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.

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.

Practical Musicianship

Our Practical Musicianship exams give students opportunities to develop their ability to ‘think in sound’ and perform spontaneously. While Performance and Practical Grades focus on aspects of performance and/or supporting tests that are prepared in detail in advance, here the playing (or singing) is in response to immediate challenges and stimuli, presented both aurally and via notation.

From Grades 1–8, the Practical Musicianship exams cover some key skills:

  • The ability to internalise music and to reproduce it
  • Interpreting written music with minimum preparation
  • Exploring the possibilities inherent in a short motif
  • The ability to detect differences between what's heard and what's written

Practical Musicianship exams encourage interconnected development of musical listening, reading and playing skills through a holistic approach.

An alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory

Grade 5 Practical Musicianship is an alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory as a prerequisite for taking ABRSM Grades 6–8 Practical and Performance exams, enabling you to demonstrate your musical knowledge and understanding on your instrument rather than on paper.

Instruments

Practical Musicianship exams are open to singers as well as instrumentalists performing on any instrument(s) included in the current range of subjects offered by ABRSM.

Publications & audio

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