Latest exam updates

COVID update

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.

Music Theory exam dates

We are providing extra dates in March when candidates can take an online Grade 1 to 5 Music Theory exam.

  • Tuesday 16 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 5pm and 6pm
  • Saturday 20 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 10am and 11am
  • Thursday 25 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 5pm and 6pm

 We plan to offer Grade 6 to 8 paper Music Theory exams on Wednesday 28 April with a booking period from 8 to 15 March.

Performance Grade booking

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens on 1 February. For details, see our dates and fees page.


This syllabus is designed to support and motivate the choral activity of a wide range of choirs, giving a sense of progression and achievement from the earliest levels. Exams are available at three levels – Initial, Intermediate and Advanced – and choirs can choose their own repertoire.

At each level, choirs perform vocal exercises followed by three contrasted choral works. As well as the boost to motivation that comes from working towards an exam, there's the opportunity for choirs to discover and perform some fantastic music of their own choice.

As with all our assessments, the performance is heard by one of our ABRSM examiners – all highly qualified, experienced musicians. For successful performances, all members of the choir present at the exam receive a celebratory certificate.

Whether you’re a choral member, teacher or director, we hope this syllabus inspires and supports your music learning or teaching. We wish you every success for your musical journey.

Please note that this syllabus is only available online.

What's in the exam?

  • For candidates of Grades 1–3 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 7–10 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 4–5 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 9–12 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 6–8 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 12–15 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

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