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.

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.

To provide a more candidate-friendly experience, we will be moving the assessment of Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 to an online exam.

With a focus on creating a more reliable and accessible assessment, our new Online Music Theory assessments give candidates the best opportunity to demonstrate their musical knowledge and understanding.

Resources and syllabus

Music Theory syllabus from 2018

Read the updated syllabus for Music Theory exams from 2018 onwards.

Current publications

Music Theory in Practice

We are not making any changes to our Music Theory in Practice books for Grades 1 to 5. They still cover all the knowledge and skills you need for our Music Theory exams at these grades from 2018. The sections on rhythm-writing, word-setting and melody writing will not be directly relevant to the exams from 2018, but overall Music Theory in Practice continues to provide plenty of valuable teaching and learning material for the exams.

First Steps in Music Theory and The AB Guide to Music Theory (Part 1)

We are not be making any changes to these books. They cover the basic principles of music theory and provide a thorough introduction to the knowledge and understanding needed at Grades 1 to 5. They continue to offer valuable support for exam preparation from 2018 onwards.

First Steps in Music Theory

The AB Guide to Music Theory (Part 1)

New printed Practice Papers

You are now able to buy printed Practice Papers and Model Answers for the revised exams at Grades 1 to 5 – these can be found in our online shop or ask your local retailer. The papers are based on questions from the 2017 exams, adjusted to reflect the revised questions that all candidates will be answering from 2018 onwards.

Past Papers from previous years

You are still able to buy Past Papers and Model Answers from previous years (2016 and earlier). They continue to provide valuable teaching material and can be used in addition to the new Practice Papers.

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