Syllabus overlap information

We offer an overlap period in the first year of a new instrumental/singing syllabus. During the overlap period, candidates may follow specific requirements from the preceding syllabus.

Due to Covid, we have extended this overlap for some syllabuses to support learners. However, if possible, we always advise candidates to prepare for their exam using the newest valid syllabus.

Overlap periods only apply to the specific syllabuses and requirements listed on this page. We will add information for other syllabuses during the final year of their published validity period.

Select a syllabus below to check the length of the overlap period and the syllabus requirements covered.

Practical Grades: Candidates worldwide may play set pieces from the 2016–2019 syllabus until 31 December 2020. All pieces must be from the same syllabus – candidates may not perform a mixture of pieces from the 2016–2019 and 2020–2023 syllabuses.

Please note, due to COVID-19 we are happy to extend this overlap to the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is no longer required. Candidates should inform the examiner, and/or indicate on the programme form, that they are playing pieces from the 2016–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new 2020–2023 syllabus.

Performance Grades: Candidates worldwide may play their three set pieces from the 2016–2019 syllabus until 31 December 2020. All three set pieces must be from the same syllabus – candidates may not perform a mixture of pieces from the 2016–2019 and 2020–2023 syllabuses. This restriction does not apply to the fourth, own-choice piece, which may be chosen from anywhere. NB, the Performance Grades syllabus for 2020–2023 should be followed for all other exam requirements.

Please note, due to COVID-19 we are happy to extend this overlap to the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is no longer required. Candidates should indicate on the programme form that they are playing pieces from the 2016–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new 2020–2023 syllabus.

 

The current Brass syllabus (from 2017) is valid until further notice.

Brass candidates should refer to the 2017-2020 syllabus until at least 2022. New syllabuses (Practical and Performance) are being developed for all Brass subjects but release has been delayed due to COVID-19. Further updates will be published at www.abrsm.org/syllabusupdates when available

Practical Grades: Candidates worldwide may use the 1990–2019 syllabus until 31 December 2020. All exam requirements must be from the same syllabus – candidates may not present a mixture of requirements (i.e. pieces or supporting tests) from old and new syllabuses.

Please note, due to COVID-19 we are happy to extend this overlap to the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is no longer required. Candidates should inform the examiner, and/or indicate on the programme form, that they are using the 1990–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new Percussion syllabus, available for four subjects – Snare Drum, Timpani, Tuned Percussion and Percussion (Combined). 

Performance Grades: Candidates worldwide who wish to use set pieces from the old Percussion syllabus should follow the 1990–2019 Performance Grades syllabus. As exams were disrupted due to COVID-19, and the situation for 2021 remains uncertain, the provision of this syllabus allows a candidate to take a Performance Grades exam using the repertoire they have prepared from the old Practical syllabus. This Performance Grades syllabus is valid for the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is not required from ABRSM. Candidates should indicate on the programme form that they are playing pieces from the 1990–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new Percussion syllabus, available for four subjects – Snare Drum, Timpani, Tuned Percussion and Percussion (Combined). 

 

 

 

Practical Grades – extended overlap for candidates in the UK and Ireland

  • The original overlap period (to 31 December 2021) has been extended due to Covid.
  • Candidates may play their three pieces and scales from the 2019 & 2020 syllabus until the end of Session 1 2022 (8 April).
  • All three pieces and scales must be from the same syllabus.
  • Candidates playing pieces and scales from the 2019 & 2020 syllabus should tell the examiner or write this on their programme form.

Performance Grades – standard overlap

  • Candidates worldwide may play their three set pieces from the 2019 & 2020 syllabus until 31 December 2021.
  • All three set pieces must be from the same syllabus.
  • The fourth, own-choice piece is not affected by overlap arrangements.
  • There will be no extension to this overlap period as Performance Grades have been available throughout 2021.

Practical Grades

  • Candidates worldwide may play their three pieces from the 2018–2021 syllabus until 31 December 2022.
  • All three pieces must be from the same syllabus.
  • Candidates playing pieces from the 2018–2021 syllabus should tell the examiner or write this on their programme form.

Performance Grades

  • Candidates worldwide may play their three set pieces from the 2018–2021 syllabus until 31 December 2022.
  • All three set pieces must be from the same syllabus.
  • The fourth, own-choice piece is not affected by overlap arrangements.

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