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.

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information.

Music Theory exam dates

We can now confirm Grade 6 to 8 paper Music Theory exams will go ahead on Wednesday 28 April at 5pm. The booking period will be open from 8 to 15 March.

Refunds for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st March 2021

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam. For Private Visits we will issue refunds by the end of the month following the month of the visit date.  If you are a Visit Organiser. For Performance Grades we will issue refunds within 28 days of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).

UK & Ireland policy for withdrawals, non-attendance and fee refunds

If a candidate is withdrawn from an exam or doesn't attend, the person who made the entry (Applicant) is responsible for cancelling the exam either through their online account and/or in writing via email. Exam fees will only be returned to the applicant or organisation that made the payment.

How to cancel an exam booked through the online service. For Private Visits, Public Venue and remotely-assessed exams (including Performance Grades, remotely-assessed ARSM, and Online Music Theory)

An exam booked using the online service can be cancelled via the online service up to 48 hours before the exam day. To cancel an exam:

1) the person who made the entry (Applicant) should log in to their account, locate the relevant booking and click “Booking Details”. A bin icon is displayed to the right of the candidate’s exam entry information. Click the bin icon to cancel the exam.

2) If the cancellation qualifies for a refund in accordance with our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy, please see details below on how to make a written claim as applicable.

How to cancel an exam booked via paper application: Choral Exams, Ensemble Exams and Diploma Exams (excluding ARSM)

If a Choral Exam, Ensemble Exam needs to be cancelled, and/or a candidate for a Diploma Exam (excluding ARSM) is withdrawn or doesn't attend, the person who made the entry (Applicant) is responsible for cancelling the exam in writing via email to [email protected]. If the cancellation qualifies for a refund in accordance with our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy, please see details below on how to make a written claim as applicable.

When booking an exam at a Public Venue or a remotely-assessed exam (including Performance Grades, remotely-assessed ARSM, and Online Music Theory), the entry may be cancelled within 14 days after the date of booking (the consumer and cancellation rights’ ‘cooling-off period’). Cancellations during the 14-day cooling-off period must be made by the applicant using the online exam service and payment will be refunded back to the payment card. Applicants will receive a credit confirmation by email. For exams booked via paper application, cancellations must be received in writing via email to [email protected].

If a booking is cancelled outside of the ‘cooling-off period’ ABRSM will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

Late Booking at a Public Venue or for a remotely-assessed exam: If the date of the exam booked is within 14 days from the day on which the booking was made, a full refund is applicable only if the cancellation is made by the applicant either using the online service or in writing to [email protected], before the date of the exam.

Refunds for deferred payment for Public Venue and remotely-assessed exams

For accounts authorised to use the ‘submit and pay later’ option for Public Venue and remotely-assessed exam bookings, the applicant will be able to cancel a booking up until the day the booking period closes. Cancellations during this period must be made by the applicant using the online exam service.

When booking an exam at a Private Visit, either as the Visit Organiser or as a Permitted Applicant, the booking may be cancelled up to 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit and receive a full refund. Cancellations made during this period must be made by the applicant using the online exam service. For payments made at the time of entry, refunds will be issued back to the payment card and applicants will receive a credit confirmation by email. For exams booked via paper application, cancellations must be received in writing via email to [email protected].

If a booking is cancelled less than 28 days before (and not including) the first day of the Private Visit, ABRSM will not offer any refund of the exam fee for the cancelled exam other than in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

Late Booking at a Private Visit: For an exam booked during the late booking period, after the 28 day deadline, as detailed above, and up to 48 hours before the exam day, the exam fee is only eligible for a refund in the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. In this instance the applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam.

A candidate who's withdrawn from an exam or doesn’t attend, may be eligible for a partial refund, but only under the circumstances specified in paragraphs f, g, h or i of our Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refund Policy. The applicant must notify ABRSM in writing at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the day of the exam. Notice given only to an examiner, honorary local representative, steward or invigilator isn't sufficient to qualify for a refund.

A candidate who's withdrawn from an exam may be re-entered in the next exam session. In such cases, a new booking and full payment must be made as entry details/payment cannot be transferred from one period to the next.

Special terms for non-attendance due to COVID (updated 15 December 2020)

If a candidate is unable to attend or record their exam due to COVID and no suitable alternative appointment is available within the exam session, the exam can be cancelled for a full refund. Please note we cannot transfer exam appointments to a later exam session. Cancellations can only be made by the person who made the booking (Applicant) using the online booking service, or by contacting us here to request a full refund. This clause is only valid for all exams taking place before 1 April 2021. This clause applies to all ABRSM exams.

Illness or injury

A partial refund of up to 75% is given provided that the conditions above are met and that the written notification is supported by documentary evidence. This should normally be a letter from someone in authority, such as a head teacher, confirming the candidate’s indisposition or injury, or a medical certificate. The documentary evidence must be sent no later than four weeks after the exam date.

Exceptional personal circumstances

A discretionary refund may be given on compassionate grounds in cases such as bereavement, family crisis or personal trauma, provided that the conditions above are met and that the written notification is supported by full details substantiating the application.

Death or serious indisposition of teacher

A discretionary refund may be given to a candidate whose exam preparation is severely curtailed by the teacher’s death or long-term serious illness. In cases of occasional missed lessons due to the teacher’s minor or short-term illness, or cases of a dispute with the teacher leading to lessons being discontinued, no refund can be made.

Application for such a refund must be made in accordance with the conditions above although it may be made by someone other than the applicant. ABRSM may request details of an independent person who may be contacted by us to verify the application.

Circumstances beyond the candidate’s control

Where a candidate misses their exam owing to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. a major travel incident or damage to the candidate’s instrument immediately before the exam), a discretionary refund may be given provided that the conditions above are met and that the written notification is supported by full details substantiating the application.

A candidate in quarantine for any infection must be withdrawn. If exams are cancelled owing to quarantine, alternative appointments/fee refunds may be offered at ABRSM’s discretion.

Contact details

ABRSM
4 London Wall Place
London
EC2Y 5AU

T +44 (0)20 7636 5400
E Contact us

Opening hours: 9:00am – 5.00pm (Mon-Fri)

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