- Read key information to help you in your preparation and on the exam day
- Find out how to enter the ARSM
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.
Details of what is required for the ARSM exam are provided below.
Please ensure that you print out an ARSM programme form and fill it in before your exam.
An ARSM performance should last for 30 minutes, but it can be up to two minutes shorter or longer. The 30 minutes includes any breaks between items.
Woodwind, brass and singing candidates can take a longer break of up to three minutes during the exam. This will be counted as part of the 30 minutes’ performance time.
The examiner may stop the performance (or stop listening to the recording) if a candidate goes over the time limit.
The following requirements apply to the 30-minute performance:
You need to make sure you have completed a programme form prior to your exam. Depending on the assessment option you have chosen, you should give this to the examiner or show it to the video camera at the start of the exam.
You should include the following information on your form, presented in programme order:
In cases where there isn’t enough room on the form, the programme information can be continued on a second form.
Where the repertoire lists include an arrangement or transcription, you should use the edition listed; in all such cases the abbreviation ‘arr.’ or ‘trans.’ appears in the entry.
For all other pieces, the editions quoted in the repertoire lists are recommendations only and you can use any edition of their choice (in- or out-of-print or downloadable).
All own-choice repertoire should exist in a published edition (either in print or downloadable), which you should indicate on the programme form.
To be eligible for an ARSM exam, candidates need to have passed ABRSM Grade 8 (Practical or Performance) in the instrument being presented. A number of alternative qualifications are also accepted in place of an ABRSM Grade 8. Similarly, a Grade 8 in a closely-related instrument is accepted. For more information about the prerequisite, please see the FAQ page.
For more information on how ARSM moves candidates on from Grade 8, here's an explanatory video.