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Where can exams take place?

ABRSM offers flexibility about where and when exams are taken, with a range of options to suit the circumstances of those entering candidates, whether the entry is for a single exam or for a large group of candidates.

The entry options fall into two categories:

Exam centres

Exams are held at premises provided by ABRSM, within the main exam sessions. This is the option chosen by the majority of candidates. Facilities and arrangements at centres are provided and overseen by ABRSM.


Exams are held at premises (a school, teaching studio, home, etc.) provided by the applicant and visited by the examiner.

This option is designed for those entering a sufficiently large number of candidates within the main exam sessions, or for cases where a subject cannot be taken at an ABRSM centre (ie Organ, Percussion).

The applicant(s) must provide a minimum of 3 hours of examining time to qualify for a visit, and apply before the closing date for that exam session.

Special Visits

Like a visit, exams are held at a premises provided by the applicant, but outside of the main exam sessions.

The applicant(s) must provide a minimum of 3 hours of examining time to qualify for a special visit, and apply online at least 28 days before the requested start date.

Applicants hosting a visit accept responsibility for providing facilities according to ABRSM's instructions and for the appropriate conduct of the exam (see regulation 7e) and are able to rearrange their timetables following ABRSM parameters (see regulation 7C). They are advised to carry out a risk assessment and to ensure that they fulfil their duty of care (see regulation 7a).

Visit type

Possible exam dates

Allocation of exam dates

Minimum entry requirement

If including Jazz candidates


Periods A, B & C

Applicant selects dates

3 hours of examining

Minimum 1 hour of Jazz

Special visit

Outside Periods A, B & C (except Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Applicant selects date(s)

3 hours of examining

Minimum 1 hour of Jazz

Visit for Harpsichord, Organ or Percussion*

Periods A, B & C

ABRSM allocates date, wherever possible taking into consideration any of the following preferences:

Requested start date
Preferred Week
Last Available Date
No Saturdays

1 candidate


Visit for Choral Singing*

Within or outside Periods A,B & C (except Sundays & Bank Holidays)

ABRSM allocates date, wherever possible taking into consideration three date preferences indicated by the applicant

1 choir (an examiner attendance fee is charged)


Visit for Jazz Ensemble*

Specified dates within each period

ABRSM allocates dates

 1 ensemble


Visit for Music Theory

3 specified days a year

ABRSM stipulates dates

 1 candidate


May alternatively be incorporated as part of a Visit or Special Visit


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