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.

Music Theory exam dates

We are providing extra dates in March when candidates can take an online Grade 1 to 5 Music Theory exam.

  • Tuesday 16 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 5pm and 6pm
  • Saturday 20 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 10am and 11am
  • Thursday 25 March – candidates can start the exam at any time between 5pm and 6pm

 We plan to offer Grade 6 to 8 paper Music Theory exams on Wednesday 28 April with a booking period from 8 to 15 March.

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.

Inspiring Musical Achievement for Everyone

Our Diversity Statement

ABRSM exists to inspire musical achievement for everyone, from all backgrounds. We are committed to a world in which people are inspired to play, make, and teach music from a rich diversity of traditions and contemporary practice.

The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have made us, like many organisations, stop and think about prejudice and bias. As one of the UK’s leading music education organisations and a significant commissioner of music, we have a responsibility to challenge any practices that allow prejudice to persist, and to embed sustainable change.

In doing so, we will work with partners to draw on their perspectives, experience, insight, balance and focus.

We already have a targeted programme of scholarships, sponsorship, and partnerships with great music education organisations founded on an intention to increase the opportunities for people of all backgrounds to progress with their music.

We are also working to make our syllabuses and publications more inclusive. For example, our new Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022, launching on 9 July, includes a far greater number of pieces by female composers, and a far greater variety of pieces from many different countries and traditions, than ever before.

We hope that this signals our commitment to reflect, through our commissioning and products, a world of underrepresented talent and musical stories.

But we recognise there is much more we can do.

We have already begun a wide-ranging strategic review of diversity and inclusion across our organisation, and we will develop and implement a fuller strategic programme, with clear targets to monitor our progress, to increase representation of diversity across all areas of our work.

As part of this work, we are today announcing our commitment to:

  • Produce clear recommendations for increasing the inclusion of underrepresented composers in our syllabuses and products, through close engagement with individuals from the music sector.
  • Launch a mentorship scheme in September, partnering with leading composers, musicians, and music education groups, to develop the emerging careers of composers of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse descent, specifically to write for educational purposes and to increase the pool of published music we can draw on in future.

Because we know that we can only serve everyone – and inspire musical achievement – if we include everyone.

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