Preparing for an ARSM exam

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Check the information on this page to find out how to prepare for and take an ARSM diploma exam.

ARSM qualification specification (syllabus)

The qualification specification includes the syllabus and essential information about:

  • entry and exam requirements;
  • preparing for and taking the exam;
  • the assessment process;
  • results.

ARSM diplomas are available for the following classical instruments and for singing. Download a PDF to view the repertoire lists.

Keyboard

Piano (PDF)

Harpsichord (PDF)

Organ (PDF)

Strings

Violin (PDF)

Viola (PDF)

Cello (PDF)

Double Bass (PDF)

Guitar (PDF)

Harp (PDF)

Woodwind

Recorder (PDF)

Flute (PDF)

Oboe (PDF)

Clarinet (PDF)

Bassoon (PDF)

Saxophone (PDF)

Brass

Horn (PDF)

Trumpet / Cornet / Flugelhorn (PDF)

E Horn (PDF)

Trombone & Bass Trombone (PDF)

Baritone & Euphonium (PDF)

Tuba (PDF)

Other

Percussion (PDF)

Singing (PDF)

For the exam, candidates must complete a programme form listing full details of their programme in the order of presentation.

  • Face-to-face exams – give the programme form to the examiner at the start of the exam.
  • Digital exams – show the programme form to the camera at the start of the video recording.

Candidates can download and print a blank form (below) or use a blank piece of paper. Instructions for completing the form are available in the qualification specification.

ARSM programme form (PDF)

Candidates can choose to take their ARSM diploma as a face-to-face exam or a digital exam, which we assess from a video recording. For digital exams, read the guidance below before booking and taking the exam. Additional information and guidance videos are available on our Performance Grades pages. Performance Grades are also digital exams and many aspects are the same for both types of exam.

Guidance for digital ARSM exams (PDF)

We normally require live accompaniment in ARSM exams. However, in response to Covid, we have special arrangements in place until at least 31 July 2022. Arrangements beyond that are subject to review.

Face-to-face exams – we will accept unaccompanied performances until least 31 July 2022.

Special accompaniment arrangements for face-to-face exams (PDF)

Digital exams – candidates can choose from a number of accompaniment options until at least 31 July 2022.

Special accompaniment arrangements for digital exams (PDF)

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