Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy

a. Cancellations and withdrawals can only be made by applicants. Exam fees will only be returned to the applicant or organisation that made the payment.

Consumer and cancellation rights: Public Venue and Remotely-Assessed exams

b. When booking an exam at a Public Venue or a digital exam , including Performance Grades and ARSM exams and online Music Theory, the contract may be cancelled within 14 days after the day on which the contract is entered into (the cooling-off period) for a full refund. Cancellations during the 14-day cooling-off period must be made by the applicant using the online booking service.

Late Booking: If the date of the exam is within 14 days of the day on which the contract is entered into, a full refund is applicable only if the cancellation is made before the date of the exam.

c. If a booking at a Public Venue is cancelled outside the ‘cooling-off period’ ABRSM will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of this policy.

d. Between April and September 2021, if a booking at a Public Venue is cancelled outside the ‘cooling-off period’ ABRSM will offer a refund in the circumstances specified in the ’Special terms for non-attendance due to COVID (updated 23 June 2021)’ section of this policy.

Private Visit: Practical exams

e. When booking a practical exam at a Private Visit, either as the Visit Organiser or as a Permitted Applicant, the booking may be cancelled up to 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit and receive a full refund. If a booking is cancelled less than 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit, ABRSM will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in Reg. 8a: Withdrawals and non-attendance. Cancellations made 28 days (or more) before the first day of the Private Visit must be made by the applicant using the online booking service.

Private Visit: Grade 6 to 8 Theory exams

f. When booking a Music Theory exam at a Private Visit, either as the Visit Organiser or as a Permitted Applicant, the booking may be cancelled up to, and including, the Music Theory booking period closing date and receive a full refund. If a booking is cancelled outside this booking period, ABRSM will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in Reg. 8a: Withdrawals and non-attendance. Cancellations must be made by the applicant using the online booking service.

Withdrawals and non-attendance

g. A candidate who is withdrawn from an exam, or who does not attend, may be eligible for a partial refund under certain circumstances. The candidate may be re-entered in future, but a new booking and full payment must be made. Neither a cancelled booking nor the exam fee already paid can be transferred from one booking period to the next. Requests received more than one week after the exam date will not normally be considered.

Illness and injury

h. If a candidate is unable to attend their exam owing to illness or injury, please notify ABRSM at [email protected] as soon as possible, and no later than the day of the exam. Please provide supporting documentary evidence. This should normally be a letter from someone in authority, such as a head teacher, confirming the candidate’s indisposition or injury, or a medical certificate. Notice given only to an examiner, local representative, steward or invigilator is not sufficient to qualify for a refund, if applicable.

Exceptional personal circumstances

i. If a candidate needs to withdraw owing to exceptional personal circumstances such as bereavement, please notify ABRSM at [email protected] as soon as possible, and not later than the day of the exam, giving full details substantiating the request. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and ABRSM’s decision is final.

Circumstances beyond the candidate’s control

j. Where a candidate misses their exam owing to circumstances beyond their control (such as a major travel incident that causes serious difficulties getting to the exam, or an accident to their instrument immediately before the exam) the applicant must notify ABRSM at [email protected] as soon as possible, giving full details substantiating the request. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and ABRSM’s decision is final. 

Errors made during the booking process

k. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that information provided during the booking process is correct. No refund will be issued if applicants make errors, for example, candidates being entered for an incorrect grade.

Additional information

l. ABRSM will reimburse payments received, subject to its statutory right to retain a portion of the exam fee to cover reasonable costs. ABRSM will process any refund due as soon as possible and, in any case, no later than 28 days after the day on which it was informed about the decision to cancel the contract. UK refunds are normally returned using the original payment method; however, refund payment methods may vary outside the UK. If the booking is cancelled after the ‘cooling-off period’, payment methods may vary.

Special terms for non-attendance due to COVID (updated 14 December 2021)

Refunds for exams from December 2021 to 31 July 2022
To support anyone affected by COVID restrictions, for all instrumental and singing exams in all countries, any absent candidate will automatically receive a full refund. This includes digital Performance Grade and ARSM exams where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video.

You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you log in to your account and cancel the exam.

Please note this policy does not include Grade 1 to 5 online Music Theory exams.

For exams at Public Venues, we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).

  • For Private Visits we will issue refunds by the end of the month following the month of the visit date.
  • For digital Performance Grades and ARSM diplomas we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).
  • For Diploma exams we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session.

Exam type

Exam session

Refunds will be received by

Performance Grades

December

end of January

Performance Grades

January

end of February

Performance Grades

February 

end of March

Performance Grades

March

end of April

Performance Grades

April

end of May

Performance Grades

May

end of June

Performance Grades

June

end of July

Performance Grades

July

end of August

Practical exams in Public Venues

November-December

end of January

Practical exams in Public Venues

February

end of March

Practical exams in Public Venues

March-April

end of May

Practical exams in Public Venues

May

end of June

Practical exams in Public Venues

June-July

end of August

Jazz

November-December

end of January

Jazz

March-April

end of May

Jazz

June-July

end of August

Diplomas

December

end of January

Diplomas

July

end of August


Updated Jan 2022

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