ARSM is for:
- Anyone seeking a challenge beyond Grade 8
- Musicians who want to get back into playing or singing after a break
- Students looking to enhance their performance skills before entering higher education
Latest exam updates
In response to the current restrictions in the UK and Ireland we are deferring Session 1 face-to-face practical exams at Public Venues and paper-based Grade 6 to 8 Music Theory exams at Public Venues and Private Visits. Where we can we will still offer practical exams at Private Visits. Our remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams and our Grade 1 to 5 online Music Theory exams are unaffected and all dates remain unchanged. To read more, please visit our latest updates page.
We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information.
Music Theory exam dates
We can now confirm Grade 6 to 8 paper Music Theory exams will go ahead on Wednesday 28 April at 5pm. The booking period will be open from 8 to 15 March.
ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) is a performance-only diploma. It's an opportunity for you to demonstrate performance skills after Grade 8.
You will perform a 30-minute programme where you are assessed on your musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. There are no written or spoken elements and no scales, sight-reading or aural tests, making it a very accessible exam.
Exams are available worldwide with a new remote-assessment option available from October 2020 (initially in the UK and Ireland). To find out more about our Performance Grades, please visit: https://gb.abrsm.org/enour-exams/performancegrades/
Please note that:
This meaningful goal provides the opportunity to demonstrate your performance skills and to have your level of achievement recognised. It gives purpose and direction to post-Grade 8 learning and can also help bridge the gap between Grade 8 and DipABRSM.
ARSM is all about the performance!
ARSM also gives you the opportunity to create and perform your own programme of music for the first time.
Preparing to meet the challenges of a sustained 30-minute programme will help you develop greater technical assurance and instrument control.
If you're successful, you will receive a certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after your name.
The exam is a performance of a 30-minute programme where:
Programmes should be balanced and varied.
The marks for ARSM are allocated as follows:
Performance as a whole
Out of the total of 50 marks available, 34 are required for a Pass, 40 for a Merit and 45 for a Distinction.
All candidates receive a mark form showing the examiner’s comments and the marks awarded.
ARSM is suitable for musicians, of any age, who would like something to work towards after Grade 8. You must have already passed ABRSM Grade 8 Practical or Performance exam or a listed alternative in the instrument you want to take ARSM in.
Please note that:
We may ask candidates to send us their Grade 8 certificate or other supporting documentation.
ARSM is available for the following instruments:
This ARSM syllabus is valid from January 2017 until further notice. We have issued an updated syllabus/Qualification Specification dated September 2020 to cover the option to take a remotely-assessed ARSM exam. There are no changes to the 2017 exam content and requirements.
We will post any minor updates at www.abrsm.org/syllabuscorrections. Advance notice of a revised syllabus containing significant changes will be provided on this page.