Update 14 July 2021 – COVID-19 guidance throughout July and August

Following a successful seven weeks of exams, the Practical face-to-face public exam session is coming to an end. Congratulations to all who have passed their exams and thank you to everyone who attended our venues and adhered to our COVID-19 guidance throughout the session.

Although government COVID-19 restrictions may be relaxing on the 19 July, we do request that all Private Visits continue to run in line with our own guidance throughout the remainder of the summer months (July and August). Our Private Visit COVID-19 guidance can be found here.

Update 23 June 2021 - Refunds for exams from January to September 2021

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for all ABRSM exams in all countries, any absent candidate will automatically receive a full refund. This includes Performance Grade exams 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 log in to your account and cancel the exam.

  • For Practical exams in public venues, we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).
  • For Private Visits we will issue refunds by the end of the month following the month of the visit date.
  • For Performance Grades we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).
  • For online Music Theory (Grades 1 to 5) we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam window. 
  • For Diploma exams we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session

Exam type

Exam session

Refunds will be received by

Performance Grades


end of June

Performance Grades


end of July

Performance Grades


end of August

Performance Grades


end of September

Performance Grades


end of October

Online Music Theory (Grades 1 to 5)


end of July

Practical exams in Public Venues


end of August



end of July


June - July

end of August

You can read our full Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policyhere.

Update 17 June 2021 - Initial Performance Grade coming soon for Piano and Bowed Strings

Early learners playing the piano, violin, viola, cello or double bass will soon have the opportunity to take a new pre-Grade 1 exam. From August 2021 you will be able to book an Initial Performance Grade for these instruments with the first exam submission deadlines in September.

  • First booking period: August
  • First exam submission dates: September

We will be publishing the updated Performance Grades qualification specification and syllabuses in July. To read more about our Initial Performance Grade click here.

Update June 2021 – Syllabus Extension

Due to COVID-19, we are happy to extend the overlap periods of the Bowed Strings 2016–2019 syllabus, and the Percussion 1990–2019 syllabus. Please read the Syllabus Overlap guidance carefully for the full requirements and arrangements for your syllabus.

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