot guarantee it. 1 candidate
Private Visit for Choral Singing* Any date except Sundays and Bank Holidays The Visit Organiser can request a preferred date. We will aim to meet this request, but cannot guarantee it. 1 choir (an examiner attendance fee is charged)
Private Visit for Jazz Ensemble* Any date except Sundays and Bank Holidays The Visit Organiser can request a preferred date. We will aim to meet this request, but cannot guarantee it. 1 ensemble
Music Theory Private Visit Three specified dates per year within our main exam sessions ABRSM sets the dates. 1 candidate

* May also be included in a Private Visit as part of the ‘minimum three hours of examining’.

Venue approval

All Private Visit venues must be approved by ABRSM before you book exams. This applies to practical and Music Theory Private Visits and ensures that all exam venues meet our standards.

If you organised a visit in 2019, and entered your applicant number when you created your new account, your venue for those exams will be pre-approved on our system and you will not need to request approval.

You can apply for venue approval online via your account. You will need to do this before you make a Private Visit booking. The approval process can take up to eight working days. You only need to request approval for your venue once. If we give approval, this will apply for all future Private Visit bookings at that venue.

Visit venue approval application form (PDF)

Key terms

Private Visits take place at a venue provided and organised by an applicant/Visit Organiser and approved by us.

Visit Organisers book and run Private Visits. They may or may not be applicants. The Visit Organiser is responsible for going online to book and create their Private Visit and for sharing their Venue Code with any Permitted Applicants. Applicants cannot book exams at a Private Visit without the permission of the Visit Organiser. The Visit Organiser can ‘remove’ Permitted Applicant status at any time should they wish to.

For practical exams, Visit Organisers can rearrange their timetable using our online tool and are responsible for informing their candidates and any Permitted Applicants of their finalised exam appointments.

Permitted Applicants are applicants who have received permission from a Visit Organiser to book candidates at their Private Visit. The Visit Organiser can log in and view their Permitted Applicants at any time and can also remove Permitted Applicant status if they wish to.

Venue Codes allow us to identify approved Private Visit venues on our system. Once we have approved your venue we will give it a code. The Visit Organiser will need to share this code with any Permitted Applicants, who will need to enter it when they book candidates at a visit. Once the Permitted Applicant has entered the Venue Code, they will remain a Permitted Applicant at the Private Visit for any future bookings. We will not share Venue Codes with anyone, as only the Visit Organiser can decide who to allow as a Permitted Applicant at their Private Visit.

Terms and Conditions for Visit Organisers

These terms and conditions set out how we expect Visit Organisers to organise and host Private Visits for our exams.

New Venue Guidance – from June 2020

We have new venue guidance and procedures in place to ensure the safety of candidates, examiners and teachers. The guidance explains what you will need to do to make sure your venue is suitable and safe, and that effective social distancing can take place. It is very important that you read and understand this guidance before you consider booking a Private Visit.

Anyone organising a Private Visit accepts responsibility for providing facilities according to our instructions and for the appropriate conduct of the exam (see regulation 13f). Visit Organisers are advised to carry out a risk assessment (see regulation 13b).

How to request approval for your Private Visit venue
  • Log in or register and create an account.
  • On the dashboard, click ‘Private Visit’.
  • Under ‘My Venues’ click ‘Request approval for a new venue’
  • In the pop up window, select the type of venue and add details and facilities. Please read our Terms and Conditions for Visit Organisers (PDF) before completing this form.
  • Once you’ve submitted the form we’ll send you an email within three working days. This will include a link to our Visit venue approval application form (PDF) that you need to complete, sign and return to us by email.
  • We will respond within five working days of receiving the form to confirm our approval of your venue or to ask for further information.
  • Your approved venue will appear under ‘My Venues’ when you log in.

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