Latest exam updates

Performance Grade booking

Booking for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens on Tuesday 1 December and closes on Tuesday 8 December. This is when you can book submission dates during our 5 to 31 January exam session. We have a set number of exam slots available, so please book early for the widest choice of dates. Find out more about Performance Grades.

COVID updates

We will contact you if your exams have been affected by COVID. For the latest information, and to check which venues have closed, please visit our Latest updates page

Current Exam Session: Late Booking and Rescheduling Exams

Thank you to everyone who’s booked exams. To help you with your exam arrangements at this exceptionally busy time, please be aware that there are number of services available to you by logging in to your ABRSM account. Find out more.

Music Theory exams

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.

As instrumental skills progress, development in music theory and musicianship becomes increasingly important in helping students to perform with sensitivity, understanding and confidence.

ABRSM’s Music Theory exams aim to give students a thorough understanding of the building blocks of music, starting with the basics of rhythm and notes, and going on to cover harmony and counterpoint, composition, and a broad knowledge of western music, including composers and their works, structure, style and period.

Each Music Theory paper is marked out of a total of 100, with 66 marks required for a Pass, 80 for a Merit and 90 for a Distinction.

Our benchmark

A longstanding ABRSM benchmark is that a pass at Grade 5 or above in Music Theory must be obtained before candidates can enter for Grades 6, 7 or 8 Practical exams. This also applies to Performance exams at these grades. We believe that a thorough understanding of the elements of music is essential for a full and satisfying performance at these higher grades. (Grade 5 or above in Practical Musicianship or a Practical Grades solo Jazz subject also fulfils this prerequisite.)

Publications

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