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.

Focusing on all-round musicianship

We've designed our Practical graded music exams to motivate instrumental and singing students of all ages and a wide range of abilities. They're available at Grades 1 to 8, as well as a pre-Grade 1 Initial Grade for some subjects. They provide:

  • Progressive goals to aim for
  • Recognition for achievement
  • Carefully structured syllabus requirements
  • One-to-one assessment by an expert professional
  • An objective guide to a candidate’s skills and progress.

ABRSM exams are music exams rather than instrumental or singing exams. Examiners assess the quality of the music-making, not how it's achieved. For this reason, we don't restrict examiners to assessing only their own instrument but require them to examine all instruments.

There are no age restrictions and students can start with any grade or skip grades if they want to.

What's included in a Practical exam?

To succeed in our Practical exams, candidates need a combination of skills and understanding. Broadly, we assess:

  • Performance skills through pieces or songs
  • Technical skills through scales and arpeggios
  • Notation skills through a sight-reading test
  • Listening skills and musical perception through aural tests

How many marks are available?

Total marks in all individual Practical graded exams are 150.

  • 100 marks are required to pass
  • 120 marks are required to pass with merit
  • 130 marks are required to pass with distinction

Find out more about each part of the Practical graded exam

Other key exam information

 

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