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.

Adapted exams for Practical exams at Grades 6 to 8

For candidates whose Session 3 Practical exams in the UK and Ireland (09 November–19 December 2020) are disrupted, learners wishing to take exams at Grades 6, 7 and 8 may be offered the opportunity to take an adapted exam for a limited time only, in January 2021.

These adapted Practical exams are available for a limited time to candidates of all ages in the UK and ROI. We continue to provide these arrangements because these qualifications attract UCAS points which students may need to support an application for a university or college place.

If exams cannot take place on the booked date at the chosen venue, ABRSM will contact Applicants and, where possible, candidates will be offered an alternative date and/or exam venue. If an alternative exam appointment cannot be arranged, candidates may be offered an adapted exam on a specified date in January 2021, or we will provide a 100% refund.

Guidance for Adapted Exams (January 2021)

The information on these pages is a summary of the detailed instructions and guidance found here: Instructions for Completing Adapted Exams in January 2021. We encourage you to read this in full. The guidance also includes the declaration forms that will need to be included with exam submissions. You should also be familiar with our standard Exam Regulations and the added information for Exceptional Regulations for Adapted Exams in January 2021.

Specific needs

If a candidate has access requirements or needs reasonable adjustments for an adapted exam which are different than those indicated on the Practical Grade exam booking, please let us know when you are offered an adapted exam.

Exam Booking

For those who wish to take up the offer of an adapted exam, ABRSM will cancel the existing Practical exam booking, and make a new booking for an adapted exam. Details of the Applicant and Candidate will be taken from the existing booking. No refund will be offered for the cancelled Practical exam, and no fee will be payable for the adapted exam. 

Exam administration and instructions

After 19 December 2020, ABRSM will contact all Applicants with an adapted exam booking asking for the names and email addresses of the Teacher and Responsible Adult. The Teacher and/or Responsible Adult will receive all exam materials and any other relevant information or resources required for the running of the exam. You can find information about roles and responsibilities in our Instructions for Adapted Practical Exams in August 2020.

Exam submission

Declaration Forms

Exam submissions for the adapted practical exams must include the correct declaration forms. These are included in our Instructions for Adapted Practical Exams in August 2020, and editable versions will be provided here soon.

Practical exam (ABRSM Level 3 Certificate in Practical Music)

The Practical exam consists of two types of evidence:

  • Audio recording: pieces and scales and arpeggios
  • Teacher-assessed marks: sight-reading and aural tests

These should be submitted to ABRSM electronically on the chosen exam date along with the declarations set out in our Instructions for Adapted Practical Exams in August 2020.

How to Upload Exam Materials

When you are submitting your files to ABRSM using the Secure File Upload Request, please note that once you have clicked ‘Send Files’ a blue box will appear indicating ‘File(s) are being sent’. This means the process is complete and you can close the window.


We will send an email to the applicant when their candidate’s results have been released. The applicant can then log in to their account on the Online Booking Service to view their results. If the candidate has an ABRSM account we will email them seven days after we’ve released the result to the applicant to let them know they can also view their result via their ABRSM account. Certificates will be posted to the applicant approximately two weeks after the end of the exam session.

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