Latest exam updates

Exams at Private Visits – what’s changing

For detailed exam booking information for Private Visits go to our exam booking pages.

To register and create your new account click here.

Private Visit is the new name for any kind of visit, rather than visit or special visit.

Our new online exam booking service allows you to:

  • Book practical exams at a Private Visit up to 28 days before your chosen start date - even if the date is during one of our main exam sessions.
  • Use our new online timetabling tool - an easy way to arrange your exam day(s).

If you're organising a practical Private Visit, with at least three hours of exams at your own venue, you can choose your exam date(s). We will then arrange for an examiner to visit your venue on the date(s) of your choice. 

As currently, you will need to organise a Private Visit if you are booking a Harpsichord, Percussion, Organ, Choral Singing or Jazz Ensemble exam.

Key dates

  • The first date available for a practical Private Visit in 2020 is 13 January.

What you need to know

New terminology

Many things about visits are staying the same, but we have some new ways of talking about them.

  • Private Visit is the new name for all visits, rather than visit or special visit. The same rules around booking dates now apply for all practical visits.
  • Visit Organisers book and run Private Visits. 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. Visit Organisers are also responsible for finalising the timetable and for sharing this information with their candidates and any Permitted Applicants.
  • Permitted Applicants are applicants who have received permission from a Visit Organiser to book their candidates at a Private Visit.
  • Venue Codes allow us to identify Private Visits on our system. Once we’ve approved a Private Visit venue and it appears on our system, we’ll give it a code. The Visit Organiser will need to share this code with any Permitted Applicants, who will then need to enter the code when they book their candidates at the Private Visit.
Private Visit venue approval

If you had a visit during 2019 (and enter your applicant number when you register and create your new account) your visit venue will be pre-approved and you will not need to request approval.

  • As a Visit Organiser you may need to request approval for your Private Visit venue before you can make a booking. This applies to practical and Music Theory Private Visits. We’re introducing this new process to ensure that all exam venues meet our standards.
  • You can request venue approval via your new online account. You only need to request approval for your venue once. If we give approval, this will apply for all your future Private Visit bookings at that venue.
  • The online venue approval process can take up to eight working days. You can request approval at any point, as long as you allow enough time for us to approve your venue before you need to book your Private Visit.
  • The following Visit Organisers will need to go online to request venue approval before they can book a Private Visit:
    • Existing Visit Organisers who did not have a visit during 2019.
    • Existing Visit Organisers who are booking a Private Visit at a new venue.
    • New Visit Organisers who have never booked a Private Visit before
Music Theory exams at Private Visits
  • Music Theory exams will continue to take place on set dates within our main exam sessions and you will need to book your Music Theory Private Visit during the main session booking period.
  • We are unable to accept any late entries for Music Theory exams at Private Visits, so please make sure you book all candidates before the booking period closes.
New arrangements for Jazz exams
  • We are making some changes to the way we provide Jazz exams. In the short term, we will be unable to provide Jazz exams at Private Visits.
  • For now, if you are booking Jazz exams you will need to do this at an ABRSM Jazz Visit organised by us, taking place on set dates within the main exam session.
  • We are planning to re-introduce the option to book Jazz exams at Private Visits later in 2020 and will update you on this when we can.
  • Find out more about booking Jazz exams.
No late entries at Private Visits
  • Visit Organisers and any Permitted Applicants can book candidates into a practical Private Visit up to 28 days before the chosen start date. We are unable to accept additional candidate bookings once this 28-day cut off has passed.

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